Pulling The Card

All through wedding planning I have been super reluctant to pull the I’m-The-Bride (and therefore I should get extra stuff and treated like a Somebody) card. When I went into bridal stores and the ladies asked who the bride was I felt weird (how bizarre, right? I am, indeed, the bride). If I was with friends or family I didn’t want to be singled out, or make anyone feel like they weren’t part of the special day too. When I went bridesmaid dress shopping in Seattle and Chicago I was totally pumped to go shopping when all of the attention would be on my friends and not on me. Yet – the saleswomen still asked who the bride was, still wanted to talk to me about my dress, the wedding, etc. And I so did not. I wanted to sit and watch my best friends try on a handful of dresses, take pictures, and play dress up with people who were not me.

I’m terrified of being the person who is all “Here comes the briiiiiiide!!” but at the same time I actually do think a few things should go my way. For example, my family is flying in to come to my dress fitting. They weren’t there when I picked out my dress and they are really excited to be part of the dress shopping experience. My dress was supposed to be in late Jan/early Feb. In the last week of Jan I called the store to check if my dress was in. I had not spoken to anyone since I bought my dress, but I was treated like an anxious bride who was impatient to play princess. I was told that they would call me when it came in, and I “just needed to be patient.” I bought my dress in August, I think I’m doing pretty good. When I tried to schedule my fitting for the weekend my parents are flying in (also to meet Kamel’s parents for the first time), I was told I couldn’t make any appointments – even tentative ones before my dress had actually arrived. Worst case scenario is my family arrives and I will not have been able to get my appointment for that weekend. That’s a pretty messed up worst case scenario.

Then, I went to book a hotel room – in our reception hotel – for my three bridesmaids and I for the night before the wedding. That way, we’re all there, we get to have a pre-wedding sleep over then wake up, get ready and go to our hair appointments at 9am. The first time I called they said they were out of the rooms I needed to sleep 4 people. I was confused because we had reserved a block of discounted rooms, so there should have been plenty. When I called my dad to double check this fact he asked if I had told them I was the bride. I had – but I had mumbled it quickly, almost as an apology.Β  I didn’t want to seem too pushy or demanding. But I also wanted a room for my best friends and I. Then – I called the hotel directly (vs the big phone scheduling database) and although they had rooms magically available, they ended up charging me 60 extra dollars because I had more than 2 adults in the room. Really? My family is paying thousands of dollars and booking up 20+ of your rooms, and I really need to be charged extra money for using up all of the bed space? I really did feel like, “I’m the fucking bride, are you kidding me?”

I think demanding brides are obnoxious. People who think the world revolves around them are exhausting. And with weddings, the day is not just for the bride, it’s also for the families, the guests, the groom, etc. But! Has the wedding industry been trained to only adhere to the loudest girl in the poofiest dress? I don’t think scheduling a fitting in advance because I have special circumstances really puts that many people out, nor do I think it’s totally crazy to get a 60 dollar discount on a hotel room. I’ve heard that saying xyz is for a wedding makes the price sky-rocket, but can it also be true that if you say “No. I am the bride, and I need it this way” people will jump to your request and otherwise you’re going to get brushed aside?

When is it appropriate, if ever, to pull the I’m The Bride Card? At what point will it not evoke an eye roll and the mouthing of the words “Bride-zilla”? And have any of you gotten to the point where it was necessary?

25 thoughts on “Pulling The Card”

  1. Oh, I had the hardest time with this. The first time I actually tried on a dress, I said, “Wow, I look like a BRIDE. This is CREEPY.” The store owner seemed offended that I used the term “creepy” but it really did just feel weird. Me? A “bride”??

    I think in interactions with vendors I just said “I’m getting married” but that might have been because of the awkwardness around 2 brides (“I’m one of the brides,” or “I’m a bride” doesn’t have the oomph).

    But beyond that: getting married doesn’t (shouldn’t?) turn you into a whole different person (I was a Human but now I’m a Bride) – you should still just be a person (you!) who is getting married. Not sure why it’s so hard to hold onto that, but with all the vendors and questions and decisions, it really can be.

