About Danielle

Bride’s Name & Age: Danielle, 37
Bride’s Occupation:  Operations Manager
Groom’s Name & Age: Virgil, 35
Groom’s Occupation: Merchandising Supervisor

 Honeymoon location: Dominican Repulic, Puerto Plata

How long have your been dreaming of your wedding day?  What was/is your Dream Wedding: I was never one who thought very much about getting married until I was about 20 years old. I began to dream of meeting Mr. Right. We would have this large church wedding with about 200 to 250 people and then a beautiful reception at one of the Chicago museums with a view of Lake Michigan.  There would be plenty of food with carving stations. I dreamed of live music being played by the band, entertainment and everyone having fun while dressed in their after 5 attire.

Approx. Wedding Budget: $30,000

Who’s Paying for Wedding? Bride and Groom

Who’s in Charge of Budget? Wedding Coordinators are managing budget

What happens if you go over budget? We will have to empty more money from our savings or 40l k.  I may be able to cry to my Dad for money too.

Describe your dream wedding dress:  
My dream wedding dress would be an all a line all over lace gown with jewelry sweet heart neck line and hemline. One shoulder strap or either cap sleeves with a corset back and nice flowing material.

Who chose the rings?  What’s the story behind the rings? Virgil chose my engagement ring and wedding ring. I told him I always wanted a Trillant cut ring but, that was it.  I selected his wedding ring alone as well.  It will be a surprise for both of us to see our wedding rings on our wedding day. The engagement ring is nice but I’m not expecting much for my wedding band.

# of Guests attending:

# in Wedding Party: 22 people total

How long have you been planning wedding? Started planning in August of last year so about 6 months total

How helpful has the groom been (or not) in the planning process?
He’s been off and on involved. He was really involved when we first started looking for venues.  After we couldn’t agree on where to have the wedding, the type of venue and how much money to spend, I kicked him out of the process.

Are you trying to lose weight before the wedding?  How are you going about that?  What’s your goal? Yes, I’m trying to lose weight.  I’ve tried going to the gym but haven’t been able to get there often enough.  I also just decided to start weight watchers about 10 days ago. I would like to lose 20lbs or 2 dress sizes.

Tell us about your family. How have they been involved in the planning process? It’s only my father, sister and brother.  My sister is the only person who has been really involved in the planning of my wedding. My dad is much older and has a hard time relating to the type of wedding I want to have.  Sometimes my sister can be too involved but, she has helped a bunch too.

Have you or your groom been married before? Any children?
Neither of us have been married before but, we do have children.  My oldest daughter is a Jr. Bridesmaid and our twins will be the flower girls.

Who are your most/least favorite celebrity brides and why? Favorite would be Carmelo Anthony and LaLa Vasquez.  They are my favorite because their story reminds me a lot of Virgil and I. They had an off and on relationship for a while, had a child together, decided to get married, postponed and then decided the time was right.  Their relationship just appears more realistic and less fairytale-ish although they are celebrities.

What’s the worst thing that could go wrong on your wedding day? I just need for everything to be perfect. I need the décor, the florist, music, food, cake and everyone’s clothes to be just right.  If there is chaos I don’t think I can handle that.  If the florist shows up with the wrong flowers, the centerpieces and arch aren’t like we discussed that would be a really bad thing for starters.   I can’t begin to express my fear of my hair or makeup not being right.  I’m a little fearful of my hairstylist not showing up on time.  She’s always late!  The worst thing would be my Matron of Honor pregnancy causing her to not fit her dress.  I’m already upset that one she knew she was in my wedding so why would she allow herself to get pregnant and she will steal attention from me with her stomach poking out.

What’s been your biggest stress since you started planning the wedding?
My biggest stress has been getting my fiancé to contribute money to pay for this wedding. I don’t want things to look thrown together or cheap.  I don’t want my bridesmaids to look like a bunch of low class junk.  I’m wondering if everything is going to look the way I imagine it. I’m pissed about vendors not providing quality service and reading the bad reviews online regarding horror stories other brides have experienced.  I just need everything to go as I planned.  I need the bridal party’s attire to compliment the wedding décor and everything to compliment the venue perfectly. I’m obsessed over any mistakes that may happen that I sometimes have nightmares and can’t sleep at night.

