You Might Be a Bridezilla if…….

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The first known citation of the term  “Bridezilla” was in the Boston Globe in 1995 followed by a series of cartoons in Modern Bride magazine in 1999. But, it was the television series which aired in July 2004  that made the term ‘Bridezilla’ part of our modern vocabulary. 

Bridezilla is a portmanteau of two words: Bride and Godzilla. This type of morphing or blending words has become quite popular in modern culture, so much so that this one word evokes an images of an out of control, crazed, wedding obsessed woman who knows no limits.  Although rare, they are out there. Of course reality TV (aka staged, scripted versions of real life)  has tweaked the situation to make it worse but,  never underestimate the power of an engaged woman who wants to get her way. So, how do you spot these rare creatures and how do you know when your level-headed, intelligent, caring best friend has succumbed to ‘Acquired Situational Narcissism’?

 If you asked your attendant to change their hairstyle, remove a tattoo or lose weight to be in your wedding – you might be a bridezilla.

If you asked someone else to do the gift registry on your behalf because you are too busy – you might be a bridezilla.

If you have asked anyone  to address and fill in their own Thank You note – you might be a bridezilla.

If you have asked any male member of the bridal party to shave their beard, moustache or alter their appearance in any way – you might be a bridezilla.

If you are planning a wedding that is out of budget, insisting that other’s pick up the tab for things you want but cannot afford – you might be a bridezilla.

If you have had several confrontations with wedding retailers – you might be a bridezilla.

If you have told anyone what they can wear, how they can act, how much they can drink or to whom they may speak at your wedding or reception – you might be a bridezilla.

If you asked any of your attendants to gain weight so you are the thinnest person standing at the altar,  check into counseling immediately.

It appears that sometimes a wonderful, sweet, intelligent woman can turn into bridezilla for apparently no reason. The truth is that there is a reason, perhaps it is stress, family issues, work trouble and if you add all that into planning a wedding, almost anyone can let loose with a little odd behavior.

So what exactly are you supposed to do when this happpens to a friend of yours?

Smile and Nod - Remember that this person will return to normal shortly.

Offer help - She may be in over her head.

Distract – Maybe she needs a day off from wedding planning. Go for a nature hike, game of tennis, bike ride or find an amusement park. If she can unwind for one day – you will reap the benefits and you may be able to get through to her on a different level.

Intervene – Everyone who has been bearing the brunt of this behavior should come together and confront the bride with her outrageous demands. United you stand, divided you fall.

Exit – If the demands go too far and the bride will not retreat or give any concessions, you might have to remove yourself from the entire situation. This may be the only option if the bride’s demands have gone so far over the top that you have lost sight of the person you once knew. Warning: Once you go here, there is no turning back.

In reality, a very small percentage of women actually turn into the dreaded “Bridezilla”. To avoid becoming one yourself, remember what the day is really about: Your friends and family gathering together to share in your happiness. Don’t sweat the small stuff - the wedding  lasts only one day while the marriage should last forever.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Do it Yourself Weddings – don’t try this at home

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I’ll admit it. I am an obsessive do-it-yourself-er. I am an amateur at some things and an expert at others. I can do just about anything given enough time and internet access or a library of books on the particular subject. I am also heavily opinionated about when to do it yourself and when to call in the professionals. There are just some things that are not a good idea. Weddings, in particular are one of those times.

The months, weeks and days leading up to your wedding are busy. Most women have to work and plan this event in their free time. There is barely time to sleep so taking on an extra task is unthinkable to most brides-to-be.

However, there are some couples faced with wanting or needing to cut costs so fervently that they decide to tackle the Do-It-Yourself wedding. Maybe they are just gluttons for punishment or they really do think they are capable. I’m not sure – but I can tell you this has more of the potential for disaster than asking Rosanne to sing the National Anthem.

DIY nightmare #1 -Bridesmaid Dresses. Sewing is easy, you get a pattern, cut it out, thread the needle and begin, right? NO. Sewing properly is an art form not to be taken lightly. Sewing delicate fabrics requires patience, skill and concentration. Unless you are a professional seamstress with your own studio filled with eager employees, do not attempt to make your own bridesmaid gowns. You will not only be disappointed when the gowns come out looking like a bad Home Ec project, you will also hate the pictures because they will magnify every poorly sewn detail. You also risk having bridesmaids who will never speak to you again.

#2 -Flowers. This has the potential to be a major catastrophe. Imagine staying up all night, the night before your wedding day clipping flower stems and ribbon-tying bouquets. That’s a best-case scenario and it goes downhill quickly from there. Ask yourself if you have a cooling system large enough to house the completed centerpieces and bouquets. You can’t put them in your refrigerator ta home because there are natural gases in food that will destroy the flowers. not to mentions flower arranging is very difficult and time consuming if done properly. Ask yourself if you will truly have time to enjoy your wedding week if every second of the last three days is spent focusing on flower pick up, purchasing and arranging only to wind up with an arrangement of half dead flowers. I doubt it.

#3 – Photo/Video. So you have decided to just put single use cameras on the table and let everyone take photos at the reception? Really? Maybe you handed a cam-corder to Uncle Bob and asked him to tape the whole thing. Maybe it would be a better idea to have everyone hold up their cell phones and snap random pictures out of focus with bad lighting. Or you could just have a courtroom sketch artist  depict the whole affair. Hire a photographer, even if it is just for an official portrait…. hire a photographer.

#4- Cake. Speaking from experience, decorating a cake is not easy. Martha Stewart seems to show up, squirt icing on the cake and it looks fantastic. The truth is that she had years of rigid training, attention to detail and only now after decades of hand-piping by herself in the confines of her own kitchen, she has a staff to handle this for her. Her staff has been trained and re-trained and practiced on more cakes than you can eat in a lifetime. In all fairness, they do make it look easy on TV. Don’t attempt to make your own cake. It took 5 weeks to complete the cake for William & Kate’s Royal Reception. 5 weeks of sugar flowers, 5 weeks of hand rolling  petals made of frosting to mirror an actual rose. Not to mention the added worry of transporting without dropping it. You would be better off buying a cheap cake at the grocery store than attempting to make one yourself. I’m not wrong about this.

In the end, it is the actual ceremony that matters the most but, why waste time and money trying to do it yourself only to have a fiasco weeks, hours or even minutes before the ceremony?

There are a few things you can do yourself. You can print or make  labels for bottles of wine as gifts, you can carefully arrange and/or wrap the favors that will be sent home, you can also cut and tie the netting or paper rice holders, if you are having rice thrown at your wedding. Other than that, I would advise against any attempt at handling these tasks yourself.

I won’t bore you with endless DIY disaster stories. I will share only one. A close friend of mine decided she would do her own hair and makeup, as well as the entire bridal party. They even went so far as to get together and do a practice run so she knew what everyone wanted. That’s a  lot to remember if you ask me. Anyway, fast forward to her wedding day when due to a traffic snafu she was literally putting on makeup right before she walked down the aisle. The bonus is that she was not familiar with photography-style  makeup so she and every bridesmaid looked comopletely washed out and borderline macabre. Big Mistake.

Hire professionals to have professional results. Visit www.bridalshowexpo.com to find a qualified, reputable, professional baker, florist, bridal salon or photographer in your area.

- Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago