Dealing with a Bridezilla

They might not have to wait "Till death do you part."
They might not have to wait "Till death do you part."

Nothing spoils a wedding photo like a bride with a black-eye, especially if it was a wedding present from an aggravated member of her own bridal party. Happily, there are many ways of dealing with a Bridezilla short of assault and battery.

Bridezilla Syndrome: How to combat pre-wedding BS

Bridezilla ("Bride" + "Godzilla") is a term used to describe an unpleasant bride who leaves behind severely annoyed family, friends and bridal vendors in her manic quest for the perfect wedding.

Experts from Women's Entertainment have identified the following signs that the blushing bride has become a weapon of mass exasperation:

  1. She wonders why the mean ol' mayor is being such a jerk about the tickertape parade.
  2. Spray-painting 100 doves gold is not "over the top," but necessary.
  3. Vendors are instructed never to make direct eye contact and to always address the woman in question as "Her Majesty, The Bride."
  4. The reception involves speedboats, hot-air balloons, fireworks, or clearance from NASA.
  5. Both Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio call to voice their concern that the floral arrangements will affect Earth's fragile eco-balance.

In order to maintain one's sanity in the face of a snarling, petulant bride, follow these simple tips. Recall that it is best to use "soul force" rather than violence to solve the problem, as you don't want to cause the woman to really snap after you've yanked out fistfuls of her hair.

  • Recognize that the bride you're dealing with is likely stressed, impatient, highly irrational, and utterly self-absorbed. This may not be the woman you once knew and loved, but never fear, she will return sometime after the honeymoon.
  • Brace yourself and know that nearly nothing you do, say, or even think is going to appease Bridezilla. She is attempting to create a fairytale within the real world and is not going to be happy when she is reminded that said world does not revolve around her.
  • Practice non-verbal communication with the bride and others. Control your desire to tell her to get over herself and call her things like "unreasonable," "idiotic," and "ridiculous." Save those comments for other members of the bridal party, and reserve obedient nods and expressions of incredulity for the bride.
  • You can catch more brides with honey than with the truth. The woman before you is incredibly insecure. She's about to commit herself to another human being for (hopefully) the rest of her life and she is scared out of her wits that life will not be perfect. It won't, so she views her wedding as the last chance to prove that she is an amazing, beautiful creature worthy of love and admiration. You know this is true, and in order to avoid tearful declarations of her self loathing, compliment her as often as possible. Praise her fine qualities and never let her forget how good she is looking. Make sure these words come at moments when you are calm so that they are sincere rather than a substitute for colorful language.
  • Do not take her abuse and selfishness to heart, but at the same time do not make yourself a doormat for those overpriced heels. Be able to refuse her unrealistic demands and walk away from a confrontation. Do not give her an audience for her tantrums. Remember you have a life beyond this wedding.

What Brides can do to avoid BS:

Gail Dunson, author and etiquette expert, has these tips on taming the inner Bridezilla:

  • Cultivate an attitude of gratefulness.
  • Avoid talking about nothing but the wedding from the time you are engaged.
  • Plan appropriately for receptions, and do not make guest pay for drinks or dinner or anything else. Cash registries are wrong, wrong, wrong. Any kind of gift registry information should never go in your invitations!
  • Delegate tasks to all members of your bridal party beforehand through e-mail. Identify who's in charge, and then step back and let them handle it.
  • Be professional when dealing with bridal vendors. They are not your servants and will do better quality work when they feel respected and appreciated.
  • Be flexible and sensitive to the needs of others. This is really not just "your day," but a day that also belongs to your friends, family, vendors, and fiancé.
  • If you absolutely must have total control over something, limit yourself to three things to stress over, like the dress, music, and seating arrangements.

Remember, a wedding should be a joyous occasions primarily because it is the first day of a couple's new life together... not because when it's over, the bridal party will once more lead regular, healthy lives.

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Comments 21 comments

librarianinthetrees 9 years ago

Yes, weddings can be stressful; but frankly, if I was the guy soon to be attached to a woman who acts like this, I'd think again, because she has lost sight of what marriage means (if she ever did understand!).


