Spring is here.
Flowers are blooming.
Bridal fairs are popping.
Registry guns are beeping.
And the now annual emergence of Bridezilla is looming.
While the series of the same name popularized the sometimes bad behavior of stressed out brides the sheer number of copy cat shows diluted the quality of real life brides and instead started to glorify the tantrums of second rate egoists with an over inflated sense of self. I admit, I was caught up in the series early on and as much as I hate to admit it, watching the show quickly became must see TV. I couldn’t believe how bad some of the brides behaved so I justified watching as a professional exercise so that I’d be able to spot a budding Bridezilla before I made the mistake of taking her on as a client.
Then as all trends eventually do, the show jumped the shark. This over-exposure has led to bridezilla’s morphing into the every day life of citizens not in the wedding business. I’ve had it. The only way she will die is if we collectively kill her. No more “of course its ok to demand your bridesmaids purchase matching weaves” or “yes you can demand your parents mortgage their home or put off retirement to pay for the wedding” because it is your day. Just say NO!
The reality check is it is not your day. Your wedding is a celebration & participation in a public ritual that many have done before and many will do after you. Unless CNN, Jet magazine or Perez Hilton have reporters and paparazzi outside the church realize you are a celebrity only in your mind. (Personally if Wendy Williams isn’t talking about you I don’t care). Your wedding is one day but your marriage is for life. If you treat your friends and family like crap over your wedding no one will be left to care or share your marriage once you’ve returned from your honeymoon.
Many times Bridezillas don’t recognize when they cross the line. Some sure signs are:
*Before he heard you say Yes you pulled out a 5 inch “planner” binder & called the
vendors you had on speed dial to re-confirm your date
*You also called your jeweler to have your ring stone resized & don’t understand why
your groom to be is pissed.
*You receive anonymous etiquette books in the mail.
*Your bridesmaids new ring tone is “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen”.
*Your groom’s men hum “Let My People Go” instead of the wedding march at the
*As you exit the reception you turn to see your bridal party has started a full
chorus of “Can you see a Brand New Day” from The Wiz with choreography!
As seen on TV actively, engaging a Bridezilla in the midst of a break down is fruitless. Instead when presented with Bridezilla request approach carefully & take heed to these tips:
1) Perfect the Icy Glare (Etiquette Hell ™). The Icy Glare is the art of giving someone a look that mom gave you from the choir galley when you thought she didn’t see you misbehaving in the last pew. Once given (& received), you knew once you got home you were in trouble. When your bride asks you a ridiculous request (say like would you consider getting surgery so that you’ll fit into size 7 shoes she already bought at a sample sale & expects reimbursement for) say nothing – just stare. This approach is not for the faint of heart. If you are steadfast, eventually she’ll tire out from the confusion of you not jumping at her request and you can sneak away!
2) Learn to say convincingly “Bless your whole heart” as a complete sentence and then change the subject. This approach is best for co-workers & acquaintances you don’t have a direct subpoena (oops invitation) for but for whom you’ve become the de facto complaint receiver. So when she says “I don’t understand why my friends are balking at wearing matching hazel contacts” Just smile, say Bless your whole heart & ask if she purchased wedding insurance – you know just in case :) .
3) Liquor. Cosmopolitans and straight whiskey were invented for a reason. Keep ingredients on hand and a flask at the ready. If any of this sounds familiar all is not lost. Call your friend who is always honest & ask her to put a mirror to your behavior. If your wedding day has passed and you are found guilty send those you have offended a bouquet of flowers with a heartfelt apology. Host a dinner party (& please don’t ask your guests to bring food). Send spa certificates. Make certain you are supportive of their life events sans catty comments. It will take time but remember bribery and sincere flattery will get you everywhere. If you are still in planning mode assign one friend to bounce things off of before you open your mouth or send mass emails. If you even suspect that someone will think your request is unreasonable it probably is.
Watching various wedding shows has become a chore but as a professional I’ll take one for the team. An informed planner is a prepared planner.
Michelle Gay has worked as a wedding planner for the past seven years in NYC. She carries crosses & garlic to all consultations.
Are you guilty of being a Bridezilla? Do you believe you have a right to be one? Share your thoughts with us by clicking on "comments".