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Bridezillas and Groomonsters

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Jan-Jun 2003 Archive

The newly engaged couple, both in their mid-30s, had just moved to the small town in which my partner of 18 years and I live. We'd developed something of a friendship, and over drinks one night, she was talking about their wedding plans. I thought: What a shame that no one's offered to throw them an engagement party. I followed through on the thought by suggesting that my partner and I host one for them at our house. This was not just stupid, this was SHTOOPIT.

A date was set for three months in advance. Unfortunately, the couple didn't supply me with the names and addresses of all their invitees, most of whom were several hours distant, until a scant two weeks before the party. They continued with last-minute add-ons up to the last day, requiring that I actually call the people --- whom I had never met --- because there wasn't time to mail an invitation.

This Bridezilla is a notoriously picky eater, and none of the suggestions I made for food, from appetizers to main courses to desserts, met with her approval. It was a two-hour session of me suggesting dishes and her responding with "Eeeew!" and "Gross!!!" She finally said, rather huffily, "I'll just eat something before I come." Okay by me, because the only two foods I'd ever seen her consume were popcorn shrimp and French fries, neither of which I was keen on serving.

The day of the party arrived. I had thirty people coming, at least twenty of whom I didn't know. I got up at dawn and did the grocery shopping: $350. I went to the liquor store: $200. I spent the rest of the day cleaning the house and patio and cooking up a storm --- I was, in truth, enjoying myself, because I like to cook. The bride and groom had made no offer to kick in on any of the expenses, which was okay. After all, I'd volunteered to host it.

The only contact that day from them before the party was when the bride called to see how things were proceeding. I said, "Great! But I forgot one thing at the store. Could you pick up some napkins before you come?" She said yes.

They arrived that evening, an hour and a half late. I'd already greeted all the guests and been holding food on warm for some time. No excuse was offered for the late arrival. They just breezed in and she demanded, "What, isn't the food ready yet? I'm STARVING!"

So I rushed around and put dinner out. When I asked her about the napkins, she said, "Oh, we didn't have time to get any." She looked at the kitchen counter and then picked up and handed me a roll of paper towels with bears on the border. "Here, just use these."

So I served a $350 dinner on porcelain plates to total strangers with bear-emblazoned paper towels for napery. The whole time, the bride had a scowl on her face as she made it abundantly clear that she didn't care for anything on the table, from prime rib to coq au vin to duchess potatoes to salad to cake.

I received a short thank-you note from the couple some three months later, long after the wedding, which is a story in itself.

Bridezilla had meticulously researched every facet of wedding traditions. She MUST, she announced, get married at the half hour, with the minute hand sweeping upward rather than down. She MUST have this-and-such song played. MUST this, MUST that.

Most important, the bridesmaids MUST look worse than she. That must've been uppermost in her mind, because she had me drive her to a city two hours distant to the cheesiest dress outlet imaginable, where she picked out the dullest, most matronly dresses possible. No, I was not a bridesmaid. I was spared that little slice of heaven. I suspect that's why she had me, a non-bridesmaid, accompany her --- the bridesmaids would've recoiled in horror.

During that particular excursion, I was required to buy her lunch, during which festive occasion I was treated to dramatics about how her future MIL hated her and would try to ruin her wedding. The bride even managed to work in some self-pitying tears of maltreatment over her lunch of popcorn shrimp and French fries. I'd met her future MIL, whom I found self-involved and pushy, and I was beginning to wonder if the son hadn't managed to find a gal just like dear old Mom.

Dawned the day of the wedding, which was to be held in July in a small church with no air-conditioning. It was easily in the high nineties by noon. The wedding was to be at 1:30. Not 1:00, not 2:00, but 1:30, because EVERYONE knows you can only get married when the minute hand is on the upsweep.

A hundred sweating people were packed into the hot pews, using bulletins to fan themselves. The 1:30 marks passed, and everyone waited, shifting in their seats, straining in the stillness for a breeze from one of the small windows.

1:45 comes and goes. 1:55. 2:00.

Just then, the mother-in-law, who sincerely doesn't like or approve of the bride, pulled in with a lame excuse about getting lost. (Their hotel was ten minutes away.) A supreme grandstand maneuver, and the bride had been aced. And knew it. Many tears were shed in the bridal-preparation chamber, during which time all of the guests were required to wait until 2:30, when the all-important minute hand was on the upsweep again.

It's not surprising that most of the guests wound up out in the parking lot in the shade, smoking cigarettes and sipping from flasks of bourbon. Several people said the heck with it and went straight to the reception to see if there were any life-sustaining cold drinks to be had there. Some wise soul led the way and tapped the keg while the couple was still in preparations for the delayed service. This doubtless kept several like-minded individuals from getting advanced cases of dehydration. Finally, the music struck up and the bridesmaids appeared at the church door. All of them were wholly disgusted by then: the dresses were ugly, they were wilting in the heat, and they'd been consoling the tearful bride for an hour. They fairly raced up the aisle.

Not the bride. Noooooooo. The bride proceeded to do the slowest step-together, step-together in the history of aisle-walking. The time it took her to go down the aisle in a blindingly white dress with a full veil and Lady-Di-like train (it was her second marriage) was something akin to the encroachment of glaciers in the last Ice Age. The entire time, her single thought was apparent on her face: "Me, me, ME!" My partner and I made an appearance at the reception, where I chugged a beer for the first time since my college chugging days ended, and we then made a hasty departure.

We have since watched the evolution from Bridezilla to Wifezilla to Mom-to-bezilla. The ongoing tug-of-war between her and her mother-in-law remains quite entertaining, as both remain convinced the other one is a b****.

