For­ever I do — Man­ag­ing a Bridezilla

Wed­ding Plan­ning can be the most stress­ful thing to do in the world, so stress­ful than it can turn the nicest, sweet­est woman into what is known as a Bridezilla —
a woman whose behav­iour in plan­ning her wed­ding is regarded as obses­sive or intol­er­a­bly demand­ing and includes high-​strung behav­iour, a snarky atti­tude, and obses­sion with an unat­tain­able level of “per­fec­tion”. Wed­ding plan­ners can some­times bear the brunt of the bridezilla’s tem­per tantrums, so we have pro­vided some tips for man­ag­ing and deal­ing with them.

How­ever, before delv­ing into the tips, it is use­ful to know how to iden­tify a bridezilla. Bridezilla’s often exhibit the fol­low­ing traits:

· Poor lis­ten­ing skills

· Low empa­thy for others

· Obses­sive

· All or noth­ing thinking

· Overuse of the phrase “I’m not a bridezilla”

If you feel that the bride you are assist­ing exhibits these traits, here are some use­ful tips to help you man­age her behaviour:

Tip #1 – Man­age the Money

One of the major stress fac­tors for brides is money. Thus, one of the wed­ding planner’s first duties is to help the bride and the groom cre­ate a fea­si­ble bud­get for the wed­ding. This can help keep every­thing run­ning smoothly and aids in mak­ing tough deci­sions by min­i­miz­ing some of the choices.

Tip #2 – Pay atten­tion to the details – no mat­ter how small

Brides tend to take the weight of every lit­tle detail and deci­sion on her shoul­ders. Thus, wed­ding plan­ners should map out the intri­cate details of the wed­ding, there­fore reduc­ing the amount of things the bride has to worry about in the process. Included in this plan should be an overview of the roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties for every­one involved in the process – what they should do and when they should do it. These roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties can also serve to reduce micro­man­age­ment on the part of the bridezilla, includ­ing your role as the wed­ding planner.

Tip #3 – Edu­cate the Bride in Wed­ding Etiquette

Social stres­sors are also another major stres­sor for brides than can turn them into mon­sters. By edu­cat­ing brides in proper wed­ding eti­quette, you can help alle­vi­ate any poten­tial pres­sures that cer­tain sit­u­a­tions may cause and also reduce any social ten­sion that may arise from such sit­u­a­tions. This edu­ca­tion can also help the bride keep cool in tense situations.

Tip #4 – Let the bride know that per­fec­tion is unattainable

This may sound like a weird thing to tell a bride, but it helps. Often, brides are inde­ci­sive in their quest to make every­thing per­fect and it is use­ful to remind them that noth­ing and no one, includ­ing wed­dings are per­fect. This tends to release any super­hu­man expec­ta­tions that brides place on them­selves to make every­thing perfect.

Tip #5 – Take noth­ing personally

Deal­ing with a bridezilla is no easy task, thus, make sure that you do not take her actions and words per­son­ally. While she may be irra­tional, make sure you remain ratio­nal and calm. To help with this, it may be help­ful to under­stand where the behav­iour is com­ing from; that is, the areas caus­ing the stress for the bride. Lis­ten to any con­cerns and offer advice and sug­ges­tions where appro­pri­ate. Also, remem­ber that the bride’s feel­ings are her own so do not let them affect you.

Tip #6 – Be Kind, Com­pas­sion­ate and reassuring

Com­ple­ment­ing the bride’s deci­sions where applic­a­ble, can help her feel more secure in her choices. Reas­sure as often as pos­si­ble (but not too often that it becomes irri­tat­ing) that every­thing will be fine. This reas­sur­ance can have a calm­ing effect on a bride, and may even pro­vide you with an open­ing to dis­cuss the bridezilla’s behav­iour and how it is affect­ing her and every­one around her.

Tip #7 – Set boundaries

Some bridezil­las would like to have you on demand, but you must recog­nise that it is not fea­si­ble to accept calls at all hours of the day. There­fore, avoid being take advan­tage of and set clearly defined bound­aries early on in your pro­fes­sional relationship.

Tip #8 – Be pre­pared to walk away

Some­times, no mat­ter what you do, the bride will coti­nine being a bridezilla. Her behav­iour may become increas­ingly dif­fi­cult, even to the point where it is abu­sive. When this moment arrives, you have to be pre­pared to walk away from the sit­u­a­tion. Some­times, this can even snap the bridezilla out of her behav­iour, but if the threat of walk­ing away does not do this, you should still be pre­pared to let go of this par­tic­u­lar job.

Here is a view of a wed­ding plan­ner based in Bar­ba­dos on man­ag­ing Bridezillas:

I would say have a lot of patience and humour them the best way you can. It is a very thin line between them being the cus­tomer and them cross­ing a line where they become dis­re­spect­ful. It is much eas­ier to work with a bridezilla if she doesn’t know you don’t like her. There­fore, if you com­mu­ni­cate in a man­ner that cre­ates a war before the wed­ding takes place, this will get you nowhere. If you are in the early stages of the job, you can pos­si­bly back out but if you put in all the hard work you should prob­a­bly stick it out as it won’t be pro­fes­sional to aban­don the client. After the wed­ding and every­thing, I would have a quiet lit­tle chat with them when it’s all over and say I didn’t appre­ci­ate your posi­tion on this or you were totally unfair in your judge­ment. Basi­cally we would engage in a civil, mature and pro­fes­sional con­ver­sa­tion. Other times I just let it go, because in the era of tech­nol­ogy, whether you were right or not, the bride can write a ter­ri­ble review that could dam­age your busi­ness. I view man­ag­ing a bridezilla as an oppor­tu­nity to bet­ter myself and usu­ally they get bet­ter to man­age with expe­ri­ence. Also, a wed­ding plan­ner is a mother, a psy­chol­o­gist and every­thing rolled into one, so another way of deal­ing with a bridezilla is to be there for them. If you can get them to tell you what they are really upset about, then you can deal with it to suit. Also, you the wed­ding plan­ner, must come over as con­fi­dent and reas­sur­ing and that you are con­fi­dent in your own abil­i­ties. Speak and behave with con­fi­dence. This con­fi­dence instils con­fi­dence in the bride and some­times helps to appease their anx­i­ety. ANON

Apply­ing these tips and strate­gies will ensure that as you do your job as the wed­ding plan­ner, you and the bride will have remark­ably reduced lev­els of stress. Encoun­ter­ing a bridezilla at some point may be inevitable, but the strate­gies you employ can greatly help to dif­fuse the situation.

© Photo taken from Huff​post​.com
© Arti­cle of caribbe​an​dreams​magazine​.com

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