Last week I caught the last part of a “Bridezilla” episode on cable network. I was shocked and appalled that any girl would think it was OK to act that way. Then I got engaged.
From the moment I said, “Yes,” I have been faced with details to investigate, decisions to make, and debt rations to consider. Gracefully, my fiance has been supportive and offered a default opinion letting me plan the day I’d always dreamed of. This freedom has been both helpful and suffocating; for with this much rope I could tie up the loose ends for a beautiful day or hang myself. My choice would make me a bride or a bridezilla.
Don’t misunderstand me, I’ve planned big events before, but none as charged as this. No one told me of all the emotional moments I would face while planning this gloriously exciting day. I thought it was supposed to be blissfully quintessential, full of butterflies and tule, but I’ve found a myriad of other feelings wrapped into this sweet package called “wedding.” Maybe it’s the years I’ve watched friends marriages and seen it’s not all Disney endings. Maybe it’s the concept that I’ve lived many years single, making all my own decisions, and now I would have to consult someone else before spending 100 bucks on shoes. Maybe it’s the reality that marriage is work and I’m wondering if this is the man I want to do that work with. No one ever told me you would speculate on these things once a ring was on your finger. So, when the dress consultant put the veil on my head completing the dress ensemble and a heavy sigh reached down to my core, I couldn’t understand the overwhelming rush of emotions. This is not prom; I’m going to be his bride. Forever. I wonder if the bridezillas were feeling the weight of “till do us part,” or were they just selfish?
I recently read a student creative piece about struggling with the bridezilla mentality during wedding planning. I could relate. But when her revision came back she changed her title to “Embracing Bridezilla” and claimed that because it was her day, she felt entitled to be selfish, difficult, and mean to those around her and they would just have understand. She declared the bridezilla attitude was a small price to pay for the perfect wedding day; and seeing her new husband’s eyes on her that day made it all worth it. My stomach is uneasy just reading the words. I could never be OK with trampling the feelings of the important people in my life for a perfect day. How could it be perfect if I had them all crying and hurt in the moments leading up to it? This is not a price I am willing to pay.
The wedding industry has convinced girls that you deserve the princess day no matter the cost. “Go into debt,” is the unspoken mantra to every bride. It is too easy to succumb to this pressure and expand your day right into ruin. This is not how I want to start my life with the man I love. And I think it was in that moment that understood the bridezilla. She seeks to have the perfect day at all costs. The price could be thousands of dollars of debt, wounded friends and family, a man who wonders where the girl he proposed to disappeared to. Nothing is too high a price to pay. Underneath they might be wondering about forever and the weight of that commitment; but probably not. They are thinking about one thing. What they want in that moment. Nothing else matters. Any girl could become a bridezilla, but I will examine my actions, my heart, and my words in attempt to be the bride worthy of the man who asked to spend the rest of his life by my side. A true bride.