I used to think that fancy weddings were overpriced and unnecessary, and I swore that I would never have one.
Present day, I still think that fancy weddings are overpriced and unnecessary, but I find myself smack in the middle of planning one.
It’s one of those things that just kind of sneaks up on you. You know, like how you swear that you’re not going to grow up to be your mother but then one day you find yourself blocking the aisle in the grocery store to talk to someone you went to high school with. Sure, you say that you’re not going to give in to societal pressure and start caring about all the Wedding Bullshit™, but somehow you always do. I said I wouldn’t, but here I am drinking the Flavor Aid like everyone else.
And now that I’m on the other side of all the Wedding Bullshit™, not just peering into the window to point and laugh, but actually one of the inmates of the asylum myself, I want to take a minute to talk about the concept of the “bridezilla.”
More specifically, I want to talk about how I’ve just realized that it’s sexist nonsense.
If you happen to be unfamiliar with the term, allow me to enlighten you by sharing the series description from the show Bridezillas: “Godzilla has nothing on a bride-to-be planning her dream wedding, as evidenced by the aptly named Bridezillas’. The docu-series follows women who were perfectly normal before wedding planning took over her life. Grimly determined to realize their dream wedding’ at all costs, these out-of-control brides make the time leading up to their day of days an utter nightmare for everyone around them. In the end, they hope all the stress and meltdowns are worth it and they have the perfect wedding they’ve been dreaming of since they were little.”
Now, I’m not saying that planning a wedding gives any woman a free pass to act like a total bitch. It’s bratty and entitled to think that you’re allowed to make everyone’s life hell just because they’re tangentially involved in planning your special event.
But at the same time, I don’t think society does enough to examine the circumstances that lead to the monster being created.
Why does a bride become a bridezilla? Because she’s suddenly, out of nowhere, become a spoiled princess with no ability to reign in her entitlement and bossiness (sexism alert, btw)?
Or do you think it’s because we told her that this is the single most significant day of her life, that she’s in charge of every minute detail and that they’re all of vital importance, loaded her up with the accompanying stress of all these factors, and then just expected her to take it in stride when something went wrong?
I don’t think it’s fair to tell a bride that she needs to make everything perfect, and then call her a monster when she gets upset because something isn’t perfect.
And I’d be saying this even if people were judicious in their use of the term bridezilla. But the problem is worse still than that. I’ve noticed that it gets used pretty much any time a bride voices a strong opinion about some aspect of planning the wedding.
Say that you prefer lilies to roses? “Whoa there, bridezilla, they’re just flowers.”
Suggest that your cousin leaves her toddlers at home for the big day? “Classic bridezilla, has to have everything her way.”
Well, yeah- she probably does want to have everything her way. So what? What exactly are we shaming these women for? Wanting to plan a super important and expensive event to their preferred specifications? And after you told them this event was the culmination of all their aspirations in life?
Get the hell out of here. If she’s a bridezilla, then you’re the atomic bomb of expectations and responsibilities that created her.