s a bride-to-be, of course you want to have the wedding of your dreams. For this reason, you may feel the need to micro-manage every aspect of your big day, from the precise shade of the dinner napkins to how your bridesmaids style their hair.
Although this is perfectly natural – it’s your big day, after all – some brides will definitely slip into “bridezilla” territory if they’re not careful.
A bridezilla is a bride whose behaviour when wedding planning borders on obsessive or controlling. Bridezillas may make irrational demands of their wedding party or guests, and throw tantrums when they don’t get their way, rather than handling issues with tact and grace.
Bridezilla behaviour affects every person in the wedding, and causes tension and arguments. Nobody wants that, so avoid making these 9 unreasonable demands in the lead up to your wedding.
1. Don’t Ask Anyone to Lose Weight
One of the worst things you can do as a bride is instruct members of your wedding party to lose (or gain) weight for your big day. Mentioning your guests’ weight is massively inappropriate, rude, and can seriously hurt self-esteem.
If you yourself wish to lose weight for your wedding you’re free to do so - but you cannot instruct other people to do the same. Quite frankly, it’s none of your business how much anyone else weighs on your big day – and worrying that someone’s size will ruin your wedding aesthetic, or affect how they look in a dress, for example, is extremely selfish. It proves that you don’t care about them as people, and only see them as photo props.
Be warned that if you bring up anyone’s weight, they will likely not want to attend your wedding at all, and it may even ruin your relationship with them.
2. Don’t Make Anyone Dye Their Hair
We heard of a horror story recently involving a bridezilla demanding that all of her bridesmaids dyed their hair brown for the big day, as the bride wanted to be the only one with blonde hair.
Needless to say, this is ridiculously controlling and unacceptable. Your wedding party’s hair colour should not matter in the slightest. It’s important that you appreciate your friends and family for who they are as people, and not focus on what they look like.
If you’re worried a bridesmaid’s hair colour won’t look right with their bridesmaid attire, simply choose a gown in a shade that won’t clash. For example, if your bestie has ginger hair, choosing a bright pink dress might not be the best decision – but a pale gold or sage green could look lovely.
3. Don’t Demand that People Cover Their Tattoos
Although you may not have tattoos yourself, they may be very important to other members of your wedding party. Tattoos are extremely personal and many people feel that their body art is a big part of their identity. So, don’t ask people to cover them up.
It may be that the bridesmaid herself will offer to cover her tattoos. If this happens and they feel comfortable doing so, you can say yes. However, if they don't offer, it's probably because they don't want to – and you shouldn’t bring it up.
Again, you should invite people to remembers of your wedding party for who they are, and not worry about what they’ll look like. If you really can’t stand to have a bridesmaid with tattoos on show, simply don’t ask her to be a bridesmaid.
4. Don’t Force Wedding Party Members to Dress Uncomfortably
In the UK, it’s traditionally the bride and groom’s job to choose and pay for their wedding party’s attire (the bridesmaid’s dresses and usher’s suits). While this does mean that you have the final say in colour and style, you should take on board their opinions when it comes to their outfits.
For example, some bridesmaids may not feel comfortable with certain cuts of dress. Bridesmaids with larger chests may feel uncomfortable wearing a strapless gown which wouldn’t be compatible with a bra. Some more modest bridesmaids may not feel comfortable wearing a backless dress, or a mini-dress that falls above the knee.
Forcing someone to wear an outfit that they hate will mean they’re miserable throughout your entire wedding – and why would you want that? It could even make them feel as though they have to drop out of your wedding entirely.
5. Don’t Expect People to Put Their Lives on Hold
People have busy lives, and bridezilla-style micromanagement may mean you want to hold many meetings about your upcoming wedding. Unfortunately, this can put members of your wedding party in an awkward position, especially if they have a full-time job.
