No bride wants to earn the title of "bridezilla." But it seems like even women with the best of intentions and the humblest of hearts may find themselves inching towards this category. And it's easy to understand why: Planning a wedding is probably one of the most stressful tasks most adults have ever taken on. "It is such a stressful and emotional time that involves often unforeseen financial considerations, complicated family dynamics, and so on," says Alison Laesser-Keck, event planner and designer at Alison and Bryan. "There are thousands of things that can go wrong, or that need to go right, so it's a lot to deal with."
The troubling part is that most brides don't even realize they're being a bridezilla until the wedding has come and gone. To make sure you stay humble and as far away from the undesirable title, we asked top wedding planners to share the unsuspecting signs that a bride has, in fact, become a bridezilla.
The wedding has become your entire life.
If you find yourself staying up all night to research every single wedding detail imaginable or constantly ditching friends to spend more time planning, you've got a problem. "Balance is imperative to emotional and physical health so, even when wedding planning is concerned, nothing should be done excessively," says Farah Saint-Jean, wedding and event planner and co-owner of Spectacular Affairs. "Engage in activities and conversations that have nothing to do with weddings like going to the gym, hanging out with friends, or reading a book."
The wedding's taken priority over your relationship.
When wedding planning is the first thing you wake up to in the morning and the last thing you go to sleep to, you might want to rethink your priorities. Yes, the wedding important, but your partner shouldn't fall to the wayside. "If you'd rather watch episodes of Say Yes to the Dress than go out to dinner with your fiancé or you threaten to cancel the wedding if you don't get your way during the planning process, you're likely a bridezilla," Saint-Jean says. "Clearly the fiancé should always be before the wedding date—after all, there can't be a wedding day without a fiancé!"
Your wedding planner has become your personal assistant.
You hired this person to help you plan your wedding—not to schedule your daily appointments and be at your beck and call. "Calling your wedding planner several times a day, seven days a week, including nights and weekends, is not okay," Saint-Jean says. "Your wedding planner is the experienced professional who can help make your wedding day special and truly reflective of you and your fiancé, so it's crucial to be respectful and gracious as you'd be with any other service professional." Plus, it goes a long way in having a fun, memorable, and stress-free wedding day.
You have high or unrealistic expectations of your wedding party.
While your wedding party wants to be part of your wedding, they have their own lives—filled with their own responsibilities, commitments and interests—to be concerned with as well. It's important to be respectful of their time and energy, as well as their personal finances. No one needs a friend going broke over their wedding. "A lot of times a bride will have a very specific idea about how they should be catered to, which isn't smart because you love your friends and you want them to have a good time," says Laesser-Keck. "No one should feel like being a part of this experience is a task." For this reason, it's important to have a conversation with your bridesmaids in the beginning of the wedding-planning process so they know what you expect from them—and, to keep your expectations reasonable!
You have high or unrealistic expectations of your two families.
"Gone are the days where weddings are just planned by someone's parents without the bride and groom's involvement," Laesser-Keck says. "Weddings are now highly representative of the couple getting married, with parents having a varying degree of input." Not all parents enjoy the concept of wedding planning, while others may want to be as involved as you'll let them be (which can be a little much at times!). The best approach is to have an honest and open conversation with both sides of the family to avoid disappointment on your end or theirs.
You have no faith in the team you've hired.
Micro-managing or being disrespectful of your vendors is a major no-no, Laesser-Keck says. "There are thousands of details and a very strategic process leading up to the day, so while there may be some unknowns to you, this is what they do day in and day out." In other words, if your florist tells you not to bet on a certain flower being readily available by the time your wedding rolls around, trust him or her. The same goes for the photographer who warns that you might regret not spending the time taking family photos before the ceremony begins.
You're willing to go into bankruptcy for the perfect wedding.
Contemplating using one's retirement account for the wedding or having unreasonable financial expectations from others are signs you've gone off the deep end toward bridezilla-dom. "Although marriage is a new phase in life and the start of a new partnership, life must continue after the wedding day," Saint-Jean reminds. This may be one reason why money issues are one of the primary causes of arguments when it comes to planning a wedding!
Your registry reads like that of a celebrity and you're unapologetic about it.
"When you've asked for gifts that you could not afford to buy yourself under normal circumstances, you're going above and beyond what's sensible," says Saint-Jean. "A registry should never make your guests feel uncomfortable." To avoid this, it's smart to include a wide range of items to ensure that all guest from all financial backgrounds can find something suitable to give you as a gift. "Even if you have wealthy friends, you should leave it to their discretion the monetary value of what they gift you." Pricey, big-ticket items are better kept off your bridal registry.