Author Topic: Re: Bridezilla starting 8 months before the wedding Update posts 14, 43  (Read 5355 times)

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StareDecisis

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I could use some advice about how to kindly but firmly deal with a dear friend who has seemingly morphed into a bridezilla as soon as an engagement ring was placed on her finger.  As the wedding is 8 months away, I'd like to nip it in the bud now!

Background:  Anna and I have been close friends since elementary school.  She is usually sweet and kind, but also a lot of fun.  We have traveled together, attended college together, and while of course we have had disagreements, we have always worked things out and remained close.  As I live across the country from her now, she flew out to be in my wedding party and spent a week or so before the wedding helping me to get ready, and was more helpful than I could have dreamed.  I think that is making it more difficult for me to talk to her about reigning in her bridezilla antics.

She started off small, by choosing a very expensive dress for her wedding party to buy; she had two of seven women try it on, and then sent instructions for everyone to purchase it.  Usually in bridal parties, the bride ultimately decides on a dress for the bridal party, but asks for input about budget and style first.  As this wasn't a big deal to me, I didn't say anything other than "What a lovely dress!"

After I called to order the dress, the shop told be that the color was being discontinued.  I asked what they would recommend as far as planning for a "just in case" situation of pregnancy, since my husband and I are in the beginning of trying to conceive and obviously have no concrete idea of what will happen in 8 months; I have mild fertility issues, so we're in the "let's see what happens without medical intervention" stage.  I was told that I could either purchase a much larger dress and have it altered (expensive) to fit if I was not pregnant, or purchase extra fabric to increase the midsection if need be.  I mentioned this to Anna, just in case it would be useful information to any of the other women in the bridal party, and she said, "Oh, I already told Mary [the only other married member of the bridal party] but forgot to tell you:  you aren't allowed to get pregnant until after the wedding."  I laughed, assuming it was a joke; it wasn't.  I ended the phone call shortly after. 

She then threw herself an engagement party, for which she registered for gifts and told guests (invited via social media) about the registries.  I live some 3,000 miles away from her, so I didn't attend, and I couldn't really see what good would come of me mentioning that this is rude behavior after the fact.  Others who attended the party said it was quite nice, so there don't seem to be any hard feelings.  The people I know who attended did bring gifts from the registry.

She has become obsessed with wedding-related topics, and every conversation we have now is about the wedding, or some related aspect.  She is usually a wonderful person, and I miss talking to her about other topics, as we did until she became engaged. 

I would love any advice about wording to use to talk to her about this.  I worry that she will alienate her friends and family, but I don't want to give the impression that I don't care about her wedding, as I am actually quite excited and happy for her. 

« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 11:59:39 AM by StareDecisis »

lowspark

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Re: Bridezilla starting 8 months before the wedding
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2014, 11:22:36 AM »
As soon as I realized she was serious about the "you aren't allowed to get pregnant until after the wedding"  condition, I'd have just said, "Sorry, I can't commit to that so I'll have to decline being a bridesmaid." The sooner the better. Unless you do actually intend to abide by that condition.  :o

Deetee

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Re: Bridezilla starting 8 months before the wedding
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2014, 11:28:27 AM »
I agree with lowspark. I think the best way to maintain your friendship is to decline to be a bridesmaid. I think everyone can tell you this is just going to get worse.

If you skip being a bridesmaid, maybe you can be friends again after the wedding.

Have you bought the dress yet?

SamiHami

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Re: Bridezilla starting 8 months before the wedding
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 11:31:39 AM »
I would back out of this train wreck right away. No good can come of participating in it (except for some good stories for us!). Seriously-she's telling you that you are forbidden from becoming pregnant? She thinks it's okay to tell people that?

The bridezilla is strong with this one.

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Bridezilla starting 8 months before the wedding
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2014, 11:35:40 AM »
Another vote for withdrawing as a bridesmaid.

'Anna, I'm sorry but I can't commit to holding off on becoming pregnant until after your wedding.  I think the best thing for me to do is step down as a bridesmaid now to allow you time to ask someone else.'

You're lucky you're 3000 miles away!  You don't need to worry about offering to still help with various showers and bachelorette parties and so one.

I hope you can cancel your dress order.
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TootsNYC

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Re: Bridezilla starting 8 months before the wedding
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2014, 11:38:13 AM »
As for the "everything we talk about is weddings," you can either say, "Can we have a wedding-free zone in our phone call? Maybe 15 minutes of 'anything but weddings'?"

Otherwise, just forgive her, and remember it's temporary. Planning a wedding can be a complex thing, and for many brides, it's a new experience as well. Therefore it's very absorbing. It's sort of like when people start looking to buy a house, and for awhile it's the only thing they can talk about.

