Let’s be honest. No bride ever wants to admit to this one. Yet I will be the first to hold my hands up and say ‘My name is Sophie and I was a bridezilla’. Okay.
It would be fair to say the stereotype is right up there with meringues masquerading as dresses and cold-footed grooms. I had thought that the benefit of working in the wedding world on a daily basis would be a serene, rationed approach to my wedmin and any stresses. As it turned out, being so immersed in the industry was actually my downfall. My head was turned by every pretty extra thing that up-selling could throw at me. What I will call ‘amnesia meets epiphany’ moments would occur whereby I would suddenly forget that I am not a chic, refined wedding kind of girl – but a proper, bucolic English countryside one. More Kate Moss than Middleton. Off-brief Champagne coupes would call out to me. Budgets would be cast to the wind. The ‘one day’ mentality and rhetoric I perfected whenever my (now, just about) husband questioned my whims formed a fog around my judgement. I rediscovered, perfected, an angsty streak last seen when I was approximately 16 years old. And I couldn’t blame this loopy bridezilla-ish behaviour on the usual culprits – not knowing any better and vulnerability to the clever marketing strategems of the industry which frequently bedazzles the best of us. The problem is, there are are a seemingly overwhelming number of boxes to tick when it comes to making dreams reality. So some of the zilla was down to good old fashioned pressure: fear of failure. This led me to ramp up the nervous energy, but not necessarily the efficiency (unsurprisingly), I went at everything with.
And the biggest factor in my descent into the bridezilla sisterhood was that, this time, it was personal. It had to be perfect, as we were only going to do this once (be damned, statistics).
Which is why I’ve put together the below mantra and tips to share with you below. Because whilst wedding panic and worry might be inevitable and even the best of us give into it, being a ’zilla isn’t
1. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE.
Write down together the specific brief of what you want for and from your wedding. Work out your linchpins, priorities and ‘cannot-do-withouts’, and focus on these. Then you won’t worry if you don’t achieve them, but it will be an added triumph if you do.
2. CONSERVE YOUR ENERGIES: PICK YOUR BATTLES
It’s often easy to lose sight of the fact that whilst you might be planning your wedding, there are going to be others who hold an opinion and say in what you do and don’t include (especially if they are paying some of the way). If it would keep his mum sweet to let her be involved in choosing the wedding cake, then try to include her. You need your team to be on side, so try to remember your Ps and Qs, keep them cheerful with frequent treats and learn to let go of the little things. Its also importantly to think critically about your own decisions; sleep on them whenever possible.
Remember to be kind to yourself. Get plenty of rest as you will be using a lot of adrenaline and tiredness will only add to feeling fraught and therefore bridezilla-ish. Eat well, regularly, and if you need a bigger incentive to calm down, think about the effect being run ragged and stressed will have on your appearance. Vanity sometimes is a virtue and there’s only so much Touche Eclat can do.
Allocate quality time to sit down and plough through some wedmin once a week. Tackle it in a professional way by giving yourself an achievable mission list of items to source or confirm rentals. Maybe even adopt a strategic approach to tasks, dividing up checklist musts into long-lead and short-lead. Long lead are things you need to sort now as sought-after and quality suppliers will be harder to track down and are bigger chunks of your budget so will impact on your spend on the details: think catering, photographers, the dress, entertainment and of course, venue. Short lead are the things you need to have in the bigger picture, but you can afford to leave until closer to the time or even start sorting now but on a slow burn: flowers, décor, stationery, transport, favours.
Do you remember when you were a little girl, and there would be somewhere you would secret yourself, tuck yourself away when you had done something naughty or a thunderstorm came rolling in? Mine was under the dining table, shrouded in linen and cushions piled on the floor. Well, you need to find a haven now more than ever. Somewhere you can go, feel insulated and distinctly un-weddingy if at all possible. Some of you will, like a good rub down at a spa (in which case, stay tuned for our forthcoming spa guide!). For some brides, it’s just a simple stroll or spot of retail therapy. A glass of French red with a good friend is always a winner. Sometimes, all it takes is a change of scenery. You might be surprised by the lightning-bolt ideas you might have when off-piste, and it will help you feel more like yourself – crucial if you are to go into your marriage without a wedding hangover or minus friends as you haven’t seen them for being trapped in wedding fog. Encourage your man to do likewise, and remember to go on dates where wedding chat is banned.
Yup, almost any gritty drama when they proffer a ‘cuppa’ when the going gets rough are onto something. If you can, make it chamomile or something soothing. Just taking the time out to go and make a cup of tea can work wonders. And the same holds true for when you are out and about shopping for your wedding. Give yourself think-breaks, mull things over. But always go with your instincts.
7. SURVIVAL KIT
You will need: a notebook. A Pinterest page (addictive, but the knack is the edit), a friend who can be candid with you and take some of the flak so that your beleaguered fiance does not have to handle your harping on about all things wedding alone, and a brilliant unbiased resource such as World of Wedmin. Worldofwedmin.com. Taking all of the brain ache out of having to call each and every supplier to find out ballpark figures, that they are based in your area (so many sites are frustratingly opaque with this key detail) and are esteemed as a reputable supplier, we thank our little stars for this one.