As a professional wedding supplier who has worked with many couples over the years I want to break a longstanding myth held about women, in particular, who are planning their wedding. As a wedding cake maker, I am constantly asked about Bridezillas. “Bridezilla” is a derogatory term for any woman planning a wedding. Usually used to refer to a bride who has high expectations and might be particular about what she wants. And I am here to tell you that… Bridezillas do not exist!
Bridezillas are often portrayed as demanding, entitled, and irrational women who obsess over their wedding day. While some may dismiss these women as simply “crazy brides,” a feminist perspective on the issue reveals a deeper societal problem: the patriarchy.
Bridezillas do not exist! It’s the Patriarchy (bleurgh!)
The patriarchy is a social system in which (cis-gender) men hold power and dominate in both public and private spheres. It affects every aspect of our lives, including the way we view marriage and weddings. Although women have come a long way to demand equal opportunities, respect and equality, both in marriage, and society as a whole, pervasive, sexist ideas about women persist.
Women, especially those who require that their level of expectations be met, are portrayed as demanding, unreasonable and difficult to work with and often labelled as a “Bridezilla”.
In a patriarchal society, the bride is expected to fulfil certain gender roles and expectations. She is supposed to be the epitome of femininity, beauty, and grace, and her wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of her life.
So women who refuse to be passive and submissive, and instead demand agency and control over their wedding day are often labelled a “Bridezilla”. They are often criticized for being “too bossy” or “too demanding,” but this is simply a reflection of society’s discomfort with women who assert their power and agency.
Bridezillas do not exist! Women simply take on more wedding planning stress
In addition to traditional gender roles, societal pressures and norms also contribute to women doing more of the wedding planning work. Wedding planning is a daunting task for many couples, with many aspects to consider and decisions to make. Unfortunately, the burden of wedding planning often falls disproportionately on women, with studies like this one showing that women tend to do more wedding planning work than men. Especially when this work is ‘invisible’ or undervalued or akin to ‘routine housework’. Including decorating, making meal choices and shopping to name a few.
This can have negative effects on gender equality in relationships and perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes such as the trope of the “bridezilla”.Therefore women are constantly trying to balance these impossible, dual expectations whilst planning their wedding. Taking on a disproportionate amount of stress and responsibility when planning a wedding, whilst also maintaining a serene feminine demeanour at all times for fear of being labelled a “bridezilla”. This patriarchal gaslighting serves to monitor and control women’s behaviour.
The term Bridezilla implies that women who demand what they want are irrational and emotional, and therefore not capable of making rational decisions. This reinforces the harmful stereotype that women are inherently emotional and incapable of making sound decisions, while men are rational and logical. On top of this the term “bridezilla” is often used to shame and belittle women who dare to deviate from the traditional role of the passive bride.
Bridezillas do not exist… they are just strong women:
Strong women who refuse to be constrained by these patriarchal expectations and exert agency and control over their wedding day are often seen as difficult and demanding. But I argue that any woman who knows what they want for their wedding simply recognises that their worth as a woman is not tied to their marital status. That they are more than just a bride and that their values, desires and needs are justified.
In conclusion, the term “Bridezilla” is a reflection of society’s discomfort with women who assert their power and agency. It reinforces harmful gender stereotypes and perpetuates the patriarchy.
I have personally never, in my whole career of working with couples, experienced an overly demanding bride. Don’t get me wrong I have clients who have high standards and expect high-quality ingredients, beautiful design and impeccable service but I would expect nothing less. Anyone who cannot handle their customer’s high expectations probably shouldn’t be in the wedding industry.
Bridezillas do not exist! And it is our job to relieve the stress
I have had, for example, customers who have never planned a wedding before and are looking for advice and information about the whole process of for example ordering a wedding cake. From how many servings you require and how I will deliver and set up the cake display to how the caterers will cut the cake etc.
As wedding professionals, it is our job to convey this information in clear and concise ways. I have had clients that come to me with very definite ideas on a design and want to have every, small, detail confirmed before delivery and other couples who really need direction on the design of their cake and want me to lead them with multiple options. But neither of these customer profiles fits the trope of “Bridezilla”. Knowing what you want, or needing assistance and reassurance of every detail, is NOT something that the patriarchy should shame you for. Weddings are stressful enough to plan without women having to be judged and scrutinised for their behaviour at every step.
Rather than shaming and belittling women who demand agency and control over their wedding day, we should celebrate them as trailblazers who are challenging traditional gender roles and expectations.
I have lots of information on my website to help you plan your wedding. You can book a wedding cake chat with me to go over any questions that you may have about your wedding and I have lots of helpful guides and articles about your wedding cake. I appreciate that you have probably never ordered a wedding cake before or planned a whole wedding. As an experienced professional, I am happy to share all my knowledge and tips with you so that some of the stress of planning your big day is alleviated.
And next time you hear someone referring to a woman as a “Bridezilla” I challenge you to point out some of these arguments surrounding the longstanding tropes used to control women in a patriarchal society that still persist today.
Love from Luisa x