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
- 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 that 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 is 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
Complimenting 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 taken 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 continue 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 instills confidence in the bride and sometimes helps to appease her 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.
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