Lessons from Bridezilla


Now that Bridezilla Weekend is over, it’s time to take an enormous breath and thank the gods that no one suffered a broken neck over the last 56 hours.

I guess I should backtrack: I just attended a wedding as part of the bridal party for the first time since coming back here. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never been a fan of weddings, much less wedding dinners, especially of the circus variety, and — after this past weekend — especially if the bride is an overbearing, simpering little diva who insists on making it one big freak show.

I know I have no call to be taking on so, considering it was her day and the one day when all cynicism and scorn for the ostentatious should be suppressed to the best of my (and Becca’s) ability. She once mentioned that since she was the first among us to get married, we could learn from her and put that education towards planning our own weddings in the future. It took all of my willpower to hold my tongue and not say that if nothing else, I learned how not to become Bridezilla.

Plan ahead. Even if you have only three months to plan your wedding, a good, feasible plan and maybe the help of a wedding planner will ensure your hair remains on your head. I find that making lists is the best way to plan for big events like this (not because I’ve ever had to plan a wedding, but because I pretty much make lists for everything in my life and I find they help keep me organized). Eliminate the word ‘perfect’ from your vocabulary.

Put aside your pride/vanity/ego. This is not the time to be nursing and bolstering any of those, even if you value them above all else. If you want advice, don’t hesitate to ask, be it from your friends or family; people have their own lives to get on with, and they will assume you have everything down pat if they don’t hear from you. However, if you don’t ask, then don’t kick up a fuss and act surprised and wounded when the results — and disgruntled faces — aren’t what you were hoping for. And if you do ask for help or advice, accept it willingly and with an open mind; it’s absolutely no point asking if you know from the get-go that you’ll end up doing things your own way.

Keep your demands to a minimum. Everyone knows it’s your big day,  and everyone knows it only happens (hopefully) once in a lifetime, but nobody’s going to notice how elaborate and extravagant your wedding is unless it borders on Vegas-meets-Broadway, nobody cares if you don’t have a red carpet for the reception, and nobody’s going to know that you went against superstition by appointing two divorcées as bridesmaids. Keep your priorities straight: make a list (see, I can’t get enough of the lists) of the things you absolutely MUST have, and keep it short. This will prevent you from becoming so confused with the 1001 things that you want to happen that you end up shrieking at everyone like a banshee; God knows there’s nothing tackier than a verbally aggressive (and drunken) bride.

Articulate your desires. Be clear about what you want, and be sure everyone understands why you want it; they would be more than happy to accommodate you if you were upfront because it saves time. If said dress is what you want your bridesmaids to wear, stick to that decision and work from there. Don’t  go back and forth between One Dress and One Color, because it takes time to shop for dresses, and nobody wants to be running pell-mell around town looking for a store that sells eight of the same dress in the same size or a purple dress that won’t make them look too much like an eggplant.

Maintain (or at least gain) perspective. It’s not all about what you see in the mirror, but what everyone else around you sees that you refuse to. Be polite and delegate duties, without sounding as though you’re imposing your wishes on everyone and it’s a given that they help out. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment and think about how you would want to be helping out for a wedding: willing and somewhat excited, or irritated and under duress.

Look beyond your wedding. This is the most important lesson of all. Regardless of why you’re really getting married, if you lose sight of the relationship — and the consequences — that will follow the wedding, chances are your marriage won’t survive much beyond the honeymoon. This wedding is about you and your fiancé, and (hopefully) the rest of your lives, together.

Oh, and this is entirely for your own good: find a dress that fits.

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