Bridezilla’s Attack

September 11, 2008

Why the long face?

Oh, happy day!

So, I finally broke down and watched an episode of the WE (Women’s Entertainment) TV network’s Bridezillas the other day.

I don’t know why I had avoided it for so long. Maybe it was because there are so many wedding shows out now to choose from (Say Yes to the Dress; Rock the Reception; Rich Bride, Poor Bride; etc.). Maybe it was because I always had something better to do (or watch) at 9 o’clock on a Sunday night. Or, more likely, it was because I suspected that Bridezillas would be the bridal version of The Jerry Springer Show.

My suspicions were confirmed about 30 seconds into the episode (and how!).

One lovely bride-to-be stood in front of her bridesmaids (bless their souls) screaming about how they were to look on the wedding day: hair up with cascading curls, French manicures, and girdles to “suck in [their] fat stomachs (!).” Next came the kicker. She told the dismayed posse that if they didn’t have “anything up front” they’d have to stuff their bras, and then—wait for it—she proceeded to point at each one and announce whether or not she needed to stuff. Not surprisingly, the 16-year-old of the group qualified.

I sat on my couch with my mouth agape, utterly horrified by what I had just witnessed. Oh no she didn’t! (I was just waiting for the chants to begin: “Jer-ry! Jer-ry!) In another scene a different bride stood outside of the wedding venue screaming at her guests to get their “asses inside” because she was “ready to walk.” It wasn’t just the words that were coming out of her mouth that made the scene work—the rage in her twisted face and the fist full of flowers that she pumped in the air completely added to it.

I was appalled and enthralled at the same time–you know, the “can’t help but rubberneck when passing an accident” thing. (And that’s the point of the show, I suppose.) What I really didn’t get was how the show finds people to volunteer to appear on TV and show the world that they are bridezillas (meaning divas, control freaks, weirdos, or just plain jerks). Why on earth would someone want to share that with millions of people? Other than the fact that divas, control freaks, weirdos, and jerks might have warped ways of thinking (which is quite possible), the only other motivator I can think of is money. But, I mean, how much could the show pay for these trashy scenes?

And why would you want to make your husband, your family, and your best friends miserable on what is supposed to be one of the most joyous occasions in life?

Anyhoo, I checked out the network’s website and there is a whole page dedicated to Bridezillas. You can watch video snippets of bridezilla-like behavior, play a bridal hurdles game (in which you must steer your bride to the altar while avoiding obstacles such as grumpy bridesmaids and unpredictable weather), create your own bridezilla (with your face on its body and a recorded message you can send to friends and family), and you can even take a quiz to see if you qualify as a bridezilla. Here’s an excerpt:

1. Someone objects to your marriage right before the “I dos”. You:
a. Leap from the pulpit, rush down the aisle and tackle the offender (3).
b. Stomp your foot and yell “Shut the h— up!” (2).
c. Cry (1).

2. You have 5 pounds left to lose before the big day. You:
a. Ambush the hottest diet guru and fly them to your home for a little one-on-one (3).
b. Cut down on carbs (1).
c. Try a liquid fast (2).

3. The bridal salon calls you:
a. By your first name (1).
b. “That girl with the issues” (2).
c. The Terminator (3).

4. Your gown is:
a. Your mothers (1).
b. French couture (2).
c. Stolen from a Renaissance museum in Italy (3).

5. Officiating at your ceremony is:
a. Your local clergyman (1).
b. The Mayor of the city (2).
c. The Pope (3).

Hee-hee. You get the picture…

Do you have a good bridezilla story, have you had a bridezilla moment, or are you a full-fledged bridezilla and proud of it? Share your story!

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Four Left Feet

July 30, 2008

The other night I caught TLC’s new wedding series, “Rock the Reception” on TV (it currently follows the already popular “Say Yes to the Dress” in the channel’s wedding show lineup, showing at 8:30 on Tues. and Fri.).

The gist of the show is that soon-to-be-married couples work with a pair of professional choreographers (Tabitha and Napoleon D’Umo from Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance?”) in order to surprise their wedding guests with a showstopping first dance. In this particular episode, one couple chose to dance to MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This,” while the other shook their groove thangs to Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love.” During both dances, as anticipated, the wedding guests’ reactions went from jaws dropped in shock, to mouths covered in awe, to clapping along and hooting and hollering.

This made me think of my own first dance. It didn’t go off quite as well. At all.

My husband, Mike, and I chose a version of the song “When the Stars go Blue” performed by the Corrs and Bono (yes, that Bono) for our first dance. It is a lovely song, harmonious and flowing, with the two “lovers” singing romantic lines to each other–the perfect song for a wedding. I saw a video for the song in which, during an instrumental break, Bono and Andrea Corr glide across the stage together flawlessly, proving how beautiful a dance to their song could be. We were sold.

Throughout the remainder of our wedding planning, neither Mike nor I gave much more thought to the first dance. We had a song picked out and we knew when we wanted it to be played (following dinner–and after we’d had a glass of wine or two to loosen us up). What more was there to worry about?

The big day came, and as the reception was about to begin, the wedding party was announced. Everyone pranced into the room, hand in hand, with Mike and I bringing up the rear. This moment is a wonderful part of your wedding, when you and your beloved stand up as a newlywed couple, in front of all of the people you love most (who are clapping and hooting for you).

All of that happiness disappeared completely when the DJ decided that he would start playing our first dance song right then and there–before we sat down, before we ate dinner, and most importantly, before we had cocktails. We looked at each other in horror and then Mike shrugged at me, as if to say, “Well, I guess we have to do this.” He grabbed me and we started to sway back and forth, high school dance style. (Have I mentioned that my husband is 6′ 4″ and I am 5′ 2″? This small obstacle only added to the other, bigger obstacle in our way: neither of us could dance.)

Mike tried to turn us and we got caught up in my dress. Around the same time, my veil started to come loose. At one point it was hanging from my head and the next thing I knew, it had fallen to the ground. I glanced at it, wondering if I should pick it up, and Mike grimaced at me: “Just let it go.” I snarled my face up and looked back at him: “Okay, fine.” So much for marital bliss–things were going downhill at a fast pace. I patted my disheveled hair and continued to “dance.” The horrific show went on and on. How long is this *&%# song? I wondered. After what seemed like an eternity, it was over. We certainly hadn’t rocked the reception, but our adoring families and friends played along, indulging us with kind smiles and more clapping. I sighed in relief and we started to shuffle toward our table, when a new announcement stopped me dead in my tracks: “Stephanie will now join her father Jim for the Father-Daughter dance.”

Mike darted from the dance floor as I grabbed my Dad’s hand. I wasn’t ready for another round of humiliation. But after a few seconds, I realized that something had changed. I was dancing! We were dancing! And it wasn’t half bad! As I relaxed and smiled at my Dad it occurred to me that having two left feet isn’t a huge problem, as long as your partner could dance–it is when you put four left feet into the equation that you get into trouble! Mike’s successful Mother-Son dance only confirmed this.

So, now I share with you the wisdom I gained from this experience: if you and your husband- or wife-to be cannot dance, CONSIDER TAKING A LESSON OR TWO. If not, you could be at the receiving end of this question, that was asked of me almost a year after our first dance (about our first dance) by a good friend of the family: “Yeah, what was that anyway? That was pretty bad.”

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