Broke-Ass Tag: bridezilla

6/19

I got engaged Memorial Day Weekend in 2016. We set our wedding date for September of the next year because September is a special month for us and it gave us about 15 months to save for our wedding. I asked all my girls to be my bridesmaids and I was locked and loaded to go. I was trying to be gracious.

Then one of my bridesmaids got engaged near Thanksgiving and set her wedding date for the following June. She only allowed herself eight months for planning. Now let’s be real, I am human and was a little hurt that she set her wedding date before mine. It felt like she was stealing my thunder and I was getting pushed to the side. Her ceremony and reception are inconveniently spaced apart because they were the only times she could secure on such short notice. There are legit three hours between the ceremony and the reception.

One of my biggest goals during our engagement was to do my damndest NOT to be a giant bridezilla. We’ve all heard horror stories about brides who go completely nuclear over stupid things like place settings, what pattern to fold napkins in, or any number of other useless meltdowns. I refused to be characterized as that bride. So I did my absolute best not to show how hurt I was at the choices she made.

When I was planning things like the shower, rehearsal or bachelorette, I made a point of asking everyone what dates would be best for their schedules. My friend didn’t check with any of her other friends when she set the date for her shower and bachelorette party. I ended up missing most of her shower because it was scheduled the same day as graduation for my Masters degree. I just started a new job that has different time off requirements than my last one. While I had her wedding dates off at my old job, her wedding falls on one of the only six days that I am required to work on a weekend at the new place. To make things even more special, her bachelorette party also fell on one of those six days, so I could go to neither. Her wedding also happens to fall on the same day my little brother graduates high school — even more precious.

I feel like a total and complete tool for missing these really important milestones in her life. It makes it look like I’m missing all of these events on purpose when that’s not the case at all. I don’t want it to be a battle of her against me, but as the days tick past it’s morphing into this. Her wedding is in a week so hopefully things go back to a bit of normalcy after this all blows over.

When she got engaged I offered to help in whatever ways she needed, including the printing of her paper things since I have a sweet color laser printer. She called Monday asking that I print up two separate batches of things, the programs and the favor tags. She sent me the files with super vague instructions that prompted me to ask her a legion of questions to make sure I had everything right. I printed 75 pages of favor tags and began cutting them out for her so she would have one less thing to worry about. I sent her a picture to show the finished product to make sure that’s what she wanted before I cut out the rest and she had a meltdown that the tags were not exactly four inches. The measurement was off by an eighth of an inch. I added border around the cutting to allow for this but she didn’t want it to look like that and asked me to stop printing.

Darling, I had already printed all of them.

I understand wanting things to be exactly perfect in every way possible, but we live in an imperfect world. If you want something to be exactly one way, please share your ENTIRE vision with me so I can make that dream a reality. Now I have a stack of wasted paper that I cannot reuse for anything.

I hate that I am losing my cool.

These are all very small things that should not matter in the end. So what if she has her wedding date first? It might be a tiny bit rude but it’s not like she stabbed me. What is frustrating me the most is that I have simply stopped talking to her because I know I am not capable of having a nice conversation at the moment.

You know the saying: if you have nothing nice to say, shut the hell up.

This bit of drama is not worth losing a friendship over. Yet, I find that I cannot stop dwelling on it. I have no idea how to handle this. So far the battle plan is to ignore her until a week or so after her honeymoon. Perhaps she will sheath her fangs and shrink down to size after bridezilla smashing a few cities. Maybe it’s me that needs a chance to shrink back down to normal size. Maybe I’m the one out there smashing cities without even knowing it.

What would you do in my shoes?

  • 1/5

    Happy 2016 everyone!

    64477_10100569037296670_4448865682044477865_nThe new husband and I right after the ball dropped … I’d be totally down with being called the Bride-A-Chu instead of the Bridezilla.

