When I tell someone that I am a Wedding Planner, I get one of two responses.
Response Number One: Thrill & Interest! After all, what's not to love about romance and glamour? Everything about a wedding is special, from the dress to the music, the crystals and the cake. Most people can't wait to hear what I do and take a "peak behind the curtain" and find out what it takes to make an evening magical.
Response Number Two: "Oh my God! That's awful! How do you deal with brides all day? And their mothers? Aren't they all just Bridezillas?!?!?" Ouch! That's a lot less encouraging, and sad! Who came up with this word? And why are we so quick to use it?
The Bridezilla is a modern mythical creature, not unlike the Loch Ness Monster. Or Big Foot. She's a character that some women (and men) like to play on TV and in the movies. They stomp around, breathing fire, and alternate between crying, yelling, and whining at their long-suffering fiance and mothers and wedding planners. Where do they come from?
Now, I know that this isn't you. Or anyone you know and love. And yet I hear about these creatures daily. It actually hurts my feelings, on behalf of me and my brides! I truly believe that, even when difficult, being a bride is a magical thing. If she's a bit nervous or worried or high-strung now, it's only because she wants to be beautiful, and wonderful, and lovely later. And for this, we get the Modern Myth of Bridezilla! So how do we slay the dragon?
A Survival Guide for the Fiance, Friends, & Family....
1. Stay Calm. Remember that up until that ring was slipped on her finger, this bride was just a girl who spent most of her life dreaming about her wedding day. And even if she hasn't, she has still had a life time of images (there is no escaping a royal wedding, a celebrity wedding, or a family wedding) that have given her a clue into what she does and doesn't want for herself. Now, suddenly, someone asked a question, she said yes, and there is this wedding to plan! If she's going a little crazy, let her, but don't get nuts too! It will only make it worse!
2. Listen. That normal, sane, smart and funny girl you know and love is still in there. She's just struggling to deal with the massive pressure and expectations that come with trying to create a perfect day. It can be excruciating! Think finding the perfect mate is hard? Try finding the perfect venue, and menu, and dress, and shoes...And X...And Y...And Z! Be there to listen (with wine, or chocolate, or both!) and she'll find her way back to sane sooner than you think!
3. Be There. All of the vendors I have ever worked with agree, the best way to avoid a bridal catastrophe is to be responsive and responsible. This does not just apply to vendors, it works for friends and family, too! Return phone calls quickly, reply to emails, and answer questions as soon as you possibly can. Knowledge is power! The more a bride knows (good and bad) the better she feels. So get back to her with your shoe size, order your dress, show up on time for that appointment, and you'll alleviate some of the stress for the both of you!
4. Be Honest. Bride's love getting good news, a la "the photographer you want is available on that date!" And, believe it or not, they need to hear the bad news just as quickly. It's like ripping off a band-aid! By the time a mistake happens it is too late to change it. So the best thing you can do is address it, give suggestions on how to fix it, and move on.
5. Create a Diversion. There are times when a bride just needs a break! Create a diversion in the form of a massage, shopping trip, or a movie night to get her mind off of things. Even better, go and do something for someone else! Pet puppies at the animal shelter, volunteer, clean out the closet and make a donation to needy kids and families. Doing something for others will calm you both down, and can really put the day in perspective.
On Being the Bride
1. Be in Love. Every week, do something with your fiance that has nothing to do with your wedding. Watch a marathon of your favorite TV show, go for a walk, try a new restaurant. Anything that is anti-wedding. It will be good for you to take a break and remember why you fell in love in the first place. The same applies to family and friends.
2. Trust Your Vendors. There is nothing more important than trust, in any relationship. Only hire people that you feel a real connection with, and believe in them. Create guidelines, schedule times to touch base, and then let go! There is a reason you hired them! Trust that they have your best interest at heart, and let them do their jobs!
3. Be Happy. It can be so easy to focus on the things that have gone wrong, the things you don't have, or the "To Do" list you haven't gotten to. Stop! Decide to be happy, and spend five minutes thinking about the things that have gone really, really well. Look at the sparkling ring on your finger, and the person you love that put it there, and decide that for the next 5 minutes nothing else matters. You'll feel better. I promise.
4. Be Prepared. I tell all of my brides the same thing, right off the bat. Something will go wrong. Why? Because something always does. Something will go wrong at some point along the way, in your wedding planning, in your marriage, and in your life in general! And that's okay. It's more than okay, in fact. It's those little moments that you look back on later and laugh at. They make you stronger, or smarter, or better. The "whoops!" moments and the "Oh My God!" moments make you appreciate the "that is everything I ever wanted" moments all the more.
5. Be married. It may sound silly, but really that's the point of all of this, isn't it? To be married to the person you love. So do what it takes to get down that aisle, and remember that getting there is only the beginning.
- Attack of Bridezilla (theweddingcompanysingapore.wordpress.com)
Las Vegas Wedding Planner Andrea Eppolito is often published, with works featured by the likes of BRIDES, Style Me Pretty, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, The NY Times, LA Times, Junebug Weddings, and more. With an eye catching style that shares not only the story, but the soul, of a wedding, Andrea's clients praise her for being their wedding planner, event designer, advocate, and friend.
An internationally acclaimed speaker, Andrea appears and speaks at events for the Engage! Luxury Wedding Summit, NACE, The Knot, the Wedding MBA, and more. Named the Best Wedding Planner in Las Vegas (2013, 2015, 2016), Wedding Professional of the Year (2011) and ranked as one of the top 50 wedding planners world-wide, Andrea works with celebrities, athletes, executives, and all people in love!
Based in Las Vegas, and working as a destination wedding planner world wide, you can learn more at www.AndreaEppolitoEvents.com.