Take Your Day and Shove It!

By Betsy Bradford

I'm planning a wedding right now. Contrary to what the popular media would have you believe, a lot of brides are grounded and laid back. However, there is a minority of entitled princesses out there who ruin it for the rest of us. I'm taking it upon myself to change that, so for you all brides and bride-hopefuls out there, I decided to compile a list of basic rules to abide by. Stick to these, and you're doing well.

Treat People Like They're Human

Really, you'd think that this would go without saying. Still, too many brides out there want to treat people like magical ATMs, honeymoon donors, and gift dispensing machines. Then, they get all huffy when a guest demands something like a chair or food they're not allergic to. Ladies, your guests are guests! If you're the bride, it's your job to host them. They may choose to give you a gift, or they might not. They aren't required to. If they do, thank them.

In essence, treat them with basic human decency.

This goes for your wedding party, too. I know, you've been looking at all those adorable pictures on Pinterest of bridesmaids with matching dresses, shoes, hair, fingernails, toenails, and jewelry. You've probably also seen those darling getting ready pictures with all the girls in matching bathrobes with "Bridesmaid" embroidered on them.

Thinking of going out and buying bathrobes, or forcing your girls to get matching manicures? Think again. Your bridesmaids are your closest friends, not Stepford wives. Do you seriously want to shell out $50 for a bathrobe that will be worn once? Let them wear what they want when they're getting ready, and honestly, no one will give a shit about their fingernails. Have you ever gone to a wedding and looked at the bridesmaids fingernails? Be honest.

And just like your guests don't have to give you a present, your wedding party doesn't have to throw you a shower or bachelorette party. These parties are gifts. They're not mandatory; you'll still be just as married if you don't have one.

Money Is Great, But It's Never Free

Did your parents offer to help pay for the wedding? Awesome! But what exactly does this mean? Like it or not, once you accept money from anyone, they get a say in your wedding. This could mean adding guests, or insisting on certain food on the menu. It could even mean using a venue that you don't personally like, or hiring your mother's friend's daughter to bake your cake. You don't always know what these strings are in advance, but they're there.

In the past, the bride's family always paid for 100% of the wedding. This isn't true anymore, but it still happens on occasion. Bad news, girls; if you're paying for none of your wedding, you get very little say. You've ceded most of the control to whoever is doling out the cash. And this is fair. It is their money, after all.

On the other hand, if you're paying for your whole wedding, you can make all of the judgment calls yourself! But make sure you remember rule #1 above. Yes, you can make all of the plans to your liking, but if you treat your guests like shit, Aunt Sue and cousin Peggy will be whispering about you at family get-togethers until they die.

Never, Ever Say "It's My Day!"

Why do so many brides think that this phrase is a magic ticket that lets them behave poorly? It drives me crazy.

First of all, it isn't just "your" day unless you're marrying yourself. Generally, you've got to have at least two people to make a wedding, and, like it or not, the groom does get a say. And I don't mean a token nod, either. I've seen that cake on Pinterest with the tiny Spiderman with the suggestion to "hide" whatever he's into, because "it's his day, too!" If you believed that, you wouldn't be hiding the Spiderman.

And, unless you're having no guests, you really can't make the wedding only about you and your future husband. Again, see rule #1. Unless they're paying (see rule #2), you don't have to cede to every guests demand, but you do have to host them appropriately. This means not throwing a hissy fit when something goes wrong and screaming "It's my day!" That's not going to win you any friends, and it's a really bad way to start out a marriage.

Which brings me to my fourth and final point:

The Purpse of a Wedding Is Not To Have a Wedding

Brides forget this too easily, probably because you spend so much time preparing for the wedding, but this is key. A wedding is one day. A marriage is (hopefully) forever. The whole point in having a wedding is to be married to the person you love most in the world. You invite other people you love to come and share in the joy.

A wedding should be a happy occasion. Is there stress involved? Sure! Sometimes there's a lot, but the good news is, you have your fiancé to help you through it. Acting like a child, throwing tantrums, disregarding your friends and family, and insisting that it's "your day" won't make you feel better. It will just make you look bad.

Always remember that at the end of this all, you'll be married. So, fellow brides, let's all please try to get our married lives off to a good start. Be a gracious hostess. Remember these four simple rules (and they really are simple), and you'll be off to a good start.