How do you typically handle stressful situations in regards to your wedding?
Most times my anger (snapping off), emotions (whining and making Virgil the issue) or anxiety (running everything through my mind over and over) gets the best of me. My first thoughts are always to call and curse people out. Virgil usually talks me out of it. I’ve made threats and I’ve destroyed property.  I can feel the rage.  I can feel my ears getting hot and my mind begins racing to make people suffer the consequences of pissing me off.

Define the type a bride you will be: I’m controlling because I need for everything to be perfect and believe that most people do things lazy and tacky like when it’s not their wedding or the cause isn’t for them.  I don’t think my bridal party has as much class or taste as I do.  I think most of them are small thinkers and haven’t had very much exposure to the finer things.  If I don’t dictate to them everything they need to wear, how to look or how to act my wedding will be just another ghetto fabulous disaster. It’s a shame but, these people haven’t been trained so they have to be controlled for me to get the results I expect. 

 Tell us any dilemmas or stressful moments regarding the below details of the wedding. What happened? How was it resolved?

Cake: The baker brought me a sample of what my individual cakes will look like.  They didn’t look exactly like what I wanted.  I sent her a picture of what I ask for again and told her to keep trying until she got it like the picture.  After 2 tries I told her that I would accept her imperfections only because she has the most reasonable price for the cakes. I told her I suppose you get what you pay for just like a knock off purse. I just hope that this matter won’t get ugly on the wedding day.

Location: The representative we were working with from the venue has resigned and is moving away.  I learned this when I went by to make a payment towards the wedding. She never contacted me or my coordinators about this.  Her last day is this week.  I had to force her to agree to a meeting with the new person that is taking over for her to make sure my contract has all of the little promises she made and didn’t put in writing.  I’m not happy with the change of hands and the lack of communication.  Not to include that the new representative says the layout of the room that we were promised is going to be impossible. I told her that she better make something happen where all guests can be seated and the room isn’t bunched up tacky.  We had a little 6 minute heated debate and she came up with a resolution that better work. We then had an argument about having the rehearsal the night before the wedding.  She was trying to tell me that they couldn’t set up the chairs for the ceremony until the morning of the wedding.  She also expressed concerns on how the set up would come out and thought it would be ok not to do a mock before the day of.  I told her that would be unacceptable.  It is mandatory that I see the set up of the room if not sooner, definitely the night before.  She admitted it would be a trial and error set-up so I don’t get why she would think I would want that process to start a few hours before the wedding.  How would the bridal party begin to know their positions?  Dumb!

Date: I selected the date because many venues were giving discounts for the date, and the day of the week.  Now I have the drama from my wedding party trying to go to work on this day.  I’ve advised them that they need to stay at the hotel where I will stay after the rehearsal dinner and aren’t allowed to go home until the night after the wedding.  For some reason although everything says Friday, April 15th people keep saying, oh I thought that was a Saturday. 

Dress: I had a fight with my sister about the dress I picked. She promised to pay for my dress but, when I didn’t pick what she wanted she didn’t want to pay.  Not to include that the bridal salon burned down while I was waiting for my dress to come from the designer.  I paid for my own dress and once my dress returned from the designer, I refused to have my alterations done at the bootleg temporary bridal shop location.  I don’t trust them and just wanted to make sure I got my dress. I had some friends who recommended a place to have alterations. The alteration process begins this week and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

The groom continues to complain about the increasing budget.  I’ve worked very hard to help pay for the wedding.  We’ve had a lot of arguments because I felt like I was doing it all by myself.  These arguments sometimes escalated to the wedding being cancelled.  I bleached the grooms wardrobe because I felt like that would even the invested amount for the wedding and if the wedding was over he needed to be out of just as much money as I was. 

