Photo: Natalie Carter Hyde for Aesthetic Images Photography
The daughter of an interior designer, Annie Lee is the founder and principal planner for Daughter of Design, a top-ranked wedding planning firm with offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. Annie believes "banquet" is a dirty word and is known and recognized for her contemporary and downtown approach to classic wedding traditions, always creating current and fresh designs. Here, the pro shares an inside secret with brides-to-be: Not everyone is going to be nice while wedding planning.
Like a new mother who doesn't fully anticipate what she's in for, brides often get blindsided by the challenges of wedding planning. And by challenges I don't mean the obvious tasks of picking the photographer or finding the perfect wedding dress. No, no that's the easy part. It's the emotional stress. For now, let's skip all the self-inflicted stress and specifically address the overwhelming outside pressure, the unwanted opinions, and sudden selfishness from those nearest and dearest that's always so surprising. Please know this though, every bride, I mean every, shares this experience on some level. You are not alone.
Emotional stress is a scientifically studied side effect of wedding planning. Okay, I'm lying about the scientific part but as a wedding planner, I've certainly done enough field research and observation to tell you it is. I witness this phase of couples' lives on some serious repeat and can't help but see the pattern. No one warned the bride her best friend would act bitchy suddenly, her fiancé aloof, and her mom so demanding. It's really disappointing and shocking when someone isn't as happy for you as expected or when they behave in a way never imagined. Isn't this supposed to be the happiest time of a girl's life? Quite honestly it's enough to make the sanest of women turn into, oh god that awful word, a bridezilla.
Now, I'm no therapist (not officially at least) but I've stood on the sidelines enough to know how to play this game and call formations from yards away. First step when it comes to dealing with a loved one with a sudden attitude problem, trick is to find the core of the real issue. They're not truly upset about the processional order.
Most times I find the cause is one of two things: 1) feeling unimportant 2) jealousy. The remedy? Attention and validation. Try to make the person feel heard. Isn't that all what we're looking for in this life, a little understanding and care? I know, I know but you're the bride! Yes, you are the main star of the show but you are also the director behind the scenes that needs to help keep that cast and crew happy. For the health of the overall wedding, dust off all your EQ (Emotional Intelligence) skills and with a large dose of patience keep things running smooth. You can't control people's actions, but you can control your reaction.
Weddings are a dream come true, but the wedding planning can be a nightmare, particularly when people start acting up. But remember like any and all good things in life there's a greater appreciation and gratification from something after having to work hard for it. It's the journey to the wedding that is the rite of passage. Survive this emotional fitness test and advance to the next stage of life.