    I feel like half my Facebook friends list got engaged over the past week or so which is pretty awesome and I’m super psyched for all the love, joy and excitement that the whole getting married thing has in store for them. I know many of them will be starting (or updating) Pinterest wedding boards, or setting out on a journey through the Interwebs to learn all about how to bring their perfect day together … perfectly. There, amongst these web pages, they may find themselves repeatedly bombarded with tales of a mythical beast that looms at the back of many bride’s minds as they set out to put their plans together. This is a not so blissful part of the wedded bliss that I hope we can eradicate this year …

    I’m talking about the wild Bridezilla of course. Some might say she is a legendary beast, not a mythological one. The difference between a legend and a myth for those that are unaware is that a legend is something that is based upon a historical figure or story so there is some truth to it. My problem with that definition is that we are not talking about a particular person or figure … we are broadly applying this term to all (or most) ladies that get married, like the day a ring is placed upon a woman’s finger, she suddenly morphs into some kind of scaly beast whose sole focus becomes alienating her family and friends in the pursuit of the perfect day. I’m not saying that there aren’t scenarios where this happens. There are. I’m saying the problem isn’t just that these ladies have some underlying craziness in them induced by the prospect of a wedding. There are other forces at work there, and as bad as it is for those that do succumb to it, it’s equally (and maybe even more) damaging to those of us who don’t.

    A Bridezilla, from what the term conjures up in my mind, is a woman (since the term Bride typically is only applied to women) who becomes extremely controlling in all aspects of her wedding planning process, especially toward those family and friends most closely related to the process. She expects more than is reasonably possible of those who surround her and falls apart at the smallest wrinkle in her wedding plans. To her, nothing going on in the rest of the world is more important than her wedding. She mistreats those around her, and then expects them to be happy and enjoy her company when the big day arrives.

    I spent a lot of my wedding planning afraid of the big bad Bridezilla dwelling deep within the darkest depths of my heart. As the wedding approached, I constantly expected her to rear her ugly head, all the while in my own head assuring myself that she didn’t actually exist like that.

    gazebo wedding pic

    I promise my train is not hiding a lizard tail here. Photo by SK Photography

    There were little moments here and there when I felt the fire that must be “her” rising in my throat. “She” took the form of minor guest list arguments, some extra emails going back and forth here and there, a little bit of paranoia and the occasional private meltdown between Matt and I on the state of affairs. We were in the process of planning a major event with lots of moving parts, that involved busy people (most of whom work 40+ hours a week and are raising children) and trying to meld two families together that previously had never gotten to spend too much time together. On top of all that we’ve got unrealistic wedding expectations coming from the WIC all over the place that put even more pressure on us.Let’s not even mention the financial aspect of it, which of course, strikes us Broke-Ass Brides even more so than it might others. Of course there were going to be a few tight spots here and there. There were going to be moments of self doubt that come with every new endeavor. And the fear of the Bridezilla exploited that. It got in my head, and fear of becoming one stopped me from approaching a few people here and there whose behavior disappointed me. It made it harder to have tough conversations with vendors at times. I can remember turning to Matt at one point and saying “We’re hiring this person to do a job for us … why am I so worried about what they think of me?”

    Don’t get me wrong — this wasn’t the case all the time. My big priorities when it came to the wedding largely related to things that Matt and I had to handle ourselves or being sure that everyone felt comfortable and happy at the wedding and didn’t break the bank to be there. This meant I picked a gown and shoe color for my bridesmaids and then let them do whatever they wanted with everything else because I trusted them to have my best interest at heart (they did!) and come together to make some pretty amazing things happen (again, they did!). I actually was told some bridesmaids took the fact that I didn’t pick a particular shoe for them all to wear as indecisiveness (and instead sent along shoe suggestions whenever I came across something that would fit the color requirements that had a nice price point), but I really just wanted them to be comfortable with whatever they decided upon themselves and helpful in their search. I did my best to pick vendors I knew I could work with and that I did like (psh, I LOVED just about all of my vendors and WISH I had an excuse to keep working with them), so that didn’t really become an issue. And for the most part, we did our very best to acquiesce to any request that didn’t take away from us being able to enjoy the day with our family and friends, especially if it meant  a family member or friend wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the day without it.

    But here’s thing … Why did I spend so much time worrying about becoming what I described above? None of those behaviors above really related to who I am as a human on a day to day basis. But it’s what happens to all brides, right? It’s something wedding planning just does to you because it’s so rough. This is the problem with the myth of the Bridezilla. These behaviors do not exist just because a wedding is on the horizon. They exist because someone gives in to base behaviors because they are given an excuse to do so. “It’s their day” after all right? I’m a firm believer that it IS your day, but it shouldn’t ruin your relationship with the people you love. One day, no matter how important or beautiful it is, should not be more important than a lifelong relationship. Keep the feelings and circumstances of the people involved in your wedding in mind as best you can (vendors included!). Your wedding might be super important to the people around you, but that doesn’t mean they can drop everything in their life to rush to your side for it.

    I’m not saying that’s true of everyone the Bridezilla title is given to. I think I was a chilled out, cool and calm bride but I’m sure some people who were unhappy with my plus-one policy would tell you that I was a total Bridezilla. Others might’ve have found my tone a bit too snappy when explaining my expectations for the day. So where does this disparity come from? It’s all about context and communication. I did my best to help other people understand where I was coming from and what I was doing. Some people have never been involved with planning a wedding before, so they don’t get all the moving pieces to it. The term Bridezilla also takes the place of some of the other negative terms used for women in other contexts that probably would never be applied to a man who was doing the same things (hence the lack of the groom-zilla equivalent).

    So how do we fight this? It’s a twofold thing: First as brides, we need to monitor our own behaviors. Are we mistreating the people who love us and want to be there for us? If you are, you need to check yourself before your wreck some pretty important relationships. Marriage is awesome (seriously, best decision I’ve ever made) but I don’t know how great it’d be if I’d pissed off everyone around me leading up to it. Listen to what others have to say and decide if it has value in relation to your goals or not. If not, do your best to let people know where you’re at and hopefully they will be understanding, but don’t sweat it if they don’t. You can’t control what others think. Instead, just do your thing and hopefully in the end, everything will work out for the best. The few people I worried about calling me a Bridezilla at times were the same people that told me how amazing my wedding was when it was all said and done.  If you’re not the bride in a situation, do the bride a favor and cut her some slack. Understand she’s dealing with a stressful situation unlike anything she’s dealt with before. Even ladies for whom this isn’t their first wedding are dealing with a totally new situation; every marriage is different and calls for a celebration all its own and has its own challenges. Be there for your lady friends who are getting ready to wed and leave the judgement at the door. To my newly engaged friends out there, I promise to help you stay away from this title at every chance I get.

    Let’s make 2016 the year we kill the ‘zilla once and for all.

  • 8/14

    Photo: Clane Gessel Photography Dear Liz, I've gone from being a Broke Ass Bride last year to  a Broke Ass bridesmaid this year, and I'm having a hard time with the transition. I've never been in a wedding before,so I have nothing to compare it to really, except for my own wedding.  I had to beg, borrow and steal to pull off my wedding, and we…

    Read the full article →

    7/23

    Sometimes, I feel like pulling out my hair when it comes to wedding planning. There are days, or even just hours at a time where the whole thing feels insurmountable and like I can’t get it all done in the time I’ve allotted myself. Other times, I feel a complete zen. Whatever will be will be. We’re going to figure out solutions. The right vendor…

    Read the full article →

    6/1

    I'm Not a Bridezilla Button from Zazzle My Netflix has lead me astray. We've gotten hooked on the absolute hot mess that is "Bridezillas." I joke that we watch it so that my fiance realizes just how good he has it, but really, it's just entertaining trash TV that's easy to binge on. For the most part, I watch all of their meltdowns wondering why…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!
  • 2/7

    Dear Bridezilla, I would like advice on how/whether to give unsolicited advice without hurting someone. I got married last year (and used your tips a lot, so thank you!).  A friend loved my wedding, and frequently asks for my opinions as she plans her own.  She wants her wedding to be as inexpensive as possible, and to that end has decided to re-wear her white…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!

    6/19

    1. You can't sleep.  And when you do sleep, you dream about weird/crazy/horrible things happening at your wedding. 2. 90% of the things you say to your partner are wedding-related.  As soon as they open their eyes in the morning you're asking "Have we called the rental company to tell them how many chairs we need?" 3. You decide it's a great idea and totally…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!

    5/11

    Hi, girls.  *Awkward foot shuffle.* I have to admit, for the past couple weeks now… I’ve felt a little like Debbie Downer. I think there’s a pretty fine line between Being Honest and Being a Total Drag. I’m sorry, if I bounced back and forth across that line. I'm better now. {... I think.} I realized something this past weekend. There are two kinds of…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!
  • 1/14

    There are two questions my brides always ask me that I have automatic answers to: 1. "Can I do X, Y or Z for my wedding?" The answer is: Yes. 2. "I'm not turning into Bridezilla, am I?" The answer is: No. Both answers are true, every single time they ask. I think that it can be hard for women to accept that, a) we…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!