Flowers: I met the florist at a bridal show and he called several times to ask me to meet with him.  After receiving quotes of $2500 and more, I decided to see what type of discounts he would offer.  He was very nice in the beginning and won my mother over with his presentation.  He was very accommodating with product and price.  He gave me a quote during the first meeting and I accepted with a deposit.  Later my Coordinators requested that he send the quote and a contract.  What he sent to them indicated an additional $600.  The Coordinators set up a meeting to talk with him.  I went to the meeting and I told him to either give me my deposit back or fix the price.  He fixed the price and then I told him I can’t trust him and think I need to take my business to someone else.  He begged for my forgiveness, stating that was his normal price but, he’d forgotten about some discounts he was giving me. I stayed with him but, my gut tells me he is going to try and find shortcuts to still make money and I am so ready to rip a hole in his butt if he trys on my wedding day.

The Groom: The biggest issue I’ve had with the groom is making sure that we can agree on the type of life we expect to have as a married couple.  I grew up in the church and believe you should take your kids to church on Sundays.  I told him I wasn’t going to take them by myself and he need to start going to church and being an example for them.  So I had to tell him that we shouldn’t get married if we can’t agree on the basic morals of life.  He has now agreed to take a pre-marital class at my church that reinforces the values that I want to instill in our children and for our marriage.

Wedding Party: The wedding party has been an ongoing nightmare. I thought I was selecting leaders that could help me through this process but, instead I have a whole bunch of opinionated and worthless people.  No one seems to be able to add any value to the planning of the wedding.  They are never all on one accord.  I specifically asked each of them individually to be in my wedding and ask if they were willing to commit.  Now I have people complaining about why, why and why.  People wanted to pick their own shoes, they wanted to pick their hairstyles and nail polish.  They all think they are good at putting make up on.  Little do they know I’m not allowing them to make those decisions because half of the time I don’t like the way they dress.  I’ve never been impressed with their taste in clothes, hair or makeup.  The only person who has some class in this area is my sister.  That may be because we are cut from the same cloth.

In-Laws: I had my fingers crossed when the groom sent me his guest list.  I was just hoping that he wasn’t inviting any of the alcoholics or drug addicts in his family.  Luckily for me, he only invited the users.  Hopefully they show up looking like they have some class and not embarrass me as my new on-laws.  Better yet, hopefully they don’t come and ask for any money.

Family: My family will be fine and have been very supportive.  I’m sure they are all just hoping I don’t ask for any money.  My sister wants everything to be perfect as much as I do so she can have bragging rights to her friends.  I just want her not to keep trying to make me feel obligated to add certain people to my guest list and I can’t afford it.

What’s the story of how you got engaged? Long story short, I told the groom after 10 years of dating off and on and 3 years of a monogamous relationship that if we remained in a limbo state that I was ready to move on and see other people.  We then began to have conversations about possibly getting married.  We talked about the reasons why and the reasons why not.  3 months later over a formal dinner with my family he surprisingly proposed.  We were taking pictures as a family and he asked my brother to take a picture of just the two of us together.  He hands my brother the camera and came towards me while bending to the floor, I’m sitting in the chair wondering why he’s getting on the floor.  I’m looking towards my brother with the camera waiting for Virgil to get into position for a picture and he reaches for my hand, I turn to see why and he pulls out a ring to my surprise, asking me if I would be his wife.  My family was all there and no one knew but, was pleasantly surprised.

What do you love the most about your husband-to-be?
I love Virgil’s ability to remain calm under pressure.  He’s very rational and laid back. I’m more higher strung than him so he balances me.  He has drive and ambition.  He’s a great dad.

What does he love about you?
He loves my spunk and sassiness.

 What’s your biggest pet peeve about your husband to be? That he’s sometimes is a procrastinator.  He doesn’t anticipate my needs all the time without me having to tell him specifically.

When you disagree, what is it usually about, and how do you handle it? His relationship with others is what we disagree about.  He feels obligated to be friends with his ex-girl friend’s child and family.  He’s very territorial and private about his finances and investments.  We usually get into a screaming match and I try to prove why his behavior is unacceptable.  I try to create scenarios that teach him lessons or would give him the same feelings I have.

