First coined in the 1990s, a Bridezilla refers to the bride-to-be who turns into a monster in the days—or months—leading up to her wedding. Essentially, she morphs into Godzilla to destroy anything or anything one who stands in the way of her big day. Pop culture paints her as demanding, unreasonable, and difficult all around. Yet also a perfectionist, a control freak, and high-strung.
I don’t question the success of Bridezilla’s character development. She made millions, if not billions, for film and TV makers in the comedy field. Bridezilla had her time to shine.
Fortunately, we don’t see much of her anymore. Pop culture graciously gifted us with a wide variety of bride personalities in recent years. She’s no longer the typical Caucasian blonde with a totes important job as a magazine editor, PR executive, or film producer.
You know her, she works for Mr. Handsome-Yet-Emotionally-Unavailable, she hides an unused, dusty vibrator (gifted from her gay or artsy BFF!) under her, and she sends her mom’s phone calls straight to voicemail. Did I just describe every chick flick from the early 2000s?
A new wave of bride personalities
With 90s Bridezilla seemingly out of the way, TV and movie brides wear a variety of new faces—possibly more relatable ones. I mean, seriously, did any IRL (in real life) bride want Bridezilla as her spirit animal?! Fuck no.
Really, movie directors created Bridezilla to serve as their story’s villain or bitch. The perfect example? Meredith Blake from The Parent Trap. She fits the Bridezilla description to a tee: blonde, white, evil, cunning, but also sexy and successful.
Engaged or not, no one wants to be Meredith Blake. Brides needed a hero, a saving grace after Meredith’s reign—someone funny, warm, and creative with a touch of clumsy and quirky. Someone like these fictional women …
Lillian from ‘Bridesmaids’ (Maya Rudolph)
Sometimes, the search for the perfect wedding dress takes a less-than-glamorous turn. I don’t know any IRL brides that shit in the street but I do know ones who’ve asked me to hold their dress while they pee/poop.
During my first alterations appointment, I asked my tailor to literally tuck my boobs into the dress. She grabbed my bare tit and jiggled it around. IRL brides know just how personal and intimate fittings can be. Hell, I might have to ask a friend to apply boob tape.
To any bride who’s ever had an embarrassing story to come out of their wedding, at least you didn’t pull a Lillian. Maybe your uncle drank too much and botched his speech, maybe you stepped on your husband’s foot during your first dance as a married couple, or maybe you puked on a guest at the after-party.
Monica from ‘Friends’ (Courteney Cox)
Out of all the brides on this list, Monica shares the most similar qualities to Bridezilla. God forbid Chandler chooses roses over lilies or forgets to get their wedding photos developed.
However, we see a different side of Monica when she brings Rachel and Phoebe to the wedding dress consignment store. Whistles in-hand. I looked at an outlet store for my dress and it was madness. Absolute chaos. Women pushing each other, calling out to their moms and sisters, throwing garments on the floor—fuckin’ scavengers.
Unless you scheduled a one-on-one appointment with a dress designer and sipped champagne in a classy showroom, you can relate to Monica’s war-like attitude. *turns to Rachel* “Don’t be a baby!”
Carrie from ‘Sex and the City’ (Sarah Jessica Parker)
Poor, poor, Carrie. It all started so wonderfully for her. In case you missed it, Vogue asks Carrie to model a handful of designer wedding dresses ahead of her big day with Mr. Big. She tries on the most jaw-dropping gowns from Oscar de la Renta, Vivienne Westwood, and Vera Wang. It’s the perfect photo shoot montage.
Minutes before her walk down the aisle, she finds out that Mr. Big bailed and left the venue with a case of cold feet. Again, quite the over-dramatization. It’s worth mentioning, though, that IRL brides and grooms may experience mass mood swings before their wedding—a mixed bag of anxiety, fear, hope, relief, confusion and wonder.
On the day of, not all brides wake up with a smile and the utmost optimism. My sister needed anti-anxiety drugs with her morning mimosas to stay calm amidst the chaos. It’s an emotional time that brings out the best and worst in us.
Toula from ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ (Nia Vardalos)
Released in 2002, this comedy/romance flick was one of the few in its time to downplay a wedding and all that goes along with it. By no means is Toula a Bridezilla. On the contrary, she wants a simple, down-to-Earth wedding, essentially the opposite dynamic of her over-the-top Greek family.
I come from a small family of four so I have no idea what it’s like to have third cousins and great grandparents in the mix. My sister’s husband, however, comes from a large Greek family. Their wedding turned out to host over 100 guests, half of whom my sister never met and traveled all the way to Brooklyn from Greece.
For my upcoming, I want families as removed as possible. It’s my day and if they don’t like something, they can suck it. Wow, I sounded like a true Bridezilla there for a second. IRL weddings really play out like a family soap opera drama-fest, don’t they?
Margaret from ‘The Proposal’ (Sandra Bullock)
Not exactly the most romantic situation, Andrew agrees to marry Magaret as part of a business deal. It took me a moment to grasp this concept but some couples marry for reasons other than love, such as financial security, citizenship, and children.
On a separate note, Margaret feels a disconnect to Andrew’s family, something that frequently happens when IRL brides and grooms get introduced to the in-laws. America has a running joke regarding in-laws in which they’re horrible, monstrous people. Monster-In-Law starring Jennifer Lopez, anyone?
I can’t speak for all you other brides but I love my in-laws. My mother-in-law sends me birthday cards and cooks a four-course dinner whenever we visit. I loved my ex’s mom and step-dad, too. Not all brides get this lucky. I salute you, brave soldier, for marrying into a less-than-ideal family.