How many times have you heard women share their wedding stories that have ended in a falling out between the bride and her bridesmaid? Sadly, it’s all too common. Hollywood movies tell us that it’s usually a case of the ‘Bridezilla,’ a bossy and crazy-eyed bride throwing her weight around to the point where her loyal bridesmaids can’t take it anymore. That’s one possibility. In the cases that I have both been involved in and heard about, there’s a different threat unfolding that’s tearing bridal parties and long-standing friendships apart.
‘Bridesmaidzillas’ are a Bride’s best friend and worst enemy rolled into one over-priced bridesmaid dress. According to a popular wedding hairstylist who prefers not to be named, bridesmaids are usually the first to lose control on the wedding day. “I see it all the time, especially before the wedding while the girls are getting ready. One bridesmaid decides the day is all about her and how perfect she looks. They seem to think it’s their wedding,” she says. “It’s usually the laid-back brides who end up with the more self-centred bridesmaids. Sometimes they can be really bad to the point where I have to take the bride into a different room to get away from her.”
The trouble often starts well before the big day. In many cases, it’s the mounting pressure of the hen’s party and bridal shower planning as well as the cost of travel, shoes, dresses, fake tans, hair, makeup, nails and of course a gift that set things off. Some women become resentful that the bride is asking them to spend money on things they wouldn’t buy for themselves.
Sometimes it’s the best friends who have always done everything together that are the most vulnerable to this new threat; friends who have travelled together, lived together, studied together and played the singles scene together, before one of them meets her true love. No matter how hard she tries to maintain her friendship with her single girlfriend, the girlfriend has been left behind.
Jealousy begins to grow for her friend’s new-found happiness. Then, on top of everything else, she gets engaged. After sharing some of life’s biggest milestones together, the engaged friend asks her still single friend to be her maid of honour. The Bride-to-be thinks she is in the best possible hands, it is her best friend after all. But that friendship has become strained. The single friend doesn’t like the new arrangement and wants her old friend back. Throw in the added pressures of maid of honour duties and it’s only a matter of time before the single friend revolts.
Bridesmaidzillas often play up in their own way, usually when the jealousy becomes too much. Sleeping with the married groomsmen, making a self-centred speech or embarrassing the bride during the speech, complaining or leaving the wedding early are just some of the ways bridesmaids lose control. One woman even sent an invoice to the bride for the costs she had to outlay during the course of the wedding.
How do you pick a bridesmaid who won’t turn to the dark side in your greatest hour? In my experience, there are no warning signs and even the best of friendships can end over a wedding.
So I’m asking you, how can you pick a Bridesmaidzilla before it’s too late?