It doesn't make her a horrible person. It just means she's human.

I have a big objection to the "you can't get pregnant," but I'd personally consider that it's something to ignore, and to treat as a light jest, no matter what she says. I wouldn't end the friendship over it. But I sure wouldn't give it any credence, or any mindshare.
  If I didn't want to buy the extra fabric, I might say, "Listen, I can't get the dress in the right color, because I might get pregnant, so would you rather I drop out?"
   I'd have no trouble saying, "You can certainly bump me from the bridal party if my dress troubles might be too much for you. No hard feelings."

lakey

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Re: Bridezilla starting 8 months before the wedding
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2014, 11:52:44 AM »
Quote
"Oh, I already told Mary [the only other married member of the bridal party] but forgot to tell you:  you aren't allowed to get pregnant until after the wedding."  I laughed, assuming it was a joke; it wasn't.  I ended the phone call shortly after. 

If you haven't yet done it, you need to straighten her out on this issue immediately. Expecting you to not get pregnant because of her wedding is incredibly self-absorbed, not to mention shallow. Appearance is more important than a baby?
Tell her you will be working at getting pregnant, and if that means you can't be in the wedding problem you understand.
Your response to the engagement party where guessed were expected to give gifts off a registry was good, not attending.

Two Ravens

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Re: Bridezilla starting 8 months before the wedding
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2014, 12:00:40 PM »
Your response to the engagement party where guessed were expected to give gifts off a registry was good, not attending.

At every engagement party I've ever attended (including my own), guests brought gifts. Usually from the registry if there was one. While throwing her own party is poor form, I'm not seeing this as a huge Bridezilla move.

StareDecisis

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Re: Bridezilla starting 8 months before the wedding
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2014, 12:09:38 PM »
Thank you so much for the responses!  To answer some questions:

I have no intention of abiding by the "no pregnancy" rule.  This has absolutely no impact on our family planning. 

Unfortunately, I have already paid in full for the non-refundable dress.  I purchased it about a day before the pregnancy comment. 

As far as the engagement party/gifts issue:  It is common in the area where we grew up/where Anna still lives that one or both sets of parents throw an engagement party for the couple (only one party per couple; the parents either go in together or one set (usually the bride's parents) plans and hosts alone).  People often bring gifts, but no one registers (that is pretty firmly in "shower only" territory).  I would have attended had it not been a cross-country flight away, and would have brought a gift (possibly from the registry).

I will be seeing Anna in person in a week or so, since I will be visiting family in the area.  At this point, I am not quite ready to back out of being a member of the bridal party; I'm hoping that an in-person discussion will result in some normalcy being restored.  If not, I suppose I can back out and wear the (hideous) expensive dress as a guest  >:D (totally kidding!). 
« Last Edit: June 09, 2014, 12:11:23 PM by StareDecisis »

shhh its me

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Re: Bridezilla starting 8 months before the wedding
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2014, 12:16:07 PM »
As for the "everything we talk about is weddings," you can either say, "Can we have a wedding-free zone in our phone call? Maybe 15 minutes of 'anything but weddings'?"

Otherwise, just forgive her, and remember it's temporary. Planning a wedding can be a complex thing, and for many brides, it's a new experience as well. Therefore it's very absorbing. It's sort of like when people start looking to buy a house, and for awhile it's the only thing they can talk about.

It doesn't make her a horrible person. It just means she's human.

I have a big objection to the "you can't get pregnant," but I'd personally consider that it's something to ignore, and to treat as a light jest, no matter what she says. I wouldn't end the friendship over it. But I sure wouldn't give it any credence, or any mindshare.
  If I didn't want to buy the extra fabric, I might say, "Listen, I can't get the dress in the right color, because I might get pregnant, so would you rather I drop out?"
   I'd have no trouble saying, "You can certainly bump me from the bridal party if my dress troubles might be too much for you. No hard feelings."

I would expect "You can't get pregnant" to be a joke or to mean "Ok , I love you and all but if you're trying to get pregnant maybe its best you don't commit to being a bridesmaid. I'm going to be hurt if you back out at the last minute because you can't fly. I'll be annoyed if you have to get a different dress then everyone else. I'll be bummed if you can't come to the bachelorette  party. etc."   I don't necessarily think its bridezilla to say " If you can't commit, then don't commit."   Which is totally different then "I don't want people with baby bumps standing next to me." thats bridezilla.

Regardless ...I'd step down now.