Bridezillas 0806/03

I recently was at a small bridal shop with my friend (the bride), her maid of honor and her mom. We had completed what we wanted to do that day, and were waiting for my friend and her mom to pay for some jewelry. Meanwhile, another bride and her MOH were looking at a display of bridesmaids’ dresses that came as mix-and-match separates. Please remember this is a SMALL bridal shop - very easy to notice and listen to others. The Bridezilla was testily pulling out the plainer dress tops, hissing over each one "THIS is not alot of beading." She was very angry with her MOH for preferring dress tops that were, in her opinion, too sparkly or would attract too much attention. An older woman, who turned out to be the MOB, got in on the act, saying what the MOH liked was fine. Bridezilla loudly stated that she didn't want to be upstaged at her own wedding. The MOB said through her teeth, "Everyone will notice you." Suddenly, Bridezilla threw her arms out wide, stuck out her chest, splayed her hands and yelled "I can't believe you are doing this to me!!! I'M THE BRIIIIIIIIIDE!!!" The MOB and MOH just walked out of the store. Bridezilla then walked over to another woman, probably her bridesmaid, and said, shaking her head in disbelief, "I can't believe my own mother and sister would treat me in this way." The other 'maid just weakly smiled at her.

My party then left the bridal shop. During the scene, we were all looking at each other, trying not to rest our jaws on the floor. And all over a bit of beading - amazing. I just hope it was a one-time temper tantrum and not a sign of a future wedding from hell.

Bridezillas 0811/03

Well, my wedding experience from Hell began when I was asked to be the bridesmaid for a young woman who was a friend of a friend. This young woman is much younger than I am (as are all of the other bridesmaids) and she caught me totally off guard when she requested that I be one of her bridesmaids. She actually caught me off guard because the other bridesmaids had been asked months before she asked me, so I have to believe I was only asked because the bride wanted something from me. I'll simply list the Hellish aspects for your reading pleasure:

1. The dresses were not only hideous, but I found out that I'm the only one who paid for my own dress!

2. There were never any real parties for the bride or the bridesmaids, so I threw a bachelorette party for the bride and only one of the other bridesmaids showed up! Oh, the party turned into an excuse for these young women to drink too much and then do lap dances on each other (when did this become popular). Oh, I should mention, I'm not ancient, I'm only 39 years old!

3. On the night of the rehearsal dinner, the bride handed out instructions for those of us in the bridal party (along with our Dollar store bridal party gifts). The instructions detailed how we were expected to be at the wedding 3 hours early for pictures, and that after the ceremony, we would be required to move tables and chairs and set-up the reception and food. It gets better from there! We are expected to stay until the reception ends at 5:30 and then clean up the reception facility! Yes, I finally figured out why I was asked to be in this wedding.....The bride was looking for unpaid laborers!

4. I have spent at least $300 on this whole event (gifts and parties for the bride and one hideous dress), and now I'm expected to be her servant for the day. I am a full-time student in Grad school with little money or time (I have 6 papers due on Monday, but I'm supposed to play waitress at some little princess' wedding rather than complete my school-work).

5. The wedding is today...It's an outside wedding (the bride chose the cheapest location possible) and it looks like it's going to rain!

To sum it all up, I'm a total loser for not recognizing all of this in advance! I will be attending this event, but I'll be leaving unannounced in the middle of the reception (after I've set up the food, of course) because I'm so angry I could explode! What are people thinking when they set-up these types of events.

Bridezillas 0816/03

Here's a true story of a bride from hell from a photographer's perspective. This is the only wedding from the past two years I wound up regretting having agreed to shoot, and hands-down my worst experience in my entire 15 years as a wedding photographer.

I show up at a lovely country inn at the scheduled time to begin pre-bridal formals. The ceremony is to be held outside, the reception indoors. Before leaving for the inn weather radar indicated it was going to rain like hell approximately the scheduled time of the ceremony. I find the florists setting up at the intended ceremony area and tell them about the impending rain, but they prefer to pretend the weather will be just fine. OK. I find the bridal suite, and bridezilla is already well on her way to being completely out of her mind with worry; but I calm her down and begin the pre-bridal portrait session. She complains about having to stand while I adjust lights, etc., then insists on one "serious" and one "happy" shot of every pose. It doesn't matter to her that in the "serious" shots look like she's miserable and in the "happy" shots her smile is grossly exaggerated. OK. It begins to rain outside, then thunder, and she proceeds to completely flip out about it, setting everyone on edge--everyone except her mother whose temperament (like her daughter's) was already like some kind of mental patient on speed. The rest of the pre-bridal formal session was split between the bride's nearly continuous frantic phone calls to the front desk and who-knows-who about whether to switch the ceremony to indoors, or postpone the ceremony for a while to see if the sky cleared, fitful crying, more complaining about having to stand for formals (though she refuses to sit), and otherwise chaos.

When dear mother insists on critiquing poses when I haven't nearly finished setting them up, I lose it for the first time in 15 years and more or less snap "Please let me do my work!" This I am allowed to do. Then a family friend of the bride's offers me a smile of pity as I pack up and get the hell out of there to find the groom.

Turns out the ceremony had been switched to inside--fine. I find the function coordinator and ask what the procedure will be for the procession, ceremony, recession, etc. The function coordinator appears at a loss about how to set up the ceremony--as if it has never rained at the inn when a wedding ceremony has been scheduled fore outside??!! I ask the coordinator what is the house rain plan for post-ceremony formal photography, and she leads me up some stairs, points to a ridiculously narrow staircase, and says I can do the formal work on it. The staircase would be suitable to shoot no more than two people. I think to myself "great" and pray the rain lets up for the post-ceremony formal photos.

Meanwhile back in the function room, the staff has pieced together a plan for the ceremony, which is now an hour late in starting. Finally bridezilla arrives with her perplexed-looking bridesmaids. The ceremony takes place, I privately wish the groom a lot of luck, and we head outside where the rain has graciously and most thankfully stopped. The bride agrees to have the formal photography done outside though the ground is understandably wet, but she doesn't want a drop of water on her dress. Personally, by then I wanted to throw a bucket of water over her head, but explained at least the extra-long veil part of her dress is going to wind up damp, though just with fresh rain water and it will dry. Fine. So I proceed to be ridiculously hurried through a harried rush of formal photography, complete with bridezilla's orders that I "hurry up!" and the obligatory, ridiculous "serious" and "happy" expressions. At this point I am sufficiently numbed-out so as not to express my complete unhappiness with the absurd rush and inhuman expressions. I really just want it all to be over and go home.