 What disagreements have come up about the wedding? The disagreements between Virgil and I have been things like the number of guests we will have.  The original number was 100 but, the wedding party has 22 people alone.  That’s not to include if someone in the wedding party want to bring a date. Virgil feels that we absolutely can’t go over 100 guests unless we are going to find a venue where it will cost us about $25 per person.  We have fought over the venue in the beginning because he wanted a place that would allow him to play pool after the ceremony ended.  We then argued about him not helping to pay many of the deposits because he felt like he had paid for the ring and that was it.  Instead he wanted to spend his money on buying buildings to gut out and rehab. 

He wasn’t involving his groomsman in meetings and didn’t want them on the wedding website.  He would tell me things like that’s for you females, guys don’t want their pictures on some website.  Guys don’t need to come to a meeting. “They have plenty of time to get measured for their tux”. , etc…  He’s always so nonchalant.  We had a big argument about him knowing or not knowing how to be a husband which led to me screaming cursing and then calling the wedding off. We’ve had at least 4 arguments that ended with me saying “we don’t need to get married in that case”. He didn’t want to conform to seeing that if things weren’t going my way then they just weren’t going right.

Has the engagement/wedding ever been called off, or in jeopardy?  If so, what happened and how did it get resolved?  The wedding has been officially called off twice.  Each time resulted in my contacting the wedding coordinators advising them that the wedding was off and don’t do any more work.  Both arguments were about power struggle/control.  Virgil wanted to do things his way and I wanted him to do what I wanted.  I won, which is the only reason why the wedding is still on.  Virgil thought it was ok to still spend time with his ex-girlfriend’s son.  He felt like it was more important to go buy rehab properties and he didn’t want to share his financial portfolio with me. 

In what ways have you shown Bridezilla behavior during the wedding planning? I’ve been very emotional by not being able to control my temper. I need to control everything, but not my temper.  I’ve gotten into arguments not only with Virgil and bridesmaids but almost every vendor I’ve contracted.  I want things to be a specific way and everyone just seems too nonchalant. I feel like people think I’m passive and a push over.  I have to show them that they aren’t going to get over on me. Everything and everybody needs to be on point or there will be consequences. MY WRATH!

Who tends to bring out the Bridezilla behavior in you?  Why?
My Bridesmaid Tywanda and my Matron Thania hits my Bridezilla button the most.  Thania started off with helping me plan the wedding and now she doesn’t have a driver’s license for some unknown reason.  This means I have to pick her up for everything we do.  The worst part about it is when I get to her house, her ass is never ready.  That pisses me off the most.  Other times she will promise to meet me somewhere at a specific time by having her husband drop her off and don’t show.  Now this crazy “b” is pregnant.  I think she is intentionally trying to destroy my wedding.  She got married a year ago at the courthouse and I think she’s jealous. She was the one who always dreamed of a big wedding and now it’s me having the wedding she wanted.  This is just the start of what she has done.  She keeps up a lot of mess but she is too much of a coward to say how she really feels to me.  Virgil has stopped me several times from just calling her and telling her to kiss my ass and don’t be in my wedding.  Now Tywanda is another jealous one.  She’s always been the one to be praised and in the spotlight.  She thinks I’m stealing her spotlight for my wedding day!  She tries to make it a point to tell everyone she’s a doctor when we are together as a group and she’s always challenging me on what I ask her to do.  It’s like she thinks she knows better than me.  Now she’s creating all these fake relationships to try and hurry up and get married.  She can’t think straight for being mad it’s not her getting married first. 

When things aren’t going your way in regards to how you want your wedding, how do you handle it? 
I make things go my way.  If it’s not going to go my way then the wedding isn’t going to happen.  I keep telling everyone involved, this is my one day and if you can’t accommodate doing things my way for that day, then get to stepping.  I’ve had that same conversation with my vendors.  I told them I use American Express because they make sure I get what I want or I get my money back.