Don't Be Bridezilla

A crash course from a fellow bride

Ahh, engagement.

I’m walking around with a shiny rock on my finger that I can’t stop looking at, and every two minutes someone asks if I’ve set a date. It’s a whirlwind experience, but once the excitement died down, reality hit me– and it will hit you, too. Now, you have the not-so-tiny task of planning a giant event where people expect you to look like a princess, feed them, entertain them, and give them a happy celebration.

If we’re not careful, this perfect storm can lead you to becoming a raging, impossibly panicked, um, witch. On my own wedding-planning journey, I’m learning some ways to stay out of the “bridezilla zone.” Read on, my fellow brides, for a few of my recommendations.

1. Delegate.

Just because this is a day all about you and your fiancé, that doesn’t mean your loving friends and family can’t help you make it happen. Don’t let control-freak tendencies send your stress levels skyrocketing.

2. Stay calm in conflict.

Your wedding day is a significant day, but the event itself is not worth ruining lifelong relationships over. Whatever disagreements may arise (and trust me, they will come), keep your head on straight and don’t let emotions get the best of you. Use the planning process as a time to learn how to temper your words—a skill we’ll all need for the rest of our marriages.

3. Stretch the budget where you can.

When in doubt, lean toward being thrifty. Decide in advance the most important things that your money needs to cover, and then use the rest to fill in the gaps. Build-in some financial margin in to prevent panicked moments when a last-minute expense sneaks up on you.

4. Be intentional about managing your stress levels.

For heavens’ sake, take care of yourself. We’ve all seen a bride who’s so exasperated from planning that she doesn’t even seem to enjoy her wedding day. Be aware of your stress levels, and schedule deliberate breaks to keep it at bay. Heck, go see a therapist or schedule a weekly massage. Your dashing groom (and your wedding-day self) will thank you for it.

5. Remember what’s important.

Your wedding day IS important, yes, but don’t forget about the rest of your life after the wedding. Do your best to love your family, friends, and most importantly your fiancé, even in the most tense and difficult of situations. Remember that people are the most important part of life, and they will be around for the rest of your days. Don’t alienate those close to you, and build a solid foundation for loving your husband well.

No matter what, you will be a beautiful bride, and your wedding day will be wonderful. Remember that the day is so much more than just an epic and perfect party—it’s a celebration that you’ve found the love of a lifetime.

Have fun with wedding planning. Don’t let it beat you up. And if all else fails, my friends, a glass of wine never hurts.