Wedding season is in full swing and that means the mythical evil creatures known as “bridezilla” and “groomzilla” are also on the loose. They are those demanding brides and grooms who completely forget their manners and with their entitled temper tantrums and overly demanding ways often end up alienating the very people they are supposed to be celebrating with, their wedding guests.
In a recent Huffington Post article, a couple clearly turned into the stereotypical bridezilla and groomzilla and chastised a wedding guest for sending a wedding gift they deemed too small. The only word to describe this behaviour is rude.
A gift should always be received with gratitude — full stop. It is never alright to question a guest about their gift or worse to insult a guest by saying that their gift was not enough! In the hopes of preventing future wedding etiquette fails I have put together my top tips for how not to be a bridezilla, or a groomzilla this wedding season.
1. Be grateful to your guests
Say thank you for everything! Send proper thank you notes for all of your gifts, no matter how you feel about them. Traditional wedding etiquette suggests that although it is considered polite to send a gift it is not required in exchange for a wedding invitation. Remember, that you are thanking your guests for the act of giving. Savvy brides I know pre-address thank you notes in advance of receiving gifts so that they can send them out as soon as a gift is received so the notes are sent out in a timely fashion.
2. Don’t make unreasonable demands of your guests
A few years ago a certain celebrity health guru invited guests to her wedding with the request that they all do a 21 day cleanse so they could look their best for her special day. Although well-intentioned, this is too extreme of a request for a wedding guest. It’s important to remember that your wedding guests have lives outside of your wedding and that they are making sacrifices to celebrate with you.
For example, destination weddings, while wonderful for you, are expensive and require vacation time for guests and long weekend weddings while helpful for out of town guests often mean giving up other holiday plans. Even if you are throwing the best wedding ever, remember it is the couple who should be grateful to their guests for attending — not the other way around.
3. Treat your wedding party with respect
Your wedding party are the people you are asking to witness your marriage and support you as you begin your life with your partner. They are not your new personal assistant or comic book sidekick. Respect that they have lives and jobs outside of this role for you. For example, you should share your plans for your wedding, specifically on issues of timing and budget, when you ask them to take on the role.
You should also make it clear if there will be any larger than usual expenses like designer bridesmaid dresses that you expect them to buy or necessary travel for a party or the wedding so that they can budget or even decline if it’s not something they can commit to. Finally, if you do have a “zilla” moment and lose your cool or realize you’ve been too demanding, apologize immediately and sincerely.
4. Beware of the “HoneyMoonster”
A “HoneyMoonster” is a relatively new phenomenon brought about largely by social media. This is a bride or groom who just can’t let it go after the wedding. They continue to curate and discuss their big day long after the honeymoon is over. If you do feel the need to curate post-wedding, tread lightly. For example, if there are wedding images you’d like friends to take down or unflattering images you’d like untagged, be sure you only ask if it’s absolutely necessary and if you think you can ask without offending the person who posted it, otherwise better to just let it go. Trying to reign in social media is a little like trying to put squeezed toothpaste back in its tube; messy work and typically very unsuccessful.
5. Remember, it’s just one day
My last piece of advice, my dear brides and grooms, is that your wedding is just one day in your life. Having been happily married for nearly 12 years now I can tell you from personal experience that your wedding day is just the beginning and that your friends and family who support your marriage over the years are so much more important to your happiness than the superficial details of that single day.