Why Brides (Sometimes Deserve to) Go Ballistic

Sometimes I think that it’s no wonder that brides-to-be get a little nutty from time to time when planning their weddings. I’m not saying brides should act like they’re auditioning for the newest WE channel show. Keeping the f-bombs to a minimum in public forums is just plain polite. But some grumpy, snippy days? A few outbursts aimed at people who probably deserve them? A few quarts of tears? People planning an entire wedding should be able to express their negative feelings without fearing that they’ll be labeled a Bridezilla for life! Why?

bridezilla

Your Time Is No Longer Your Own
Planning a wedding can be a full-time job, which is precisely why there are people out there who have made it their profession. We call them wedding planners and while it would be lovely if we could all afford one if we wanted one, it’s not always financially feasible. So in addition to planning a wedding full time, the bride is also usually working full time at the job that is most likely paying for part of her wedding. And this during business hours, when wedding vendors like caterers and bakers usually work. When reception spaces actually pickup the phone. And so on. Lunch hour wedding planning is now the norm, but it is certainly not ideal.


Everyone Wants Their Piece of the Action
It would be nice if a bride and groom could plan their wedding in a vacuum, but I suppose they’d miss the guests. The good news is that most wedding guests simply show up, eat, drink, and get merry without giving much thought beforehand to what they’ll eat and who they’ll sit next to. The bad news is that the voices of the few who care very much more than make up for the quiet majority. The matron-of-honor has declared she won’t wear pink, orange, or any pastels (These being your favorite colors). The mother-of-the-bride has made it clear she will not sit anywhere near her ex-husband (The father-of-the-bride). And there’s a good chance the groom’s brother is going to use the word “penis” at least twice in his best man speech. He wants this. She wants that. Sometimes it feels like what the bride and groom want doesn’t matter at all.

Shut Up and Say ‘Yes, Dear’
It’s what my own father said to The Beard when we got engaged, and I’m sure more than one of the guys whose gals are reading this heard the same thing from dads and future FILs. Even though more and more grooms are contributing financially to their weddings, the idea that they either have no wedding planning preferences (or shouldn’t have any because that’s so fem) still persists. I find this a tad odd since I don’t know a single dude who doesn’t have likes and dislikes where food and music are concerned. Many would prefer to wear *this* over *that,* where this and/or that might be a tuxedo, morning dress, a European cut suit with a skinny tie, sneakers, opera pumps, sunglasses, etc. When you’re a bride-to-be, hearing “Whatever you want, honey” can actually get old pretty fast when what you wanted was a real opinion.

It’s Just Not a Wedding Without X, Y, and Z
What makes a wedding? Is it the flowers? The wedding gown? The DJ? The bridesmaids and groomsmen? I’d say that what makes a wedding is two people getting married. Period, end of story. But brides (and to some extent grooms) planning a wedding will hear again and again that it’s just not a wedding without, say, a great big wedding cake. If they’re just not cake people, you can bet that someone somewhere is going to encourage them to have cake anyway. I’ve seen it happen — when my friends Chris and Jenny got married, they served pie. But their caterer found and served a cake anyway because they couldn’t fathom a wedding without one. Don’t want the princess dress or the tiara or the limo or the bouquet or attendants? Get ready to hear what people think!

Keep It In the Bottle Where It Belongs
Oh, and goodness forbid a bride get angry about any of the stuff above. That’s when people start whispering the reptilian b-word and saying things like “All the stress you’re experiencing now won’t matter on your wedding day” or “Weddings can make you a little irrational.” Because there’s no way a bride-to-be might actually have legitimate feelings that deserve consideration! Nope, it’s all just her womanly response to planning a wedding and, hey, it’ll all be over soon anyway so why give it any more thought? I know brides who have simply bottled everything up, either for fear of being labeled something nasty or being patronized by mildly misogynistic relatives.

And that’s not all of what brides-to-be are facing in the days and months leading up to their weddings. Is it any wonder that some of them occasionally get a little snippy? Or a lot snippy? Or even profanity happy? To all those people who like to throw around the word Bridezilla, I can only ask when did it became a faux pas to get a little pissed?

13 Responses to “Why Brides (Sometimes Deserve to) Go Ballistic”

  1. Melissa B. August 26, 2009 at 11:16 am #

    Sometimes I feel like “Bridezilla” is a term cooked up by the WIC to keep brides docile and non-demanding. You have ideas about what the flowers should look like? Goodness, you’re a bit of a Bridezilla! You expect the photographer to return your phone calls? You’re awfully high-maintenance, getting into Bridezilla territory here. Oh, you’re unhappy that the caterer didn’t serve the menu from your contract? What a Bridezilla, getting all upset over food!

    And it gets worse when family members or friends do it. If a bride doesn’t toe the line, or dares to have opinions about her own wedding, passive-aggressive family members bust out the B-word. (When a groom has opinions, though, that’s somehow cool and thoughtful. Go figure.) So I’m definitely in favor of giving the B-word a rest, unless the bride is actually displaying behavior rivaling what we see on the WE channel.

  2. Christy August 26, 2009 at 11:43 am #

    “…when my friends Chris and Jenny got married, they served pie. But their caterer found and served a cake anyway because they couldn’t fathom a wedding without one.” This would upset me. Did the caterer even think to ask the bride and groom first? They most likely had legitimate reasons if pie is what they asked for. My fiance and I were thinking about doing the same thing, but not if the caterer will end up doing something like this.

  3. Never teh Bride August 26, 2009 at 12:45 pm #

    Don’t worry, Christy, they did get their pies, as well. The caterer (or perhaps it was the site manager?) threw in the cake gratis so at least they weren’t paying for it. Still, if one doesn’t want cake, one doesn’t want cake. There’s no reason then to have it!

