Sunday, January 16, 2005

Although I can't agree with Amy Thompson's really really bitchy attitude, I can now say I can see where she's coming from. So, I think I owe Amy Thompson and those like her some sympathy.

This isn't due to any emails or comments received. This is about the fact that "Real Weddings" from the Knot was the first wedding show I've watched since I got engaged to John. I've always been skeptical about the wedding industry, but today, I checked out BRIDEZILLAS on the Women's Network, and, Amy, girlfriend, we Brides have to stick together. Bridezillas aren't the enemy- the wedding industry is!

BRIDEZILLAS opens up defining a Bridezilla as a "usually calm individual who, inspired by a wedding, becomes an out-of-control freak." Oh boy, more girls like AMY!!! Bring it on.

This episode focuses on the wedding planners, who, according to the narrator, "can sometimes out-zilla the bridezillas." This follows the planning/weddings of three brides: Brooke, Amy (a different Amy), and Miho, and their wedding planners.

Brooke is marrying a man who looks older than her dad, but more power to her, because they actually look happy. I wonder what Brooke's beef is- she certainly looks docile enough. Her wedding will cost a 1/4 of a million dollars and will take place on an island. Okay, we definately have reason to hate Brooke now. But as the story goes on, Brooke becomes a figure in the background. The only thing that Brooke protested was the fact that her cake icing was not what she had chosen (the thing was orange. Damn ugly. So, no hating on Brooke just yet.) Then Brooke gets married. Brooke looks happy. Brooke's not really being interviewed at all in this piece, it's all about Kate and her vision of the wedding. Brooke's wedding. Let me say it again: Kate's vision of Brooke's wedding. Yes, Brooke is the star, but it is Kate who produces, writes and directs this production. Who's wedding is it really? Who really has the power here? And is Brooke really a Bridezilla? She didn't scream, screech, or cuss anyone out. No talons here. Whaa?

Different Amy is being assisted by her mom and her planner, whose name I can't remember. This episode they pick out table settings. The first table setting has blue settings. Different Amy sees it and cries. Different Amy's twin sister sees it and cries, and Different Amy's mom sees it and cries. Obviously a hit, right? Call off the dogs, the hunt is over? Snaps to the girls for finding something they absolutely adore? Nope. The table designer then makes Different Amy and Co. go into another room so that they can spend time setting up another table setting. The designer pronounces it as fabulous, beautiful. Obviously he likes it very much. But Different Amy still likes the blue. The table designer encourages her to look in the mirrored settings, which give the table "a special glow" But Different Amy, very politely states her preference and sticks to it. Again, no cussing nor demands, nor attitude.

(Keep in mind also that each time they cut to a commercial, a black screen comes up and a pink BRIDEZILLAS logo is "stamped onto the screen, with the accompanying sound of bars closing on a jail. Watch out Tokyo!)

Miho and John are a couple who are planning a wedding at Tavern on The Green. I like John and Miho immediately, and wonder why Miho's been deemed a Bridezilla- she certainly seems very pleasant. The first scene is Miho's wedding planner (again, I forgot the name) describing Miho to the DJ, DJ John. "She's a very nice bride. She knows what she wants and what she doesn't want, so this wedding will have a certain dynamic to it." (Okay, how is this different from any other weddding?) Then, W.P. and DJ JOhn meet with the bride and the groom. The narrator explains that, the wedding planner helps train the bride and the groom like one would train pets and kids. (No, I'm not kidding. This was actually said in a broadcast, on cable, in 2005.) So, John bounces his ideas off of the two "professionals." He'd like a small girl to come, ring a bell, and announce dinner is served. Also, he'd like to have the guests eat before he and Miho have their first dance. Cut to DJ John in another room, who pronounces that he is very offended by the idea of a dinner bell- "this is Tavern On The Green, not some chuck wagon!" Yeah, it is a bit tacky, but the wedding planners and other vendors are supposed to, according to most bridal mags "gently and tactfully guide the bride and the groom in the right direction for taste and elegance," not scoff at the suggestions. Although I do think John has a good point about the first dance thing. I certainly wouldn't want my guests drooling, blood sugars plummeting, forbidden to chow down until I had finished shimmying to "Crocodile Rock." Oh no, sayeth the wedding gurus- "you don't know the significance of the first dance!" DJ John practically snaps to Groom John. The W.P. also interjects- "the first dance makes the party. Without it, the party never starts." At this point, I expect WWE star The Rock to come out and do his trademark line "IT DOESN"T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK!" in the poor groom's face. Again, neither bride nor groom grows angry nor becomes inappropriate despite being scoffed at.

Okay. These are the lessons learned by moi watching Bridezillas:
1) Shows like Bridezillas and Real Weddings From The Knot, as well as most every other big bad bridal mags on the planet are looped into a group that Indiebride calls, "Wedding Porn." It's sick, slick, delectible, sinful, decadent, fantasy. Buy me! No-buy me! No- buy me, and you'll be beautiful, perfect good obedient little bride. Neglecting to buy? You're doomed! No wonder the bride often needs a good hose-down. These things are basically mind-f#-king the bride into thinking she needs everything in the mag/book/show to make her day just as perfect.There are some bitchy chicks out there, and bitchy chicks make bitchy brides. But I don't think you're a Bridezilla because you know what you want and don't want. I don't think you're a Bridezilla because you get sucked into all this crap (had me fooled). And I don't think you're a Bridezilla because you actually think orange icing is gross looking or because you give a crap if your guests are nourished rather than gawking at your dancing prowess.
2) Weddings are a business. Planners and vendors are out to bank. And unlike most businesses, they don't expect their consumers to return to their services. So that allows them to be as nasty and bitchy and manipulative as they want to be. I want to work with people I can trust, not because the Pee Pants Guide To Weddings says their tops in the field. I watched these people, and I saw it- the look of dollar signs in their eyes. Cha-ching! I will run away from that look when I see it.
3) In this episode, supposedly showcasing the worst of the worst, the most psycho hosebeasts of brides ever to walk the face of the earth, I didn't see any objectionable behavior noted by any of the brides. But it was made to feel like if you didn't just sit and giggle and look like Bride Barbie, god forbid you actually had preferences and opinions, then you were a bridezilla. And that's just wrong.

Brides, Grooms, and those who love them: look at yourselves! Swindled, bamboozled! We shouldn't be made to feel that our engagement ring diamond rocks landed on us! We will not go quietly down the aisle! We will not rely on fluffy bows or candles or mirror or those little cocktail napkins with our names printed on them to measure our happiness! We will not succumb to these bastards. We will take back our vows, our ceremonies, our receptions, and we'll do it as we damn well please! We will rise above this regime, stand together and say "I am, I think, I DO!"
Say it with me sisters and brothers!!! Testify! Can I get a witness?!

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