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