  2. Don’t think of it as “I’m the bride.” Think of it as, “I am the person paying you $$$ for a service.” It’s okay to negotiate with a business. People think ‘Bridezilla’ when a girl is shrill, or mean, or needs to have exactly 128 rosebuds, not 127. If someone thinks of that term just because you want to make an appointment or book a room, screw ’em!

    Be calm, explain the situation, allude to the shear amount of money you’re paying them. You are not just a bride here, you’re a paying customer. Come at it from that mindset.

  3. I haven’t actually said the “B” word about myself in this context. I think that you can *definitely* negotiate with the hotel about them charging you extra for the extra people. I’d call them and say what you said about funding all of these other rooms and is this the absolute best they can do for you. If they say it is, ask to speak with someone who can make that decision.

    Most hotel employees can use a 10% discount and are happy to, but you have to talk w/ a manager to get more of a discount, which they’ll usually do, especially since you’re bringing a lot of business.

    And that is absolute crap about your dress. I would remain calm, but let them know in no uncertain terms that you need an estimate of when the dress will arrive and that you had a good experience with them earlier and would hate to have anything color that for either of you. You’re happy to be low-maintenance, but it would help to know what to expect since you’re trying to do this while dealing with geographical challenges.

    I’d report them if they keep up the attitude.

    I’m actually doing everything I can to avoid it–we’re dealing with a lot of vendors thru C’s family business for a discount. I expect that there will be a tantrum at one point, but I think it’ll be with my family. πŸ™‚

    1. YES! Totally agree with Jo. Youre bringing the hotel a lot of business, a manager will hopefully see that. And the dress deal…wtf? Again, agree with Jo :)) And you are so worthy to bring out the ‘B’ word in desperate times of need like these. If they judge you, ef them, as long as you get what you need πŸ˜‰

  4. oh man…it’s SO circular…you know? some brides, some time ago, got together and were hella bitchy. then they exploited the bridezilla image with cartoons and stories and shows…now the “industry” is thinking that all weddings are going to be nonsense with all brides being of the “from-hell” variety and there’s no way to escape it, except just not BLOWING up at someone who’s downplaying the weddingness of it all.

    call the hotel back…instead of saying “I’m the bride” say something like “My family and I specifically chose to book 20+ rooms with you at a discounted rate for my wedding and I’m a little upset that I’m being charged extra to have my bridesmaids and I together in a room the night before the wedding…I’ll speak to a manager if necessary.” yeah?

    1. I think Lizzie is dead on with what you need to say.

      You definitely need to speak up for yourself. I hate pulling out the “bride” card personally. But I don’t mind pulling out the “I’m paying tons of money and I have some simple requests that are not too outrageous to have met.” Unfortuately the whole world is trained that the “squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

  5. This posts SPEAKS to me!! I hate pulling the “I’m the bride” card and I really haven’t thus far. As long as all my bridal party shows up looking nice I don’t really care how their hair is done or if their shoes match each other. My bridesmaids keep telling me “it’s your decision it’s your wedding” but pulling the “I’m the Bride” card just isn’t me. In reality it’s more important to me that they like what they’re wearing and are comfortable with the way their hair is done, etc. I have been decisive and firm about things that are important to me but I don’t think that makes me a bridezilla. I do believe they exist but not every bride with a strong opinion should be labeled as one!
    In your case, I think you need to put your foot down. Call the hotel back and tell them you are NOT paying that fee! If all else fails tell them there’s now only going to be two of you, it doesn’t concern them anyways! πŸ˜‰ I agree with Jenni and other who said that you are paying for a service and deserve the best, wedding or not.

  6. Oy. I felt the same way the entire time. Even with my own family. I think it was the week before the wedding before I finally said “Look. This is MY WEDDING. Mine. It is not about you. Get over it.” Sadly, I still feel ashamed for it.

    One of Jon’s cousins though … woo, she was awesome. When we got to the hotel we’d booked rooms at, the desk clerk gave us some trouble (there were a group of 10 rooms that showed up at 6pm, when check in was 3pm). Someone called Nydia just to get the reservation name, and she marched herself downstairs and said (pretty damn forcefully) “Look. I’m the bride. More importantly, I’m the one who is paying to fill your rooms. DO WHAT I WANT.” (Also known as, give us our rooms, plz.)

    Boy, did it work.

