The Big Debate: Are Bridezillas born or made?

For those of you scratching your heads, a Bridezilla (play on the word “Godzilla” of course) is a derogatory term for a woman about to get married who has become so involved in her wedding she has lost touch with reality. Stereotypical examples of Bridezilla-esque behaviour include shouting at suppliers, firing bridesmaids, only talking about the wedding ever, making unreasonable or comical requests and generally acting out of character.

Before I was a bride, I used to laugh at the notion of someone going so over the top about a wedding. Can you imagine yelling at a supplier or a family member about what’s effectively a big party? What kind of person really starts to lose the plot over favours and confetti?

Well… me.

And I tell you what, I wasn’t born this way – planning this wedding has turned me into a full on Bridezilla. And I wear that as a badge of honour. It shows the world I’m a war hero.

Allow me to elaborate. When you first start planning your wedding, the first thing you’ll notice is that the “helpful” suggestions start coming in. They’re fine – people are just trying to help – except all the “shoulds” and “ought tos” (see the current issue of Unique Bride Magazine to see how I feel about “should” and “ought to”) start rearing their ugly heads. You start thinking there’s a “right” way to have a wedding and a “wrong” way. And you’re somehow doing it wrong.

Thankfully that doesn’t last very long – somewhere along the line you realise there’s no right or wrong way to commit yourself to the person you love for the rest of your life. So, if you’re lucky, you start learning to say no. And that, my friends, right there – that’s where a bride dies and a Bridezilla is born.

Image source Life in the Second Half 

You’ll say “no” so frequently to so many people, it will start to get tiring – you’ll start to snap a bit – people will be persistent. Let me give you an arbitrary, made up example:

Random friend or family member: “I think you really ought to have fruitcake for your wedding cake.”
Bride: “No.”
Random friend or family member: “But I like fruitcake!”
Bride: “But we don’t.”
Random friend or family member: “But what’s wrong with having fruitcake? It’s traditional!”
Bride: “But it’s our wedding and we’re not traditional.”
Random friend or family member: “People will expect it!”
Bridezilla: “RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWR!”

The bride in my little skit there didn’t start off breathing fire and growing scales – but imagine that conversation, or variations of it on different topics, with everyone she knows. Imagine that seemingly helpful, harmless comment has been made to her over and over again (perhaps different subject matter, but the same gist) by so many people she’s lost count. Imagine that it feels the whole world is flat out telling her how she should get married – and they don’t take “no” for an answer the first time.

She has to be fierce, she has to make her “no” heard – otherwise people would take over. Like a ferocious lioness defending her one and only cub, she develops the instinct to nip any irritating input in the bud. She starts to feel a bit like people shouldn’t be trying to change her wedding, they should be trying to find a way to help make things happen for her.

A Bridezilla could be thought of as someone who’s simply learned to defend her dream day from unwanted intruders at all costs. And then there will be the Refusers. Friends and family you always suspected were a bit selfish but never realised quite how much until you got married: “I’m not wearing that. I’m not carrying that. I’m not doing that.” People who won’t inconvenience themselves for a moment for your big day or put themselves even slightly outside of their comfort zone. It’s enough to drive anyone to fire-breathing tantrums – especially if you’ve bent over backwards for them before.

I hate entitlement, I hate blaming others for your problems – but lately I’ve found myself stomping my feet on a weekly basis and demanding to know why people can’t just cooperate - for one day of their lives!

In short, people forget whose day it is – plain and simple. It’s not their fault – society has drilled into them pretty stubborn expectations of what a wedding should look like and they find it hard to accept anything out of the norm.

So what does that do to an otherwise calm bride? I never in my life thought I’d be on the phone to my mother (who was just an innocent bystander in a situation I was annoyed about, not the source of my annoyance I should point out), bellowing the words: “BECAUSE I’M THE BRIDE”. But it happened. Last week.

Or are Bridezillas born? Perhaps there will always be people who verge on the ridiculous when it comes to wedding planning, who are demanding and spoilt straight off the bat, who are just plain rude to suppliers before there’s any need to be, who come into the experience jaded from the start. Maybe we should call them the true breed of Bridezilla. Or maybe we should just call them “rude people” and leave “Bridezilla” as a mark of respect.

New brides – I don’t mean to scare you. You’re about to go through a really exciting and fun process. But be prepared to get tough with people. Get ready to become a perpetual “no” machine – don’t compromise your dream day for anyone but your other half – because honestly I’d rather be a Bridezilla than look back in years to come and remember someone else’s day.

Have you turned into a Bridezilla? Was it out of necessity or have you just got carried away? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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