Your wedding party will have a life beyond your wedding, and many will have children and home responsibilities to juggle, along with employment. Be understanding and lenient if someone says that they’ll be unable to attend a meeting – it’s unreasonable to ask them to book time off work or to prioritise your wedding over their own life.
If a member of your wedding party cannot make it, getting angry at them will only come across as entitled and selfish. Try to schedule as few meetings as possible, and host them on days when you know everyone is free. This will increase your attendance and put less stress on your wedding party.
6. Don’t Demand that Guests Donate to Your Wedding
One of the most bridezilla behaviours is to expect members of the wedding party (or even general wedding guests) to shell out money to fulfil your dream for your big day. There was a shocking story that went viral not long ago about a bride that demanded every guest donate $1,500 to cover the wedding costs – as you can imagine, it didn’t go down well, and she turned into a laughing stock.
If you and your partner are the ones paying for your wedding, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you plan for a wedding within your own budget. If someone offers to pay for part of it – such as your parents – then you can, of course, accept. But you absolutely can’t ask other people to help pay for your dream wedding. It’s the height of rudeness and very poor etiquette.
It’s okay to request money instead of physical wedding gifts (in a subtle and no-pressure way) but this cannot be a demand or a requirement – it should be up to your guests.
7. Don’t Make Bridesmaids Pay for their Hair and Makeup
You probably have a vision of how you want your bridesmaids’ hair, makeup, and nails to look on your big day. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you want your bridesmaids to be styled professionally, it’s your responsibility to pay for it – not theirs.
If you don’t want (or can’t afford) to pay for a stylist for your bridesmaids, then you don’t have to. But in that case, you can’t put any strict requirements or limitations on how they should look. You should expect your bridesmaids to DIY their nails, hair and makeup if you’re not paying for it to be done professionally – and you need to be 100% okay with this.
Of course, you can make requests such as “please choose a neutral, nude or pale shade for your nails”. But you can’t make any more specific requests, such as “all bridesmaids must have French acrylic manicures”, unless you’re willing to shell out the cash. Not everyone will be able to afford to pay for stylists and this can cause lots of stress and worry.
8. Don’t Throw a Tantrum If Your Guests Can’t Fly Abroad
Destination weddings are so much fun, and a huge pipe dream for so many brides- and grooms-to-be. However, if you’re planning to tie the knot in a faraway country, you must be willing to accept that some of the people you planned to invite won’t be able to make it – potentially including people that you’d planned to have as bridesmaids or groomsmen.
There are many reasons why someone might not be able to attend a destination wedding. For example:
1) Budget issues (unable to afford plane tickets and accommodation)
2) Work issues (they can’t take time off)
3) Childcare issues (they wouldn’t be able to take their kids out of school)
4) They don’t have a passport and can’t afford to get one
5) They have a fear of flying, or have a medical condition that would make it inadvisable to fly
If you have your heart set on getting married abroad, you’re free to do so. But if someone says they can’t come, accept it with good grace and invite them to an after-party in your home country instead. Don’t throw a tantrum or give them the cold shoulder.
9. Don’t Expect Friends and Family to Work for Free
In this day and age, weddings can be expensive, and brides and grooms-to-be are forever looking for little ways to can save money. You may have the bright idea to ask friends and family to help, by DIY-ing decorations or baking desserts for the sweet table. You may even have an uncle who’s a budding photographer, and may have thought about asking him to shoot your wedding.
It’s completely OK to ask friends and family to help out. However, what’s not OK is to expect them to do it for free, or take time off from a paid job to volunteer. Quite frankly, it’s disrespectful – you’re telling them that you’re more important than their work, and that you don’t think their time is worth money.
Your wedding will not be at the top of everyone's priority list, and between work, childcare and personal affairs, many will not have time to help you out without being compensated for it. There’s no shame in asking your wedding party to help you with a few tasks here and there, such as clean-up or setup of the venue – however, don’t be unreasonably demanding, and respect their decision if they say they can’t help.
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