Wife With A Life: How I Learned To Not Be A Bridezilla

There was one point during my wedding-planning process that I was afraid I was losing my mind and becoming what I feared and hated most — the bridezilla. It started when I was getting my highlights done a week before the wedding. Brides have to get their highlights done within a very specific time-frame, because if you get them too early or too late, EVERYTHING WILL BE RUINED. My hair looked fine — until I got home and realized there was a small stripe of darkness at the base of my scalp. The colorist had given me … roots. Under other circumstances, I would have been irritated that I had spent so much money; then I would have forgotten all about it. But this was wedding time. This was an extraordinary circumstance. I called the salon the first thing the next morning about coming back in for a repair job. The day of my appointment, I showed the colorist what had happened: “See, it’s just … this.” I offered a half-apology for my nitpicking. “I’m sorry I’m being so crazy, but, you know, I’m just crazy right now.” The stylist fixed it. After all that, I still saw roots. But who was in control inside my head? My regular brain? Or my bridal brain? At that point, I couldn’t tell. “I’m just not … sure.” As I peered at my head, the colorist tried to be patient. I was embarrassed. I decided I’d rather get over it than make a pest of myself.

I’ve watched the show “Bridezillas” more than a few times, so I know my behavior wasn’t as bad as the chicks who throw screaming fits, insult their bridesmaids, and belittle their fiances. I didn’t go there. Still, what I didn’t like about Highlightgate was feeling out of control. Me, a bridezilla? That’s what I wanted least. Most women have heard about or lived the stories of friendships broken by weddings, and I’ve had first-hand experience with that type of scenario. A year before my wedding, I was booted from someone else wedding party. Suffice to say, the friendship we shared was effectively over after that.

After feeling the sting of a wedding-related girlfriend breakup, I was determined to make my wedding as simple as possible for my bridesmaids. I didn’t want them to ever refer to me as a bridezilla. I can’t stand it when people are put out by my needs, and I would have felt awful if my friends and family were just dying to get my wedding over with. At the same time, I couldn’t expect everyone I knew would be constantly delighted with every aspect of my wedding; that, too, is an aspect of bridezilla-ism. I wanted my wedding to be as painless as possible for everyone involved.

Looking back, I’d have to say it’s possible my desire to be the Easygoingest Bride On the Planet bordered on the unhelpful. My bridesmaids were unsure what shoes to wear. Because I wouldn’t tell them. Finally, I said: “Black.” And it was the same with their hair, makeup, and jewelry. In reality, there isn’t much you can do to be a totally pain-free bride — aside from not get married. Even under the best of circumstances, you’re asking friends to buy a new dress, sacrifice their free-time to honor your ass, and spend their money on your bachelorette party and shower and wedding gifts.

I wish the Bridezilla Effect were a bygone trend of the overblown wedding industry, and that it would fade away in light of the current economy. I keep hearing stories about how this holiday season isn’t about spending cash but spending time together. It would be nice if real wedding style was more about celebrating the intimacy of the day, a true community coming-together, and not a “look at me” moment. But I guess that wouldn’t be as entertaining as another episode of “Attack of the Bridezilla!”