A bride can recover from all sorts of mistakes while wedding planning. She’ll never come back from this one though, and she’ll regret it forever. It’s more common than you think, but it breaks my heart every time it happens.
As someone who is admittedly Type A to the extreme, I relate very well to the OCD bride. I get her. I know her “why“. When you know someone’s “why“, it’s that much easier to handle them.
If I lost you on the whole “why” thing, don’t worry because I’ll have another blog explaining what that is in detail and why you need to know yours and others. For the purpose of this blog though, it basically means motive; as in knowing someone’s motive for doing or saying anything.
Trust me, life is easier when you can unlock that mystery.
Anyway, without falling down that rabbit hole too much, the point is to make learning someone’s “why” a priority. Even though I’m generally pretty good at that, sometimes the pieces come together too late.
And sometimes, they don’t come together at all.
The thing is, it’s not just the crazy meticulous and detail-oriented brides that make this wedding mistake. Similar to the common cold, no bride is immune, and the only defense is being mindful.
If you’re not, you too could be the bride that missed her wedding.
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Who Is The Bride That Will Miss Her Wedding?
Missing your own wedding doesn’t mean not attending; rather, it means not being present on the actual wedding day. I don’t mean present in the physical sense. I’m talking about mentally and emotionally being at your wedding.
How can you do that?
By letting go. See, the bride that will miss her wedding most likely will have some or all of the following traits:
- Arrogant (not to be confused with “confident”)
- Blame-shifter/Lack of self awareness
If you have any of those traits, you probably have a hard time letting go of things. When something doesn’t go your way, and it’s completely out of your control, you’ll either insist that you can control it or get annoyed that you can’t.
It would be easier to just let go, but letting go isn’t easy for a lot of people. It’s especially difficult for many brides. The fear of not being heard by the venue and the vendors, or having to trust professionals you basically just met is real.
Without letting go of the negative components of the traits listed above, and without releasing that fear and learning to trust, you will be the bride who misses her wedding. You don’t have to be Type A either. These traits are present in the most checked out brides on the planet. Remember, I didn’t say you had to have all of these traits to be that bride.
Trust me, just one of those traits will qualify you just fine.
Planning With This Bride For Her Wedding…
Over the years, I’ve noticed that I don’t really meet my couple until about 6 weeks from the wedding date. That’s when shit gets real, and any personality traits they were hiding, suddenly appear. Just another reason I attempt to establish the “why“‘s of my couples from Day 1 and every wedding planning day following that.
Knowing the motivation behind the thoughts and actions of my couples, does not prepare me for the couple I “get” closer to the wedding date unless they don’t change.
If they stay the same, they’re basically just an amplified version of themselves. This means I’ll know after the first few weeks of wedding planning together if I’m working with a bride who will miss her wedding day or not. That also means I will have plenty of time to work on that lack of being mindful using my amazing wedding planner magic tricks. Typically, those tricks work.
When the bride morphs into a totally different person right around the 6 week countdown, I’m thrown off balance. Admitting that, is very hard for someone like me i.e. a control freak. But, here we are.
How does this bride change? There are a variety of real wedding examples I could share, but they all come back to trying to figure out why she is saying or doing certain things. Why are things that were never an issue, suddenly an issue? Why does this bride care about certain wedding details that never really mattered or still don’t really matter?
Again, I’ll dive deeper into the whole “why” subject in a separate blog, so be sure to sign up for the mailing list here so you don’t miss out.
Wedding planning with this bride is a challenge, whether I notice she’s the bride that will miss her wedding from Day 1 or Day 300. While the length of the challenge is longer when I can peg this bride on Day 1, the challenge is harder with the bride I didn’t expect this from.
Everything Is Wrong On The Wedding Day (Even When It Isn’t)
Both the bride that never changes and the bride that flips the script in the final weeks of wedding planning can be difficult to please. It can get to the point where I feel like I am walking on eggshells. There have been many instances where I questioned what action to take on a wedding day.
Seriously. You can ask my staff how many times I’ve said “I don’t know the right thing to do here.” It’s not often, but everyone on my team has heard me say it once or twice.
The thing is, as the wedding planner, I get blamed for anything and everything that goes wrong. A vendor is late? My fault. Cocktail hour food is bad? My fault. It’s raining? My fault.
See a pattern here?
Since I am a perfectionist and because I take great pride in my work, I don’t want any mistakes on the wedding day. My Type A, OCD personality doesn’t allow me to let go, anymore than my brides with the same disorders are able to. When I tell my brides that I care more about their wedding day than they do, I’m not even half joking.
My favorite question from a couple always comes after the wedding. The question is, “What went wrong that we didn’t know about?” I love that question because, guess what? Stuff goes wrong.
Part of my job is putting out fires, most of which start on the wedding day itself. There is always a sense of urgency because I don’t want my couple to see the smoke.
That is impossible when working with the bride who will miss her wedding.
This bride is looking for the smoke. Maybe she’s convinced that something is just going to go wrong, and if she doesn’t bring it to my attention, I won’t notice it before the venue burns down. Maybe she’s had concerns that she never shared with me during the wedding planning process.
There’s a lot of “maybes”.
Well, you see what you look for. Go searching for a problem, and you’ll get 20 big ones presented to you on a silver platter. Ask “what else could go wrong?” and the universe will respond with, “Hold my beer.”
The bride that looks back on the planning process and sees nothing but a few things that went wrong, instead of the series of things that went right, is the bride that misses her wedding. By focusing on all the bad, you will never ever see the good.
Real Brides Missing Real Weddings
I mentioned earlier in the blog that when this happens, my heart breaks. There is a sense of frustration I feel and the reasons “why” I feel frustrated are many…
One level of frustration comes from having a bride that lets everyone get to her and destroy any chance of her enjoying the wedding. I’ve watched bridesmaids who couldn’t wait to tell the bride about some drama with a guest. These bridesmaids don’t get excited about telling the bride after the wedding about the drama she never knew about. They want to tell her in the moment and who cares if she gets upset?
Well, I care, for one, but whatever.
The thing is, the bride knows exactly what types of people she enlisted as bridesmaids. A solution to this problem is simple: don’t make catty girls who don’t know how to behave part of your wedding day. Unfortunately, by the time the wedding day rolls around, it’s too late to do anything about this and the bride has either made the conscience choice to accept these people for who they are, or has been lying to herself for a long time.
Which brings me to another level of frustration I experience, and that’s seeing people for who they are and not being able to do a damn thing about it. I can see when it’s the jealous bridesmaid or the overbearing future mother in law causing issues with my bride. However, I am not in a position to do anything. I can’t say a word to the offending party, and I’m usually unsuccessful pulling my bride out of this mess as well.
Sometimes the bride that will miss her wedding, is someone who needs no assistance whatsoever in finding or creating wedding day problems. In fact, many of these brides have supportive wedding party and family members, not to mention grooms! The frustration I feel in that instance, comes from watching everyone pushing the bride to enjoy her wedding day, and her flat out choosing to miss it instead.
Yes, it’s a choice.
That frustration of knowing the wedding day is running smoothly, that everything is to the couple’s specifications, only to have the bride question everything from the floor plan she approved, to the processional she herself designed and sent to you…that is a rough feeling of frustration to deal with. Because there was no way, as a wedding planner, to be prepared for those “issues” or any other similar ones.
Knowing that there will never be a post wedding conversation that includes the question “What went wrong that we didn’t know about?” is even worse. That question will never come because what went wrong only matters at the time it’s actually going wrong. The reason for that, ironically, is that it didn’t matter then either…she just told herself it did.
This bride is micromanaging the wedding day so damn hard that she misses it. She’s more concerned about making sure the 6 separate sets of doors in the ballroom are closed to deter guests from leaving the dance floor to go to the bar, than actually dancing with her partner.
Yes, that happened and no, you cannot keep people from alcohol. I finally had to go up to that bride, place my hands on her shoulders, look her dead in the eyes and tell her she was missing her wedding.
Spoiler Alert: It didn’t work.
All of those frustrations and more don’t compare to the frustration I feel when I am watching a bride not be present to enjoy the months of planning. I am helpless and it’s my job to help. Instead, I watch the hours slip by on a day that can never be done over for my bride. When it’s over, in those cases, I wonder what all of the planning was even for.
What was the point? I never know and I never will.
How Not To Be That Bride That Misses Her Wedding Day
The bride more concerned about the closed doors and the floor plan than anything else, and the brides just like her, can’t let go until the wedding is over. Some brides that I’ve planned with, didn’t let things go for weeks. We’re talking follow up calls and emails about things like why the salad was plated at a certain time. These brides don’t want to let go of the wedding, and they don’t have to if they keep finding things (that cannot be changed) to complain about.
Not only do they miss their wedding, they aren’t even going to remember it…not the good stuff anyway. These brides needed to let go before the day even arrived.
And that’s the key. That is how you don’t become this bride. You find a way to trust the professionals you’re working with and you believe that they have your best interests in mind.
I know trusting someone isn’t easy; trusting someone with the one wedding day you have is even harder. You choose to hire people only based on a friend’s recommendation or online reviews or an interview. In the grand scheme of things, it takes much more than that to trust anyone.
But you don’t have a choice.
Could you pick the wrong venue or hire the wrong band? Yes. This happens. Are there ways of dealing with things like this during the wedding planning period? Yes. You might not like the options and you might have to lose some money to deal with problems, but you have to decide what is ultimately going to make your happiest on the wedding day.
This means you cannot go into wedding planning with your guard up and always in defensive-mode. You have to be open about who you are and what you want. There needs to be a release with every vendor you hire where you allow the professionals to do their jobs. Understanding that those people working for you, are invested in the success of your wedding day, will help you trust a lot faster.
Start from Day 1. Go into wedding planning with the mindset that everything is going to work out…and if it doesn’t, there are ways to fix almost everything. Those things that can’t be fixed don’t matter because they can’t be fixed.
I know it sounds simple when it really isn’t, but isn’t it worth trying so that you’re not the bride who misses her wedding day? Wouldn’t you rather be listening to your sister toasting you both, instead of asking your wedding planner why the toasts are being given out of order? Don’t you want to celebrate your love instead of asking what time it is and if everything is still on schedule?
It isn’t about the guest that wants to change where they are sitting, or the photobooth that is in a different area than you imagined. It’s about two people that found each other and never want to be apart. That is the only detail you shouldn’t let go of…
And it’s the only one that won’t go wrong. Trust me.