I never thought I would be that girl: you know, the one who freaks out about flower arrangements or table settings and becomes near fanatical about their level of personal fitness. But weddings make people crazy. Here’s how I discovered I had lost my mind—and how managed to tame the bridezilla within.

Bridezilla diaries: Pressure cooker
Besides Olivia Pope, I don’t know a lot of people who are good under pressure. (I’m certainly not one of them!) Within five minutes of being engaged, it was all “Where are you getting married?” “Have you set a date?” “What does the dress look like?” Which I could handle.

But then I discovered Style Me Pretty, which is essentially wedding porn. I spent many late nights lurking whimsical hipster weddings filled with things like individual antique keys (which indicates the table number of each guest) or Where’s Waldo impersonators for photo ops (I’m not even kidding). For one union, in honour of The Notebook, the bride’s favourite movie, the groom inflated hundreds of plastic swans on the dance floor.

Plus, the dress—can we talk about the dress for a second? Choosing a garment that will become an iconic representation of the story of your life it not exactly easy. Say Yes to the Dress makes it look like you try on one gown and it’s perfect, and then a single tear drops down your cheek as angels sing and fairies dance. It took me seven bridal stores and literally a hundred dresses to find the one—I was so late in the game that one bridal consultant told me to not even look at Jenny Packham gowns (“They take eight months for delivery, and you’re wedding is in seven” she pointed out.) I settled on a very beautiful Nicole Miller sheath, and guzzled my celebratory glass of champagne in a fit of exhaustion.

Read more of the bridezilla diaries on the next page…

Bridezilla diaries: The moment I realized I was crazy

It started with an unflattering iPhone shot of me in my dress at a fitting. “Do I actually look like that?” I asked my mother in horror. While she insisted that the dress is perfect, and I look perfect in it, I had this nagging feeling at the back of my head. I decided that I needed to drop some weight—fast. As I scoured the net for diet plans, a realization of insanity came sometime around the time I started Googling “Anne Hathaway, Les Mis, Paste diet.” Was I really so crazy that I was considering eating two squares of paste a day to look like an impoverished French prostitute? Around that same time, the dreams started. I was a ghost, and ghost me was haunting houses wearing my wedding dress. I was officially cracking up.

Bridezilla diaries: How I’m fixing it

The first stage to any recovery is admitting that you have a problem. First, I had to address the event itself: clearly, planning it alone was a mistake, so we enlisted Emilia Staples, an incredible wedding planner, to alleviate the burden (and help us stay on budget!). When I mention things like inflatable swans on the dance floor, my family laughs and tells me how lame that is. (“They must be overcompensating for something,” says my fiancé).

As for the weight thing—I still want to lose some, but I want to do it safely. I started working with Charles Lin at Bloor Fitness in Toronto, who is helping me tone up in a way that will last. “You need to have smart goals to achieve weight loss,” he says. “You have to define what you want, then find a way to measure your progress. And you have to be realistic—losing 30 lbs in a month will set you up for failure, whereas if you have an achievable timeline, you can reach your goals more easily.” Lin has me lifting weights, circuit training, and doing more lunges than I thought possible. I’m losing weight (and inches!) and working out my crazy at the same time. But the best part is that I’m channeling that nervous energy into making a lifestyle change that will last way beyond the wedding. Because really, the wedding is only one day, but starting my marriage off right, well, I’ll see benefits from that forever.

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