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Planning a wedding is hard enough and adding the difficult task of still being a nice person at the same time makes it nearly impossible. And yet, we all desperately want to avoid becoming the dreaded Bridezilla, whether it’s because we’re actually nice people or because the groom’s family still hasn’t quite warmed up to the idea. And actually, it’s very doable. Just remember these five simple rules. We’ve even made them rhyme.
If you think we only picked this one because it rhymes, you’re only partially right. Hydration is just one of a few important things to do to keep your body in good shape. A wedding is just a symbol of a big commitment you’re making and it may coincide with moving, travel and taking a lot of time off of work. Those are all stressful and it’s ok to be stressed. But instead of resorting to yelling at other people, you should be resorting to the same things that help you get through stress at work. Make sure to drink a lot of water and eat well, even if it’s tempting to starve yourself into a dress that’s one size smaller. Get enough sleep and take time to exercise. All of these things may take some extra time but they’ll make you a happier, healthier and more relaxed bride, which will probably help you handle numbers 1-4 on this list.
If you’re going to order everyone around, even a little bit, then you’d better make sure that when the wedding day comes they still remember why they like you. It’s easy for your single friends, siblings and even parents to feel like you’re deserting them when you get married. And just as easy for your fiancé to feel like he’s being taken for granted now that you’ve got the engagement ring. So you’ll have to make a little extra time for all of these people. Consider making a double date with your parents to do something fun that they used to do with a kid, like going to a museum or the zoo. For sisters and friends, some classic girl time is good, especially if you can make it centered around them and not around your wedding. And for your fiancé, do whatever you liked to do together before all of your time was taken up wedding planning, even if it means setting aside one night each week to cook dinner together and watch TV. Just make sure not to bring up the wedding during these times you’ve set aside.
Of course, that means that the details won’t always be exactly as you expected. But get used to it. If you can prioritize what’s really important to you and resign the other stuff to other people’s control, you’ll be a better and happier bride. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should give everyone else a stack of responsibilities, it means you should compromise sometimes. For example, if you think fancy cocktails are the way to go but it’s not something that will make or break your wedding day, let your father-in-law-to-be fill the bar with his favorite scotch and brandy instead. Chances are good that on the big day you won’t notice and it just means that you’ll be able to stand up to him when he offer’s his cousin’s polka band to play at the reception. So plan ahead and decide what aspects of the wedding are worth fighting for and what changes you can resign yourself to. If the two lists aren’t at least even, then you may want to do some self-reflection before you become Bridezilla.
Don’t do it all yourself. First of all, you’ll just get stressed out very quickly and that never helps people stay pleasant. But also, contrary to popular wisdom, this isn’t just your day. It’s also your fiancé’s day. And your parents, family and friends who all helped getting you there, by raising each of you to be the loveable people you are, by teaching you everything you know about relationships and by even the simple acts of introducing the two of you or helping you choose your outfit for the first date. This is a day of triumph for a lot of people in your lives and they’ll want to have a part of it. And that’s fine. It’s better than fine. This is your opportunity to get extra hands and extra creativity involved. You’ll just need to trust. Giving up your choice of photographer, the creation of wedding favors or the choice of bridesmaid’s dressing will not only save you time but it is also a huge display of trust. That gift is probably worth more to the members of your wedding party than any jewelry or gadget you could buy them.
This doesn’t just mean telling everyone what you want clearly enough, although that’s included. Communication also has to be about listening. If you’re the bride, everyone will be hearing what you want but you’ll have to put in a little bit of extra effort to hear other people. If someone does speak up, don’t just answer with a yes or no, take the time to ask questions. It’s possible that a request that really didn’t fit into your plans may be flexible enough that it will fit in really nicely and you’ll have made someone happy. On the other hand, you do have to communicate clearly as well. If you can give people a clear schedule saying when you plan to accomplish certain tasks and what you’re hoping, they may be able to help you out and you won’t be annoyed later when they didn’t manage to read your mind.