Author Topic: How can I avoid bridezilla rage?  (Read 4395 times)

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LadyL

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How can I avoid bridezilla rage?
« on: January 17, 2013, 09:54:02 AM »
So LordL and I are planning our upcoming wedding. The lab mate Suzy I share an office with is the MOH for her friend Veronica's wedding. Needless to say the subject of wedding stuff comes up pretty regularly - Suzy and I are friends and talk about various personal things.

The issue is that Veronica is being somewhat of a bridezilla, and as someone who is trying to be the ANTI-bridezilla it raises my blood pressure to hear about her antics and it's hard to stay polite. For example, Veronica has two maids of honor who are both students on tight budgets, but she specifically asked that they host her wedding shower at an expensive restaurant and invite 70 people. There is no way they can afford that and she should know that  (apparently she's had money troubles herself making it all the more baffling). There are other examples where Veronica picks the most expensive option and it causes tension and anxiety for Suzy.

On the other hand, I am more concerned with what will be easy and stress free for everyone in my bridal party than anything else.  I told them that I do not want/need a wedding shower - people already were generous to me at my engagement party, a shower seems redundant. I don't want a bachelorette either and there are no mandatory matching dresses (my party can wear whatever they want that fits within our very flexible colorscheme and the formality of the event). I am very conscious of the fact that there is a bridal industry whose goal it to make you spend money and am trying to do only what is necessary and meaningful for me and LordL. So it makes me upset to see Suzy tearing her hair out because Veronica wants the dream big white wedding with all the stops pulled out and it relying on people who can't afford it to make it happen.

What is a polite way to respond when Suzy tells me "Veronica wants an entire garden of ice sculptures at her bridal shower and I have no idea how we're going to tell her no" or whathaveyou, without launching into a rant about the wedding industrial complex and how there will be no ice gardens at MY wedding? I really don't want to sound like I am humble bragging about how awesome a bride I am. Suzy also believes that low key weddings are the way to go so I'm not at risk of offending her, per say, more that I don't want to make her feel worse about her friendship with Veronica (which she describes as close). I've encouraged her to open a dialogue about budget to avoid hurt feelings or resentment down the line. But how much should I keep my mouth shut about the wedding of a stranger, whose way of doing things is causing stress for one of my friends?

NyaChan

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Re: How can I avoid bridezilla rage?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2013, 10:00:52 AM »
I think it is important to recognize that Suzy telling you about these problems is about her getting her frustration out, not you getting an opportunity to talk about your frustration with the craziness that can come from weddings.  Don't make it about you when it really isn't.  Instead, focus on the fact that Suzy is probably telling you this to receive some support from a friend - so express sympathy and respond to the fact that it is a personal problem for her, not an opportunity for you to rant.

Otterpop

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Re: How can I avoid bridezilla rage?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 10:07:31 AM »
Yes, I think telling her how YOU wouldn't do those things just adds to Suzy's stress.  It doesn't change her circumstance.  Only Suzy can do that, by standing up for herself.  Just be a supportive, sympathetic friend.

onyonryngs

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Re: How can I avoid bridezilla rage?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2013, 10:09:01 AM »
I'm not sure why you need to bring up your wedding at all when she's talking about her friend's wedding.  You don't need to make comparisons.  Give her advice about the questions she's asking you, like "Why not tell your friend that your budget is $XX and that you want to be able to give her the best shower possible, but aren't able to go over budget for an ice sculpture." 

hobish

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Re: How can I avoid bridezilla rage?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 10:09:43 AM »
Send her here!  ;D

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Twik

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Re: How can I avoid bridezilla rage?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 10:10:41 AM »
Quote
What is a polite way to respond when Suzy tells me "Veronica wants an entire garden of ice sculptures at her bridal shower and I have no idea how we're going to tell her no" or whathaveyou, without launching into a rant about the wedding industrial complex and how there will be no ice gardens at MY wedding?

EvilTwik suggests telling Veronica, "People in hell want ice sculptures, doesn't mean they're going to get them...."
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Amava

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Re: How can I avoid bridezilla rage?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 10:15:52 AM »
Yes, give her advice on how to handle Veronica (e.g. some exercises to steel the spine) like we would do here, without involving your own wedding plans in it.

