BRIDEZILLA



THE BRIDE WORE BLACK

Editor’s Note: I wrote the original version of Bridezilla almost thirty-five years ago as the “The Bride 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”.  I do thank and acknowledge them.  I believe based on my notes at the bottom, after research, my notation is the oldest reference I could find.   However, as an added bonus, 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.  At times, it’s more like a walk in the park… “Jurassic 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, color-coordinated souvenirs and probably carefully chosen 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, jealousy, envy, petty hatred and ethnicity. 

Make any slight change and it will spark a little inter-family 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, and Bats. Some cult groups who were into Gothic did bats who might be inclined to find a few small belfries to get away from their bat cracked captors.

RANKING AND TITLES
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 PRODUCER:
Generally due to tradition the producer is the Mother of the Bride.  She is the Supreme Commander.  Gen. Eisenhower wished he had this much control.   "Ask the boss” meaning the wife, is 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 and the beachfront but he said to her one day, "this is stupid, you couldn’t find some land with oil under it”?  

THE DIRECTOR (Tennis fanatic)
Usually it is 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. She’ll want as much attention as the Bride during the affair. Her real favorite is herself, and caution as she changes sides faster than a tennis ball.

FUTURE MOTHER-IN-LAW (How .02 cents = $20.00)
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!  

WEDDING DIRECTOR (Heavy TUMS User)
An expensive hired gun to help sort all this out so that hopefully the blood and spillage will be reduced to a minimum.  She recommended for the catering Herb’s Kosher Deli, Swedish Smorgasbord and Sushi Bar.  Was it a winner or a loser?  Depends on whether the words Chicken Soup got confused with Chicken Wings in Hot Sauce.

It’s all about expectations and sometimes expectorations. Let the food go bad and BRIDEZILLA will let the wrath out and we don’t mean the Rath Bacon people.   Many high end weddings have a taste day by the caterer so you know what you are getting unless of course, your reception is at McDonalds or Hamid’s Falafel Barbecue and Swedish Smorgasbord. 

THE SOLOIST (Not quite Streisand)
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.  And the bored audience sometimes yawns and sometimes asks, are we there yet?

THE DJ (Music Master in his own mind)
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.  They run the gamut, I have seen some great ones that made you think they programmed music for the Sistine Chapel.  And I have heard this that could have orchestrated the music for lunch call at Alcatraz Penitentiary. 

THE PHOTOGRAPHER (Sacrificial Lamb)

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 previous social gatherings called weddings, and whoever says, “Mistakes can be repeated” should change it to “Mistakes will be repeated, just a little differently with an unknown time table”.

Remember, YOU are the only independent member of the cast but you should have a contract.  Contracts prevent targeting who will get blamed for just about everything.

 

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.

 

THE EXPLOSION - 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! 


Errata: www.etiquettehell.com

Back in 1999, Modern Bride magazine launched a full-page comic strip called Bridezilla which chronicled “The beast called bride-to-be” Bridezilla!  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.”  

When a photographer friend of mine read Bridezilla, the last phrase about "kissing my feet" was the line that he laughed at and he added I’ll kiss her feet just before I put her in the fire, feet are better cooked well, they taste like chicken…

 Credits to: Steffi Kammerer, “Drama, chaos, greed and a white dress,” The Dallas Morning News, August 27, 2002 

HAVE YOU MET THE VILLAGE IDIOT