If the wedding season comes, can the Bridezilla be far behind?
Whenever the wedding season rolls around, I am always put in mind of that TV series that was aired a couple of years back in India. Bridezillas, it was called, to reference brides and Godzilla, and it portrayed what monsters some women turned into in the run up to their weddings. The to-be brides featured made insane demands of their families and friends, micro-managed things until they had run everyone mad, and in the process, spent ludicrous amounts of money that they could often ill-afford.
The series rang true with me – and no doubt, for countless other Indian viewers – because we have all been witness to a bride or two (okay, let’s make that an even dozen) going into overdrive, and then into meltdown, as she prepares for her Big Day (yes, it is always spelt with capital letters).
And now that the season of wedding madness is upon us again, I find myself surrounded by more Bridezillas than I can keep track of. There’s the one who insists on flying down to London to buy a white lace wedding dress from Alexander McQueen – just like Kate Middleton, you know! – even though she will only get to wear it at a pre-wedding cocktail party (the wedding itself stars a Abu-Sandeep red lengha; or was it Tarun Tahiliani? I can’t really keep up!). There’s the one who is planning a bachelorette party (don’t you dare say ‘hen party’; that’s so infra dig) in Ibiza, and flying down all 36 of her close friends for that (Daddy dearest picks up the tab, of course). There’s the one who has changed the entire décor of a chateau in Champagne, so that it fits with the ivory and gold theme of her wedding dinner. And so it goes…
I don’t know about you, but it makes me want to take these young ladies aside, pour them a cold glass of water (or champagne, if that will do the trick), and ask them to calm the hell down. It is a wedding, for God’s sake, not a Karan Johar production!
But maybe that’s just the problem. We have been force-fed so many images of extravagant weddings set in exotic locales in our Bollywood blockbusters that we feel obliged to recreate them in real life as well, no matter what the expense or inconvenience involved. So, everything must be ‘designer’: from the wedding hall, the mandap, the overall décor, the outfits of the bride, groom, and their immediate families. And just like in the movies, everything must be colour-coordinated to within an inch of its life. Why, even the menu must be ‘designed’ by some celebrity chef or the other, to keep in with the overall theme!
Far be it for me to begrudge any happy bride her big day, but I wonder if perhaps she would be happier if she relaxed a tiny bit; if she went with the flow instead of playing the control freak?
Well, if any of these soon-to-be-married ladies want to take the less-stressful route to marriage, here is my two cents worth of advice to them:
• Keep that wedding lengha nice and light. If you need to support it with heavy-duty suspenders, then you don’t need it. (Those bruises will be difficult to explain on your honeymoon anyway, when you are sunning yourself on the beach in an itsy-bitsy bikini.) If you need two attendants to hold it up so that you can walk down to the mandap, then walk away from it now. Be as blingy as you like; but keep the fabric and work lightweight. You should be wearing that outfit; the outfit should not be wearing you down.
• You’ve probably already blown the budget on the wedding. So, at least be sensible about your honeymoon. Do you really need to buy two first class tickets to Los Angeles? Cancel that and use the money to book yourself into the best suite at the best hotel in Udaipur or Jodhpur (or even Agra; it does host the most famous monument to love, after all). People fly into these destinations from all over the world for special occasions. Don’t turn up your nose at them just because they are next door.
• Keep your mom and grandmom’s jewelry just the way it is. Don’t reset it in some hideous new-fangled design. Believe me, you will be glad you left it well alone a few years down the line. And if you are buying new stuff, then choose well. Buy one heavy-duty piece if you must, but be warned that it will live thereafter in your bank locker anyway. So try and invest in pieces that you can wear for parties and dinners rather than weddings; you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck with these.
• Most of all try and remember that it’s not all about the wedding; at the end of the day it is the marriage that counts. And beginning married life plain broke, frazzled, and on the verge of a nervous breakdown is the not the best of starts at all!