The reception starts. There are not enough chairs for everyone to sit. The DJ explains to me this was the bride's idea, to more or less promote ("force" is a better word) mingling. Doesn't matter to bridezilla this arrangement has only caused the available table-seating to be "claimed" by most of the guests, forcing the remaining 30 or so to stand, lean or dance all night--brilliant. It helps matters it is not a "sit-down" dinner, but one which consists of an abundance of actually delicious appetizers. For the most part the portion of my work which requires me to interact closely with the bride is over, so I am relieved; and for the duration of the reception I am only annoyed once or twice by the speed-freak mother making picture demands in a tone that makes me feel like some kind of minion, and by an occasional condescending grimace from one or two guests who behaved as if they were quite full of themselves and cocaine. One guest candidly confides to me the bride is a bit of a "princess" and of a "high-maintenance" character. Well, that's one way to put it. I think of my wonderful wife waiting back at home, and thank my lucky stars.

Speaking of cocaine, I find it odd the dancing begins the bride tends to begin disappearing for about 15 minutes at a time. Though I no longer care whether she's in the room or not, the DJ does, and the groom seems to spend an unusual lot of his time looking for her. Bridezilly eventually reappears bug-eyed, usually with a small but equally bug-eyed entourage, and I get the picture if you know what I mean. A couple times she signals for me to take a photo of her as she seductively dances toward me like some kind of amped-out lap dancer. This I find amusing, as I am well beyond the point of caring--I think to myself, "Hell, what's the harm in yet one more stupid photo to add to the pile." The night finally ends, I wish the groom well, avoid the bride and mama, and head the hell out of there like some speedy Gonzales with camera equipment dangling.

This was yesterday. I'm a little aggravated thinking about last night, but more aggravated at what I guess the photos are going to look like, because I care about my work. I'm glad it's over. I'm trying to not imagine complaints about stern-looking expressions or forced-looking smiles, because I will not sit and take it. Thanks for the opportunity to vent, and a little advice for future couples: If you're planning an outdoor wedding ceremony, have a SOLID rain plan. Try to understand there are things like the weather completely out of your control. If you're planning your wedding ceremony and reception at the same spot, make sure the place you're considering has an attractive indoor area for formal photography large enough for group portraiture, or pick another venue. If you've hired a pro photographer, certainly kindly suggestions are appreciated, but otherwise please let him/her to do his/her work--chances are a seasoned pro knows what s/he is doing. Plan a seat for every one of your reception guests. And most of all, do what ever you can think of to maximize the possibility you will ENJOY YOURSELF!

Bridezillas 0817/03

OK, this is probably too dark or morbid for your website. After I had a talk with one of my friends who is in a bad situation I came up with the "Bridezilla test." I have wondered whether it is appropriate to submit it. I'll let you be the judge. I think it is a sign of the rampant Bridezillism in our culture.

First, the story: I was 20 years old and met a dreamy older man. He swept me off my feet by deluging me with roses and poems. Those of you who are older and wiser probably have alarm bells going off already. Mine didn't sound until he began being jealous. He wasn't just jealous of my male friends (even though he told me I had to ask permission before talking to them.) - he would get upset if I wanted to read a book and not pay attention to him. He told me I could only work on my hobbies if there was a TV show he wanted to watch and so I would be "free." He told me that I was made for him and that I should be giving up myself to make him happy. When I tried to talk about my trapped feelings with him he would tell me that I was being ungrateful. (He'd tell me exactly how much he spent on flowers and dinners as proof.) My friends who weren't much wiser than I told me that I should just keep quiet and enjoy the pampering.

Well a month and a half after meeting this man, he informed me that we were going to be married in two months' time. I told him that I wanted to wait and get to know him. But he kept talking about how wonderful and fairytale our wedding would be. It seemed this guy had been dreaming of his wedding since he was three. He told me that he was going to propose to me with a half-carat diamond solitaire with hearts etched all around the band. (OK, even though I was more romantic then, I still thought that was way too cheesy.) He was going to wear a vintage suit and I would wear a lacy ivory gothic-style dress. He had the food and the decor planned out to the last blood red rose. Whenever I told him that I didn't want to think about marriage, he would go off on descriptions of how lovely our wedding would be. His charm was wearing off.

One night as he started in about how sparkly the ring would be (again,) I told him in no uncertain terms that I didn't want to get too serious too soon. His replied, "You chose to go out with me. You accepted the flowers. You have already chosen and now you don't get to chose not to marry me." That was my spine growing point. I told him that most hookers wouldn't give him two nights for what he had spent on me. (He kept a tab - $600 in 2 months.) I ended up by saying, "You can keep your bleeping flowers, you can stuff your bleeping ring up your bleep, and you can fantasize over bleeping brides magazine for the rest of your life for all I bleeping care. I want my own life!" (Not very ladylike, I know.) He immediately put on a crying and moping scene. He often did this so I would break down and pat him and promise never to think my own mind again. I told him to get out of my sight.

He left messages telling me that he would be at such and such a place and I owed him an apology. He told me exactly what I owed him before he would break down and take me back. I didn't answer my phone. Then came the final message that he thought he was too good for me and that he hoped I would be lonely for the rest of my life. I congratulated myself on getting rid of him. I didn't know that he was watching me and waiting for both my roommates to leave me alone.

He broke into the house saying, "I am going to hurt you as much on the outside as you have hurt me on the inside." I won't go into details, lets just say that I was lucky that 911 can track calls even if the phone cord is cut in mid-call. I was lucky that there was a police cruiser three streets away. And I was very lucky that he cared more about scaring me that actually hurting me. Later that night, I was waiting treatment in the emergency room when a social worker approached me. I told her the whole story. She had a reaction that shocked me.

Three days later, I told the story to my roommates who had the same reaction.

Two years later, I told the story to a friend of mine who was getting scared of her boyfriend and I got the same reaction. I've tried to warn other women of how bad a controlling man can be with my story, but for some reason they can't get over one part of my story.

A year ago, when I was planning my own wedding I posted the story on a wedding board because there was a frequent user who I thought should recognize the signs. At least 50 brides had the same reaction. Recently, after I had read all the bridezilla entries on etiquette hell, I shared my story with someone who needed to hear that bad behavior doesn't "just go away." She had the same reaction. But this time I saw it as a symptom of the Bridezillaness that pervades our culture. The social worker at the hospital turned out to be the best friend of my current co-worker. I found out she's gay and doesn't believe in marriage - but she still had the same reaction so I don't think we can blame this on bridezillaness alone. So here is the bridezilla test. Tell my story to the testee and note the first reaction. See if it stacks up to what I have called the "Bridezilla reaction."

