Wednesday 12 September 2012

Calmzilla: 10 days to go! How to keep your inner bride T-Rex at bay

Doing the 'bridezilla': spilling wine all over your frock optional.
With just 10 days to go until a certain disastrous, disappointing wedding (I'm kidding, although perhaps a little reverse psychology might do me good! It used to work a treat with exams anyhow....) this, dear readers, is what I think is known as wedding meltdown. You may remember from previous posts I thought I'd endured one of these episodes before. But no. They didn't have diddlysquat on this one right here. With the wedding I've been planning for the past two years looming oh so soon, I'm stuck in a strange sort of stasis between wanting to do every last fiddly detail and buying all of the whimsical finishing touches that I am dazzled by yet know my love will groan at (he of the inadvertent wedding treasurer role).Or just letting it be.

The strange thing is - having watched this from afar with many brides whom we always try and soothe with cups of tea and truisms like 'panic is TOTALLY normal' - I had been blithely planning mine thinking this would never happen to me. I've even just written the Big Day Survival Guide page of our forthcoming book, The Secret Quintessentially Weddings Guide, all the while merrily tapping at my keys thinking to myself I wouldn't need to heed such advice myself for I was on top of everything wedmin....

The one about pride before a fall? I think I might be the epitome of the phrase right now. 

Equally; I suddenly understand the bridezilla phenomenon having found myself apologising to my mum this morning for becoming irate over flowers - a very rare thing, my anger is usually only provoked by a lack of peanut butter in the house and is more mild sulking than full blown rant. I'm not suggesting this is true of all brides who have such a label attached to them, but for me, it's come about because I suddenly felt very vulnerable. I didn't know what to do next: what was most important on the to-do list, and then my skin went mad, and then my groom started looking at me with wide eyes and a slightly alarmed look, and then and then and then....You get the picture. As the bride, you are expected by incorrect assumption or simply shouldering the role, to plan the most perfect day; even if with the help of a wedding planner; and when the small things start mounting up, many of us go into meltdown.

All lining up: putting pressure on yourself by looking at other people's beautiful weddings doesn't help....
Which is why I'm re-branding. It's all about finding your inner calmzilla - the serene and capable one who can laugh off the jitters and things that go wrong. Perhaps even she would be ok with accepting the wise words of Carrie to Charlotte when her wedding to Harry is going quite fantastically awry: "the worse the wedding, the better the marriage". These are my top tricks and fairy godmothers for getting you through. And do share your experiences - the more of us that talk about it and pool ideas, the more we can put that Bridezilla thing to bed!


  1. What you put in the inside is just as important as when it comes to the outside. Keep yourself fighting fit with a healthy, nutritionally balanced diet that's right for you (we're all as different as can be, so don't just think eating shed loads of slow burning carbs and fruit will sort things). A visit to Janine Fahri, the lovely lady who weaned me off a diet that gave me constant spots and gnarly feelings in my stomach comes highly recommended. Find Janine at
  2. More than anything, try and take some time out. The more fraught you are, the higher your cortisol levels and the spottier your skin. Even if just as a vanity project, go for a short walk or a good back massage when it all gets a bit much. Works wonders every time.
  3. Refine your list into two categories: must-dos and must-gets and those that you would be ok with sacrificing if you run out of time. Keep your eyes on the prize.
  4. Keep every wedding document and email attachment together filed in boxes or folders on your computer for easy referencing.
  5. Don't be afraid to delegate. When you have too many tasks that need equal attention and time is running out, pass the one you're not bothered about (such as sorting taxis home for guests) to a willing relative or friend. You'll be surprised how many eager beavers there are to help when you need it the most. Just say 'yes'.
  6. Some traditions are meant to be kept and some you'll have to give in to for the sake of your parents. When it comes to compromising, just remember 'he who pays the piper calls the tune': once you let go and accept that life will be easier if you find a middle ground things become a lot less painful. Only stand up for the things that truly matter to you.
  7. Play it safe and always have a contingency fund - 77% of weddings go over budget. This will come in particularly handy when you have to shell out for unforeseens which are guaranteed to spring up towards the end of the wedding planning process when the pot is running dry (advice I sorely wish I'd listened to).
  8. It's always worth asking if suppliers will cut a deal. Go what I call 'Marrakesh' style when haggling and  smile whilst being firm and use phrases such as "I had something more along the lines of £XX in mind - what could you do for this price?"
  9. Breathe and get a good night's sleep. No-one is expecting perfection other than you, and you certainly won't achieve it if you're frazzled and tired. 
  10. If you get the dress, food and booze right, the rest will follow....
And the rest is over to you - any tricks up your sleeves or recipes for calm? Comments away....


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