We have all heard the stories (and maybe experienced it first hand) of that sweet friend who turns into a stressed out bridezilla! She is screaming at vendors, demanding ridiculous things from her bridesmaids, and constantly reminding her fiance that this is “her day”.
You’ve heard me say over and over again that I think this season of engagement is full of temptation to become a diva! So brides you have got to be on your guard, but instead of just telling you not to scream at vendors, I wanted to share some ideas about how you can be a sweet and gracious bride to your vendors, family and friends, and to your fiance. As I read about habits and life style change, one thing has stood out. Cutting out the bad is only the first step. You must replace that old habit or old way of life with a new and healthy one, for the change to stick and be effective! So keep on reading for tips on how to be the sweetest bride ever :)
To Everyone :
A mindset change is always the first place I like to start. Soaking in truth to combat the lies of this world is such an agent for lasting change. There are more important things as I planned for the wedding, like loving others and building a solid foundation for marriage and this little book helped me remember that.
Read the Freedom of Self Forgetfulness
This was on my powersheet goals the first month after we got engaged! Based on the title, I figured it would be a good way to start this engagement season and help me get my heart in the right place. It was a really quick little read, almost pamphlet size, but reminded me of some invaluable truths, that helped to keep me sane and less focused on myself as I planned.
“True gospel humility means I stop connecting every experience, every conversation, with myself. In fact, I stop thinking about myself. The freedom of self-forgetfulness. The blessed rest that only self-forgetfulness brings.”
You know when you are in a conversation with someone and the whole time they are talking, you are thinking about what to say back. Or evaluating how something will effect you. I had never heard it put so plainly, but it was the perfect perspective shift, to keep me from making the next few months all about me and our wedding.
To Your Vendors :
Assisting Valerie on about 30 weddings over the course of a few years, was probably what made me the most aware of how I wanted to treat my wedding vendors. There were brides who were sweet and patient on their big day, and then there were others who were completely unreasonable and obsessed with the tiniest of details. Both kinds were very memorable. But cheers to being memorable for the lovely reasons :)
This is especially important if you are on a short timeline! Get deposits and signed contracts back to them quickly, so you can keep the process moving!
Give them enough time to respond to things. Don’t be the bride who send 5 emails, before they can even respond to one! Also, remember that wedding vendors work on weekends, so they may take a day off during the week.
Ask what info they might need to help them do their best job. It might be a shot list, other vendors info, timelines for the day, or venue info to help plan pictures. Lucky for you I have a free printable template available in the freebies library!
Respect their Expertise & Don’t Micromanage
You hire professionals for a reason. As you micromanage, you strip them of their creativity and the energy (and sometimes the desire) to perform at 100%. Relax, let them do what they do best, and watch them make magic!
Write Reviews & Give Ratings
Reviews and ratings are so important to vendors and were what sold me on my sweet photographer Whitney!
Head to The Knot, Wedding Wire, and your vendors facebook page if they have one, and post a few sweet sentences about your experience.
Give Gifts or Thank You Notes
If you’re vendor went above and beyond, send them a little gift after the wedding to let them know how much you appreciate what they did !
Don’t forget to include them in your count for your caterers (or provide another option for food, if it’s way too expensive), so you can make sure they can eat! Your Photographer, Videographer, Wedding Coordinator, Band or DJ, should all get dinner breaks. Hunger makes people grumpy. You want your vendors feeling energized and ready to give you 100%!
Send Professional Photos
Some vendors have to rely on the photographer for capturing their contribution to the wedding. So do them a favor and send them profession pictures of their work (asking them to credit the photographer when they post). This might include hair and make up artist, coordinator, calligrapher, stationary designer, florist, rentals, etc.
Don’t add filters to their images! Editing photos is a part of their creative process, so when you change that you represent in a way that does not actual represent their crafts.
When posting online (with no filters) tag them and give them credit!
To You Family & Friends :
I chatted about how to be a good bride specifically to your single friends the other day, but here are a few more general thoughts for loving on your family and friends through the planning and engagement season.
Buy thoughtful hostess gifts & write thank you notes.
