As one example, when we arrived at Gardens of the World, our first look site, we were greeted by a very rude member of the management who insisted that the photographer and I sign off on paperwork before entering the grounds. Fine. No problem. That was part of the agreement when we’d set up the appointment. But when she looked around the room holding the forms and stated quite rudely, “And who’s the bride?” I was shocked and taken aback. I mean, did she not see the white gown, the tiara, all the hard work that I'd put into looking and feeling beautiful?
In that moment, I should have remained calm, but still been assertive. I should have at the very least made a joke to the effect of, “Not me. I just felt like putting on a tiara and lace gown today.” Or, I should have politely and calmly asked her that since it was my wedding day, would she mind being perhaps a bit kinder about the whole situation? But instead, I could only bring myself to raise my hand in silence. No one else said a word, either.
The church situation was a whole other debacle. The truth is that all throughout the planning process, I just did not feel great about the church and officiant we were working with. Though I was raised Catholic, I’m not a very religious person today, and I take issue with the Chruch’s views on gay marriage, women’s rights and other items. I agreed to a church ceremony because it was important to Stephen, and while I was willing to compromise in that way, undergoing the scrutiny and questioning during the preparation process bothered me. Our priest was new and not yet very knowledgeable about weddings, and something just felt off. But I rolled with it, thinking things would be all right.
They weren't. The day of our wedding, I’d hoped to listen and watch on the church’s screen in the bride room as the processional took place. I imagined the moment I’d see everyone assembled at the altar, hear my own music start and get in place to head down the aisle. But I didn’t have that experience. The church’s coordinator very rudely started the processional while I, the bride, was using the restroom, without checking with my mom or personal planner, and by the time my mom frantically knocked on the door to tell me it was my turn, I had to rush, worrying that there’d been too long a gap between the end of the processional and my entrance, feeling sad and disappointed that this was a moment I had wanted to be special, but now had passed.
Then, during the wedding, the priest, who had refused to attend our rehearsal becasue he "knew what to do" struggled to remember who we were and what was supposed to happen. He introduced us not by our names, but as the “newest family in the United States of America.” He skipped over my sister’s Irish Wedding Blessing reading entirely. And after all this, the church coordinator had the nerve to come up to me afterward and say that everything had gone perfectly! Again, given my chance to speak up, I somehow managed to say nothing.
So, as you can see, I was no bridezilla, and if anything, I was too nice – a pushover, even – the result of nerves, excitement and who knows what else. Looking back, I wish I had spoken up and reasonably asserted myself, with no fear of being called a bridezilla and no worries about what anyone else would think, which I would do in a heartbeat for any of my clients.
Now, almost a year later, I can’t help but feel that our wedding was supposed to be in part “my” day, but because I was so nice and accommodating, I somehow forgot that, and so did others around me.
Do you ever struggle with being "too nice"?
(Photo Credits: Personal Library & Alex Neumann Photography)