WARNING. You do not want this to happen and we want to help you avoid it! Wedding planning should be fun, but it can become very overwhelming with all the details and the need for it to be 'perfect' is a demanding expectation. Let's look at the warning signs and how to avoid the bridal burnout!
Planning a wedding is seriously hard work! It starts out as exciting and fun but can easily turn into a time consuming burden. There are several distinct symptoms a bride will experience if she is starting to burnout. Keep in mind that the bride herself may not be the one to recognize these symptoms, so we are calling on you, the maid of honor, bridesmaids, friends, families and fiancés, to be on the look for these signs. If you are concerned your precious bride might be on the edge, then the info below is of you.
- Loss of excitement about her own wedding. People generally start the planning right after the engagement, so it is only natural to think that the excitement would wear off (especially if it is a longer engagement) over time. While this is true to a certain extent, there should still be an enthusiasm throughout the entire planning process. This doesn’t mean that your bride will be glowing, smiling from ear to ear or ecstatic for months on end, but she will be happy most of the time (who wouldn’t be?!). If she just looks 'done', it's time to call in the reserves!
- Her words may give it away. If she's saying comments like, “I am ready for this all to be over, I just want to be married”. Some of that's natural, but a classic sign of an overstressed bride is the neglect factor. She doesn’t want anything to do with her own wedding. The last few months leading up to her wedding are not fun for her and she is not looking forward to her wedding in the way that she should be because she is now associating it with headaches, stresses and work instead of the special and intimate event that it should be. If your bride is dropping comments that seem out of character and out of wedding planning energy, it may be time to approach her.
- Passive decision making. Along with a loss of excitement and possible offbeat comments about her wedding, burnout is recognizable by this symptom above all. Write this down if you need to because she may exhibit no other symptom than this and that is passive decision making. At the beginning, you'll remember she was excited and maybe she even spent an hour at the hardware store staring at paint swatches to get an idea for the exact shade of the perfect colors she wanted. Now, if she is overwhelmed beyond her imagination, she likely doesn't care at all as to the difference between lily white and cotton white. Decisions, small or large, no longer seem to hold the importance they once did. If your brides’ decision making has become uncharacteristically passive, she may need your help to get the excitement back.
- She's frighteningly stressed. But really, the last sign of an overworked bride whose fiery excitement is dwindling fast is opposite of the three preceding symptoms and that is the high strung, bridezilla type, stressed beyond the point of snapping bride. This is a unique and volatile type of burnout that some brides experience and these brides above all others need your sensitivity in approaching them about their new found (and temporary!) neurosis. This is a symptom that will build over time and may get so intense that the bride will actually drive away the very help she desires and at this point, needs. If your bride has developed a bridezilla complex, remember her as she used to be, pre-engagement, when you gently approach to offer your help (and maybe lend her some of your sanity!).
Don't be afraid to call in the reserves. The maid of honor is likely the best to come in with words of, "Let's delegate this, this and that to someone else. Today is mani/pedi or massage day!" Take her to the beach. Encourage her to go to a yoga class or drink some tea. Remind her about the honeymoon. Above all, never undermine her stress. Agree that it's a lot and offer the solution of delegation. It's supposed to be special. Let's keep it that way.
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