Be kind. Demand kindness.

You may have watched a variety of bridal shows on television. I am not referring to the bridezilla show that uses actors to highlight how selfish and insensitive some brides can be. I am referring to real bridal situations such as Say Yes to the Dress and other reality shows. This is a warning.

You’ve seen mothers, aunts, sisters, bridesmaids, friends and the odd male ruin the moment or taint forever with arguments and insults the wedding visions of otherwise happy, sometimes emotionally fragile brides. They openly dis the bride, her choices, her vision, and thus ruin an otherwise joyful moment for the very queen of this event.

Everyone knows that the wedding is 95% the bride’s day, including all the preparations for it up to the moment she rides off into the sunset with her loving husband. Why some self-absorbed, mean spirited people can’t be kind, rather than narcissistic and intensely insensitive, is beyond me.

Yes, sometimes parents must control the spending of a carefree daughter. Other parents offer daughters thousands of dollars is she elopes or opts for a smaller, less expensive wedding, but even then, they try to please the bride. In general, however, weddings, funerals and will readings are highly charged and not without selfish detractors.

Advice to the Bride: before you go into an event such as shopping for your wedding gown or for your bridesmaid’s dresses, purchasing flowers, catering or interviewing a suitable officiant, think it through. Invite along people who know what you like, not what they think you should choose. Invite supportive, understanding friends. If necessary, tell them the rules before you get in the car. If they do not agree, drive away without them. A person who cannot be kind has no place on your support team helping to make your dream come true.

Regarding how people might react to this advice, Mom always said, “Hope for the better. Expect the worst.” Better yet, be careful who you invite to help and how you tell them their role on your team.

Your day, your way!