Bridezillas are scary, there is no doubt about that, but I can also kind of understand where they’re coming from. As much as I’d like to think that I would be above being a bridezilla at my own wedding, I can totally see it happening: I’m a person who likes to be in control, and when something out of my control goes wrong, I generally have a mini-meltdown over it. I think that there are so many factors, though, that can work together in just the right way to create a bridezilla. One of them being a natural disposition toward wanting to be in control, obviously. Another one is money; if you’re shelling out the big bucks for quality, it’s valid to expect to get it, right? Especially for big events like a wedding, it’s easy to consider something you pay for a waste of money when you aren’t happy with it. And no one likes to waste money. Another one is the performance: because really, at least of half of a wedding ceremony is for the benefit of other people. It’s like you’re an actor performing a role that so many others have perfected (like Hamlet), and you’re expected to follow a script that never changes whilst maintaining your distinct personhood and entertaining your audience, which consists of family and close friends, ie. people you don’t want to disappoint. It’s enough stress to alter a person’s demeanor; I’m almost having a panic attack just thinking about it.
Another thing that I think is a really big factor is the idea that, especially for girls, your wedding day is supposed to be perfect. I guess I can only speak for myself when I say that, for me, weddings have always had kind of magical connotations, like this one day of your life you get to experience romantic transcendence and perfection because you’re committing yourself to love in an elaborate ceremony, but I suspect that most girls have at least experienced the residue of this image of weddings. But this masterplot of ‘the wedding as a perfect and defining moment of your life’ is totally flawed for several reasons. One, it’s just another day in your life, only with more tradition and smiling and dressing up; it is a ceremony that symbolizes love, not the manifestation of love itself. And like all other days, it ends. Two, I think it’s kind of reductive to suggest that being a bride is definitive of a woman’s personhood. Maybe it’s just the feminist in me, but I would hope that there would be a lot more things I could do in life to give me a sense of personal pride and accomplishment than get married, since any girl over the age of eighteen (and even younger if their parents give them the okay) can do that. Which gives me an excellent segue way into Three: more than half of marriages end in divorce anyway! Weddings are great and everything, but I’m likely to be a lot more impressed by a couple that has endured hardships and stayed married even when it would have been easy to throw in the towel, than a couple who has a flawless wedding where everything is perfect and appears to go as planned that ends up getting divorced a couple years later. No wonder women turn into bridezillas when they expect something perfect and transcendent from their wedding, and only get stressful and normal instead.
Anyway, feminist tangent aside, I can see both sides of the bridezilla coin. I only hope that when I get married I can do so with grace and humility and joy, instead of turning so scary that everyone cowers in my presence from fear. I may need the aid of sedatives to help accomplish this, just sayin’.
Does anyone have any good bridezilla / wedding disaster stories?