    And this from a bride who had a 5 minute ceremony in the dress she’d worn in her sister’s wedding. Pretty much as anti-bridezilla as you can get. =)

  7. This is so much more than being the BRIDE. You are a person and you are giving someone a lot of money and no matter what your “title” is, they should treat you with courtesy and respect. It’s okay to be assertive and ask for what you deserve and if they think that you’re being a bridezilla, tell them to SUCK IT.

    Wedding planning made me a stronger person, I am so much better about asking for what (within reason) I want and not feeling bad about it even if I have to put on my bitch pants every now and then.

    1. I totally own a pair of those! mine are in coral. πŸ˜‰ It’s funny beacuse sticking up for other people is SO EASY. I will shank a bitch for fucking with my mom, or my friends, or STRANGERS (I yell at creepy men who are bothering moms on the street, oh yes I do! And then kamel has to come and tell me to get back in the car). But for me? I’m all “no no no… I’m not dying of thrist, here have MY water…” What the fuck is that? It’s so annoying! I’m annoyed at other people who do that and now I’m doing it myself. Whhhyyy?

  8. I don’t think you even need to pull the I’m-the-bride card. I think you need to pull the I’m-a-paying-customer card. Those both sound like reasonable requests and to make them firmly does not make you a bitch, regardless of bride status.
    And really, the term bridezilla should just go away, yes? Let us ladies out from between the rock and that damn hard place.

  9. I agree with all of the suggestions! It’s definitely not pulling the bride card, it’s pulling the I’m-paying-you-a-lot-of-money-for-something-and-I expect-the-best card.

  10. But is it ever ok to pull it? Is it ever ok to be all “this is my special day!!” I feel like it’s kind of not. At least with vendors. But maybe with pushy family it’s ok to make it clear that this is your wedding, and they already got to have their wedding and blahblah. I haven’t done this, and I don’t think I will but is this ever acceptable?

    1. I would pull the “I am getting married” card with fam. As in, this is our wedding and this is what we’ve decided. For ex. I’m sorry you want to invite your 4th cousin mom, but Mr. Beagle and I want to keep it to immediate family only. We are the ones getting married, and this is our final decision.

  11. I don’t remember pulling the “I’m the bride” card much at all. I DO, however, remember being particularly . . . insistent when it came to certain things. I don’t believe in being mean, but I do believe in getting what I expect I’m supposed to get . . . regardless of whether or not I’m the bride. And that hotel issue? Uh-uh. If I was a “regular” person who had booked those rooms, I certainly would expect to get a room without the upcharge. Why would things be any different for me as the bride??? (Or, you can end up in a situation like we were, where we did pay more, but got a sweet upgrade.)

    My point is, I don’t really think it’s okay to play the bride card unless other people don’t play fair. Then it’s ON.

  12. This makes me think of something sorta related.

    My bridesmaid/bff/all-around-awesome-chica is the daughter of a judge. (The judge who married us, actually!) A few years back, she had an apartment snafu. She shared an apartment with a friend, who when their lease was up was moving, and she wanted to stay in the same neighborhood, preferably in the same building or one nearby (owned by the same people). Right around that time, there was a bat situation that lead to her needing a rabies vaccination.

    Anyway, I can’t remember the specifics, but they tried to dick her around when it came time to get a new apartment/lease, after all the crap she went through with the bat, etc. She HATES pulling the “MY DAD IS A JUDGE” card, but she pulled it here.

    It’s sort of the same idea. Except, as others have pointed out, you’re a paying customer who happens to be the bride. And you are getting dicked around.

    As a caveat, however, I’ve found that it’s good to go by “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” This is SO true. Be nice about it. Say you’re not trying to be a “bridezilla”, and you don’t want to pull the “I’m the bride” card, because you think that’s really uncool, but, “I have family flying in specifically for this, and we’re trying to plan the weekend. I understand why you have this rule, but I really need to know because people are spending a lot of money to be here for my fitting. It’s not just me that I need to plan around.” Or something. (And something similar for the hotel. You get the idea.)

    If they still dick you around, that’s when you go a little more aggressive. But usually if you’re sweet (forceful, but sweet), you can get what you want. I had a customer service rep from Amazon eating out of my hand two weeks before my wedding using this tactic.

    Good luck. πŸ™‚ And keep us posted!

