Have you ever found yourself admiring a friend who’s able to navigate through situations with ease and grace no matter the difficulty and types of personalities involved? Anger and frustration seem to ricochet off of her when problem solving and she never settles for anything that would sacrifice her self- respect. This, my friends, is an important characteristic trait to have in life and definitely when planning a wedding: ASSERTIVENESS. Maybe you are her. Or maybe you fall on the other end of the spectrum being passive or aggressive. A Coordinated Bride must find the happy medium between those two extremes and be assertive. Need some help? I’ve got a few tips.
1. Make Firm Decisions
If you want help with the planning process from your bridesmaids, laying out the overall vision is important. You don’t want to end up with a wedding that is not your dream. For example, if you are allowing input on dresses, listen to your bridesmaids’ ideas. We know women have different body types and some may not like certain body parts exposed. Acknowledge their issues and solve potential challenges without compromising your vision. In the end, you’ll have the final say but your girls will feel their opinion is valued.
2. Deal with conflict one on one
Having an issue with that one member of your bridal party who seems to think it’s their wedding? Or maybe even your groom? Well technically it is his wedding lol. Social media is not the place to air out your feelings and hope they get the hint. Yes ladies – please avoid posting subliminal meems on social media. Deal with the issue one on one and immediately. Clearly communicate why the issue is unacceptable but be careful not to make it a personal attack. Also, be sure to keep the line of communication open.
3. Learn to say “No”
Sounds easy right? The word no can cause hurt, anger, and disappointment and who wants to be responsible for that? Saying no is a learned trait. Setting healthy limits is important to having healthy relationships. when you are out shopping for wedding related items, products and services, our EIC Juliette says, “Brides need to learn the difference between salesmanship and genuine advice and recommendations that will benefit the couple.” You don’t have to purchase everything that is being sold to you. The wrong “No” can hurt feelings, alienate people and destroy relationships. Learn how to respond to anything that does not keep your needs and values as a priority with a “positive No”.
4. Let them call you names
There will always be people who find fault with authority and are intimidated by strength in women. They may spend their time throwing shade and finding fault with your decisions and personality. They may even call you a Bridezilla or Extra (I love that one). Remember sticks and stones…don’t mirror their behavior.
5. Let go of guilt.
An assertive bride who advocates for herself in a way that is respectful, is not wrong. A passive person may feel guilty about not allowing children at her wedding. Replace the negative thought with a positive one like: “I deserve to be able to have a great time at my reception without worrying about censoring myself.”
6. Know your stuff.
Weddings are big business. Do not allow yourself to be pressured into all the trimmings of a wedding. Remember your budget and don’t be pushed into upgraded linens, extra draping, or lighting when you have already determined what you want.
7. Hire a planner.
If you still don’t think you have the guts to be more assertive throughout your process, hire a planner. Planners can delegate your vision to all of your vendors, bridal party, and guests without caring about hurt feelings and who they say “no” to. Trust me, they’ve seen it all before. Their job is to be in the business of you as well as keep your wedding dreams realistic.
Planning a wedding can be a stressful time and for some, switching your personality to being assertive doesn’t happen overnight. If you so happen to lose your temper, apologize, and take a time out. If you feel overwhelmed, have a good cry. Most importantly, remember what it is all for: one of the best days in your life!