Are bridezillas all they’re cracked up to be? You say the word and instantly images of a fire-breathing dragon clad in a wedding dress come to mind. But are women who know what they want just getting a bad rap? As a bride-to-be, I am super-organized (read: OCD), assertive (read: psycho) and passionate (read: control freak). What bride doesn’t want everything to be perfect? This is YOUR wedding day and even if your vendors do the same song and dance every weekend, you only get one (theoretically, at least). So fear not brides! Here are five reasons why being coined a bridezilla isn’t so bad.
1. Good to Speak Up for Yourself
Speaking up for yourself does not make you a Bridezilla. The most effective brides remain cool, calm and collected when they explain what they want. But hey, no one is perfect. Wedding planning tends to be an emotional experience, so if you lose your cool once or twice don’t worry. Most vendors have probably dealt with worse. Still, it’s your day and it’s important for you to be firm and stand your ground so you get what you want and deserve. A bride has to be on top of vendors, stylists and chefs to make sure that her big day goes off without a hitch!
2. You’re the Only One Who Knows What You Want
This is your day. Like it or not, everything is on you. You have to choose the music, the flowers, and even what songs to cut from the band’s insufferable old-school playlist. No one will remember that you hired a wedding planner; they’ll just remember if your wedding was fun. Everything is supposed to be about you and how can you make that happen without voicing all of your opinions? But then you do and people say you’re being a Bridezilla. It’s a catch-22! What makes the difference is the approach you take. Berating family members opinions versus politely declining their input will help avoid being called the dreaded bridezilla.
3. Constructive Queen
Most brides use their nuptial-adrenaline and new-found bridal energy for good, although there are the rare gems who use it to for evil: belittling bridesmaids, vendors and family members. Being a bit more on top of things than usual definitely isn’t a bad thing. Using your excitement to blow through your to-do list is a productive use of your energy.
“Weddings are a stressful time for the bride and all brides react differently to stress,” said Allan Kurtz, managing director for Gotham Hall in New York City. “Bridezillas can come in two forms: constructive or destructive. Each one is just a bride who is very involved in all of the planning down to the most minuscule detail.”
Kurtz said Gotham Hall, like any other seasoned wedding spaces, “understand that each bride just wants her dream wedding and that’s what they’re going to give you. It’s the Momzilla you have to watch out for!”
4. Pick Up the Slack
You don’t want things to fall through the cracks. Remember the saying, if you want something done right, do it yourself? No one cares about your wedding day the way you do, so if you want things to turn out the way you’ve dreamed them, you’re just going to have to work hard to make sure everything goes according to plan. Essentially, you’re going to have to pick up the slack where potentially lazy vendors may drop the ball. There is a difference between being firm, yet reasonable versus screaming irrationally at anyone who crosses you.
“So many people just don’t follow up unless you continuously hound them,” said bride Margaux B., from Miami, Florida. “If you don’t continue to call, you won’t get what you want and if you do then they treat you like you’re being an overzealous bridezilla. I’d rather deal with a few eye rolls and get what I want. I just wish I wasn’t mocked for being responsible.”
5. Vendor Benders
There are unfortunately some vendors out there that take advantage of stressed brides by tacking on extra, unannounced fees as your wedding nears. When you firmly tell them that an extra fee was not expected and calmly point out that the extra charge is not in the contract you are not being a bridezilla. If you ordered a $10 burger and the waiter brought you a $100 bill, you would be well within your rights to complain. Again, it’s all about the approach you use.
The day before her wedding, Andra F., a former New York bride, was given a final florist estimate of nearly $10,000 higher than she had been promised. When she tried to dispute the charge her florist called her a bridezilla and threatened to quit. Again, a lot depends on how you handle the situation. Andra went in and met with the florist, explained her predicament and calmly figured out a way to work around this price increase.
And whatta ya know… she lived happily ever after!
Katie Berwitt is a lawyer by day and a blogger by night. She is the founder of Ms. Smartypanties. Inc. and runs Smartypanties.com, a website for smart women who want to live luxuriously on a budget. Live Luxe. Less Bucks. She’s getting married in May to her favorite person in the world and can’t get enough of WE tv!