The reaction: "He chose a wedding dress for you? That's wrong! Only you can pick out the perfect dress for your special day!" This is a story of a man slowly trying to take all my rights away. I can't believe so many people think the fact that he didn't think I had the right to pick out a dress is so much more upsetting than the fact that he didn't think I had the right to pick out the groom. I guess since so many bridezillas claim that they are going to die if they don't have the wedding they want I shouldn't have minded him coming after me with the knife.

Bridezillas 0829/03

When it comes to weddings I have learned that even the nicest of women can turn into monster brides. That was the case with my former friend Jean. Jean and I met when we both attended graduate school and had stayed good friends even after I left the program. When I got married it seemed only natural to include her in my wedding. Jean was a resident at the time and extremely busy but we had one of the rare friendships where it was understood that we were important to each other even thought we might not always have time to talk.

A few years later when Jean got engaged she asked me to be in her wedding. I was thrilled and happily accepted. By this point, Jean had finished her residency and was looking for a job and I was now the busy one as I was finishing graduate school, working part time, and renovating my house. We were also living four hours apart, but continued to talk as often as possible.

In the fall we talked several times and she always down played her lack of employment and said that it was good to have some time off particularly since it gave her the freedom to plan a long distance wedding. Then in November, I forgot to call her on her birthday. I called her a few days later and apologized profusely. Because she was such a good friend, I revealed that I been undergoing infertility testing and I had forgotten to call her because I had received really bad news the day before her birthday and had spent the next few days crying. She seemed to accept my apology and everything continued on like always. In January, when my husband was picking his vacation dates for the year she confirmed the dates for the rehearsal dinner with me and we frequently spoke about the wedding.

Fast forward to the end of March. I started getting a little concerned because the wedding was in Sept. and I had not been contacted by any of the other bridesmaids about things nor had the bride said anything about dresses. I called Jean and that is when she confessed to me that she had been very depressed all fall about not having a job and then when I missed her birthday she was extremely hurt and had decided that she was now closer to another friend than she was to me so she had kicked me out of the wedding back in December!!!!! She then told me how she really wished I was still in her wedding, but she had a "symmetry thing" and couldn't have more bridesmaids than groomsmen. However, she still considered me one of her closest friends and hoped I would understand.

Hello! She hoped I would understand! First of all I told her that kicking someone out of your wedding is a huge deal, is basically reserved for those who act horribly, and pretty much means the end of any friendship. Seriously have you ever heard of someone being kicked out of a wedding because they forget to call the bride on her birthday. Second, I pointed out that as I lived four hours away I had no way of knowing that she was depressed since she never said anything about it to me. If I had known I would have been there for her. I also pointed out that I obviously had no clue that there were any problems between us or I would have never revealed my incredibly personal reason for forgetting her birthday. Finally, I pretty much told her that it was absolutely insane to kick someone out of your wedding with ever talking to them first and then not tell them for over four months. I still can believe that she spent four months pretending I was still in the wedding, nor can I believe that I was kicked out because I forgot to call on her birthday.

Jean insists that she really values our friendship and now says that she made a huge mistake but that she just had this vision of her wedding day and had wanted all of her bridesmaids to be in sync with that vision so her day would be perfect. Huh? She begged me to still attend the wedding and for months has been sending me cards and e-mails on the value of friendship. What makes this story even funnier is that even though she still continues e-mail me to tell me how important I am to her, the wedding is now two weeks away and she didn't invite me.     Bridezillas 0830/03

First of all, let me say I love your sight. My husband and I got married 15 years ago and it went off without a hitch, but I love reading about all the faux paus that others experience.

My story is about my sister's wedding. Although the wedding went fine, the night before (the rehearsal dinner) and the reception were a different story. At the rehearsal dinner, where I was the Matron of Honor and my daughter was the flower girl, EVERYONE attending (whether they were part of the wedding party or not) received a gift, except for my daughter. Now you try to explain to a four-year-old why she is the only one not receiving a present, not an easy task. My sister said they had a present for her but thought they would wait until the next day to give it to her. Mistake #1.

At the reception my sister and her new husband sat at the head table as if they were the king and queen. They never got up to greet guests or speak to anyone, they expected to be waited on hand and foot, and refused to leave the table at any time for any reason. I could take that, to a certain degree, but my husband, myself and several other family members took this as the time to decorate the newlywed's car. We were very careful in what we used and only did a small amount of decorating, but this was considered awful by the bride and groom. When they finally did come outside, after everyone had left, they quickly took all the decorations off the car, threw them in the lawn of the church and left.

The straw that broke my back was the comment my sister made several months later. When asked by a friend about how the wedding went, she responded with "it was beautiful of course, but thank God it wasn't tacky like K and D's (mine) wedding! I was stunned, our wedding cost 1/4 of hers so apparently if it is not a big show it is tacky. I have never forgotten that comment, only now can my husband and I laugh about it.

Bridezillas 0828/03

I recently attended a wedding that I'd consider eligible to be in your "Weddings from Hell" page. It was summer, and my boyfriend and I were invited to a wedding. The bride, Samantha, was a friend from many years ago, but not someone I kept in close touch with. We were actually surprised we were invited. The groom, Mark, was a guy she had dated for years, since high school. However, their relationship was full of turmoil and he treated her very badly very often. Samantha's closest friends, and family, tried in vain to talk her out of marrying him. In fact, she didn't even receive a "real" proposal . . . They were moving in together and because of religious beliefs, she wanted a commitment. So she went to a jeweler by herself, found a ring, he went and bought it, came home and said, "here" . . . But, Samantha's loved ones finally chose to support her in whatever she wanted . . .

The ceremony was held in a very romantic and small church. It really gave us all a feeling of closeness and belonging. As we sat down before the ceremony I felt myself smiling and thinking how happy I was that Samantha's day was going to be so beautiful. However, the mood changed when the groomsmen came in. Mark was chewing gum. Well, rather he was chomping gum! The minister forgot their names at the end of the ceremony to top it all off . . .

