by JAMIE PARSELL
The bridezillas jokes are coming fast and furious. But before 2004, no one knew what a bridezilla was until the reality show debuted on WE TV. Before that brides were either cranky, mad, upset or difficult. This is the last and finale season — 10 in all — of the show. I have seen a few episodes, and raised my eyebrows at some of the epic temper tantrums and crying fits of the brides. Yet now in the midst of planning my wedding, I can see how one stressful hiccup can turn into a hot mess in a matter of seconds. How can a woman change so much from “will you marry me?” to “I do?” It is one of the question producers on the show ask viewers. I have one answer: Stress. I didn’t realize how stressful it was to plan a wedding from start to finish. Throw in work and daily life and my head spins, so does my decision-making skills. As a bride-to-be, and a former observant bridesmaid, here are two reasons why a bridezilla might show up instead of a sweet, glowing bride.
Decisions, which used to be easy, are now more difficult. I thought it would be easy to pick out a wedding dress. I knew what I liked, or what I thought I liked based on hours of searching the Internet. But what looks good on a supermodel doesn’t look the same on the average woman. I tried on so many dresses I lost count. By mid-afternoon, I was tired and hungry, and honestly, a bit grumpy. I need a break. I returned to the store later and selected the first dress I tried on that morning. Easy, right? Not really. I had to choose between ivory and white. But there wasn’t a white dress in the store, just ivory, which is a very popular choice for many brides today. We ended up ordering a white dress and keeping the ivory on hold, just in case. Too many options. From pearls to lace, soft pink to diamond white, big full ball gowns to sleek, modern sheaths, dresses know no limits, styles or trends. It is the most important dress of a woman’s life and that can paralyze any good decision-making skill.
After I was engaged, I all but ran to the store to purchase my first bridal magazine. I spent a long car ride flipping through the pages, mesmerized by the glitzs and glamour of big budget weddings. As a magazine editor, I should have know better, but it didn’t stop my inner bride from wanting the same gold-rimmed plates at a reception and flowing Hollywood-style hair. National magazines have stylists and a team of employees behind the scenes at weddings. The average working woman can’t recreate a Hollywood wedding, or rent out a Ferris wheel for guests. (One California couple really did this at their wedding.) Another misleading online addiction for wedding planners is Pinterest. The site, which is categorized by photos, is a bride’s best friend. I have found a lot of good ideas, some budget friendly, some not. It is a good place to get ideas, but if plan your wedding solely on Pinterest, be ready for reality, or plan to win the lottery.
So how do you avoid turning into a crying, nervous bridezilla? Create a support system. I am the last of my friends to walk down the aisle. Their advice has been comforting, so has their friendship. I helped each one with their weddings. I helped plan their showers, picked out bridesmaid dresses, made decorations and more. The typical bridesmaid duties. But it goes deeper. Friendship, the kind that forms outside of wedding planning, is invaluable. When things don’t go exactly as planned or when the cake doesn’t look exactly like it was promised, a true friend encourages and comforts a bride. The ones who comfort are the same people who keep brides from turning into bridezilla. The hot mess is taking care of by others. Stressful moments are lightened up by caring acts of friendships and a bit of humor from the maid of honor who likes to crack jokes. Wedding planning has opened my eyes to a different kind of stress. It takes friends, family and a good-humored fiancé to keep a bride from falling victim to any of these bridezilla symptoms — overreacting, crying, pouting, rolling of the eyes, stomping off, just to name a few. Without them, it would be a hot mess for sure. Here is to keeping it real — and not ordering a Ferris wheel, just because of the pretty photo ops.
Jamie Parsell is the Lifestyle editor of the Daily Telegraph. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BDTParsell.