I hate the word BRIDEZILLA. I’d never actually heard it before my own destination wedding, almost 12 years ago, when one of my friends called me that when I was trying to herd 50 slightly-inebriated guests onto a bus for a tour of our biobay and nobody was cooperating. The reality show with the same name had only aired a couple of months before my wedding and I’d never seen it. But I was smart enough to know it wasn’t a compliment.
Since my wedding planner had lied about her experience with destination weddings (especially on the island I’d chosen), we’d had to fire her. My husband and I had stepped in to triage everything and by the time the guests arrived on the island, I was EXHAUSTED. And stressed. My husband had a good time. My guests had a blast at our wedding. I did not. I was too busy asking why there were no wine glasses on the tables, and if the chairs had arrived for the ceremony, and what happened to the bouquet I’d ordered when the flowers arrived at the venue completely wrong. How was I supposed to sit back and chill? If I’d been relaxing, nobody else would have had fun at the events. Somebody had to be in charge.
I think a LOT of brides get unfairly labeled “Bridezillas” when all they’re really trying to do is make things run smoothly. It’s hard enough to DIY your wedding without having an uncooperative wedding party (because they’re all too wasted to care where they’re supposed to be when) or family members don’t understand why the little details are so important to you. I KNOW WHY they’re important to you – you spent months and months planning every little bitty thing and now that the big day has arrived, when things go wrong that aren’t your fault, it makes you crazy. You can confirm and schedule and plan as much as you want, but at the end of the day, you have to rely on vendors to actually deliver as promised on time. That is enough to stress out any person about to get married. I mean, hey, chairs aren’t that important for the ceremony, right? The guests can just stand. Because you’re not going to hear people bitching about that later. Oh wait, yes you are.
Are there women who are legitimately “Bridezillas?” Definitely. I’ve had quite a few as clients over the years. One wanted elephant rides on the beach (this is Puerto Rico, not India). Another wanted an ice cream sundae bar outside at an afternoon wedding in the tropics and just couldn’t understand why it was nearly impossible. The one who blew her budget by almost 100 percent by inviting 175 guests and budgeting for only 40 was a real winner. Because it’s definitely your wedding planner’s fault that you ignored her advice, lied about how many invitations you sent, and bought yourself two very expensive wedding gowns. In my opinion, a “Bridezilla” is somebody who is a bitch about things that either cannot be helped or are her own fault. If you’ve seen the TV show, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Knowing what you want and demanding that you get it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve lost your mind. But you might be a “Bridezilla” if you do the following things:
- Scream at your fiancé about wedding details that are totally not their fault.
- Tell your bridal party to go on a diet so they fit into the dresses you want them to wear even though you’ve chosen something that doesn’t flatter any of your girls.
- Refuse to allow the DJ to take any music requests at the wedding because you only want to hear your choices, played in the order you selected them.
- Eviscerate any wedding vendor with an audience because you’re unhappy with the service instead of talking private to try to resolve the issue.
- Text and call your wedding planner or other vendors late at night because that’s when it’s convenient for you, regardless of the hour or the difference in time zones.
- Force the florist or caterer to revise your bid three or four times, and then go back to the original bid for the contract.
- Tell your guests they all have to wear the same color (unless it’s black or white), forcing everybody to go out and buy something new in order to be welcomed at your wedding.
- Make arrangements for your own hair and makeup and lunch on the wedding day, but don’t do anything to accommodate your bridesmaids who are stuck there with you all day.
- Insist that your wedding party put in hours helping you assemble all the cool DIY projects you found on Pinterest and then complain they’re not doing it well enough.
- Have a temper tantrum on the dance floor at your new spouse when he misses a step in your super-choreographed routine.
You aren’t being a “Bridezilla” if you insist that your bridesmaids order their dresses by a certain deadline so that you don’t incur late fees for everyone. Most shops won’t order separately because they want the dresses to all be from the same dye lot so the colors match. However, if you insist that your bridesmaids all purchase $300-plus gowns for your big day when they’re also spending bank to travel to your wedding, that’s a bit over the top.
You aren’t being a “Bridezilla” when you ask your wedding party not to get sloppy drunk at your wedding events – that just means you have a little bit of decorum. And you aren’t being a “Bridezilla” when a friend of your fiancé’s says or does something so rude to you in the months leading up to the wedding that you have to uninvite him to the wedding, or even kick him out of the wedding party. That’s all justified. But really, it’s about how you handle it.
Remember the old adage “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?” It’s true. Even when your requests do borderline on the ridiculous, if you’re sweet about it, almost anybody will do whatever they can to keep a bride happy. If you behave like a bitch, nobody wants to help you. You get a reputation quickly – oh yes, vendors do gossip about their clients – and everybody is going to try to handle you with kid gloves from a distance. That’s probably not the relationship you wanted with the people most responsible for making your big day come off perfectly. You want them to feel safe coming to you with important questions that pop up.
Usually the fiancé suffers more than anyone, but that bothers me less than when I see somebody berating a little sister or a friend because the person who you’re engaged to knows EXACTLY who and what they’re marrying. If you’re a “Bridezilla” during the wedding planning, you’re probably not the easiest person to deal with on an everyday basis either. Add stress to that, and you become a big monster in a poufy dress. Is that how you want to be remembered when everybody talks about your wedding?
Think about it.
Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Sandy Malone Weddings & Events!