By Shannon Underwood

After visiting a family friend in a mental health facility, my entire perspective on handling brides, grooms, MOB, and wedding parties has changed.

The patients I saw looked sad but not what I would imagine. Wasn’t mental illness just the homeless man hallucinating and the crazy teen on a shooting rampage? I was wrong.

What struck me was that there is a thin, sometimes fragile, line between people having true breakdowns or healthy people who are just nervous and overwrought. This fresh insight has altered the way I work with my clients, wedding couples and suppliers. With one out of five Americans struggling at some point with some type of mental illness, why wouldn’t it show up during the most emotionally charged events in their life?

With pre-wedding anxiety and post-wedding letdown are we able to provide the brides and grooms the assistance they need both emotionally and logistically?

Sometimes it’s just not a good fit for the personalities involved. But when it’s clear that a wedding couple’s expectations are excessive, as if they are seeing their wedding through some sort of twisted /distorted lens, should we walk away to protect ourselves? And if so, when?

We are not therapists though at times we might feel that way. Occasionally the lines between personal and professional, customer and friend become blurred, leaving us to decide if over-the-top requests are actually irrational and impossible.

Depressed and anxiety stricken wedding couples have more power today than ever before. Brides and grooms who feel their needs have not been met can write an inaccurate negative review on any number of social media and online review sites that can potentially ruin your reputation. They can obsessively email, call or disparage you to their friends or other wedding professionals.

Signs that you might want to walk away:

  • Multiple emails and texts that come through after midnight
  • Compulsive Pinterest boards (more than 100 pins per week)
  • Overwhelming fear that the wedding will not be perfect
  • Yelling or crying in a professional setting
  • Threats to try to motivate you to perform
  • Inability to concentrate on anything but their wedding
  • Need to control wedding guests, wedding party and you



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