Most brides tend to take on way too much of the responsibility because they’re afraid of things going wrong. But then all that extra work makes them burnt out- and they become the frazzled, stressed out bride we all love, but are afraid of.
The most important things you can do is know how to spot the burnout coming on. I would say prevent it - and you can, but who’s going to tell her that? As for preventative, the best way to do that is to make sure you have a solid and dependable team. Make sure everyone has a couple jobs they won’t abandon or be lazy about. Also have an emergency team. These are the people your bridal party is going to call in case of emergency - that isn’t the bride. Do that and you’ve got step one down.
Now for the burnout. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- She’s extra stressed and hiding her tears. 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!).
This is a time for prevention and delegation. Let her be in charge, but make sure the real responsibilities are distributed to the trustworthy members of your party.
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