Avoiding Bridezilla: Tips for the Beading Bride

Mar 11, 2008



Certainly many of you have come in contact with brides. Maybe you were a bride, or maybe you know one. And from what I've sussed, the bridal experience is, well, sometimes worlds away from what a wedding is actually for. I figure there's a fine line between “bridal” and “wedding”: Weddings involve two people, and, well, bridal revolves around one. It's not always a bad thing, but it can get out of control.


Me, for instance, twenty years ago--As soon as that ring hit my finger I hopped aboard the bridal train with abandon, my mom shoveling the coal into the fire. Choo choo--dress! Choo choo--veil! Choo choo--bouquet! Choo choo--banquet hall! Choo chooka choo--Bridezilla! It frightened my now-husband so much he cancelled the wedding. We got married just a few months later, but I think it was wise that he put the brakes on so we could concentrate on the celebration of our marriage, not all the frippery surrounding it. Having that reality check gave me space to look at the big picture and allowed me to have a lot more fun at the wedding—we were actually one of the last to toddle out the door at the end of the party.

Bridezilla Train Conductor and Engineer 

It's a nice notion—to breathe easy and avoid that sneaky Bridezilla effect—but the reality is, if you're planning a wedding that involves more than a midnight climb out the window and a visit to the J.O.P., you're going to need to dip your toe in the bridal waters a little bit. As a creative person, you might as well as make the experience meaningful and memorable rather than dizzyingly commercial and impersonal.

I've thrown lots of bridal bead parties in the last few years and learned quite a bit about how a modern bride can enjoy the experience rather than be whomped by it. And certainly, adding your beading talents into the mix is a great way to personalize a wedding.

  • Recruit moms, aunts, grandmas, sisters, friends, workmates, or anyone you know to assist in making your trousseau. Think about throwing your own bead party with your bridesmaids and have them make their own wedding jewelry in a colorway that matches their dresses. Maybe turn it into a bachelorette party? Warning: Don't bring out the vino until they've finished their projects!

  • If you're going to bead an heirloom-quality bridal piece like a veil, dress, or piece of jewelry, make up a portable tray with enough beads and supplies for just that one project. Put the tray by the couch so when you have some downtime you can bead. Never put more than one project in the tray, or you might feel overwhelmed. Always have bonbons nearby.

  • Count on help from your wedding planner, dressmaker, hairstylist, and florist for putting the finishing touches on your beaded projects. You can get the ball rolling, and they can finish it up for you.

  • Realize that you probably won't get everything crossed off your list--and that's okay! Just prioritize your list of beaded wedding projects and work on them from the top down.

Most importantly, remember that those attending your wedding are more eager to support and celebrate your new marriage than they are to judge the perfection of your accoutrement. Enjoy yourself—it's your (and your spouse's) day! 

Jean Campbell writes about beading and life every Wednesday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Jean, please post them on the website. Thanks!

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AndreaM226 wrote
on Mar 12, 2008 2:44 PM
I just love Jean Campbell's stories - I look forward to them and they always make me laugh - I feel as though she is writing about me - she strikes such a common cord.
MaryH@172 wrote
on Mar 12, 2008 3:00 PM
My true feeling is that "bridezilla" is caused by the stress of planning something larger than your experience. The best way to avoid it is to help others plan theirs, and plan ahead. Make decisions and jewelry long before you ever get engaged. Bring back the trousseau! And give yourself a long engagement.
JoyceB@38 wrote
on Mar 12, 2008 3:57 PM
Jean - I absolutely love your sense of humor! I meant to comment on the post about metal allergies, but got busy. I don't have an allergy, just wacky pH that causes metal to tarnish badly. Now, I dab on a medium coat of "Triple Thick", let dry, no more black marks on my favorite blouses! -Joyce B., NC
Anonymous wrote
on Mar 12, 2008 4:07 PM
I think the advice you gave that I love the most is, "Always have bonbons nearby." Forget wedding planning. That can be said for just about any situation in life, can't it? Life goes better with chocolate!!! ; )
RitaM@21 wrote
on Mar 12, 2008 4:35 PM
This is the best beading site on the web. Always enjoy my daily visits here! I'd like to get some ideas on how to "make up a portable tray." Thanks for any advice you can offer. Thanks, Rita M., FL
Sally322 wrote
on Mar 12, 2008 8:06 PM
Please tell me more about the product "Triple Thick"...have never heard of it. Thank you.
AmyCM wrote
on Mar 13, 2008 6:12 AM
>>This is the best beading site on the web. Always enjoy my daily visits here! I'd like to get some ideas on how to "make up a portable tray." Thanks for any advice you can offer. Thanks, Rita M., FL

Comment by: Rita M | March 12, 2008<<
Hi Rita,
I love my portable beading case--I take my beads with me everywhere--it is the only way I get things done. My husband made a wood insert for a gun case, but left the foam on the other side. I can put my bead containers on one side and then seal them all simply by closing the case. I can store my bead project underneath the foam for instant access. Amy
IvonaP wrote
on Mar 13, 2008 8:15 AM
hi there!
my wedding is in 9 days and i'm trying not to turn into a bridezilla :D it's a small wedding (40 people) but it feels like 400 (i'm doing everything myself... plus i had quite a lot of trouble with the suppliers so it got a bit overwhelming... oh, anyways, i'm a crazy beader (as you can see here: http://imnium.deviantart.com/) but it looks like my wedding necklace is going to be very simple after all. a more elaborate piece simply wouldn't go with the gown. unfortunately i had no time to make beaded decorations...
and thank you for providing interesting reading material every day! :*
SueH@63 wrote
on Mar 13, 2008 12:02 PM
I used to make angels for pins and ornaments out of gold wire and pearls. I do not have the pattern and my memory is short. Anyone have the directions?
NancyB@5599 wrote
on Mar 18, 2008 3:11 PM
Two of my big comissions were for weddings. I had a lovely time. I do think it best to see the dress before starting anything. I shopped for the bead colours with the bride and the mother of the groom. Beware though, I spent ages making an intricate bracelet for a bride who was wearing a '50s dress, only to find that the dressmaker made it too small.
Luckily the bride loved the bracelet and wore it anyway, wwith another dress. I do find weddings emotionally difficult.