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You were the kind of woman who made fun of brides-to-be who went berserk over something as seemingly innocuous as their bouquets. But now that you're the bride, you feel closer to crazy than ever. "Everyone, chill or not chill, can snap and have a bridezilla moment," says Viva Max Kaley, creator of New York City-based Viva Max Weddings. "Normal life is busy and sometimes overwhelming. Then add on a project that eats up your already minimal spare time, deal with balancing so many opinions and personalities, try to make smart decisions that meet your taste and budget, and have no idea how all these moving pieces are going to come together — and it's no wonder you're exhausted and ready to 'zilla-out!"
But if you're not ready to cross the line and become a full-blown bridezilla, you can keep the crazy at bay. Here's how to keep calm and move on.
1. Put down the wine.
In your most stressful moments, you may feel like a good Merlot is the only thing keeping you calm. But "it only feeds the bridezilla beast," warns Victoria Canada, owner of Victoria Canada Weddings in Phoenix. "If a few glasses at happy hour with the girls tends to make you send angry texts or call your mom hysterically, that glass is always going to be half empty."
2. Remember the Golden Rule.
No one is trying to upset you, Kaley points out. So "if you notice you are starting to get short with people, take a moment to change your tone and think of how you would handle this kind of stress if you were at work," she suggests. "Lower the emotional level and respond with a more professional approach until you feel the situation is under control. No one is out to get you, so there's no need to attack. Step back and talk things through calmly."
3. Get a reality check.
Are you stressed out at a cake tasting, overwhelmed by the variety of flavors, icings, and stands? Remember: You're at a cake tasting. "Tasting cake is fun," says Canada. "If it is stressing you out, take a moment for a reality check. Take a deep breathe and eat a piece of cake. Don't stop chewing until you realize it is cake and that you're having fun."
4. Let vendors do their jobs.
"Second-guessing vendor's choices, always comparing other options, and thinking you know more than your hired vendors can all lead to challenging planning moments and Bridezilla outbursts," says Kaley. If you've hired people you trust, who share your vision for your wedding, it's time to let go and let them work. "Then, if someone makes an error or doesn't meet your expectations, you can talk to them honestly and comfortably since you know they have you best interest at heart," Kaley says.
5. Have a friend at-the-ready.
You need a guy or gal who is "just going to nod, let you cry and rant," says Canada. "Ideally, they will also be able to pry the wine glass out of your hands, too. They will hand you a tissue and watch The Wedding Planner with you for the fourteenth time." With them to help you let off steam, you hopefully won't let it out on your fiancé, family, or vendors.