Planning showers and parties is a big deal and deserves to be appreciated! Let your friends and family know how much you appreciate them celebrating you during this season and for sacrificing their time and resources to make you feel special.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Every situation is going to be different, so I think it is always important to put yourself in their shoes. Do you have a lot of bridesmaids with children or living far away?? If so, it might not be the best idea to plan a weekend bachelorette trip. Do you have a friend studying for the bar exam? Let her know that you’d love to have her at everything, but you would totally understand if she had to miss. Many unreasonable expectations can be avoided if you do a quick little “in her shoes” evaluation!
Be $ Conscious
You may have a picture of your wedding day in your head, but you have to realize that although this may be the biggest event of your life, it’s not theirs. I was in at least 8 weddings over the years and had 3 in one summer and the money I spent on them was a huge expense for someone just recently out of college and on my own. Choose a reasonably priced dress and if you have a preference for their hair, makeup, shoes, or parties, make your requests known, but don’t force them to spend more than they are comfortable with.
Also, if it is your family paying for your wedding, make a determination about what you think would be reasonable for them to spend, before you start booking vendors. Your parents shouldn’t go into debt just to give you the wedding of your dreams!
Some family members want to be included in everything! If you know your grandmother would want to go dress shopping but can’t, go for a visit after you purchase your dress and show her a video of you trying it on. Or if you know your niece wants to be involved, give her a job on the wedding day like passing out programs. Whatever you do, just get creative and let them know you are happy that they are so excited to celebrate with you!
Give In on Something
There are lot of people involved in weddings, a lot of suggestions, and a lot of opinions. Try to find something you can “give” on. Every detail may not be exactly what you pictured, but sometimes it is more important to compromise and show others you love them by putting their desires first.
This is NOT to suggest you give in on major things or things that set the tone for the wedding or go against your views. You will not be able to please everyone and that’s ok, because at the end of the day, this day is for you and your fiance.
To Your Fiance :
Your sweet honey. The reason for this monumentous occasion and yet… they can get the worst of us! Let us show our grooms that they are more important than the perfect flower or fancy pair of shoes and let them know that regardless of the wedding, you are so happy to be their future MRS.
Let Him Pick
Ask your groom, from the very start, if there is any area that he has a strong opinion about, and do your best to give him that! Unless you have a super opinionated and involved groom, you are probably getting to have the final say on all the decisions, so making sure that he has some influence and voice is important. You don’t want him feeling like he is just a guest at his own wedding.
Relieve Him From Expectations
Are you sensing a trend here? Whatever idea you have of how your groom is supposed to be, drop it. The grooms surprising their brides with extravagant gifts, or sweet little moments… just forget them! Seeing too many of these sweet grooms or fairy tale moments between couples can give us romantic jealousy and that is not healthy for anyone. On top of that it could also make you miss out on the sweet things your groom is trying to do for you.
During our engagement, I got so wrapped up in being efficient in the planning process that there were a few times Josh stopped me and asked if we could go on a date and just have fun. No wedding talk. No checking things off the list. Just fun! He was right and I am so glad he made me take a break and just focus on having some fun with his for a little bit.
Ask for Help
Most guys will not have a clue how they can help, but I am sure they are willing! Ask them for help from the start. It’s easy just to keep doing everything instead of trying to teach them how to put stamps on an envelope (yes, I’m talking about Josh. His stamps were all over the place!). But at some point you will get overwhelmed and explode on them, and he won’t have any idea why!
Keep Moodiness in Check
I asked Josh if I was missing anything from this list. Can you tell which one he added???? Lol. Being busy can bring out the worst in people and for me wedding planning was one of the busiest season I have had yet. Try to recognize when you are taking out your stress over other things on to him and communicate it with him! Usually just talking things out can help to relieve some stress.
Ok, ladies, I hope this helps to spark some ideas how to love on those people around you as you plan!
have y’all had any bridezilla moment ?? If so, please dish :)
Finally Met Lewis Mega Blog Post Series – Week 1
Finally Met Lewis : Wedding Photos Part #1
Finally Met Lewis : Wedding Photos Part #2
4 Reasons to Have a Short Engagement
Tools & Resources for Stress-Free Wedding Planning (Free Printable)
Why I Loved Being a 30-Something Bride
Finally Met Lewis Mega Blog Post Series – Week 2