Darth Daddy 9 years ago

So wise... for one so unmarried... Remember too that the perfect wedding does not guarantee the perfect marriage... Save a little of that time and energy for the "...'til death do us part..." stage!


brianabee profile image

brianabee 9 years ago

You just inspired me to write a hub related to Bridezillas!


Unhappy Bridesmaid 7 years ago

I'm a family member of the bride... and I'm about ready to strangle her. She has become the most materialistic person, and I just can't believe it. She expects us to have a sit-down dinner for her 75 person bridal shower (of whom she may only know 25). The food alone is $1400, and it's absolutely ridiculous. She doesn't want to be involved in ANY of the planning (which i understand) but she is the one who chose the place to have the shower, the menu, and so on.... I am really about to back out of the wedding


mqjeffrey profile image

mqjeffrey 7 years ago Author

For someone not involved in the planning, the bride sure has a lot to say regarding these logistics. My advice would be to sit her down and explain the situation... something along the lines of: I know you want your bridal shower guests to feel welcome and treat them to the best that money can buy. However, you should realize that many of them will be happy just to be included in this party, and grateful for whatever you serve them, it doesn't have to be so expensive. The financial reality is that $1400 is too much to spend on a dinner if she only knows a third of the party. If she wants to serve the good stuff, then the shower should be smaller.


beat up MOH 7 years ago

I understand that a bride wants her fairytail wedding. But chances are if she was a selfish witch before the wedding, things will be even worse during the planning. I have a very big event comming up that could determine the rest of my life, so i asked the bride if we could have the shower after the event so i can plan a wonderful shower. She decides she's not happy with the date so tells me i'm no longer planning it and another bridesmaid has taken over the duties because i'm being selfish and putting my life ahead of her shower? Talk about ungrateful! She has the nerve to tell me I have always been selfish and it's her turn to have it be all about her? The sad thing is, she's not the type to realize she was a witch after the wedding. She'll be blaming me for the rest of her life and tell anyone that will listen how horrible her wedding was because of selfish MOH.


beat up MOH 7 years ago

I understand that a bride wants her fairytail wedding. But chances are if she was a selfish witch before the wedding, things will be even worse during the planning. I have a very big event coming up that could determine the rest of my life, so i asked the bride if we could have the shower after the event so i can plan a wonderful shower. She decides she's not happy with the date so tells me i'm no longer planning it and another bridesmaid has taken over the duties because i'm being selfish and putting my life ahead of her shower? Talk about ungrateful! She has the nerve to tell me I have always been selfish and it's her turn to have it be all about her? The sad thing is, she's not the type to realize she was a witch after the wedding. She'll be blaming me for the rest of her life and tell anyone that will listen how horrible her wedding was because of selfish MOH.


B.Z. Alixandre profile image

B.Z. Alixandre 7 years ago from Boise, ID

Ah, just finished my own tour of MOH duty. Luckily my Bride wasn't a 'zilla. Infact, just posted a hub about it if you want to check it out. Great article, I was terrified that any second she would undergo Bridezilla transformation, but it never happened. Nonetheless, any of us doing the wedding circuit must be aware of the symptoms.


Tortured MOH 7 years ago

I will NEVER, EVER do the MOH thing again>>>>>for ANYONE. it is better for all if I am just a guest. I want to know from anyone, someone....at what point can you say to the bride "I am your MOH not your doormat....I know that you are stressed, but that does not entitle you to be down right mean & rude to everyone" Mother of the bride included. No one is off limits to this bride. If things are not going as "she planned" she breaks loose on everyone, especially her mom & MOH. I can't wait for it to be over. Is this wrong of me? It is a fairly expensive undertaking when you say yes to be the MOH and then to be treated this way.....I wonder if the relationship will ever be the same> I have seen her in a whole new light.


sassylassy 7 years ago

When we planned my renewal of vows to get the marriage blessed by the church, we did not ask anything from the attendants except to please all wear blue. It could be clothes they already owned. I am now a bridesmaid for my future sister in law and boy is she demanding. This is her third marriage too. She wants and demands it all. She told me to plan a bridal shower and bachelorette party for her, among tons of other things. This is her third marriage, she had kids and grandkids...I just don't get it.


