How to deal with Bridezilla. Get out why you can, or kill them with kindness?
Since this post might be a sensitive subject for some, I feel the need to come right out with a disclaimer! I’m going to say this and repeat it at the end of the post as well; this isn’t about the typical bride, or even the slightly stressed bride! It is about those few that are referred to as Bridezilla. We’ve all heard of them, and joke about them, but they exist and can make life a living hell for the people in their surroundings. If you don’t know one, then this post might seem harsh, and I’ll admit it is. However, please keep in mind that I am talking about the bride that hurts people with her wrath and brings people to tears (not the happy ones). This is about the Bridezilla, and your choices on how to deal with them.
I felt compelled to write this after reading so many personal stories from bridal party members, friends and family of the bride. Also working in the industry, I’ve come across this subject before and seen firsthand how it can devastate relationships.
For the Bridezilla it’s also not easy. You become so obsessed that you don’t care who you hurt on the way to your wedding day. You may regret your choices, so I recommend that you ask yourself while throwing out commands; is it worth losing the people you love and respect? You may come to regret the decisions you’ve made, and realize that you lost track of what was important.
I believe a wedding day is a celebration, you as a couple celebrating your special day with those you love and cherish. Keep in mind that your friends, family and wedding helpers are often doing things that are new to them, and you may even be asking them to do the work of professionals and expecting from them the same results a professional could provide. Take it easy is my advice, but at the Bridezilla stage, you need to s.t.f.d. and get off your high horse. Harsh? Yes, but someone needs to say it, and since I’m not in your bridal party, I’ll do it.
Again please remember what the topic is before commenting… a Bridezilla is a rare and unfriendly person, at least during her wedding planning.
Many of you have been in this situation: You just found out your friend is getting married and you’ve been asked to be a part of her big day. This may mean as a bridal party member, or your help is needed with wedding arrangements. You’re excited! Then, shortly after you start getting calls, chat messages and or emails with a laundry list of demands, outlining your “duties” as servant to the bride. I say “servant” and not “friend” because I hardly find anything friendly about being bossed around by someone who only has her best interests at heart.
Let me first say that I’m a romantic at heart and I enjoy seeing two people in love get married. But there is something to be said about a bride who treats her wedding like a dictator does his country. And just to be clear, a Bridezilla doesn’t affect only the bridesmaids. No, my readers, it seems that everyone – bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, friends, vendors, flower girls (yes, even the youngest members of the bridal party) – must fear the wrath of a Bridezilla.
So what to do when you discover your girl, best friend for life turns into a Bridezilla? Difficult decisions, and there aren’t many of them. But below is some advice for you.
Go with the flow:
You could simply go with the flow. I’ve experienced brides that are down right mean and rude to everyone around her. Having all the class of a Demolition Derby making everyone around her want to run their car into a wall. A Bridezilla can be so intense, they split the bridal party in two – those who could tolerate her and those who were considering not showing up at all. It’s ruined friendships and destroyed relations with family members.
Her attitude can affect the family relations. This can be an eye-opener for the groom’s family, which may not of ever seen this side of her. A Bridezilla can devolve into an unmannerly tyrant over the year of wedding planning, if you are experiencing this, you may want to inform the couple, using your sad face, that you had a previous ‘engagement’ in the south of France, you’d forgotten and won’t be able to make it, or help out. Though some people think about jumping ship, this is not always the easiest option. Sometimes, it’s easiest just to go with the flow…(you’re the true heroes of the day!).
Going with the flow is a very mannerly way of saying, “I don’t care enough to argue, even though I know you’re being a bitch.” Like when you’re at work and your boss says or does something insane. You really want to say something, but you know it may cost you your job, so you keep quiet. In the same way, having to be at the bride’s beck and call is just a part of being in the bridal party. But the only way you can really handle going with the flow is if you can respond to this question, “How much does this really mean to me?” with a simple answer of, “Not that much.”
In the end, it’s not your wedding, right? It’s theirs, though the Bridezilla may not think so, so many refer to it as ‘my big day’, and I cringe when I hear this! Sorry to wake you from your dream Bridezilla, but it’s ‘OUR DAY’ you should be saying, since after all – you aren’t marrying yourself.
Does it really matter?
So if you are asked to wear a dress that makes you look like a ghost, does it really matter? Or if you are asked to show up to pictures, dressed and ready to shine, and also to bake a cake and hang all the decorations, should you really argue? Going with the flow and having an indifferent, attitude about a wedding that is not yours is sometimes the easiest, most stress free, and most mannerly thing to do. It doesn’t take away that the bride, your friend is really being selfish and overbearing. Still it’s up to you how you deal with it. She’s probably just super nervous and seen way too many Pinterest boards and hasn’t a clue what she’s doing (while claiming to be the perfectionist). Certainly you don’t want to be treated like crap, but you simply smile and hope there is a way it will end up well, or at least be over soon!
How to deal with a Bridezilla that is driving you mad?
So the bride sends 30+ texts and you’re asleep, you notice but think ‘no way, I have a busy day tomorrow’. The bride isn’t even factoring this in. She has a better idea, she calls you.
