The Meltdown of Bridezilla, Vol. 17, Issue 40

Just in case you were wondering, no one owes you a wedding - except possibly your parents. Etiquetteer isn't going to inquire into your private life. But no one owes you a wedding, and you shouldn't expect everyone you've ever met in your entire life to pay for it, and you should certainly not charge a four-figure "entrance fee" to attend your wedding.

Have you seen the story making the rounds, about a bride's internet meltdown while cancelling her wedding only four days away because none of her friends or family would pay $1,500 each (!) to come to her wedding? Etiquetteer even heard two women talking about it on the subway this evening. (Read the Fox News coverage or the Bored Panda article for details.) Etiquetteer isn't entirely sure this isn't a hoax, but it does prompt some commentary about the Gaping Maw of Bridal Need.

First of all, it's never Perfectly Proper to stage a wedding so very out of keeping with one's own social status, precisely because it creates such surreal stress about finances. It's also tacky. Etiquetteer has never seen A Catered Affair, but that's the same situation: a cab driver's family pressures themselves to give their daughter a fancy wedding they can't afford (and which she doesn't really want), sacrificing a business opportunity that could make a profound difference for all of them. In this case, Bridezilla - who was raised on a farm and met her fiancé there well before high school - wanted a dream wedding inspired by the Kardashians (!) and including a honeymoon in Aruba. And now let Etiquetteer say it: America is a land of freedom, but Jackie Kennedy is an inspiration; the Kardashians are an abomination.

Second, what are we really celebrating about a wedding that makes it so particularly about the bride only and what she wants? That a man chose her above all others? No, that's patriarchial. That she "snared," "trapped," or "used her wiles to get" him? Etiquetteer hopes not; that only makes Bridezilla look like an insincere Conniving Temptress*. You see where Etiquetteer is going, yes? There is no reason to focus exclusively on the bride and everything she particularly wants. As has been said before, no one cares about the bride! Let's focus on the Happy Couple as a couple instead, and bypass completely the Gaping Maw of Bridal Need.

Lastly, a wedding is not about a blow-out "once in a lifetime" party; it's about two people committing to each other for life, and the families and friends of this Happy Couple assembling to wish them well - often with a meal, and especially so if you're making people fly in from hither and yon. How many "once in a lifetime" weddings ended in divorce? (If you have that datum, please share.) Much better to simplify arrangements and guest lists rather than generate so much wedding angst that the marriage doesn't have a chance (as in the current case).

This young woman (if this is a true story) has jeopardized her relationships with the love of her life (who is also the father of their child), her family, her best friend, and pretty much everyone she's ever met in her entire life. Was the vision of a Kardashian-inspired wedding worth all that destruction? Bridezilla, beware!

*If Etiquetteer has to hear from one more married woman (or divorcée) that she "earned" her wedding and/or engagement rings . . . once they had a name for women who "earned" their jewels, and it was something no Nice Woman wanted to be called.