I'm a proud bridezilla – I dumped a bridesmaid, set rules for the stag do & am hiring a bouncer to vet people's outfits

IT'S fair to say bridezillas get a bad rep, outraging the internet with "diva demands", meaning guests are urged to swerve their invitations.

But this "proud bridezilla" says she's not ashamed of how she's acting. In fact, given the stress of planning a wedding, she reckons her behaviour is completely reasonable.

Mum-of-two Charlotte Skinner, 31, from Appledore, near Ashford, Kent, is set to marry fiance Jack on August 21 and says the last six months have been a whirlwind of emotions.

As a result, she's embraced her "inner diva", with strict rules for the stag do and a threat to get a bouncer for her church wedding, to ban people who've broken the outfit guidelines.

If people don't like it, they don't have to come, says the mum to India, seven, her daughter from a previous relationship, and Jack's son Marley, two.

Charlotte tells Fabulous: "Drama just follows me, because I’m not an easy person to shush. If I feel strongly about something, that’s how it’s going to be.

"It was all fun and excitement when we first got engaged on Christmas Day 2018, but with the stress of the last year and Covid, I'm feeling stressed and nervous now.

"My bridesmaids know I'm a drama queen and a control freak, it's just part of the territory of being my friend."

Charlotte was originally planning a big manor house wedding but changed to a church and hotel reception to keep costs within their £8,000 budget.

The part-time mobile beauty therapist said: "My biggest rule for the wedding was no strippers on the stag do.

"I told Jack ‘I’m not going to see Dreamboys. If you want to see other women strip then go and be single, I don’t think we should be getting married if that’s what you want’."

My biggest rule was no strippers on the stag do. I told my fiance ‘if you want to see other women strip then go and be single, I don’t think we should be getting married if that’s what you want’

And when it came to her Brighton hen do, Charlotte was keen to lay down the law there too.

She explains: "Half of us have got children and the other half are self-employed.

"I heard they'd booked it for a Friday but I wrote in the bridesmaid group chat ‘it’s harder to rearrange kids than it is to rearrange work, so I think it should be on a Saturday when Jack’s at home’.

"I said ‘I don’t think work’s an excuse, because if it’s three months in advance you can book a day's holiday. Sorry, I’m a carer for my disabled father, I have two children and I work, so if I can arrange it then surely you guys can?’

"It didn’t go down very well but we looked into changing the date. We realised it was going to cost a lot of money because they'd already booked everything, so we left it on the Friday.

"I just had to get my two cents in because I was so sick of everyone coming to me, drip feeding me information and moaning about the plans, when I wasn’t meant to be involved in the planning."

The happy couple are inviting 50 people to their wedding and 110 to the evening do, and Charlotte's put certain outfits off the table.

She says: "Jack was set on a green tweed suit but I thought it was disgusting.

"I said 'no, you're not wearing that, sorry. I know it’s your wedding too but I want you to look nice in the pictures, not like someone just threw up on you’.

"I got in an argument with the lady in the shop about it, because she was telling Jack 'it's about what you want', trying to cut me out just because she wanted commission and there were loads of these tweed suits left.

"In the end I put my foot down. I walked out of the shop and we got Jack a lovely blue check suit from Moss Bros.

"After that was sorted, I posted on Facebook, telling our guests they weren't allowed to wear navy blue or blush pink, which is the bridesmaid colour, to the wedding.

"Most people were fine with it but it really angered one guest, who called up and said 'this is a step too far'. I said 'c'mon, it’s not like we have circus performers going up the aisle’.

"But she replied ‘I’m just going to tell you now, I have a blue outfit and I’m not going to change it’.

"The final straw was when she said to me ‘no-one’s asking you to change your dress’. I went mad, some blue words came out, and said ‘if you don’t like it, you don’t have to come’. I haven’t spoken to her since.

"It's our wedding, if we wanted you to wear flamenco suits, that’s what you’d wear.

"This has been so much stress for me, I’ve planned this wedding completely on my own. It’s nice Jack’s given me free reign, but it’s also more difficult.

If people ignore the request, we have said we’d hire a bouncer. Jack even said he’s happy to stand at the door and say ‘you knew the rules, don’t come in, wait outside the door until we’re done’

"We’re not asking for much, we don't want anyone's money, we’re just asking people to turn up, enjoy the day and avoid two colours.

"That did bring out the bridezilla within me. Nobody gets a say in our wedding other than us.

"If people ignore the request, we have said we’d hire a bouncer.

"Jack even said he’s happy to stand at the door and say ‘you knew the rules, don’t come in, wait outside the door until we’re done’. He can be a bit of a groomzilla too.

"His view is ‘if they can’t respect our wishes, they can go home’. At this point I don't know if he's joking or is for real, but I'd happily go along with that.

"If not, we'll have to put them at the back of the church so no-one notices them anyway."

And Charlotte has a surefire way to cut anyone ignoring the outfit rules out of her wedding memories.

She says: "The photographers are under strict instruction to only photograph the people we want.

"Because otherwise you’re going to be there for hours while people are going ‘ooh can you just do this?’

"It’s not about you guys, go and have your own wedding if you want that, I’m not having people trying to take over the day, it’s too exhausting."

Charlotte’s cut-throat attitude even extends to her own bridesmaids, with her replacing one of the four at the last minute.

She says: "I didn’t want my pictures ruined by having an odd number of bridesmaids, I want to be in the centre, so I had a pal on standby.”

In February, just six months before the big day, Charlotte's original evening venue cancelled their wedding via email, because of an issue with catering.

She was devastated, crying "every day for a week", but determined to cash in on the situation.

She explains: "I said to Jack ‘I’m not having this, if we’d already sent out our invitations, that would be hundreds of pounds wasted’.

"So I kicked up a fuss, made sure they refunded us our deposit and gave us £300 towards our invites, although we hadn’t actually sent them out yet.

"I won't be messed around when it comes to my big day. It's meant to be the best day of your life and I'm determined to do it right."

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