  13. I agree with all of the above, but just to offer another tactic, do you have any friends who could be your “opinion enforcer”? It doesn’t work in all situations, but I’m allergic to confrontation so I’ve made best friends with several women who just love to confront people AND love me, so they’re happy to step up and tell someone LOOK, she’s getting married, please just do what she wants! Its working for me so far. I have one friend whose only wedding day job is to keep me away from anyone or anything that’s stressing me out or pissing me off, and she’s actually quite excited about being my bride bouncer. Maybe this only works if you have feisty friends…

  14. As a wedding vendor, I’m going to say that you should never *need* to pull the I’m the bride card with vendors. Anyone who works in the wedding industry should know what a wedding day is and how much it means. And they should be doing everything in their power to accommodate you because that is how they make their income. As far as the dress shop goes that just sounds like bad customer service with a dash of condescension. You don’t need to be patient, you’ve been patient. They should be thanking you for your patients and looking into the matter for you, and getting back to you ASAP. Rather than the ‘I’m the Bride’ card, I’d be pulling the ‘I’m a writer’ card and telling them that you love writing reviews for multiple websites on the internet.

    I also used to manage a B&B for a living, and the kind of fee your talking about is standard, but it is also just as standard for someone to call bullshit (in a nice way) and get that fee taken off. Just a hey, seeing as we’re sending you thousands of dollars in business I’m a little offended that you’re nickel diming me for wanting to spend my pre-wedding night with my best ladies. (uneless they serve breakfast and are expecting extra mouths to feed. Then it makes a bit more since)

  15. This reminds me of when I took my maid of honor bridesmaid dress shopping… She handed me dress after dress that she liked, and the saleswoman took one look at me with a pile of dresses in my arms, turned to my MOH and said “so you are obviously the bride!!”

  16. I agree with everyone who commented already, and felt similarly awkward with my status as The Bride. However. When I was booking lodging for our honeymoon (B & Bs + a castle in Ireland), I made sure to mention each time that I was booking for our honeymoon and we got several lovely bottles of wine and an upgrade at the castle as a result. So also there’s that.

  17. Oh, I am this friend for people! (As a result, reading these people being rude to Lauren is making my blood boil!!)

    Specifically, when my bf got married, as Best Lady/MOH I just steered Rae around all day, avoiding cranky people and making decisions for her when she get that deer in the headlights look. (Making decisions, in general, is *not* her thing.)

    Anyway, I think that’s the most important job on a wedding day, if your a bridesmaid or whateves: keep anxiety inducing situations as far away as possible from the bride.

  18. a bit late to the party but I want to agree, you don’t need to pull the bride card, just the paying customer one. I tend to think there’s not really ever a time that it’s a great idea to pull the bride card on a vendor, at least not in a demanding way. Announcing you’re the bride when calling, of course. But I think it rankles too much if you use it to muscle someone. Pointing out that you are dropping thousands of dollars into their business I think has much better effect.

    anyway I really only wanted to chime in to say, can’t you just make the reservation for 2 in that room? and, umm, end up with 4 spending the night? I guess that’s not the most ethical thing to do.. but I’m pretty sure that’s what I did! sort of accidentally, I mean I wasn’t sure how many of my ladies would actually end up sharing the room, so I just put down 2 at first. I don’t think they ever charged me, if they even knew. but I kind of loved our hotel because as the bride I got bumped automatically up to a suite for the price of a regular room. soooo probably the extra people would not have been an issue anyway.

    1. So what happened originally was they asked me “how many in a room?” and i have never had any extra charge for filling bed space before. Especially not at nice hotels. There are two beds that are big…. 4 people seems normal… now 5,6,7 I would understand the extra charge.

      What I’m planning on doing, instead of calling back and making a fuss, is see what I can do at check in and do it in a very nice way. Say that I’m getting married the next day and oh isn’t this fun and I was wondering, since we’re paying so much for all of the other things in the wedding and having the reception here if it was at all possible to get the extra charge waived, and if not ask if it’s possible to get a complimentary upgrade. This way I’m handling a person one on one vs the poor girl who just happened to pick up the phone and seemed rather new when I booked my original reservation. And who can say no to my sweet bridal smile anyway, really? πŸ™‚

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