There’s no doubt about it—planning a wedding can be extremely stressful! Between your fiance, bridal party, in-laws, parents, siblings, along with making decisions about flowers, food, fashion and finances, it’s no wonder the bride’s on Bridezilla are at their wit’s end! But before experiencing your own Bridezilla-like explosion, check out these five common pre-wedding scenarios followed by the how-to solutions from Stacy Kaiser, psychotherapist, relationship expert and author of How to be a Grown Up: The Ten Secret Skills Everyone Needs to Know.
Unclench your fists, take in a deep breath, and begin….
Bridal Issue #1: My fiancé is suddenly picky about everything, from the types of glasses we register for to every song that will be played at the wedding. And he’s the type of guy who has always been very easy-going. Is this a sign of things to come?
The Expert’s Solution: You don’t know your fiancé as a husband, so yes, people do change when they get married. Most people can be laid back about some things while being picky about other things or situations, so I would expect this type of behavior in the future.
Bridal Issue #2: My mother has always been very opinionated, but now that I’m planning my wedding, she has not stopped! She keeps telling me the way things “should” be, which just means they should be her way! We’re now arguing nearly every day and it’s gotten to the point where I avoid answer her calls. Help!
The Expert’s Solution: If your mother is either footing the bill or even just splitting the bill, you must make sure to include her in some of the decisions for your wedding day. It’s all about compromise. Divide the list and let her know the items you’d like her to take care of. But if she’s not contributing any money to the cost of your reception, then tell her—nicely!—that this is your big day, and if you need a second opinion that you’ll call her… immediately.
Bridal Issue #3: My maid-of-honor is upsetting my bridal party. She is taking over the plans for my shower and bachelorette party—and from what everyone says, she is excluding them from the planning process. How do I deal with this without causing an argument?
The Expert’s Solution: It’s time for a heart to heart. Tell her that while you love and appreciate her, the rest of the bridal party needs to be included in the party planning. You can even cushion the blow by saying, ‘Your ideas are brilliant, but please ask the bridal party for their input. Do it for me.’
Bridal Issue #4: A few guests assume their children will be invited to the wedding—but they’re not going to be! How do I tell them without offending them?
The Expert’s Solution: You need to talk to these people before the invitations are mailed. You can say something along the lines of, ‘You know I love your kids, but we are watching our budget. And in order not to leave out any adults, we’re not inviting anyone’s children.” Now if a couple says they refuse to attend because their children are not on the guest list, you could say something like, “It would mean the world to us if you could be there on the biggest day of our lives.” And depending on how strongly you feel about the couple, you could also add, “We want you there so badly we will even split the cost of the babysitter with you!”
Bridal Issue #5: My mother-in-law tends to dress very inappropriately—basically, she thinks she’s 24 when she’s actually 64! I really don’t want her to embarrass me at my wedding and show up dressed like she’s going out for a night of clubbing! Is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening?
The Expert’s Solution: Tell your future mother-in-law that you would love to spend the day with her. Treat her to lunch first and then go shopping for her dress. Find something that’s her style but age appropriate—and gush about how amazing she would look in it! And if you can enlist your mother in the outing, even better!