Tuesday, September 08, 2009

"Don't be a Bridezilla"

Bridezillas. I never thought I'd meet one in my lifetime, but as luck would have it, I finally met my Bridezilla at a wedding recently where I was friends of the groom. The groom was Chinese, the bride was Vietnamese and the wedding, a reflection of what was to come. It was the first time at a wedding where only one side of the family was represented, and what it made everyone feel, was a slight discomfort during the entire day’s festivities. The wedding ceremony was conducted in Vietnamese and the pastor’s English was so bad, that the groom’s side barely understood what was going on. It was almost comical as it was a Catholic ceremony, and we could not follow what was going on because of the language barrier. The only thing I heard and understood was “I do” which I guess is the most important part of the ceremony anyways. It was almost a relief when the ceremony was over, as it was virtually incomprehensible. I certainly thought” Things are sure to get better after this.”

But no, it just got worse! After the ceremony, we headed over to the bride’s house to witness a tea ceremony. At this point, I thought “Ah, now we’ll see the balance of the groom’s culture with the bride’s culture. This will be the Chinese part of the wedding day.” But much to my surprise, the tea ceremony was also in Vietnamese and representative of the bride’s culture once again! Man, this wedding day was really blowing me out of the water. I always thought that weddings would be a nice reflection of both sides of the family, bride and groom. Whether you were part of a different culture or not, both would be considered and represented, and if representing both was too difficult, or the bride and groom decided to go neutral, then the wedding would be in English, since everyone basically understood the English language growing up in America.

I started getting worried about my friend. I thought, “man, this is the first day of the rest of his life, and it looks like his wife is going to wear the pants in the family from here on.” Good luck to my buddy! He had no say in the wedding planning, and even if he mentioned that he’d like to have his family and culture represented, perhaps his wife shut him down? Who knows!

In any case, we ventured onto the reception and, thankfully, things picked up a bit but all of the speeches were in… Guess? Vietnamese! So once again, I had no idea what was going on, no comprehension of what was being said, and when anything was happening. It was a true lesson in going with the flow! Not being able to listen and comprehend the words of the ceremony, the speeches, the bride’s family, for most of the day, it was a day of trusting one’s feeling and paying attention to the emotion of the day rather than the ritual. So in that, there was a blessing that evolved from the wedding day because all in all, I think all weddings are special days.

But a word of wisdom to our future brides, as a married woman to a bride-to-be, the wedding day is a reflection of your first day as a Mrs. Something, marrying into the family of your husband. There is a theory that the wedding day is the bride’s day but I tend to disagree. I believe that in this society now, things should be more equal, and the wedding day should be a reflection of the love of the bride and groom, and representative of both the bride and groom, if they are from different cultures. If they are of the same culture, then well, it will be easier to plan, but it would be best to be considerate of your groom’s family as you plan the wedding. Get on their good side now, make them feel comfortable, show them that you will be a considerate wife because you are considerate of them and their family. If you fail at this and during your wedding planning and neglect your groom’s family, then well, you’ll face the music later, or rather the gossip.

So to all our bridezillas, we love you and wish you the best. But a word of caution. What comes around, goes around, and you want to start this new life together on the right foot, stepping in the right direction. Just my two cents!