Bridezilla's Mom 6 years ago

Bridezillas chew up their moms and spitting them out. They are stuck in a tunnel vision of a perfect wedding and lose their sense of compansion, or lady-like manners. I'm the mother of the bride, and broken hearted for almost a year. I was called a "Bitch" and ordered to return a guest book she didn't like. I never knew a bridezillas really exited until I did some research. My mistake was telling her was acting like one, which resulted in her growing larger fangs. To her, my suggestions were threats of ruining or taking over her wedding. I became her personal punching bag. My tears meant nothing to her, and others sided up with her in fear of being next on her list. All my suggestions were stupid and old fashion, but later considered, and only to have them thrown back in my face that I was taking over. I am still walking on eggs shells. Five more days and she will be married. April 10,2010. Please pray for us. I love her, she is a beautiful bride and the stress stained her cheeks with rosaciea.


Rita 6 years ago

My future sister-in-law is a Bridezilla. She has changed the members of her wedding party several times whenever she senses any negativity from them. She is obnoxious and likes to talk about people behind their backs and then gets angry when people do not cooperate with her every demand. She has a useless maid of honour who is always crying broke and then leans on the groom's family to come up with money for a wedding shower. She has complained about her future sister-in-laws and mother-in-law to the best man who happens to be the brother of the groom in an effort to garner sympathy. At family events, this Bridezilla likes to sit in one spot and not move - the classic princess complex. She does not get up or offer to pitch in to help with anything. Last year, at Easter, she brought wine to her future in-laws house and then proceeded to open the same bottle and drink it all herself. She is the most self-centred person that I have ever met and she is not even officially "in" the family yet.


mqjeffrey profile image

mqjeffrey 6 years ago Author

Thank you everyone for reading and for your thoughtful comments and personal stories. I have been away from HubPages for too long... (traveling will do that :)

Again, muchas gracias!


deedee 6 years ago

hi-i am a wedding vender and have seen alot.please all brides take note of how you are treating your family ,friends and vendors .this is a hard business to be in and brides do change while they are stressed .i do think it does show you how they may be to live with under stress later.being rude is out of the question with our business we will work with you in any way but we do demand respect from every one.


superchick 5 years ago

I believe the zillas wouldn't be stressed if they allowed others to help in planning, specifically their future husbands. I can't believe how many wish to be with their man eternally but won't allow him to make a single decision about the wedding, and even worse I see that the men don't want anything to do with the planning either! If my fioncee doesn't help with the planning, there won't be a wedding. This selfishness, aversion and the aforementioned problems with decision making will surely play out in married life and we wonder why the divorce rate is so high! If you can't enjoy your wedding and the last year or so of your single life then I don't see the point in having a wedding- just go down to the courthouse and save everyone time, money and sanity. Life is full of stress and if you cant learn to combat that you wont survive long. Perhaps part of the issue is these women have been spoiled for far too long? Just the fact that this phenomenon happens is a gauge of the health of our family structure and society as a whole. Seriously these brides bring unhappiness upon themselves and others who are supposedly dear to them and they deserve what they get.


mqjeffrey profile image

mqjeffrey 5 years ago Author

Fantastic insight! Ladies, friends don't let friends plan weddings alone! Men, stand by your woman. Things are always a LITTLE less stressful if you let someone help you (doesn't have to be everyone, but have two co-captains)....


bridesmaid pissed 5 years ago

I am the type of person that gives everyone an chance, but dealing with a bride that does not communicate to the bridal party as an whole what the needs are for the bachorlette party, and for that day of the wedding are wrong. She has to communcate through her fiancé or her matron of honor to me, she is 32 years old and acts like she is 18 years old. Really She has not turned this way in the six months either she has been this way for a year, if she wants something she'll talk orhterwise she wouldn't. HELP for comments.... THe wedding is around the corner...... I usually give people a chance and suddenly blow up and get pissed. I am afraid I will wither have to drink that day, which I hardely ever do, or I will tell her matron of homor to have the bride come and tell me what needs to be done and stop ignoring meeeeeeeeeee.