The reception hall was lovely. It was very romantic, with rich shades of red and ivory all about. Again, I thought, how wonderful for Samantha for her special day. The wedding party arrived, some of them noticeably half drunk, and we had dinner after the minister gave the blessing and forgot their names another time . . . The first dance and the father/daughter dance were sweet. Then Mark and his groomsmen leave. The hotel that the wedding party was staying at was right across the street. The groomsmen return about 30 minutes later (sans Mark), and the best man comes to our table (the maid of honor, his girlfriend, was sitting with us) and says that Mark is passed out in the bathroom of his room, completely out of it. They had ingested tons of alcohol as well as gotten quite high during those 30 minutes. It was 6:30pm, and Mark never returned to his reception.

Yes, they are still married . . .

Bridezillas 0829/03

I'm not sure if you can use this, or where you would put it, but this is something minor that happened when a friend of mine was getting married that has always bugged me, mainly because this particular friend has continued to exhibit selfish behavior over the years, and this was just the beginning. I am telling you this because truly, it might not have been that bad and I might be biased. I thought I would share it anyway.

We were seniors in high school when my friend "Becky" got engaged. The wedding was planned for June, the month after graduation. My two friends and I were the bridesmaids. Lots of little breaches of etiquette occurred, but the only real problems for the bridemaids were the dresses. Becky picked them out with no input from the people who had to wear the things (i.e., us). Of course, they were purple. Butt bow? Check. $150 each?

Yeppers. Needless to say, this was a lot of money in 1991 for girls who had just graduated, and even though her mother sewed (she had made Becky a great prom dress a few months before) and had volunteered to make the dresses (!!!!) Becky wanted dresses she had found in the JC Penney catalog (under the section titled "things you will wear once, and only once") and informed us that we had to cover the cost of the dresses ourselves. We all sat down together and decided that since we had to spend so much on the dresses that we couldn't afford the $40 dyed shoes she wanted us to wear. We all had taupe heels that looked almost exactly alike that we wanted to wear (and really we were almost still in the 80s and this look was more in style back then). Becky didn't seem thrilled, but she agreed to it. A few days later she called me and said, "I decided that I really want the dyed shoes, so my parents are going to take care of it". Great, I thought, she gets what she wants, and I don't have to spend any more money. A few days later her brother came by my house to drop them off, and asked me for $40!!! I was shocked, as I had assumed that she meant her parents were PAYING for them, not just ordering them!! I know that's how she tried to make it sound so that we wouldn't argue before the fact (she confessed to this after it was all over). I didn't want to make a fuss, so I paid up. See, it was the tricky part that got to me. We never got a bridesmaid's gift or even a thank you. To top it all off, only about 20 people showed up for the wedding! They didn't mail out invitations, just put an ad in the "marriages" column in the paper saying that all friends and family were invited. Of course, the marriage only lasted a year. They were really too young to be married.

That's it! Just wanted to get it off my chest, and now that I have typed it out and read it, it really doesn't seem that bad. I will put it behind me and move on. Maybe you can use it anyway. :o)

Bridezillas 0829/03

I have been a bridesmaid or maid of honor seventeen times. My younger sister (who was also an attendant in nine of those weddings) and I thought that with our collection of matching dresses, we could start a business called "Rent a Bridesmaid" for brides-to-be who have no friends.

My last stint as a wedding attendant came about ten years ago (I'm now in my late forties.) A woman of my own age was getting married for a second time and asked me to be her matron-of-honor. Silly me, I figured that it would be a quiet, simple affair requiring merely that we coordinate rather dressy outfits. I mean, after all, adults do not have friends who are willing to dye shoes to match, adults do not assign their closest friend to wear unflattering outfits or hairstyles, right? That was my assumption, but, as the old saw goes, when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me!

While she did not opt for a bridal gown, Sally did opt to have floral hair combs made and then proceeded to tell me how I should wear my hair that day (naturally, having it done at my expense.) She selected the dress I would wear (which I assure you, was not my taste, having layers of organza and tulle, and this for a daytime wedding in our hot and humid July weather, with an outdoor reception to follow.

When we shopped for dresses, Sally set her heart on one ivory brocade suit with pearl beading and a high neckline. Trouble was, it was on clearance and two sizes too small. The dress she selected for me (the aforementioned pink organza and tulle concoction) was a size too large for me.

After numerous demands on her part, such as informing me where I was to throw a bridal shower, I nearly bowed out of the wedding, claiming national emergency (I was a reservist at the time.) Instead, I put my foot down and informed her that showers were for young girls who were setting up housekeeping for the first time, and since she and her fiancé were combining households, I would be happy to organize and man her garage sale. She would have none of this, and we compromised on having an afternoon tea three weeks before the wedding, which went very nicely, and although no mention of gifts was made on the invitations, some people did bring some presents.

Fast forward to two weeks before the wedding: I attended a picnic from work, and six hours later started to experience the most violent abdominal pain and intestinal distress I thought possible. I lingered like this for a day and a half before seeking medical attention; when I did so I was so dehydrated I was immediately hospitalized. I stayed in the hospital for five days (I was so ill, I have no memory of the first two days there) and lost twenty pounds.

Bridezilla's sympathetic reaction? She called me in the hospital the day after I was transferred out of the ICU to ask me what size dress I wore so that someone else could fill in!

A footnote to the above: I did recover adequately to participate in the wedding. Bridezilla never did lose the fifteen pounds that she wanted to lose, in fact, she gained five from the time that she bought the dress. I had to let out all the seams in the dress to the maximum for her.

We looked like a pink potato sack and an overstuffed ivory sausage in the pictures!

Bridezillas 0907/03

Bridezilla was cloned and lives on the West Coast! Just to make things simple, we will call this bride: "Jill" and will call her poor groom "Jack". Jill and I knew each other growing up but only as friendly classmates and we both belonged to two organizational groups for a very long time. So I knew her a little more than an acquaintance, I gave her a ride here and there and vise a versa but we didn’t really hang out outside of these groups. She just wasn’t my type of friend because she was a little snotty and bossy.