  4. Kristin August 26, 2009 at 1:39 pm #

    This is part of why I wanted a Star Trek theme wedding: the horror we encountered would have been upfront and so demoralized that it wouldn’t have been much of a fight. Also, we could have played the Pon Farr fight music when I walked in. How awesome would that have been? Extremely. If only my boyfriend weren’t so sure that what he wants is something “classy,” with a nice suit and a pretty white dress and flowers and no communicators, phasers, or antennae.

    My mother, when I mentioned that we were talking about marriage, told me about how she and her mother ended up in a screaming match (between North Carolina WASPs, mind you; Mom flinched when I cried over scraped knees, as a child) over whether the groomsmen should wear black or brown shoes. This is why I want us to pay for the wedding, in its entirety.

  5. Never teh Bride August 26, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    That would have indeed been awesome, Kristin. I mourn for the Star Trek wedding neither you nor I will ever have *sniff*

  6. La BellaDonna August 26, 2009 at 5:45 pm #

    NtB: Your friends should have said they were celebrating the French Revolution: Don’t Let Them Eat Cake!

    When did it became a faux pas to get a little pissed? When it became something that women did. For thousands and thousands and THOUSANDS of American, yes, American women, it’s still difficult if not impossible to openly express anger, because women are STILL brought up to be Nice. Nice girls do this, nice girls don’t do that, and what nice girls REALLY don’t ever, EVER do is honestly express anger over a situation, however much it merits that. Women are not entitled to righteous anger. How else could they be controlled? How else could abusive husbands control them, if they expressed their anger at the treatment they were receiving? How else could serial killers stalk them so easily? Don’t make a fuss, it isn’t nice! So what if it isn’t fair if the one boy doesn’t do anything and the girls do all the work? He’s your brother, be nice!

    This is how generation after generation of passive-aggressive women are created. People say they hate having to deal with passive-aggressive women, but they’re fibbing. Because if that were TRUE, they wouldn’t have TRAINED women to be passive-aggressive! Here’s some news, folks: that anger doesn’t go away, just because women aren’t allowed to express it.

    “Bridezilla” is just a new name for an old, old club that’s been used to beat women for CENTURIES.

  7. Never teh Bride August 26, 2009 at 5:50 pm #

    I’ll raise a fist to that, La DonnaBella. One of the many things I plan to teach my daughter Paloma is that when she doesn’t get her due, she needs to speak up rather than play the meek little mouse. I’m terrible at speaking up, but I’ve been practicing for her sake. Before she can do it on her own, she needs to see me doing it.

  8. La BellaDonna August 26, 2009 at 5:56 pm #

    Oh, and Kristin: Didn’t you (gently!) suggest to your boyfriend that he was going to look odd in that Pretty White Dress?

    Now, I wore a Pretty White Dress myself, and it was Pretty Darned Big to boot, but I am really sorry that you are not getting the wedding that YOU want. It’s nice that your boyfriend is getting the wedding that HE wants, but no communicators, phasers, or antennae? NO Pon Farr fight music? Not even for the first dance? It disturbs me that ALL the compromise seems to have been on YOUR side – you wouldn’t have considered these things for your wedding if you had not, in fact, WANTED them. Aside from your boyfriend, what about this wedding says Kristin Picked This? And Mr. Classy wanted a suit and a pretty dress? I’m sorry, but that seems REALLY wrong, because it sounds as if the compromise wasn’t even for a riproaringly formal wedding, with a tuxedo and a beautiful formal gown. To compromise for a suit and a … pretty dress? And some flowers? I’m sorry, I’m sure he’s a great guy or you wouldn’t be marrying him, but I spent a lifetime compromising so that someone else would be happy, and I’m hoping there was some compromising on HIS part that was specifically to make YOU happy.

    No, I wasn’t a Bridezilla. Not only was I a hopeful bride, I was a hopeful wife, too. Apparently I’m making up for it by spending the rest of my life 10 seconds away from ANGRY. And not just on my own behalf, oh, no: I’m perfectly ready to be ANGRY on behalf of other folks, too!

  9. Twistie August 26, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    Hey Kristin, how about phasers in the bouquets and antennai on the bridesmaids?

    Nothing against a pretty, traditional wedding. I had one of those and smile whenever I think of it. But it’s not for everyone. If Star Trek is important to you in your wedding, make sure something Star Trek gets in there.

  10. KTB August 27, 2009 at 7:33 pm #

    I planned my wedding while working full-time and going to grad school full-time. At that point, I’m pretty sure any Bridezilla-ish behavior was probably chalked up to a total excess of stress. At one point, my sister did pull me aside and inform me that making a decision didn’t make me a Bridezilla; rather, not wanting to upset anyone and refusing to make a decision that might be unpopular was worse.

    Kristin, why can’t you walk in to the Pon Farr fight music? You can still wear a white dress and do that–does it have to be classical music to be “classy”? And I like Twistie’s ideas too. I don’t see any reason not to have subversive and interesting little details in an otherwise traditional wedding.

  11. Never teh Bride August 28, 2009 at 10:38 am #

    Kristin: I have to third what everyone else is saying! Don’t give up Star Trek completely — an elegant wedding can have some Trek thrown in here and there!

  12. class factotum August 31, 2009 at 7:57 pm #

    LBD, it’s so cute when you get mad. Are you PMSing? Oh, smile! You’ll be so much prettier!

    I wanted to strangle the cabbie in Chile who wouldn’t drop me where we had agreed and then just laughed when I got mad. Even when women do get mad, our feelings are not taken seriously.

  13. La BellaDonna September 3, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

    ClassF:

    I just keep repeating to myself, Just because I know how to kill someone with my bare hands doesn’t mean I SHOULD.