Monday, April 25, 2011

The Pushover Bride

Thank you all once again for being so supportive following my recent “bridezilla” accusation for giving my photographer a shot list. I’m over it now, but looking back, I know the reason I felt so upset is because in reality, I was the exact opposite of a bridezilla. In fact, being called a bridezilla hurt so much because the truth is, I was too nice as a bride, so much so that I often didn’t speak up for myself and even let others get away with making mistakes, treating me disrespectfully, and more. As much as I loved my wedding day, I have to admit that looking back, I don’t feel good about these things.

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)


  1. awww ~ I so understand! I never speak up for myself...I just roll with it and feel so angry with myself that I didn't say anything. I am so sorry that people were rude to you especially on your wedding day :(

  2. All the time! But I'm getting better at it. And thankfully our coordinator was awesome and took charge of the situations that cropped up on our wedding day. But at work and with my friends and family, I'm definitely too nice.

  3. I know exactly what you mean. I too allowed other people to take control. I loved my wedding day, but there are a few things that i should have spoken up about. I guess in the end, all that matters is that we married our best friend!!!

  4. I'm sorry you felt that way but I totally relate, I tried so hard NOT to be a bridezilla that I let certain people just do whatever and never made a big deal about it like I probably should have. It just seemed easier to let it go. So I totally get it.

  5. I'm so sorry you still have things that just don't let you feel settled! You handled the whole "who's the bride" thing a lot better than I would have...!
    In the end, think about how gracious and un-bitchy you looked and are thought of for how you handled it.
    It's not that you didn't handle it, Heather; I just think you handled it with strength that maybe you aren't even aware you have.
    Here's a fun story:

    It helped me a lot.

  6. Its really hard on your own wedding day, especially if you're not a bridezilla or a forcefull person every day, to tell people how you really feel.

    I couldnt imagine having to tell people at the church that you thought it didnt go so perfect. I was a little of the same way on our wedding day and when asked something that I thought they already knew but had changed it... my maid of honor helped me speak up and make sure things were the way I wanted!

    As a wedding planner you can learn from this day and help brides stand up on their big day.

    Sending Love! <3

  7. That's's prob. so easy in hindsight to say "I should have been more firm" but my general theory on my wedding day is going to be go with the flow no matter what because NO ONE is going to ruin my mood. If you snapped back at them, it would have upset you because you're never like that and it probably would have left you feeling more angry. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. However, I think that a strongly worded letter or pointed phone call in the week after your wedding would have also been a good way to let people know that you really weren't happy with them, and you would like them to be aware of things they could improve upon for future weddings. It's always a fine line...I'm not sure how I will react to things like this on my day, but i'll let you know!

    I also CANNOT BELIEVE that woman asked who the bride was...awful, awful person!

  8. What a rude woman, imagine asking 'who is the bride', could she not see!!! Definitely one of those times when you think of something fabulous to say afterwards.

    I think its really easy when you are the bride to try and please everyone when really as you say some of the day should most definitely been about you.

  9. It did seem easier to just let certain things go.. especially towards the last couple weeks of our wedding. It became quite stressful and everyone had an opinon about something. I would just smile and nod! haha

  10. We did not tell friends and family and just went to the courts and handled it. A special prayer was said before seeing the judge to keep this sacred event between us and God -- free of hopes, expectations and rudeness of others.