by Ryan Conner
Karley Osborn is a bride-to-be living in Plano. Her fiancé proposed in March. They’re getting married in July. No, she’s not crazy, and yes, she’s confident she will be able to order a dress and have it triple-fitted in plenty of time — no matter what the experts have to say about it. Karley also happened to intern for D Magazine and work as a social reporter with People Newspapers. Every Wednesday, she’ll be documenting her planning process. From flowers to fittings, she will use her first-hand experience to help other brides in the event of a last-minute love affair.
I may not have been engaged for very long, but I’ve seen enough episodes of Say Yes to the Dress to know that the following statement is an absolute fact: nobody likes a Bridezilla (seriously…not even her mom).
Honestly, I really don’t think I’m kidding myself when I say that I’ve been pretty relaxed about our sprint toward the aisle (and by “relaxed” I mean I’ve limited myself to only one major brain shut down so far). Also, last time I checked, I haven’t grown scales, turned the color green, or thrown a slice of cake against the wall while screaming “I hate fondant flowers!” during a cake tasting.
But then this thing started happening that sorta-kinda made me think twice about my decision to never-ever do the whole stamp-your-foot-and-demand-your-bridal-rights thing, much less unleash one of those “But it’s myyyy wedding!” whines that literally no one can stand.
Fiancé and I had carefully scrapped together a vision for our wedding. It would be—here’s that word again—“relaxed.” It would be fun. It would be us. “Let’s do something in the morning,” we decided, “followed by brunch-y foods and a beach play day.” No dance floor. No plated dinners. No fussy decorations. No problem. Right? Wrong.
Jump for how our idea(s) initially went over with various Wedding People:
Planner: “That’s going to be a problem. I’ve never done a wedding like that before. You can’t put up rented tents on the beach. You can’t serve food on the beach. How about an evening wedding…with a plated dinner and a guitar player?”
Coordinator: “That’s going to be a problem. It’s too hot in July to get married in the morning. Your guests will sweat. The grandparents will be miserable. The reception site you like is already booked. How about an evening wedding…with a dance floor and an indoor reception?”
Florist: “That’s going to be a problem. Hanging lanterns will blow over in the wind. We’ll have to use something heavier. How do you feel about a floral archway? Ferns? Urns?”
Although I tried to take all of the idea-rejection in stride, I’m not going to lie: being shot down was frustrating. So, like a Hypochondriac scouring Web MD, I quickly set out to prove that I’m not turning into a man-eating monster in a veil by Googling the disease I fear the most.
According to TLC (the ultimate authority on all things wedding, obviously), these are the real and proven symptoms of Bridezilla-ness:
10. You’re spending your parents into the poorhouse
9. You’re angry
8. The pictures must be perfect
7. Your bridesmaids defriend you
6. You don’t have time for anyone (or anything) else
5. You have a vision, and you’re sticking to it
4. Nobody is taking your calls
3. You’re issuing clothing color edicts
2. Your registry totals more than most college educations
1. Your guest list has 10 people on it
10. My dad might be making jokes about standing in line at the soup kitchen, but my parents haven’t taken out a second mortgage on the house or anything to pay for this wedding. I mean, not yet…
9. No, I said I was frustrated. That’s super different from angry.
8. Whew! If you read this column, I think you’ll agree that I’m definitely in the clear on this one.
7-6. I’m the queen of “Let’s meet up for coffee.” Cleared.
5. Ahem. Possibly.
3. Okay, I did send my bridesmaids a paint chip to make sure that their dresses matched the wedding color I had selected. But you guys thought that was helpful, right? Right?
2. At one point, maybe. But I have since deleted approximately 8,000 of the 10,000 glasses that we registered for a few weeks ago.
1. Definitely not. In fact, we’re presently about a million people over our “cap.” But that’s another story…
After much soul-searching (and a few phone calls), I’ve determined that no, I’m not a Bridezilla. But after all this research, I do understand her breed a bit better. She wants an exact replica of the fairytale vision in her head to come to life, and she doesn’t take kindly to being told no.
As for me, I’m a bride-on-the-fly who wants to do something that’s just a little different. I don’t want to be inflexible, but I don’t want to be forced into throwing a convenient cookie-cutter wedding, either. So here’s what I’ve learned: It’s all about the art of the compromise. For example, we’re getting married in the morning, like we wanted. But we’re going to incorporate fans, parasols, umbrellas, and whatever else our grandparents might require in order to stay cool as cucumbers. We’re skipping a plated dinner in favor of the brunch buffet we dreamed of. But we’re also incorporating a more traditional “cocktail hour” featuring mimosas and passed pastries (side note: many thanks to the hotel chef who approved chicken and waffles as a possible menu item—you said “It shouldn’t be a problem,” and we love you for it).
See? The anti-Bridezilla formula is simple: A little give. A little take. And a whole lot of remembering what the big day is all about…marrying the guy you love.