Editors Note: I wrote the original version of Bridezilla almost thirty years ago as the “The Devil wore Black”. In its many incantations and changes (it’s a heck of a lot more liberal today than when originally written) it has appeared as the “Bride Wore Black” and now appears as ‘Bridezilla”. I don’t know who really coined the phrase “Bridezilla” but I do thank and acknowledge them. I think, based on my notes at the bottom, that notation is the oldest reference I could find. Research on the term Bridezilla did produce some interesting information and there is some data following the article. This is must reading for those who think Wedding Photography is a walk in the park.
BRIDEZILLA by Al Jacobson
A Wedding is a sacred feminine driven emotional roller coaster of a ride. The coveted skills involved in Wedding Planning require teamwork, dedication, information and patience. The event duration is defined as six or eight months during which minute but deadly drops of feminine correctness have flowed from a group of related females, each striving to help produce a socially correct show for another group of individuals called friends and relatives.
Note: If this was live, we would now cue the music “That’s Entertainment” as played by the Red Carpet Orchestra.
This distinguished group has planned and tested their ideas and patience, searched for: the Minister, the Church, the Dress, the Bridesmaid’s Outfits, the Groom’s Outfits, the Rings, the Reception Hall, and the Caterer. In addition there were discussions on the Limousine, Flowers, Free Giveaways, Souvenirs and probably Color-Coordinated Condoms.
Fact is, with a sixty-percent failure rate in marriages who could argue they are more than the crew of the HMS Misguided Social Custom? Many of these guidelines for this event have been created based on religious training, community expectations, and ethnicity.
Make any slight change and it will spark a little interfamily feuding mixed with petty jealousies. This tends to rise to the surface, one thing goes wrong and YOU will see the water rise very quickly. And the Mother-in-Law owns the only Fireboat in the harbor.
Also such critical decisions as to whether to release: Butterflies, 40% who die in transit, Doves, 60% who will never do a Wedding again preferring to work a dove field during hunting season and take their own chances, Bats. Some disserving cult groups who were into Gothic did bats who might be inclined to find a few small belfries.
Regardless as the day grows nearer, the die is cast. At this point in time, committees have been formed. Various roles have been assumed and assigned. They are in order of importance:
The Mother of the Bride. The Supreme Commander. Eisenhower wished he had this much control. A long time matriarchal phrase discovered some time during the forty years walking the desert till Moses finally found a home. His wife liked the neighborhood.
Usually a favorite Aunt with a lot of money. Always is helpful and gracious because the kid getting married is her favorite...this week. Next year when another of the nieces gets married she will be the new favorite and so forth.
No title, you see she hasn’t really been accepted into the tribal club yet. But sooner or later her .02 cents will be made known, just let something go wrong. She’s sometimes seen as the one with the ring of chicken heads worn proudly around her neck with a hatchet in her right hand. Remember this point well!
An expensive hired gun to help sort all this out so that hopefully the blood and spillage will be reduced to a minimum. CATERER: (Herb’s Kosher Deli, Swedish Smorgasbord and Sushi Bar. A winner or loser. Depends on whether the words Chicken Soup got confused with Chicken Wings in Hot Sauce. It’s all about expectations and expectorations. Let the food go bad and BRIDEZILLA will let the Rath out and we don’t mean Rath Bacon.
Because no one with talent wants to do a duo with her, the short dumpy girl from high school who barely made the chorus will be singing “The Wedding Song” or possibly some cool Rap Music thing.
A true Affliction`ado of Music. This is another trigger for the Bridezilla. Her carefully chosen song list got ignored when the DJ’s pass at one of the Bridesmaids got successful. And he found out she was into RAP music.
The only participant not part of the tribe. Yet you hold the deepest newfound responsibility. Think of yourself as being amongst Helen of Troy, Athena, Diana, Eva Braun, Oprah, and Genghis Kahn’s Ex. During this preparation process, the concerted input has come from generations of social foo-pahs called weddings, and whoever says, “mistakes can be repeated” should change it to “mistakes will be repeated, just a little differently”. Remember, YOU are the only independent member of the cast.
MEANWHILE - The TESTOSTERONE CREW
The Groom, Best Man and other innocents have responded with fun, games, bachelor parties at every strip joint in town, lots of beer and the battle cry of the male genre “Just tell me where to stand”. Adding on the wedding day “ Please fix my tie, just tell me when do I have to be there, and where’s the beer!” In addition, the soon to be King has been told by his advisors. “Just wait, she’ll change, they all do” and they trek off for another beer. Don’t look for them for support if it hits the fan.
The END RUN
Now it gets interesting, as the day grows closer, the emotional level rises, fueled by...You guessed it, that cycle of chemical imbalances. This leads to insecurity. Questions like “What, or who did we forget?” Misgivings about what was ordered. The Bride just put on two pounds and the dress is too tight. All complicated by a factor of the three, four...or five little inputs that come in from the other advisory board members. It continues to build.. UNTIL the day of the Wedding! Everything has come to a head and everyone is scurrying around with last minute details.
Then it happens...EVERYONE VANISHES! The coalition has been dissolved. The production starts to fall apart and no one is in charge anymore. All the producers and directors are now involved with hair, nails, dressing, dumping the kids, dressing the kids, weak bladders, bad fitting but colorful shoes and they are now the ACTORS in this play. They have their own parts to perform. There’s no one in command! In a moment of time all the planning is forsaken and the real rites of passage begin.
ALL ARE GONE EXCEPT YOU, “THE PHOTOGRAPHER”
Think of it as an old Mickey Rooney movie. It’s a Broadway musical and the music conductor quits opening night. The kid, usually played by Mickey Rooney, comes flying out of the audience, saying “Let ME lead the orchestra, I took Clarinet in High School”. This only works in Hollywood.
In real life you will become the next CHICKEN HEAD worn around the mother-in-laws neck ! You would be better off being a loser on Survivor. You are the one left standing. And you are expected to walk everyone through the whole mess. That’s what a good professional Wedding Photographer provides. He is practiced, confident, prepared, and knowledgeable. He is battle hardened. He has been here before.. Are you up to it or are you biting off more than you can swallow? Remember you might be missing a neck!
Back in 1999, Modern Bride magazine launched a full-page comic strip called Bridezila, which chronicled “The beast called bride-to-be” Bridezilla (bryd.ZIL.uh) n. A bride-to-be who, while planning her wedding, becomes exceptionally selfish, greedy, and obnoxious. Typical and expect it if you catch a Bride who is a fan of this show!
The tricky thing about Bridezillas is that their transition from sweethearts to creatures from hell cannot be foreseen, not even by the future husbands. Today’s word is a combination of Bride and Godzilla, the mutant dinosaur created by U.S. hydrogen bomb testing in the Pacific that, in numerous films in the 50s and 60s, would wade onto land and destroy everything in its path. Hmmm, sounds familiar.
The bridal version of this monster is created by the maniacal need to have “the perfect day” and she’ll walk over anyone and everything to get it. They are perfectly normal women — until they get a ring,” says Ms Spaemme. “They run around screaming: ‘It is my day! Bow down and kiss my feet!’ They demand attention, gifts and money and treat family and friends like servants.” Credits to: Steffi Kammerer, “Drama, chaos, greed and a white dress,” The Dallas Morning News, August 27, 2002