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The dee-jay hasn’t responded to your email, your mother-in-law keeps nagging you about your floral selections, and now the caterer wants to charge five more dollars per person just for baskets of bread! You want to lose five more pounds so your dress looks perfect on you, you need to finish the seating chart but not everyone has RSVP’d, and you still have to make your bar signs, table numbers, and party favors! With all the wedding planning stress weighing on your shoulders, it can be pretty easy to become a bridezilla. In fact, in the 300+ weddings that I have planned, the most asked question that brides ask me isn’t about vows or bouquets or whether photos should be taken before or after the ceremony. No, the most asked question that I have been asked is: “Am I becoming a Bridezilla?”

Fortunately, with those 300+ weddings that I have had the pleasure of planning, I haven’t had to deal with many bridezillas (or groomosauruses) at all.

STAY FOCUSED
The second most-asked question I hear is, “Can I show you my Pinterest board?” With so many wedding blogs and magazines bombarding you with different wedding design ideas, it’s easy to lose focus of your vision. Yes, those ultramodern Nachtmann crystal candelabras are beautiful but they’ll clash with your rustic venue – and they’re also $130 a pop. Try not to overwhelm yourself by filling your Pinterest boards with conflicting design motifs and outlandishly unrealistic ideas.

ASK FOR HELP
Even if you’ve hired a planner, there are some tasks that you will still be required to do. For example, assigning seats for dinner service or submitting song lists to your deejay or band. If you aren’t able to complete these responsibilities, then, for the love of God, ask your planner for help. That’s what we’re here for! Trust me, we would rather pitch in and complete necessary tasks in a timely fashion rather than scramble at the last minute, potentially jeopardizing a smooth-running wedding.

REALIZE THAT IT’S NOT REALLY ALL ABOUT YOU
Yes, it is your wedding. Yes, you and your fiancé are the stars of the show. But look at your guests as co-stars. They are an essential element to the wedding festivities and it’s wise to consider them when making decisions. For example, unless you hold militant convictions about your veganism, do not select an all vegan menu. Your carnivorous guests will hate you. I’ve even seen guests leave a wedding reception to seek traditional fare at nearby restaurants. And while a destination wedding at a exotic tropical island might be a dream come true, be ready for guests to decline your invitation after they consider the cost of airfare, accommodations, and taking time off from their employment. Unless you’re willing to assist with expenses, there may be some grumbles.

KEEP IT REALISTIC
Because a wedding is (hopefully) a once in a lifetime event, it’s easy to get carried away with over-the-top, theatrical décor elements and gimmicks. One time, a groom was dead set on the idea of a attaching a small video camera to a large helium filled balloon that would float above the reception crowd, low enough for guests to pull the balloon down and make a video testimonial before releasing the balloon back up to the venue rafters. Another time, instead of tossing confetti or streamers, a bride wanted her guests to throw fistfuls of glitter into the air as the wedding party recessed down the aisle. Glitter, y’all.

KEEP IT SIMPLE
It’s exciting to share the wedding planning process with your friends, however, it is not the best idea to bring an entourage with you to planning meetings. For example, I’ve witnessed brides bring a few friends to a rental showroom to select their table linen color. Suddenly, with everyone contributing their two cents, what was intended to be a relatively simple decision evolved into a lengthy debate that only frustrated the bride. Consider keeping the planning process simple by only inviting essential key players like your bridesmaid and best man, or your parents – especially if they are financially contributing to the wedding celebration.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
From fainting grooms to malfunctioning sound systems to drunken dance floor brawls, in my many years of wedding planning, I’ve seen it all. As a wedding expert, I am trained to calmly handle any crisis to ensure that you have a spectacular wedding celebration, bountiful with lovely memories. In fact, you may never know about the cake that was delivered hours late or the bartender who showed up with a sprained wrist because it’s my job to effortlessly ‘Olivia Pope’ those problems. But still, no wedding is perfect and it’s wise to start your wedding day with flexibility.