Haven't you heard? The "chill bride" aka Bridechilla, is the new bridezilla.
Mocked in a recent New York Times satire piece, the chill bride is, like, totally relaxed and really just wants you to wear what you feel your best in, OK, guys? The chill bride doesn't have a dress code, color scheme, or any of the traditional trappings, but somewhere an army of elves must be working together, because the whole damn day, from getting-ready photos to the—ohmygod, surprise!—sparkler send-off looks absolutely flawless and Pinterest-ready. It all just seems to fall into place naturally, and it seems to be what every newly engaged person dreams of. They're not going to be bridezillas, they swear! They'll be the chillest of brides, no meltdowns or drama necessary.
Chill bride, how can we aspire to your chill heights?!
Mockable or not, there's still this ideal we all aspire to, of the breezy, easy-going woman who steps calmy off a cliff and a tulle net appears to float her off to her perfect wedding day.
Easier than defining how to be a chill bride might be outlining what makes an un-chill bride. Here are a few red flags, but keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list -- there is a multitude of ways to have something less than total chill around your wedding day.
You might not be a chill bride if...
You have an opinion on the flowers, décor or venue for the wedding. Would prefer bright yellow sunflowers to the white roses your mother-in-law-to-be's neighbor's daughter suggested might look pretty? How dare you.
You are limiting the guest list in any way. The chillest of brides would welcome all to the party, from the closest of childhood friends to Sally in shipping to the teenage checkout gal who's too busy texting to acknowledge that your bok choy and premade cookie dough aren’t going to bag themselves. Her name is June, and she might be a secret delight, and you would probably seat her at the same table as your grandparents if you wanted to maintain your chill bride rep.
You try on one or more dresses that you decide not to wear on your wedding day. In fact, you lose chill points if you go specifically "dress shopping" at all and don't just wait for the perfect, vintage gown, which will naturally fit you like a glove with no alterations necessary, to fall into your chill lap.
You're having a wedding at all. That's a dead giveaway, because a true chill bride would probably have a surprise wedding thrown for her by her ever-caring (chill-ass) knitting circle or the barista at the super-cool indie coffee shop where she gets her soy no-foam lattes or something, or would just, like, wake up and decide to get married that day and have an off the cuff brunch ceremony where she sourced all the quaint mason jars from her own apartment and it would be perfect.
Here's the secret: no bride who plans a wedding is a chill bride. The chill bride is a myth, because deciding to have a wedding ceremony at all means that you've made an effort and expressed a preference. Gasp! How un-chill is that!
But before you panic, here's the thing to remember: it's not actually a crime against humanity and chillness to GAF, or even two, three or more Fs, about your wedding day. You can even delegate tasks and, gasp, make specific requests of people for the day, without veering into full-on bridezilla territory. After all, what's more stressful than a person who's getting married who won't provide any reference points or framework for those involved, whether it's dress codes for guests, arrival times for bridesmaids to get their hair and makeup done ("whenever you can get around to it" is not actually a chill response, it's a stressor that will leave your timeline in absolute shambles and help no one) or being wishy-washy about gifts.
As long as you're not having melodramatic meltdowns over the tiniest of details (but the napkin rings have to be sage, not olive!), you're probably in safe territory.
Ultimately, this is a day about you and your partner, a celebration of your relationship and love for one another and plans to move into the future together, in front of people who are important to you. This may come as a shock, but you're not a monster for expressing a preference about any of the details of the day itself. You may not be the chill bride of myth, but you can still be a gracious, calm, collected, appreciative and loving bride, while still getting the wedding you've dreamt of. And isn't that even better than chill?
Just take care not to scream at any hairdressers, and you should be just about golden.