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Becoming a Bridezilla + Living Authentically While Planning a Wedding

Oooooh be careful, you’re in danger of becoming a Bridezilla!

If I never hear the word “Bridezilla” again, it will be too soon.

When I was engaged, I lived in fear of becoming a Bridezilla! Or of letting my inner Bridezilla show.

The second that I had an emotion, I’d cringe with the fear of being called a Bridezilla by someone else.

I fancied myself a relatively calm bride-to-be. I didn’t order my bridesmaids into outrageously expensive or terribly ugly outfits. I did cry hysterically for a week when my wedding dress came, and then had to have it completely remade – three weeks before the big day.  But then I pulled my shit together, found a tailor (who hands down saved my wedding), and figured it out with the help of my amazing family and fiance.  I wrote the ceremony, and it was lovely. We managed a fantastic combination of DIY and getting fed up with our ambition, only to eventually hire someone to do it for us.

Now here’s the thing of it, and I find myself barely able to write these words: being a bride was really tough for me, emotionally.

I hated how upon becoming engaged women were supposed to naturally morph into some sort of multi-tasking, crafty  person, and suddenly finding themselves only able to carry on conversations about grosgrain ribbon or cupcake flavors.

Most of all, I hated how alone I felt in feeling that way. 

I’ve been sitting on this post for quite some time, because I didn’t want to sound ungrateful or unloving.

Because it was my big day. And I was supposed to be blissfully happy.

This is not about not loving my wife or my family or my friends – this is about how profoundly difficult it was for me to organize an event where myself and my relationship were the center of attention.

This is about my feeling as though I wasn’t worth celebrating, on a very primal, childlike level. 

Because, despite all of the work that I’d done, as big events and the arrival of many family members often does – my wedding brought up a litany of deep fear and hurt and uncertainty, about my own self-worth.

The truth is, when the day arrived, all of these fears melted away because I didn’t have a time for anything other than putting one foot in front of the other. When the day arrived – I opened myself up to the abundance of sparkly, gorgeous love around me. I didn’t say a single negative word to myself or anyone else about anything that “went wrong.” Everything was imperfectly gorgeous and heartfelt.

That said, I wanted to write this post just in case there were a few of you out there who found yourself stressed and frightened and overwhelmed by the wedding process, who didn’t salivate at the meer thought of creating programs, and who just wished they could dump the whole tented-extravaganza in favor of a backyard potluck.

The only one single thing about my wedding experience that I would take back is how long it took for me to say something about how I was struggling. I wish that I had reached out to others, so that I wouldn’t have felt so guilty fighting until the late hours of the night with my fiance about flower arrangements or tearing up every single time I thought about how I wished that my Grandmother were still alive to see me walk down the aisle. 

Because at my very core I believe this: 

By talking about the things that are hard for us – the moments that stick in our mind, mucking about and kicking up old triggers and hurts we thought we’d tucked away for good – we are collectively stronger for it. 

Not only can we heal ourselves, but we can heal our community by being upfront with our fears and hardships. If we are to deserve the best possible days and life that we can imagine for ourselves – we deserve to be proactive in chipping away at the guilt and shame build-up that we accumulate when we suffer silently.

And if, on the off chance, you have difficulty being the center of attention or being celebrated publicly, because at one point in your life you were made to feel deeply unacceptable or unworthy, I wanted to say this to you:

You are so unbelievably beautiful and worthy – you deserve to have the utmost care, love, and support all the time, but most of all on days when you are celebrating huge life-changing events. Let the love in, and don’t be afraid. You deserve everything good that is coming your way.  

7 Comments to Becoming a Bridezilla + Living Authentically While Planning a Wedding

  1. July 6, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I felt very similarly about being a bride, Mara…and I hated my dress, too. And there was a whole boatload of other “stuff” going on, but was totally unaware of it at the time (15 years ago). In the end, it was a great wedding that everyone still talks about, and we did it our way without succumbing to the Bridezilla factor.

  2. Destrehan's Daughter/Sarah's Gravatar Destrehan's Daughter/Sarah
    July 6, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I’m glad you wrote about this because while I was never quite overwhelmed by planning my wedding, I was overwhelmed by feeling like I had to be the center of attention. I was lucky because I had lots of help and very few solid views on what needed to be in place. I love the pictures you included and hope you have a long and happy married life! You even inspired me to write a post about my wedding process a few years back for my annivesary.

  3. JosieJosie's Gravatar JosieJosie
    July 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I felt the same way about being a bride. Maybe not for entirely the same reasons, but it felt awkward having an entire day focused on me and what i wanted. I actually remember thinking partway through exactly that same thing: Screw it, we’re having a barbeque. Or eloping. It was really tricky, because while I was excited, I almost felt bad for making all these people focus on me all day, which apparently, isn’t how a bride is supposed to feel. I’m glad other people felt this way, because I felt like a weirdo for the longest time!

  4. July 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Well said! I don’t think this is a topic people write about often, but I’m glad you did.

  5. July 7, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this post. What I most appreciated what your words about how sharing what feels hard for us, makes for stronger communities. I needed that reminder today! ~Lisa

  6. Rosie Molinary's Gravatar Rosie Molinary
    July 8, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful post, Mara. Wish I read it before I was a bride, but it is a powerful reminder afterward. Sometimes, telling our secrets (this is really hard and I feel lonely) is actually the best thing we can do– secrets don’t break us. They often save us. Thank you for your always wise words.

  7. Daynya's Gravatar Daynya
    July 10, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Yes!! I definitely struggle with this, and have struggled with it, throughout planning. It’s very hard for me to find a balance between being super excited, super nervous, and also very frustrated. I sometimes have difficulty feeling like my emotions are valid (I know), because everyone always seems to expect these chipper and thrilled responses. Well, sometimes shopping for dresses sucked! And guest lists? Don’t even get me started. But, eventually I just realized that this is my experience. If people want to call me names because my experience isn’t like theirs, so be it. I never imagined I would get married, so it’s been a bizarre learning process so far. I’m so glad I have lovely people like you along the way!!

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Welcome! I’m Mara.

I’m Mara Glatzel. I’m an intuitive coach and writer. I guide women home to themselves and teach them to create lives brimming with supreme self-care. read more
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