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Written by Anyonita Green Last updated: October 25, 2014
An innate need to please everyone while wedding planning creates stress for brides and leads to the Martyr Syndrome. In this article, we’ll discuss this growing trend and provide practical advice to avoid falling prey to its pitfalls, as well as empowering you with the confidence to put your foot down and plan your wedding the way you want it.
A recent survey of over 2,000 mums in Britain revealed that the average woman gets less than 20 minutes to herself each day. Although you may not be a mum, there is a trend and urge amongst women to constantly spread yourself too thinly. Taking on work or tasks that you may not have time to complete, simply because someone has asked you to do so is a growing epidemic in the UK.
In an interview earlier this year, Psychologist Emma Kenny explained, ‘We’ve been hard-wired to put everyone else before ourselves. It’s partly down to cultural stereotypes of women as “the caregiver” and partly due to our increasingly busy lives.’ As we grow busier as a society, we find ourselves giving in or simply fulfilling tasks out of a sense of feigned obligation. In our Confetti forums, we hear tale after tale of our brides feeling stressed and pressured by the duties of wedding planning, particularly those duties that stem from requests from family and friends and the need to please everyone.
If you find yourself constantly putting yourself last and planning your wedding around what your mum or future mum-in-law wants, you might be a bride-to-be with Martyr Syndrome. Follow these simple steps for tips on how to knock the feeling of martyrdom on its head and take charge of your big day.
When planning your wedding, you’ll find that everyone will have an opinion, especially your mum and future mum-in-law. In fact, issues with mums during planning is one of the most reported stresses of wedding preparations. (Read what our brides have to say about meddling mums and join the conversation.) As difficult as it can be, remember that your wedding is about one thing: the love you and your intended have for one another. Your wedding should reflect the wishes you and your soon-to-be spouse have and no one else’s. Overcome wedding planning guilt by accepting that it is your day and acknowledging to your mum, future mum-in-law, chief bridesmaids or anyone else hellbent on meddling that while their opinions are appreciated, you and your fiance will have the final say.
Your bridesmaids are there to be your support system through the planning process, and as such, they should assist you; not give you unnecessary agro or ultimatums! Naturally, each bridesmaid will have an opinion on everything from your dress to her own, but remember, you have a vision for your wedding day and there’s nothing wrong with making that vision a priority. A rising trend regarding bridesmaid gowns is to choose one set colour and allow your girls to find dresses that accentuate their individual shapes and flatter their curves in the chosen shade. This way they’ll feel confident and comfortable on the day and you’ll be spared the stress of tantrums and hurt feelings when they don’t get their way.
Having a firm hand with your wedding plans, doesn’t mean you have to micromanage the planning process. Trust some of the tasks to family members who are itching to help out such as your mum, future mum-in-law, bridesmaids and even Mr Right. Even if they don’t do things 100 percent the same way you would, relinquishing control is healthy and a good way to set the tone for teamwork and equal share of chores and responsibility in your marriage.
One of our lovely Twitter followers revealed that she divvied up wedding tasks and had great success in doing so! She suggests that when divvying up the tasks, brides should give everyone wanting to be involved a job that seems important to them so that they’ll want to take ownership of it and have ownership over an aspect of the day. We loved this diplomatic approach and think it could work really well.
The last thing you can do to ensure you’re not becoming a wedding plan martyr is to remember to rest. About a month or two before W Day, train yourself to get proper rest. An adequate amount of rest can help to make your skin radiant and free of splotches and dark circles. It’ll keep you cooperative and on your toes for dealing with wedding day stress. Plus, the NHS says that proper sleep can help prevent cancer, heart attacks and even type 2 diabetes. If that’s not a good reason to get a decent amount of shut eye, we don’t know what is!
As you continue in your wedding planning journey, just remember that the day you’re working hard to make special is your day. If you can’t put your and your intended’s vision first on your wedding day, when can you? Don’t feel guilty for striving for your idea of perfection; hopefully, you’ll only get married once!