When Jill and Jack were dating, they were at my father’s house more than I was. As a matter of fact, we would all laugh about how they were the "golden children" to my Dad because they were over there so much. As an added coincidence, Jack was my ex-brother in-law. Two years earlier, I divorced his older brother. It was a very amicable divorce. Honestly, there were no hard feelings. Additionally, I was very close to the ex’s family and stayed in touch with them. So having my ex’s brother in-law around my Dad’s house was not really a big deal at all. I was still very close to him too.

After the announcement of the wedding date, we were all very excited. I congratulated the ex-in-laws and even offered to Jill to pick up all of out of town relatives and take them to their hotels (Please note that I lived over 30 miles from the airport and I was full-time student, so this was a lot for me to do). This included Jill’s future Mother-in-law and Brother-in-law. Since they were all going to come in on different days and time, I thought this would really help out. The youngest brother was completely broke and I was more than happy to have him stay with me.

So about 3 months before the wedding, everyone including my Dad gets their invite except for me. I thought it might be an oversight because maybe they didn’t have my address or it was assumed that I was to be included on my Dad’s. Knowing that if my name isn’t on the invitation that I am not invited I asked my Dad to ask them the next time they came over. He told me that they gave him a blank stare and didn’t answer. He asked them if there was something wrong, or if I had done something. He reported to me that they seemed real squirmy and said that they "didn’t know". Dad tried probing them further but they were completely uncomfortable. As the next few weeks started to pass, we saw less and less of them. We chalked it up to their busy schedules and planning a wedding was consuming their time. Still no invite and I didn’t really worry about it until about a week before the wedding.

I was confirming the flight plans with Jill’s future Mother-in-law when we started to talk about the wedding. Half joking she asked me which side I would sit on. When I replied that I would not be sitting on either side because I was not invited. She got upset. (Please note that the FMIL was going to be a nun before she got married. She has the most patient disposition and will always take the high road. In the seven years that I knew her, this was a first I ever heard the slightest rise in her tone) She asked me all sorts of questions and was trying to say that it must be an oversight. After I hung up with her, I actually didn’t feel bad about not going to the wedding. I figured that at least I could see the ex-in-laws and have a pleasant visit with them. Two days later, Jill calls me.

Before I could finish saying hello, Jill starts in on "why she doesn’t want me at her wedding". She explains that "they" thought that I would be uncomfortable for me with my ex-husband and his new wife being there. Out of the many hundred times I saw her before the invites were sent out; "they" didn’t bother to even ask me? I told her that I didn’t have a problem with him being there and I was certain that he didn’t have a problem with my presence either. It wasn’t like I wanted to sit next to him but I certainly can handle myself in a mature way. So after I explain this to her, she went off on me. Screaming at me that I was being selfish and I wasn’t considering "their" feelings (which I never did find out what they were so she was coming across completely irrational). I actually was very calm about everything and I just assured her that I completely understand that she didn’t want me to be there and I wouldn’t go. I actually chalked it up the irrational screaming to pre-wedding jitters.

So the relatives are starting to pile in and yes I still follow through with picking them all up. It was fun and I had a ton of laughs. I didn’t say anything to anyone but they all knew that I still wasn’t invited. The ex-brother-in-law comes in and we spent the next couple of days having a lot of fun. Come time for the rehearsal and I drop him off. He was supposed to call my Dad’s house after dinner (Dad lived closer to all of the events). I figured it would be a couple of hours. About hour and half later, I get his call and I hear screaming in the background. He’s whispering to me to bring my Dad’s car so I can pick him and some of the relatives up because they HAVE TO GET OUT OF THERE NOW! Grabbed Dad’s keys and was there in a flash. I pulled up and people ran to get inside the car. Before they could place on the seat belts and close the doors, they were screaming "GO! GO! GO!" I peeled out. There were so many people in the car that besides laps to sit on, some sat on the floor. I didn’t know where to go so I took them to my Dad’s house. When they all piled out there were 2 people I didn’t even know! Dad was great and he felt bad for everyone and decided to BBQ everyone a dinner (considering they were suppose to go to a rehearsal dinner, they were all more than grateful to eat a tasty impromptu BBQ. Even the vegetarian!) After they calmed down, they spilled out the horrid details.

Apparently Jill didn’t like one thing that was going on during the rehearsal. She screamed at her mom for bringing her brother in late to the rehearsal (he just flew in and came directly from the airport. His original flight was delayed because of weather). She had a photographer to capture the "rehearsal moments" and he wasn’t taking pictures she wrote out for him so she screamed at him so bad that not only was it demeaning but everyone was questioning why he just didn’t leave (he also was the photographer for the next day). She screamed at everyone because they were not "in their places". She yelled at the 4 year old flower girl because she refused to walk down the aisle on cue (the mother told me that she was too scared from all of the screaming). Jill also screamed at her MOH and Bridesmaids that they didn’t do enough for her and she listed it all out: she was upset about the Bridal Shower, no Bachelorette party, they didn’t make her the rehearsal bouquet out of the bows from the Bridal Shower, and it just goes on and on and on. She started yelling at the JOP and he tried taking her aside to calm her down but she went off on him and stormed out. She comes back in five minutes later in a higher level of tirade and starts kicking over chairs, and ripping of the ribbons that the bridesmaids and relatives are placing up on the pews. They aren’t good enough. Nothing is good enough. And she just doesn’t stop screaming. The bridesmaids run out crying, the relatives go outside just to get some air and that was just about when I pulled up.

The next morning was the wedding. Knowing that I wasn’t invited was becoming a relief for me. I had plans to have breakfast with the ex-Mother in law and brother in law. When I went to pick them up, they told me that the Jill didn’t want anyone who wasn’t a bridesmaid or groom to be in the limos. So basically, none of Jill’s future in laws had a ride to the wedding. Just when we start talking about what to do, the mother in-law gets a phone call from Jill. Jill tells us that her car was vandalized and there is no battery, and two tires are flat. She has to go get her hair done and the bridesmaids are not answering their phones (Gee, her car gets vandalized and her Bridesmaids aren’t answering the phone. What a strange coincidence). We feel bad and decide to drop her off and wait at a nearby restaurant to have breakfast. With people talking, dishes clanking and being a few storefronts away we can hear her screaming at the hairdresser. We get her back to her apartment and she didn’t pick up her dress the day before. I know the shop so I go get it for her and picked up a pair of panty hose. She actually thanked me and finally told me to come to the wedding after telling me that my ex-husband wasn’t able to make it after all (it turns out that there is a whole other story to why he didn’t come).

