Imagine if a man were coordinating a large event- he may tussle with difficult vendors, be assertive when his decisions or requests are undermined or ignored by others, he may even find himself frustrated when something he’s worked hard on is going awry.
Now, switch out “large event” for “wedding”.
Wedding planning is tough business, especially for someone tossed into it with no experience with event planning, another full-time job, etc. Not to complain, I am so happy to have this opportunity, but there are things about being a “Bride” that have been making me very uneasy.
In the imagery above I bet you never once thought of the event planning man as a “Bridezilla!” or rolled your eyes at the thought of him being assertive while getting things done. So why is it okay for vendors and salespeople, friends and family to roll our collective eyes and condescend to young women who are doing the same thing?
Emotions certainly run high in the wedding planning process- everyone’s emotions, not just the bride. But just like the old concepts of hysteria and female emotional instability, the patronizing and condescending view of a young woman as a bridezilla is just plain f-ed up.
Women who are leaders are often perceived as bitchy or bossy when their behavior is similar to that of their male counterparts. Women who assert themselves to get things done or to get what they want or need are painted just as negatively. Now, I know there are some women who behave as entitled and in a selfish manner during their wedding planning process, but what if some of those women are just sick of being leached of cash and time by every other freaking vendor and sales person who make up the wedding industry today? Wouldn’t you start to get an attitude if people rolled their eyes and said “…brides!” under their breath when you are simply trying to get your voice/request heard?
The farther I get into this wedding planning process, the more irritated I have become with one simple phrase. What is it? The placating, patronizing mantra that you will hear over and over and over and over throughout your entire wedding planning saga-
“Just try and relax! Every thing is going to be fine/beautiful/perfect!”
Really? Really? Relax? You mean after a vendor has failed to send me the photos and prices he promised to email me 4 months ago and I email to politely re-request them for the 4th time, the real problem is that I need to RELAX???
You mean that after spending all of my extra time working on wedding details, and negotiating with unruly vendors, and trying to herd the wild cats we like to call family, the first thing people say when I tell them about an issue that needs to be fixed is that I need to relax!?!?
Please, try to tell me that wouldn’t make you just a little upset.
Next time you are talking with a bride, either as a friend, salesperson, family member ,or coworker, if she seems frustrated or overwhelmed, or however she is feeling, don’t tell her to relax. Tell her to keep kicking ass and taking names cause she is doing great. Maybe even listen to what she says and see how you can help her be heard by whoever she is trying to get to listen. That would do a world of wonders that telling her to “relax” will never do.