Frustrated 5 years ago

I was just asked to be a bridesmaid for my cousin, and at first I thought it would be fun, but the wedding is five months away, and I am already re-thinking this position. She hasn't even picked out her own dress and hair style, but has already completely our looks. I already expected to spend money on a dress and shoes I would never wear again, so that is no surprise. But she is insisting that we all wear our hair back in pony tails, and that we go to a hair dresser she selects in order to put matching long fake pony tails on each of us (for a reasonable price). I personally never wear my hair all back, and I explained that to her. Her response was that it is her day and she gets to choose how I look. So I said fine, but after the formal reception duties are over (the dinner and toasting and first dance), and the dancing and drinking and supposedly fun is supposed to begin, I am going to let my hair down and just be me again. Her head spun around, and her fangs appeared. She is saying that every one of us has to be in that pony tail until the last guest leaves, period. There will be no getting comfortable for us. Then she said "as her bridesmaids, we will do what she wants, when she wants, and how she wants it, no questions asked, and no exceptions." I am ready to jump ship on not just the bridesmaid duties, but the wedding period.


mqjeffrey profile image

mqjeffrey 5 years ago Author

Thanks for reading. Sounds to me like you've handled this very well so far (making compromises, accepting things as she wants them), but this is where it's okay to draw the line. Say you'd love to be a part of her wedding, and that you're willing to help make her special day special, but that she is NOT going to have a lot of loving bridesmaids if she doesn't allow some leniency at the end. You're a human being, not a robot, just like she's a human being, not supreme commander of the planet.

Have you tried speaking to the other bridesmaids and seeing what their thoughts are? Maybe if the bride hears more than just your voice, she'll see reason. If she still refuses to budge on this one teeny compromise (hair down during the dancing), unionize and go on strike... and let her know that you'd like to remember your cousin's wedding as a happy day, rather than one of torment.

I also advise talking to her during a "calm" moment,it sounds like this blowup occurred at the end of a "tense" conversation...


exasperated 3 years ago

I have been best friends with a girl that we'll call 'A' for a year and a half; recently, she got engaged to a quiet man named 'M'. I don't really know him that well because he rarely talks, but trust me--I can imagine she does more than enough for him.

I am the only employed person besides the groom and my job is rigid and stressful. I work about 46-48 hours a week at a truck stop with shifts as early as 5 am to as late as 11 pm. This is not a new job--I have had this job, with these restrictions on my time, the entire time I've known 'A'. 'A' has a tendency of completely blowing off or ignoring me unless she wants something, and the wedding has certainly compounded that--or at least, it feels that way when she deigns to talk to me! 'A' has mental and physical health problems, so I'm used to bi-polar meltdowns, but last night after a very bad day at work--in which I had told her it was a bad day at work, seeking compassion and friendship even though I expected to just be ignored again--she tells me that I am not "taking being a bridesmaid seriously" because I haven't jumped to go to her fittings. I helped her pick out the dress and plan; the last I heard from her, she was taking a break from planning. I informed her that I wasn't going to respond to what she said at that moment in time because my emotions were already running high and I was angry even before she started in on me; but I have no idea how I'm going to address her concerns without backing down to being her doormat or an aggressor.

I would like to point out I have exactly 2 days a week off, yet whenever she talks about the fittings it's on days I work! Or she tries to tell me last minute. She's never been employed for longer than a month, her grandparents and M pay all the bills, so I think she doesn't have a grasp on real world responsibilities like rent, gas, etc. She gets irritated when I try to gently--and I do mean gently--point out that she's being a little unreasonable with her expectations. I'm at the point where I'm rethinking our whole friendship.

Please, bridezillas, meet us halfway--especially if we deal with piss, shit, and truckers all day. We have our own lives, our own restraints, and don't try to guilt-trip us after ignoring all attempts at communication. We bridesmaids can only take so much before something is said that can't be taken back and you're short a bridesmaid.


mqjeffrey profile image

mqjeffrey 3 years ago Author

Thanks for reading and sharing your story, "exasperated." Hopefully "A" will realize in time that what she is asking is unreasonable. In the meantime, I applaud your strategy of not attempting to communicate with her until she agrees to meet you on your terms, or at least halfway. Stay firm, and remember that although she needs your help, you are a bridesmaid, not a doormat.

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