Friday, January 15, 2010

Let's Talk about BRidezilla

The other week my mom and sister, Lacey, were at the mercy of one of my rants. I really appreciate them listening and not getting (visibly, least) annoyed by me.

We landed on the subject of stressful weddings: discontented brides, bossy mother of the brides (i heard from my photographer friend that these can sometimes be the worst to deal with), absent grooms, and all the other stereotypical figures.

Grooms and Brides don't have to behave like this. Just because it seems to be the accepted and expected norm, doesn't mean it's the "right."

While I was living at home this summer, I would guiltily watch TLC's show Bridezillas. I think I just was amazed, shocked, and disgusted by their behaviors...I could only watch enough of the show before becoming really overwhelmed by these people.

This is where I begin my rant. The whole problem is this culture's obsession with entitlement. (big deep breath)

okay, who gave the bride "the right" to be a mean, rude, and inconsiderate child on the wedding day. where does this come from?? Our culture BUYS into ideas (we're going back to American consumerism with this topic) like: "You [the bride] needs to look perfect, buy this to look like that. You need to stress out about seating arrangements and a flawless reception, so buy a wedding planner. You need to have a cocktail hour, you need a big cake, you need beautiful flowers, you need a beautiful hall, china, you need to be the princess, this is YOUR day. It's all about YOU."
seriously? And this obsession with pleasing the customer (ourselves) can only lead to the weddings that are so commercialized and disposable. Like anything one buys, it can all be forgotten and thrown away. How far away from the purpose of marriage can these be?

quick look at consumerism:
Think of going into a coffee shop or any chain restaurant; since I worked for a couple years at Starbucks I'm going to use them as an example. There is a specific way to make a latte, there are recipes, why? because people go to Starbucks because they expect to have the same drink made every time--THEIR drink made right every time (I can't tell you how many times a woman with big dark glasses would come in and just stare at me, fully expecting that I knew "her drink"). And from working in such a place, I know, if THEIR drink isn't right, then they have every "right" to get angry and foul. How can this be that people feel they have a higher standing over another because they paid money, enough of a status to embarrass, harass, and misbehave towards the one who is serving them. We weren't given rights to have consistent coffee, just as we weren't given any rights to a "Bride's day."

Now, i'm not saying that buying things for the wedding is bad, and i'm not excluding myself from this greedy culture, but i am trying my hardest to pay attention to the temptations that exist for brides and grooms (they participate by being passive and dismissive during the preparations...and oftentimes, people encourage this behavior by not including grooms in the wedding planning and through ball and chain imagery, etc.) and forbid myself from subjecting those I love to the consequences of consuming and greed (pouting, bossing, yelling, put downs, disappointment).

I feel it's so important to be conscious of the tendency towards entitlement. I feel that it's when I start thinking, "hey but I need that really gorgeous 3,000 dollar dress (it baffles me that it's common to spend this much on a dress--i could go on an entire tangent on the dress and how it also relates to this discussion), i deserve to have everything go my way, i have the right to have these things or those things or whatever, bla bla bla." that the whole focus is thrown off. As I said to Lacey and Mom, "I don't have "the right" to "fall in love" or get married. what inherently gives us the right to get married? do I really have any rights?" I don't really deserve anything, but I am blessed and forever grateful for a man who has made a commitment to me and I to him, and I am blessed and forever grateful for my parents who want to help celebrate with us and in doing so give food and drink and celebration back to the community and friends and family who gave it to us in the first place.

and I'm very lucky that Seth is making the wedding favors, and i'm so thankful that we're going to have the reception at my parent's home, and that my far a way friends are coming for the festivities (i love you all so so so much), and that my roommate, sister-in-laws, and mother-in-law are doing our cakes, and that there's wheat, and that the table linens don't match.

i think this is a beautifully true looking wedding.

look at this:
theirs always sticks out to me.


  1. Brooke, you are so right. We truly have no "rights" we only have unmerited blessings. As soon as we elevate our desires to goals we are bound for frustration and disappointment. I am guilty of this on so many levels and unfortunately I think most girls fall into this trap. We must learn to recognize our desires as being out of our hands and only in God's, but that means surrendering control and nobody likes that.
    The saddest part about bridezillas is they are starting their entire marriage with a skewed philosophy that will taint every part. The "right" to have a baby, a large house, yearly vacations and the newest VW. We must surrender our fairytales and ideals and choose to be thankful for every blessing He chooses to give. No girl wants to hear that, esp me, but once we accept that we are accepting life and fulfillment far beyond what we could dream for ourselves.
    Seth is lucky to have a girl like you, Brooke. :)

  2. thanks so much Kate. and you're totally right about all these things. I feel just as lucky to have Seth--who helps me tremendously with these things, both encouraging and challenging.

  3. i told my mom about this post, and she thinks that you are the best human being.

  4. I agree with Anna's Mom. For a young woman you have a very healthy view on life. I always loved the song by Garth Brooks, that says "some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers". While it is normal to hope and wish and good to plan we should imerse ourselves in the moment for they are fleeting and if things don't go as planned or hoped for maybe it is truely a blessing when they don't. Your faith can see you through everything. I love reading your words Brooke. Very inspiring and they help me to know you better. Love you. Cheryl