Tell her she is not a bad MOH if she doesn't cater to the bride's every whim. And that it is perfectly acceptable to bring up budgetary issues to the bride and to set limits to one's input.

lowspark

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Re: How can I avoid bridezilla rage?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 10:16:41 AM »
I think she's just looking for a sympathetic ear. And you can easily provide that since you are planning your own wedding so you're probably ok with listening to all the wedding talk whereas other people might be bored with it. So yeah, like PPs said, don't bring up your own wedding. Just either sympathize or, if you can think of a reasonable, constructive response to help her cope, then offer that.

TootsNYC

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Re: How can I avoid bridezilla rage?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 10:29:06 AM »
Just keep repeating in your head, "It's not about me."

Suzy's problems w/ her friend are real--they are not hypothetical. They are about *Suzy.* You two aren't talking about "weddings in general"; you are talking about "a difficult situation in Suzy's life."

So try to keep the focus on her, and on what it is that she needs from you.

You might even ask her, flat out: "Do you simply need me to sympathize with you, or do you want some help thinking of how you'll respond to her, or do you want help thinking about logistical solutions?"

Surianne

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Re: How can I avoid bridezilla rage?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 10:29:44 AM »
I'm not sure why you need to bring up your wedding at all when she's talking about her friend's wedding.  You don't need to make comparisons.  Give her advice about the questions she's asking you, like "Why not tell your friend that your budget is $XX and that you want to be able to give her the best shower possible, but aren't able to go over budget for an ice sculpture."

I agree -- think of yourself as just another friend who is not a bride.  Sympathize and give her advice (if she seems to want it -- don't force it on her) without bringing up your own wedding, and I think you'll stay clear of the humblebrag pitfalls.

Edit: Toots posted as I was typing this and I really like her way of thinking here:

Just keep repeating in your head, "It's not about me."

Suzy's problems w/ her friend are real--they are not hypothetical. They are about *Suzy.* You two aren't talking about "weddings in general"; you are talking about "a difficult situation in Suzy's life."

So try to keep the focus on her, and on what it is that she needs from you.

You might even ask her, flat out: "Do you simply need me to sympathize with you, or do you want some help thinking of how you'll respond to her, or do you want help thinking about logistical solutions?"

JenJay

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Re: How can I avoid bridezilla rage?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 10:33:42 AM »
I'd probably say "It's a testament to how much you love Veronica that you're trying so hard to please her. I would have plead poverty and stepped down months ago."  ;)

gramma dishes

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Re: How can I avoid bridezilla rage?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2013, 10:39:10 AM »

EvilTwik suggests telling Veronica, "People in hell want ice sculptures, doesn't mean they're going to get them...."

LOL!  Quote of the day!   ;D

Hmmmmm

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Re: How can I avoid bridezilla rage?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 10:46:08 AM »
I'm going to echo the others. You need to separate the real life problems that Suzy is enountering from your role as a bride.  How would you be responding to her or advice you would be giving if you weren't in the midst of your wedding planning?

There is no value in comparing your actions as a bride to hers.

TurtleDove

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Re: How can I avoid bridezilla rage?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 10:48:40 AM »
I really don't want to sound like I am humble bragging about how awesome a bride I am.

As other posters mentioned, this is not about you so you avoid sounding like you are bragging by not making it about you.  As other posters mentioned, you can be supportive to your friend without launching into any sort of judgment on Veronica.  For example, you can encourage Suzy to tell Veronica her budget and that she won't go over it without villifying Veronica for wanting expensive things.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting ice sculptures or matching bridesmaids gowns or fancy parties.  The problem is expecting other people to pay for them.  Focus on that part, not the part about Veronica's tastes not being your own.

bah12

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Re: How can I avoid bridezilla rage?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 10:55:24 AM »
I agree with everyone else.  Remove yourself from this.  Suzy is confiding in you as a friend.  She doesn't need to hear about how you are the opposite of Veronica or how angry you are with the wedding industry.   When she complains, listen, be sympathetic, and give her advice as she asks for it.

Also, consider it as Suzy doing you a favor.  You get a glimpse of how certain actions and demands make others feel, so you can use that information to be an even better bride than you already are.