Friday, August 23, 2013

Luv, Bridezilla: a bride's top ten pre-wedding pet peeves

As a bride who has been planning her wedding for 11 months, and who is less than 2 months away from the big day, I have had my share of freak-out bridezilla moments. I also have 5 other weddings to attend in the next 8 months, so I have had many discussions and venting sessions with many of those brides (and grooms)! I can only say to my family, friends, and wedding party: with 1 month, 3 weeks, and 6 days to go, don't expect me to get any less intense, stressed out, or crazy…because I won't! ;)

After a pretty intense and dramatic past two weeks, I have decided to compile a list of pre-wedding pet peeves from my own experiences, the experiences of friends, and from those I've read and heard about. A bride deals with so many stresses right up until the wedding day, and the following things only contribute to her stress, anxiety, and bridezilla tendencies!

Disclaimer: This post is meant to be humorous and lighthearted while addressing some things that can truly stress a bride out. Please don't be offended if you've done any of the things on the list. I was seriously laughing the whole time I wrote this!

10. Please don't tell me how to plan my wedding. This includes friends, wedding party members, family, and especially mothers and mother-in-laws. 

One of my friends does not want cake at her wedding. She and her fiance hate cake. They want pie. Her mom thinks she "needs" a cake. Dude, let them eat cake pie.

Also, if a bride is worried about budget and openly asks for advice or commentary on the subject, it's one thing...but telling her that you planned your whole wedding for only a dollar is not something she wants to hear. You're just making her feel guilty. Don't make her feel guiltyC'mon.

9. Don't be mean. Really.

One of my friends told me the other night that the pastor at her old church told her he didn't want to go to their wedding, especially if they were serving crappy food. Um, really? Yeah, you're not invited. 

But seriously...the bride is under so much stress as it is. She's dealing with planning, pleasing everyone, saving money, and probably killing herself to get into shape. Trust me, you don't want to mess with a starving, PMSing, muscle-building girl.

8. Don't expect to get drunk at the reception. I will hurt you...and I will make sure the bartender only serves you O'Doul's.

7. If you are in the wedding party, please do not drastically change your look before consulting me first. This includes (but is not limited to): shaving your beard, shaving your head, dyeing your hair, getting a face tattoo, etc. 

So what? I'm vain. I care about my wedding photos. I want everyone in my wedding party to look good. I admit it. But honestly...doing something drastic without talking to me first can and will give me a nervous breakdown. It's not like I'd be able to stop you...but I could kick you out of the wedding. ;) Only (slightly) kidding. Seriously though...the wedding day is about the bride...and if you have a pink mohawk and ginormous ear gauges, you're going to be drawing attention to yourself and away from the bride. You will make her cry.

6. Please stop asking me how wedding planning is going. Do you really want to hear about the drama with the looney bridesmaid or the overbearing relative? If so, I will talk your ear off!

Honestly, this is something people ask me everyday. Not a lot has changed since the last time they asked. Basically, there are a lot of things to stress about at the beginning of the planning process, and there are a lot of things to stress about toward the end of the process...which you literally cannot do anything about until closer to the big day. 

5. Please stop telling me that it's the marriage that counts. This includes "All that matters is that you and [enter fiance's name here] are getting married," "Don't stress over the wedding day because what's important is that you're marrying each other." Um, duhI know that. But I obviously care about the actual ceremony and reception...otherwise we would have just gotten married at the courthouse! 

I'm not stupid. I know that the wedding only lasts one day and that the marriage is forever, but the wedding day is the day of our marriage celebration. It's something that will be documented in photos, videos, and my heart. It's not wrong for me to want everything to go smoothly or perfectly. So many little girls dream about their (fairytale) weddings from a very young age, and I'm no different. I want my wedding to be everything I dreamed I am going to stress. Instead of reminding me of something I already know, try comforting me or asking if there's anything you can do to help with the situation. That would actually make me feel better.

4. Please RSVP in a timely manner (and please do it the way the bride requested you to). That means, if you just verbally tell the bride, or her mother, or her mother-in-law, or the groom, that's not enough. You still have to mail in the RSVP card, RSVP online, etc. Yes there may be a deadline, but please do not wait until the very last minute to do so. 

The bride is counting on getting an accurate head count as soon as possible so she can relay this to the vendors and plan accordingly. Often times, there are other guests that the bride and groom really want to invite but can't until they are sure there's room. The sooner you do it, the better. If you know for sure that you can or can't go, RSVP right away. Please. I'm begging you. K, thanks.

3. If their name isn't included on the invitation envelope, please don't ask me if you can bring them! This includes: a guest, your significant other, and your kids. 

Traditional wedding etiquette dictates that only the names on the inner envelope of the invitation are invited to the wedding. That means if there's no "plus one" or "guest," then you aren't supposed to bring anybody. If your kids' names aren't listed, then they're not invited. The bride should invite your significant other if you are married, engaged, or living with him/her...but otherwise the bride doesn't technically have to invite your significant other or kids.

2. Please don't ask me if you're invited to the wedding. This includes: hinting at, blatantly asking, and expecting to be invited. I just talked to a friend who told me somebody said to her "See you at your wedding!" Homegirl's totally not invited. Awk-ward! 

It is understandable to want to be invited to a wedding, but the last thing a bride needs (when she's already got parents and future in-laws breathing down her neck) is for people to pressure her more. I think that the guest list is actually one of the most stressful things about wedding planning. It is so hard to include everyone when you have large families (on both sides), friends, acquaintances, co-workers, etc. It's not that the bride doesn't want to invite's just that she can't.

1. Let me freak out! I know I'm being demanding. I know I'm a bridezilla. I know I'm emotional. I know I'm being unreasonable. Just let me! 

I've been a bridesmaid too. I too have been on the receiving end.

Please know that I don't plan on being like this for the rest of my life. I don't plan on getting married again. This is just my one special day that I've dreamed of since I was a little girl, that I've planned for the past year, that I've spent thousands of dollars on. Please just be patient with me and support me so that I can relax and be as stress-free as possible. I promise I'll make it up to you...after the wedding. :)

:) And before you complain about me, just be glad I'm not her:

the Bridezilla

This one's a wedding party exclusive: Please consider everything before committing to being in the wedding. It's okay to say no! One of my good friends from high school was completely upfront with me and told me that she couldn't commit to being a bridesmaid due to distance, finances, and time. I completely appreciated her for being honest with me.

Let's face it. Being a bridesmaid, groomsman, Best Man, or Maid/Matron of Honor is a time-consuming and expensive commitment. You might have to shell out hundreds of dollars for clothing, alterations, shoes, rentals, jewelry, hair, makeup, gifts, etc. You may also be expected to help plan showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and more. Please consider all these things. If you have any concerns (finances, time, distance, etc.) be upfront about it with the bride/groom. Ask what the expected financial and schedule commitments will be. He/she will probably be more than willing to work with you.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Recipe: Low-Carb Sugar-Free Lemon Bars

I love a good lemon bar, but they are typically packed full of carbs, sugar, and calories. I decided to research a low-carb, sugar-free version, and found many. Here is a combination of the ones I found using ingredients I had on hand! If you ever need to make anything that requires a crust, a good alternative is to use almond flour. I make my own from finely ground almonds! In this recipe, heavy cream is substituted with non-fat plain Greek yogurt. I also made my own powdered Splenda for the first time. (Very excited about this!)

Here is the recipe. Only 95 calories and 5 grams of carbs per bar!