For one thing, everyone seems to use it a little differently. Does it mean a bride who has hit a wall with stress and just needs a little cathartic cry to pull herself together? Or is it a bride making unrealistic demands on her bridesmaids? Perhaps it is a self-absorbed bride not taking guests' comfort into account in her decision making. Maybe it is a bride who wants everything done her way even when her way makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Could it be a bride who thinks a budget is a suggestion rather than a boundary...when someone else is footing the bill?
From what I can tell, a bridezilla is any of those things. But however you use the term, it is never a compliment. Didn't our moms tell us not to call people names? And the very last person you need to be calling names is yourself! A bride may act selfishly, do something silly, have unrealistic expectations, break down into a puddle of tears, etc. Call the behavior out for what it is, but let's skip the derogatory label of the whole person shall we?
Wedding planning can indeed be very stressful and generate high anxiety. It involves seemingly countless decisions and decision making is stressful by its very nature. We worry about other people's opinions, are bombarded by their expectations, and second guess ourselves. With respect to weddings, we are making decisions about things we don't necessarily have a lot of expertise with. The wedding industry and social expectations have created an environment in which wedding details are now under the proverbial microscope. The relaxing of etiquette norms provides us with more options and less guidance. When you add concerns about money to the mix, you have a perfect recipe for mood swings, out of character outbursts, and melt down mode.
Brides absolutely must take time for both self-reflection and working on their relationship with their fiance during the wedding planning process. They have to take periodic emotional and mental breaks from the planning process. If you are a bride, do it! If you are dealing with a bride, encourage her in this regard and help her make it happen.
Brides, keep things in perspective. The fate of the world does not rest upon your wedding planning decisions. While your wedding day is indeed an important day in your life, it isn't the only important day. It's a celebration of your commitment, not a Hollywood production. Don't compare your wedding to a perfectly scripted, well-rehearsed, outrageously funded wedding scene in a movie. For that matter, don't compare it to anyone else's wedding either.
Take a deep breath and pace yourself, making one decision at a time. Learn how to communicate your decisions firmly and tactfully when final decisions are made, and how to accept advice graciously when it is offered. Give advice serious consideration rather than automatically discounting it, especially when it is given by someone who may be driving you nuts. You might be tossing away a really good idea out of emotional reaction rather than rational decision making. Take a little time to mull over choices and advice rather than making snap decisions, but don't procrastinate to the point of indecision.
I can tell you from experience as a bride almost twenty years ago, those details you are obsessing about now will become vague memories over the years to come. I honestly could not tell you one thing about my wedding cake or my bridal bouquet without referring to a picture in an album I haven't opened since our anniversary last June.
Take other people's feelings, comfort, and financial situations into consideration by exhibiting common courtesy, common sense, and compassion. Know what you want, but make sure what you want is realistic and reasonable.
Take a deep breath...and stop using that word!
Photo Attribute: Scoobie's Photographic Images