This Halloween rendition of me is here to discuss a monster that is dear to my heart: bridezilla. Weddings. They can bring out the best and the worst in us. I’m writing today to say that this is ok, and to suggest that beneath bridezilla’s thorny exterior lie the best intentions.
Many people spend a good long time picturing exactly how they would like their wedding day to look, feel, and flow. Historically, a woman’s wedding day has been the fulfillment of her womanhood. I’m not here to discuss whether or not this should be the case, but only to say that fantasizing about weddings has gone on since childhood in the hearts of minds of many women.
Growing up I dressed in Ninja Turtle t-shirts and was embarrassed when my mother forced me into a dress once a year at my school Christmas pageant, and even I threw weddings for my stuffed animals, and fell asleep at night trying to decide whether my dress would have puffed sleeves like Anne of Green Gables, or if I should look more like a Greek goddess. (The Ninja Turtle came out in a speech at my wedding, and I decided to go Greek goddess over Anne).
When people get engaged, planning for the wedding happens for months and sometimes years in the minds of men and women, who dedicate their spare days and nights to make their wedding the most special, memorable day of their lives. During the time building up to the big day the anticipated and imagined wedding plays out our minds mind like a movie, and in little snapshots, where the colors are always perfectly muted and candlelit, and everyone is always laughing, and toasting with champagne. By the time the wedding comes the movie’s been played so many times, it’s nearly become an old favorite.
So, after all of the months and years of imagining, when something doesn’t fit with the script, when the cake is a little tilted or the main course is late, when the music cuts out, or people dip into the booze to heavily before the ceremony—when there is some ugly blemish that wasn’t in the original vision— then it can be more disappointing and frustrating for even the most laid back person than we’d like to admit, and while we may be embarrassed that we care, we do care.
At this point the bridezilla or the groomzilla (as the groom is not exempt from this phenomena either) may rear up and snap at someone they love, or yell and shed a tear.
Bridezilla is dear to my heart because I always knew she was in me, as I’ve always secretly liked things just so. At my wedding this past summer I was able to keep bridezilla mostly under wraps, although she did creep out a couple of times.
From the early stages of planning bridezilla was lurking in the ambitiousness of my vision. My husband and I had may DIY elements to our wedding, which ended up being DIWedding Party elements. While in the end we got everything done, it took a lot of help from our wedding party, family, and friends. Afterwards, I couldn’t help but feel guilty that we didn’t end up having time to make it to the cottage for a swim like I had promised. I fear that through all of my planning to make the perfect atmosphere, I undermined this very atmosphere by asking too much of everyone.
Bridezilla also showed up for the rehearsal dinner. While for lawn games I had brought the vintage croquet set and bocce balls, in the afternoon my sweet and thoughtful mother-in-law-to-be brought out a fluorescent plastic golf set that she bought for the children to play with. Fluorescent and plastic didn’t fit with what I was picturing, nor did it fit with the pictures I knew Krista would be taking on that lawn, and so I found myself asking calmly that the kids toys be hidden away, while inside I was anxious and upset at the thought of those damn plastic toys cluttering up my beautiful lawn party photos. When the golf set magically reappeared at the rehearsal, there was nothing I could do but grin and bear them.
We cannot control everything. The wedding day that you picture doesn't ever go exactly as you plan. In life and living color there are ugly plastic lawn toys that the children love so much that it almost makes it worth it. There is an unplanned rain shower, which turns out to be good luck, and there are sweet words whispered behind a laurel tree that were never in the original plan. In the end the day is full of life and love, and it is gritty and more perfect than you ever imagined.
When I look back at my pictures now, while the bridezilla in me still cringes when she sees those plastic lawy toys, the rest of me is overwhelmed with joyful memories. Lucky for me, there is Photoshop!