The definition of a bridezilla (according to my bible of definitions) is: “A bridezilla is a difficult, unpleasant, perfectionist bride.” Apparently the term bridezilla only came to be in 1995 so they’re a fairly recent addition to our vocabularies and certainly didn’t exist when my Mum was getting married.
The concept of a Bridezilla is an interesting one. What is it that turns an ordinary controlled woman into a mental case? One day in your life can turn you into a completely different person. I write this because our family are in wedding mode at the moment, everywhere I turn there’s a wedding being planned or we’re going to a wedding or eagerly anticipating wedding pics to be posted on facebook to the one’s we’re not at.
If I look back to almost 8 years ago at our wedding, which in all honesty wasn’t that fancy, I was a total wreck. In fact, if I recall correctly, I punched younger sister, who was chief bridesmaid, the night before because she hadn’t written her speech. Who does that? Perhaps it’s because organizing a wedding or major event that you hopefully only ever do once in your life, isn’t something that comes naturally to all of us. Those who have organized a wedding before you ask ridiculous questions like;
“Who’s designing your dress?”
“What kind of cars are you having?”
“Who’s doing your flowers?”
“Where is the reception?” and
“What table settings are you having?”
To those of us mere mortals who simply can’t decide where to meet up with friends on a Friday night, perhaps this level of concentration, vision and organization gets to much and let’s face it, it’s all very exciting until you have to make decisions on how you want to spend one of the biggest days of your life!
Organising a wedding can certainly be stressful, but it poses the question, does it need to be stressful? I am sitting here on Langkawi Island in Malaysia having attended my first ‘destination wedding’ (which is what they’re apparently called) one of my brothers got married here two days ago. Firstly I have to say it was the most incredible, beautiful and spiritual wedding I’ve ever been to. Secondly, his new bride, my sister in law was THE most cool, calm collected and chilled out bride I’ve ever seen. Not a hissy fit in sight. In fact I was sitting in the beauty salon with her only two hours beforehand and all she said was “I’m so emotional, I can’t stop crying tears of happiness” that was about as dramatic as it got. To her own admission, little bro did a lot of the organizing and there was a wedding planner here to take care of all the smaller details given they hadn’t even been here before the wedding but if that’s the way to do it without getting stressed out, them I’m 100% for the ‘destination wedding’.
Everything was thought of and bride and groom seemed to be way too relaxed. The way it should be. I must admit, I was cynical at first, I wondered what was wrong with a Sydney wedding? However, I am happy to be wrong. The celebrant opened with “Many of you have not been to a beach wedding before and the couple want you to know that this wedding and celemony is a reflection of how the couple live their lives” – it was all so true – they’re beach people, Bondi Beach is a second home to them. Perhaps it was also the fact that there were only 30 people here, perhaps it was the wedding planner’s assistance or perhaps it was because everyone here is on holiday and therefore the relaxed atmosphere just got us all into party mode. The small attention to detail that didn’t cost a fortune but added soo much fun to the day and night was a credit to this lot over here, each person had a celebrity photo as their place setting (mine being the worst of the lot, everyone got someone kinda cool and sexy and my place setting was Kim from Kath and Kim – apparently I’m a dead ringer for her – erk!), They had bought some pirate dress up clothes and got everyone to dress up as Pirates and get a photo taken with a message for the happy couple on a blackboard. At the end of the night, we let about 100 lanterns off into the night sky over the beach, not overly expensive things to do, but different and phenomenal small touches that made it memorable.
The emphasis on ‘the day’ as opposed to ‘the marriage’ has got completely out of control in recent years. The “my wedding must be better than her wedding”, “My dress needs to be expensive because everyone will know if it isn’t” and my wedding needs to be cooler, more sophisticated and the most amazing photographs ever. There are TV shows dedicated to showing the opulence and ridiculous nature of some weddings. What’s the first thing we ask a friend when they get engaged “Ooooh, show me the ring” – I too am guilty of this wanker reaction.
There’s a lot to be said for the element of surprise in eloping too! I have two family members that have eloped. One just jumped on a plane and secretly did their thing on Castaway Island in Fiji and another jumped on a ferry to Manhatten Island in New York and got married at the City Town Hall – they both remember it as one of the most special days of their lives. Definitely NOT your typical bridezilla’s!
Regardless of the typical bridezilla or groomzilla and the circus that weddings can be, we always need to remember the vows, the ceremony and the commitment two people are making to one another. If that is remembered then possibly more marriages would have a chance of making it through the tough times. There’s a lot to be said for being able to reflect on the marriage vows and not the colour of the bridesmaids frocks.
I have a funny feeling that’s what happened here this week, it was all about two people, one marriage and a spiritual journey they’re about to go on together……..