Since I didn’t really plan on going, I didn’t really have anything to wear. I had only one dress and it was red. Everyone insisted that I wear it. When it came time for the seating at the ceremony, the ex-brother in-law sat me right behind his mother so that I could be seen in a lot of photos. It worked! We had a blast. The photographer picked up on this and would take a lot of pictures of me at the reception. Everyone encourage me to sit on their lap for a picture or take a group table picture with them. Jill’s parents took a lot of pictures with me. In one picture, both of her parents are kissing me on the cheek! It became the running joke to have me in each picture! As a side note, Jill’s brother was very happy to see me. I hadn’t seen him in so very long that we spent a lot of time together. It looked like we were hitting it off but we’ve just always got along really well. Jill got mad and was making a lot of comments about it. The ceremony and reception was actually really nice. Everyone had a great time. When the pictures came in, Jill was upset that I was in just about every picture. Even in the background when they were taking "posed photographs". Unfortunately, it is about 11 years later and they are still together. Since the wedding, she has managed to break ties with both sides of the family because no one will conform to her ways. I still hear from the ex-in-laws and they always laugh and ask if I still have that "red dress".     Bridezillas 0917/03

A little background - 10 years ago, my sister got married. The wedding was planned, complete with me as MOH. They were to be married on a Saturday in March. The Sunday night (at 10:00 PM) before, my sister calls me from Reno, and wants me to pick up my dress from the bridal shop and hightail it up there (I live in the SF Bay Area, mind you - a 4 hour drive). They've decided to get married there on Monday in the afternoon, forego the festivities already planned, but she's still wearing her dress and wants me to stand up for her in mine. She has basically attempted to transport the formal wedding already planned up to a wedding chapel in Reno. His whole family is already up there, as well as her brother, mother and stepfather. I tell her I can't make it, no possible way for me to get off work for this. She is angry that I won't be coming. To this day, I'm not sure if she has "forgiven" me. Mind you, I spent $300 on a dress that I never even picked up from the bridal shop. That late in the game the dress was non-refundable, and it was not something I could have (or would have) worn again.

Fast forward to 10 years later. My sister gets pregnant, moves in with the boyfriend, and gets engaged in May. They want to get married before the baby is born (due in Jan 2004), but figure they'll do it in Sept/October. First she decides she wants a big wedding (like the one that never was). At this point, she discovers that her divorce from her first husband was never completed (she thought the divorce was final over 2 years ago). She scrambles to get the paperwork finalized. They now decide they'll just go to Vegas. The only people they want there are me and my fiancé (we got engaged shortly after they did). She asks me if there is any particular time that is better for us. My best friend was due to have her first baby the second week of September, and I was supposed to be in the delivery room, so I tell her the whole month is pretty much out for me, since there is no way of knowing when the baby will be born. Next thing I know, she wants to do it the third weekend of September. Now, I know you can't plan your wedding around other people, but considering this was only going to be the 4 of us, you would think she would have accommodated me. FH and I decide we can't do it.

3 weeks ago (Sept 2003) I talk to my sister on the phone. She's now 5 months pregnant, and they've decided they're just going to go down to the courthouse and get married. She has finally gotten the final divorce papers back. It's just going to be her and her FH. We discuss our wedding plans for a while (mine is in May 2004). Everything is hunky dory, and we get off the phone. 2 days later, I get an email from her flaming me for not inviting her to my wedding! She goes on and on about how rude it is, and she can't believe it, and how could I do that to her, and is it because I think she can't afford to come! Mind you, my wedding is not for another 8 months. It is going to be small (30 people) and very causal, but we are sending out real invitations 8 weeks prior to the date, like any normal person would. It seems that she expected me to invite her over the phone. I respond to her email, tell her that of course she is invited, and invitations will be sent out in due time. I should have directed her to your website. She responded an apologized, blaming "hormones".

This week (3 days ago) I get an email from her - AN EMAIL - telling me that they have set a date (plans have changed once again). They'll be getting married 3 weeks from Saturday, I am supposed to be MOH, and I will need to pay for my own dress. Mind you, they live in another state, 800 miles away! I spoke with her on the phone the following day, and the things that came out of her mouth shocked me. They are basically trying to throw together a small but formal wedding in 3 weeks. She'll be wearing a white wedding dress (6 months pregnant and all). This is to be outdoors, in late October, in a state notorious for rain. During this conversation she informs me that I will need to be at the rehearsal dinner the night before. She then goes on to say she was looking up etiquette information online, and came across the "traditional" breakdown of who pays for what. She happily informed me that she is thrilled to find that they don't have top pay for the rehearsal dinner, his parents do! She apparently told her FH to let his parents know that they'll need to fork over the money for it. I am well aware of the "traditional" breakdown, but I would never consider telling someone they "have" to pay for something. My FH and I are paying for our own wedding, and don't expect anyone else to assist at all. If either of our families wish to assist us, we will simply consider that to be a wonderful gift. I've spent the better part of the last 3 days trying to figure out if there is any possible way for me to swing this, considering we are both working 2 jobs to pay for our own wedding, but have decided tonight that I can't. I will have to tell her that this is too short of notice for me to even be at the wedding, much less be IN it! I am not looking forward to the response I receive when I tell her of this....I'll have to send an update later.

Bridezillas 0926/03

My fiancé and I got married in August of 2003. Since a bunch of our friends were getting married either just after us or about 2 months later, we all went to Mexico together for our "honeymoon." Had a blast. Then the trouble started.

My friend "Chris" had been dating this girl "Amber" for quite some time. They had been engaged previously in high school but broke it off. Amber started dating this guy "Fred" and eventually moved in with him. All hell ensued. He beat her up and she eventually moved out. And immediately got back together with Chris. An engagement ring was produced and the wedding was in motion. (Obviously Chris had not gotten over her). Amber and Chris were two of the people who joined us in Mexico and were supposed to get married this October (2003).

