Thursday, October 31, 2013

Don’t Be That Girl: How to Avoid Being a Bridezilla

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By Jennifer McCord

Bridezillas – they’re an ugly stereotype that, unless you’re careful, can become your reality when it is your turn to plan your nuptials. With societal pressures, tight deadlines and the desire to control every last detail, it’s enough to make any woman crack! However, this diva behavior is entirely avoidable for every bride-to-be (yes, this means you), so keep reading on how you avoid this all too common trap.

Tip One: Turn Off the TV

No, you don’t have to give up TV completely! But you should give up on watching wedding-themed shows. Sure, you probably gained a whole new level of appreciation for those shows once your fiancé proposed. But once you actually start planning a wedding, chances are that the last thing you need at the end of the day is a marathon of TLC's Four Weddings (more later on why this show is a bad idea) or Say Yes to the Dress. You may want to obsess over your upcoming wedding 24/7 until the big day arrives, but your brain needs a break. Let’s face it — obsessing over anything for an extended period of time just isn’t healthy. Instead, curl up next to your fiancé and watch something you both love.

Tip Two: Start a Happy Jar

While this doesn’t have to be a physical jar, find some outlet where you can force yourself to record positive thoughts. Try to write down positive wedding-themed feelings whenever you find them crossing your mind. Wedding planning can be a hugely stressful monster, and even though you’ll have several people around you to help you, sometimes they won’t be as helpful as they think. You may be faced with unsolicited advice, excessive questions, or even accidentally rude comments. But you have to keep reminding yourself that these people are your family and friends, and they mean well. So here’s the other way the Happy Jar works: Each time someone upsets or annoys you, get out a piece of paper and write down something positive about them. This will help you let go of those feelings more easily. If you needed any more convincing, check out these 10 reasons you need a happy jar.

Tip Three:  Use the 10-Year Rule

Even though you’re a wedding-planning machine, somewhere along the line, something’s going to go wrong. You can’t control everything that happens during your wedding-planning process; however, you can control how you respond to what happens. A good general rule is this: when something goes wrong, take a deep breath and ask yourself — and answer honestly — whether you’ll still be upset about this detail in ten years. If the problem is big enough that the answer is yes, then by all means, call your maid of honor, your fiancé, and your mom, and show this problem who’s boss. But if the answer is no, then shrug your shoulders, count to ten, and move on with your day. Usually, when you think about problems using the ten-year rule, you wind up realizing that you probably won’t even remember the problem in ten years. It’s hard to let stuff go in the moment, but you’ll love yourself for it later, and your friends will be wowed by your serenity. If you would like to create more serenity in your busy wedding planning days, it may also be helpful to try out some meditation exercises. Clear your mind of all the stress you feel and just relax.

Tip Four: Respect your Bridesmaids

If you have ever seen the movie Bridesmaids, you know very well that you and the bridal party will have varying opinions when it comes to the dress and price. You want your dress to be perfect, you want your groom and his best men to look perfect, and the same goes for your bridesmaids.  But, to look perfect, this does not mean forcing your bridesmaids to spend upwards of $500 on a dress that they may never wear again. Instead, go to a budget-conscious bridal store that has multiple locations, like David’s Bridal. Not only are their dresses affordable but, if your ladies are geographically scattered, they’ll be able to find a shop within their proximity. Your bridesmaid’s will thank you for this, and so will their wallets. Additionally, don’t be too demanding of their time! If you expect your close friends will put their lives on hold to help you create DIY wedding favors one weekend after the next, than you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration.

Tip Five: Stop Aiming for Perfection

Now it’s time to talk about the other reason you shouldn’t watch shows like Four Weddings. Sure, it can give you cool ideas, but it also plants one big, bad idea in your head: that you should be comparing your wedding to other weddings. This is one of the worst habits to fall into. If you spend all your time obsessing over whether or not your wedding will be perfect, it won’t be perfect in anyone’s eyes, especially yours. Instead, try thinking about this: imagine that there are no rules for a wedding, no weird traditions like the garter and bouquet toss, and no unrealistic expectations. Imagine that your wedding is simply a party to celebrate the love you share with your fiancé, where your friends and family can come have fun with you and wish you well as you start your lives together. If that sounds good, then good news! That’s exactly what your wedding is. It’s a celebration, not a competition, and because of that, the people who show up are there because they love you, not because they want to judge you. Keep these four tips in mind, and you should be on track for a beautiful, fun wedding, and a wonderful marriage.

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