The ‘bridezilla’ thing

Posted: May 4, 2018 in wedding music
Tags: , , ,

Bridezilla lore. This has to be one of the most unfair stereotypes around, and it seems to be one of those ‘slipping-on -banana-skins’ things; you hear a lot about it, without ever seeing much evidence of it. Mention that you work in the wedding industry and a typical response is ‘ooh, bridezillas. Must be tough’  But if I react by asking what that comment is based on, I’m usually met with a blank stare. So let’s get one thing straight; in about 15 years of playing at weddings – both as a violinist and with The Gospel Project – I have dealt with hundreds of brides who were absolutely lovely, and a grand total of 2 who were a little unpleasant, or at least whose behavior was what I imagine people have in mind when they reference the bridezilla phenomenon.* So, if my own statistics are anything to go by, the issue is somewhat overstated in popular culture.

Have I dealt with brides who were a little scattered? Yes, many of them. Difficult to pin down? Countless. With some, I’ve despaired of ever getting them to choose music for their ceremony at all, practically chasing them down the aisle trying to prise song lists from them. Expecting immediate replies to emails, phone calls etc?  Sure. Welcome to modern business communication. Why all the belittling language when the customer is a bride?

There have also been brides who were bending the truth when claiming to have cleared their song choices with the celebrant in advance (“I’ve spoken to the priest about the music, he has no problem with any of it”. “The Led Zepellin song for communion? Not exactly saying you’re lying, but I don’t really believe you”). I’ve written about this somewhat risky strategy before over on The Gospel Project site, and, just like the other behaviors I’ve mentioned, it can be challenging to deal with, but it’s hardly the foot-stamping, tantrum-throwing conjured up by the term ‘bridezilla’.

So are the snide remarks a jibe at Western privilege? Fair enough, so-called bridezillas are basically throwing themselves a very expensive party. But if that’s the explanation then there’s a hint of sexism in all this. Every wedding I’ve ever played at was different, but one thing they’ve all had in common was having TWO people at the center of the action, including, the great majority of the time, at least one man. So where are the grooms in the negative stereotyping?  Indeed, I wonder what it would be called if it were typically the men in the heterosexual equation who were tasked with organizing wedding logistics…..something with a rather more positive ring to it than ‘groomzilla’, me thinks.

As wedding suppliers we deal with people at a time in their lives when they’re typically pretty happy, and that’s something of a privilege. At any rate, I often spare a thought for those who have to provide a service people would rather not avail of, like motor insurance. So I, for one, count myself lucky to work in an industry that has love and joy at its center. Lets tone down the bride-bashing.

 

*and no, I’m not telling you their names. There have also been about 4 grooms. Who were very nice.

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