You could ignore and claim you didn’t hear, l keep the phone off at night so that would be the case, but if you’re in the bridal party and do this you may get on the bride’s ‘shit list’.
There are options!
The aim is not hating the bride, and destroying your relationship with her and him, let’s face it if you piss the bride off, chances are the groom is either going to break contact, or be forced to break contact… remember this is a post about Bridezilla brides and not the typical stressed bride!
You could just agree with her.
Your best bet is to just listen. Even if you’re halfway in dreamland, that’s fine. The truth is, she doesn’t really want your opinion (most overbearing brides don’t want this, they want ‘slaves’ to do the work, people that keep their opinions to themselves!). She just needs to talk out her decisions. So let her talk, let her weigh her options, and then agree with whatever she decides. Then tomorrow, when she calls you again to let you know she changed her mind, agree with that too.
Seriously, just agree with her. Even if you don’t. The bride does not care about your opinion.
Hate your bridesmaids shoes? The bride doesn’t care. Hate the fact that she picked hot pink and purple as her colors? The bride doesn’t care. Hate that you’re also having to bake the cake, set up decorations and have to wear those shoes and that dress the ENTIRE DAY?
Your opinions don’t matter!
She cares about you, obviously. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t have asked you to be in her bridal party. But right now, she doesn’t care if you can’t walk in 4.5-inch heels because you know what, you can order the shoes early and learn to walk in them. Practice wearing them at all times. Sleep with them on your feet. But, unless you want a fight, don’t complain to the bride about your shoes. Vent to anyone but the bride. Vent to your boyfriend, your mom, the cashier ringing you up as you purchase the shoes. The bride, though, has already agonized for months over those shoes and finally made a decision. The last thing she wants to hear is that you hate them.
You can hate them, of course. Just don’t ever let her know.
Check In with her. constantly.
Her world exists only for wedding planning. Nothing else matters. A difficult bride is a really bad, selfish friend. It’s awful, but it’s true. She just doesn’t see it, so you can’t really get mad. She doesn’t mean to be so self-absorbed, but she is. But if you act the same way, she will notice and dump you with no remorse. She’ll call you out for not caring about her. So just check in with her. You can even go as far as setting an alarm on your phone to go off at the same time every week. When the alarm goes off, just send her a quick text with, “How’s wedding planning going? Anything I can do to help?” She’ll appreciate it and it will make her a heck of alot easier to deal with.
Another option I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s not an easy one.
Drop Out Of The Bridal Party.
Remember jumping ship doesn’t come without sacrifices and consequences! So if you think the bride is going to be difficult, and you can’t give her the commitment she needs (or rather, demands), then maybe the best way is to simply say no. Below I go further into the two decisions I see as options, when dealing with a Bridezilla.
Even if your friend doesn’t specifically say you can say no, you can. Just because a bride asks you to be in her bridal party doesn’t mean you have to do it. Just say no. This also means those that aren’t in the bridal party but are asked to help with the preparations.
You know your friend. You’ve probably known her for awhile. You know if she will be a difficult bride or if she’ll be a calm one. And if you have things in your life that will take priority over her wedding (starting your own business, caring for your child, your new home, sleeping through the night…), it’s best for both of you if you tell her you are honored that she chose you but you just can’t give her the type of commitment she deserves. She’ll be mad at first, but she’ll be a lot more mad if you don’t meet her every demand or don’t agree to everything she says. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been asked to give your opinion and help make decisions, she doesn’t want you to do that. Not a Bridezilla, they want you to know your place and just get shit done, when they want and exactly how they want it. If you don’t understand that, then you are the problem.
Kill her with kindness:
Remain calm. No matter how she behaves, remain calm. With a Bridezilla, the real issue lies with her, not you. Do not allow her negativity and unhappiness to affect you to the point that you feel like shit. So either get out why you can, or kill her with kindness!
After working with brides as a florist, this was always my go to motto. A bride is under extreme amounts of stress while you are simply trying to do your job, or as a friend/bridesmaid help out in the fullest capacity you can. With every phone call & email that you send to her, keep a smile on your face! It sounds silly, but your emotion and response will determine the relationship you have, not only during the wedding planning but for life.
So if you can just be kind, say yes, even when you don’t agree, you’ll be fine. Some people need ‘yes people’ around them and a Bridezilla is one of those types of people. Not everybody has a ‘yes person’ mind state, if you do you’ll probably get through this just fine!
Again, because of the sensitive subject for some, I feel the need to provide a disclaimer! This post isn’t about the typical bride, or the slightly stressed bride! It is about those few that are referred to as Bridezilla. We’ve all heard of them, and joke about them, but they exist and can make life a living hell for the people in their surroundings. If you don’t know one, then this post might seem harsh, it is to a point, but some brides have destroyed people mentally. Please keep in mind before commenting that I am talking about the bride that hurts people with her wrath and brings people to tears (not the happy ones). This is about the Bridezilla, and your choices on how to deal with them.