Life with Jesus / Love and Marriage

Unsolicited Advice for My Sister #2: Put that Bridezilla away.

I only had two Bridezilla moments before my wedding. At least that’s all I can remember. Birth control was pulsing through my system and so I may have had moments where I transformed into a hulking green bridal monster and ran through brick walls slicing through innocent bystanders’ arteries with my incisors. Maybe I did. Maybe I didn’t.  I’m just saying there might be some memory lapses.

Anyway, back to the bridezilla moments I remember. They both had to do with caterers, so beware the caterer, little sister. A little background first: Alex and I got married in a historical home near downtown Dallas. By historical, I mean it had the first shower ever built in Dallas. Because of the home’s intrinsic value, there was a (very) short list of approved caterers. Now, food was far down on my list as far as priorities went (sorry, guests!) so I wanted the equivalent of a table of fancy Lunch-a-bles plus fruit for as little as possible. In fact, if a caterer just purchased lunch-a-bles, opened them, and slapped them on the table, I would have been okay with that.  

The first caterer that my mom and I met with was a dessert lady.  We sat down in her plush office and she handed us the catering menu. I thought we were in France or Venice or somewhere else really fancy.  I mean, like $20/person for a strawberry and cheddar cheese cube. I thought to myself, “What? Was the cheese cube sliced by Gandhi himself? Were the strawberries handgrown by GW in the White House?” So I said, thinking that I was going to go into debt so that my guests wouldn’t turn into cannibals and start gnawing on each other’s arms, “What if you just served coffee and cut and served the cake (that my friend Kim Wagner (SHOUT OUT)  is making)?”  She got out her “I-saw-them-coming-a-mile-away” calculator and curtly answered, “Eight dollars a person.” At which point, my brain exploded. I literally don’t remember what happened next- I think I turned and jumped through the window, leaving a manic Beth-shaped hole. The next thing I remember is pacing back and forth in a McDonalds  in downtown Dallas, waving my arms and railing on the wedding industry for taking advantage of people like me. My wonderful mom just sat and nodded her head and tried not to look embarrassed.  Those poor McDonald’s employees probably didn’t need one more crazy mucking up their work environment. So, that was Bridezilla moment #1.

The second one was worse. We had scheduled to meet with a different caterer at the Dallas Women’s Forum (our venue).  My whole family drove in from Abilene and I drove in from College Station to go to this meeting. We were sitting in the parking lot patiently waiting for her to arrive.  But then…10 minutes went by. 15 minutes. 25 minutes. 35 minutes.  After about 45 minutes, we decided that she probably wasn’t just stuck in traffic. I was LIVID- purple in the face with rage, in the throes of birth control angst. So I called her.  (Quick unsolicited advice for family and close, brave friends of the bride: take her phone away in tense situations. She’s not afraid to use it.). Of course, the caterer didn’t answer, so I left a voicemail. It went a little something like this,

“Hi. This is Beth. You know, that bride that you were supposed to meet with today, 45 minutes earlier than right now. You know, that customer that might have given you some business. My family and I drove in from all around Texas to meet with you and you have not bothered to show up so I’m just calling to let you know that we’re going to go with a caterer didn’t crawl out from under a rock to open a catering business and actually has some semblance of customer service.  Don’t bother calling me back because I don’t care what excuses you have. Go die.”

Okay, I didn’t say that last line and I probably wasn’t as dramatic, but I was not very nice. After I hung up, I turned around and my family were sitting in wide-eyed silence. I had to reassure them that my tornado of fury was subsiding so I think I suggested lunch.  PS- I am not proud of that moment, at all.

It is quite easy to get bogged down in the details when you are wedding planning. Finding a caterer who won’t rob you blind seems like a very important task until you slow down and think about it. 99 percent of wedding planning literally does not matter at all. I’m not saying that it’s bad to want beautiful flowers or a groom’s cake that is shaped like Tony Romo. What I am saying is that if all your attention is on these little details, then you probably aren’t focused on the right thing- the marriage, which is the most important part and hopefully lasts more than the 4 hour duration of  your wedding.

I have to think that when God says, in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect as I am perfect”, he does not allow exceptions for brides in the throes of wedding planning. On the contrary, I’m sure most people entering the wedding industry learn “how to deal with annoyingly aggressive brides” on their first day and they would be pleasantly surprised if, instead of ripping the caterer who forgot an appointment a new one, a bride chose to love that caterer and be patient and kind.  What a message that sends! I wish that I would have thought about this and prepared myself to be loving before I began the whole wedding planning process. Every interaction with people you have is a chance to make people think kindly of God.

So, this particular piece of advice is:

Keep things in perspective and you’ll keep that Bridezilla in her cage.

When I was planning my wedding and would start to get overwhelmed or upset, our father, who often says very wise things at very annoying times, would pretend like he was releasing a fistful of helium balloons and watch with wonder as they disappeared into the wild blue yonder. He would then say, “Beth. Let those balloons go.” At which point, I would roll my eyes and then inwardly sigh about how right he was.  As irritating as that sounds, I promise that having people around you who can laugh with you (or at you at the appropriate times) will help you keep things in perspective.

DISCLAIMER: If you are losing it about the DJ’s haircut or the florists’ inability to see your exact vision and your inner monster is starting to rear its ugly head, then I will not mention this piece of advice to you for two reasons:

1)      Good bridesmaids don’t call the bride a “bridezilla” (at least not to her face)

2)      I would like to keep my eyes inside their sockets, as opposed to having them ripped out by the ferocious Leah-zilla

So, sisterbear, I offer up this advice to you early so that perhaps you can prepare for some of these hormonal rages that will come upon you like a thief in the night. If they sneak up on you too quickly and you are caught unaware, then I will grind my teeth and shake my fists with you in solidarity. Because I have been there and I have done that. Then we will both stand in the parking lot with our imaginary helium globes and we will let those balloons go…together.

(The {Unsolicited} Advice for My Sister series (or UAFMS) is meant for my younger sister who will be getting married in the summer of 2012. As her older sister, it is my duty to give her advice that she did not ask for. At least in blog form, she can choose to ignore it. If you want to read other blogs in this series, click on the “unsolicited advice” tag at the bottom of this post.)

One thought on “Unsolicited Advice for My Sister #2: Put that Bridezilla away.

  1. I remember vividly that day in McDonald’s. That’s when I truly knew what it meant to be a mother. A mother’s job is to keep her daughter from imploding. Great advice sweetie.

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