There are two little words that don't always go over well with some brides: "Enjoy it." You know your parents, friends, and family members mean well when they say it, but the overkill of hearing it (like, dozens of times) may actually result in some brides feeling guilty when they're not 100 percent happy, 100 percent of the time.
"Wedding planning is an emotionally complex time," says Laney Zukerman, a professional counselor and author of the new book Lessons for an Urban Goddess. "There will be wonderful moments and there will be those that challenge. The key is to find your 'realistic bliss.'"
Translation? You're allowed to not be ecstatic every moment of your engagement and wedding day. "Perfectionism is dangerous. So, ride the waves — good and bad — and know that they are temporary," Zukerman says. So, we've got a makeover for this overplayed piece of bridal advice.
Upgrade: "Celebrate whatever you can, when you can." Relish the morning-of mimosa toast you have with your bridesmaids, but don't give in to feeling bad that you got stressed about your hairpiece five minutes later.
Along with "enjoy it," here are three more cliché pieces of advice, upgraded — so you can mentally amend those generic tips when you hear them:
Generic advice: "Do what you want."
Why it doesn't help: Are you a doormat? No. Can you have a baby unicorn for a ring bearer? No. Will several of your wedding decisions be based on budget, your groom's tastes, both sets of parents' wishes, and much more? Yes.
Upgrade: "Have confidence in the decisions you make." Regardless of what influenced certain choices, these decisions are exciting by the sheer fact that they're shaping your (ridiculously awesome!) wedding.
Generic advice:"Don't worry if something goes wrong; you're the only one who will notice."
Why it doesn't help: What's most annoying about this advice is that it puts your wedding experience below everyone else's...as if you being bothered by something isn't as significant as your college roommate's date being bothered by it.
Upgrade:"Don't worry if something goes wrong; you will have gotten so many things right." Most brides don't really expect everything to be completely perfect. So when the inevitable snafu pops up, pat yourself on the back for making it this far.
Generic advice: "Take some time with just your groom to watch all your guests at the reception."
Why it doesn't help: It's worked for some people, but it can wind up really forced for others. And since you're the star of the show, it can be confusing for your guests who just want to spend time with you.
Upgrade: "Stick by your partner's side. All. Night. Long." If you and your guy make this pact going into things, you'll naturally share the little — and big — moments more seamlessly than having to carve out a few minutes of "let's now take it all in."