Lynn2000

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Re: Bridezilla starting 8 months before the wedding
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2014, 01:19:10 PM »
It's worrying, but might not necessarily be at the breaking point yet. I think when you go to visit her in person, you can get a better feel for it. But I would definitely be keeping an eye out for bridezilla behavior, and even poking at it a little just so the opportunity isn't wasted.

For example, if you normally would, you could mention your family plans to Anna, just in the way friends would. If she repeats the "no pregnancy" comment again, you could say something like, "You know, I'm really not going to abide by that. I want to get pregnant so if it happens, it happens. Would you prefer that I step down from being a bridesmaid now, just in case?"

You could also say something like, "Actually, I'm getting kind of overwhelmed by wedding talk. Could we talk about other stuff for a while? Let me tell you about my job/have you seen any good movies lately?"

I think you will have your "bridezilla" answer in the way she responds to these questions. If she thinks that of course you should do it her way, not get pregnant, listen to wedding talk 24/7--time to back away slowly, she is clearly too far gone to be rational. If she agrees to cool off but frequently slips up, you might want to have a more serious conversation with her about how she's being perceived, and see if she improves after that. If she agrees to cool off and only very occasionally slips up after that, probably it will be okay.
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JenJay

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Re: Bridezilla starting 8 months before the wedding
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2014, 03:21:09 PM »
When you see her, instead of trying to decide whether or not to back out, leave it up to her. Say "Listen, DH and I are trying to get pg and we're not going to shelve that for your wedding (details about the infertility stuff if she already knows and you want to be more specific). I'm very much hoping that I will be pregnant at your wedding, although obviously I don't know if I'll be just barely along or definitely showing. I'm willing to buy extra material to have the dress altered if needed, or you can buy the dress from me right now and ask someone else to be a bridesmaid. What do you want to do?"

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Bridezilla starting 8 months before the wedding
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2014, 11:23:17 PM »
When you see her, instead of trying to decide whether or not to back out, leave it up to her. Say "Listen, DH and I are trying to get pg and we're not going to shelve that for your wedding (details about the infertility stuff if she already knows and you want to be more specific). I'm very much hoping that I will be pregnant at your wedding, although obviously I don't know if I'll be just barely along or definitely showing. I'm willing to buy extra material to have the dress altered if needed, or you can buy the dress from me right now and ask someone else to be a bridesmaid. What do you want to do?"

I like this suggestion.

As for the wedding-related conversation, I think it's fine to say: "I'm so happy you're excited about the wedding, and I can't wait to attend. But honey, I miss talking to you about other stuff. Can we do that? I'd love to get your thoughts on [movie/new shoes/book/etc]".

StareDecisis

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Re: Bridezilla starting 8 months before the wedding
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2014, 11:52:31 AM »
Thank you!  I think that I will try to have a heart-to-heart with her in person, as a few of you have suggested.  I'm looking back at our conversation and even trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, I'm 99% sure that the pregnancy comment was not "you'll miss out on a lot of things if you're pregnant, and that would be a bummer", but "you will spoil the look of my photos if you're pregnant".  She didn't mention the no-pregnancy "rule" until I mentioned the option of buying additional fabric (after buying the dress).  Her fiance is also a close friend (the three of us grew up together), so I will try to talk to him privately and see if he has any insight if my conversation with her isn't fruitful. 

She is usually a really wonderful person, and I'm honestly shocked by her behavior.  Fingers crossed that she will come around!

StareDecisis

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Re: Bridezilla starting 8 months before the wedding Update
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2014, 12:43:51 PM »
*Update*

Well, I attempted to have a heart-to-heart chat with Anna, but it wasn't terribly successful.  As far as potential pregnancy, she is definitely concerned with having "fat" pregnant bridesmaids spoil the look of photos.  She said that it was ok with her if I am a month or two pregnant at the wedding, as long as I am not showing at the time  ::)  As this isn't actually an issue yet, I am just planning to deal with it if and when it arises.   

She was actually worse in person than I expected (among other things, she tried to convince her bridesmaids to allow her to plan her own shower, was exceedingly materialistic regarding her fiance's house and her clear indication that it isn't up to her standards (he bought it alone years before they were engaged, and she recently moved in), grandiose plans to use the bridal party as props during the wedding (it would be too obvious if I wrote the actual plans if she ever came across this thread, but trust me, the plans are awful and insensitive for all involved), and starting every other sentence with "As a bride....").  However, I learned that her family of origin has been dealing with some very intense and stressful issues (several members with various serious health/mental health related issues), which I had not known about.  Given the additional information, I think that she is focusing so intensely on the wedding because it is the one thing in her life she can control.  I am therefore inclined to act as graciously as possible, and gently re-direct as much as possible.