Fred apparently got this wild idea in his head that it would be fun to mess with Chris and Amber. Still smarting over her dumping him and running back to Chris, I guess. So he starts whispering sweet nothings in her ear and has two of their mutual friends (another couple who joined us in Mexico) start arranging time for the two of them to spend together. They do and Fred makes his move. Needless to say, last weekend Amber dumped Chris. She loves Fred more than him, she says. She picked up all her stuff and moved from Chris's house into Fred's house. Oh yeah, she also stiffed Chris for the bill for the trip to Mexico, took all HIS DVDs, took the $1500 set of pots and pans they had bought, swiped all the wedding shower gifts (which she told him she was NOT going to return as her and Fred would need them), and then had the nerve to complain when he took the $600 out of their joint savings account to pay for HER half of the credit card bill. And of course Fred is totally enjoying it because Amber has moved back in, put the loan to his house in her name (long story...upshot...he's a convicted felon on probation and can't have a loan), and has basically become his slave...about the same thing that happened last time she dated Fred.

The part about all this that really upsets me (besides the fact that Chris, my husband, and I are really good friends and he really got screwed over) is the fact that we just got our wedding pictures back and there are a ton of them with her in them, smiling as if nothing is wrong. Oh yeah, she's three months pregnant with Fred's kid. Guess I won't be sending her a Christmas card this year! What nerve.     Bridezillas 0928/03

When my best friend Chris got married, I tried to talk her out of it as I had known the guy when a different friend had dated him. He was pretty awful, and his family was even worse. But she's pretty darned stubborn, so I agreed to be MoH to stay as close to the situation as possible.

The night before the wedding, our "bachelorette" party was supposed to be the other BM, the bride, and a couple of common friends at my parents’ house, having a movie night. The bride accidentally turned her cell phone off, and so apparently the groom decided she was out cheating on him instead when he tried to call her. He finally called her brother and send Teddy to my parents’ home, to tell her the wedding was off. She called him promptly, and apologized for angering him. He finally "agreed" to still marry her if she would spend the night with him at his hunting cabin where he could SEE she wasn’t with another man, and "bring a few girls for his friends." So the other BM and I went (still trying to talk her out of going though with it).

The Groom had few friends, so he had asked his favorite drinking buddy... his father ... to be the BM. At the ceremony, both men showed up drunk. The FoG/BestM was sooooo drunk that at the end of the ceremony I had to half carry him up the aisle at recessional. We got to the church steps, and he fell down them. And them threw up. After he abused everyone going though the receiving line, he insisted he and the MOB ride in the can with the B/G. On the way to the reception, the men decided they'd stop at the wedding reception of someone else they knew... so my friend had to go to another woman's reception in her gown.

Chris is now divorced, after several years of physical and emotional abuse.

Bridezillas 1204/03

About 6 months after my husband and I were married, my husband's best friend, "Shane", called to tell us that he had met the woman of his dreams and had become engaged. Shane had been the Best Man in our wedding, and he now asked my husband to be the BM in his, and of course my husband agreed. A few weeks later we got the chance to meet "Jackie", Shane's fiancée. We were surprised to learn that Jackie was divorced with three young children, as Shane had always said he would never marry anyone with kids because he didn't want a "ready-made family" - but Jackie seemed nice and we figured it must be true love. We imagined that since it would be her second wedding, they would probably plan a small, intimate wedding with close friends and family. Then the tackiness began.

A few months later, we received an invitation to an engagement party that Shane and Jackie were throwing for themselves. The invitation stated that the meal was to be "potluck" - each guest was to bring a dish to serve 8-10 people. The invitation also asked that the bride- and groom-to-be would prefer that guests not bring gifts, but instead give cash gifts "to help pay for the wedding." As if this wasn't tacky enough, included with the invitation was a letter (written by Jackie) with instructions of what was expected of each of the bridesmaids and groomsmen for this engagement party - each of the groomsmen were supposed to bring a case of beer, and each bridesmaid was to bring a case of soda or 4 bottles of wine. My husband and I could not believe that this couple would have the nerve to throw a party for themselves and then expect all of the guests to provide all of the food, drinks and then give them money to pay for their wedding as well!!

Two months before the actual wedding, we received another letter from Jackie - this time it was a checklist of things that everyone involved in the wedding "must do, or else." Some of the highlights include: "Every person involved in the ceremony (including musicians, ushers, etc.) MUST be at the church no later than 10:30 AM" - (the ceremony didn't start until 4:00 PM!); "The groom and ALL groomsmen must not stay out past 12:00 AM the night before the wedding"; "All members of the bridal party are not allowed to consume more than two drinks at the reception, to avoid drunken behavior"; and my personal favorite, "Groomsmen and ushers must wait until after the ceremony and reception are over to ask a female guest for her phone number." Needless to say, on the day of the wedding the hen-pecked groom was seen taking quite a few swigs out of a metal flask before the ceremony, and he was fairly sloshed by the time he got to the alter. The whole event turned out to be a fun evening, mainly because nobody paid any attention to her little "checklist". My husband and I have kept the invitations and checklist as proof of a true "Bridezilla" story - and for an occasional good laugh.

Bridezillas 1201/03

Many years ago my sister decided to have her wedding at a Knights of Columbus hall. She is, and was, a teacher and so was her husband. My sister is the type of person who never offers help when there is a family problem and she has always been considered a sneak. The day of her wedding my other sister and her husband, who were maid of honor and best man, and myself arrived at the hall. It was a narrow, long room in which some tables and chairs were pushed to the side wall as the room was too narrow for the flow of guests that she invited. There was a long table with a small amount of food, brought by the groom's aunt who, with another relative, were serving the food. My sister then enlisted a priest, who was a friend, to serve the liquor .She then asked the best man to serve when the priest took a break. My sister wanted my other sister the maid of honor to serve food as well. She waited until the day of the wedding to solicit help in serving food and liquor. The bride and groom never hired a caterer, bartender or servers. It was the cheapest, worst wedding I've ever attended.     Bridezillas 1209/03