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10 tips for surviving a bridezilla

By Valerie David, The Frisky
Brides can go too far during pre-wedding stress and friends should know when to draw the line.
Brides can go too far during pre-wedding stress and friends should know when to draw the line.
  • Brides can have freakish irrationality, diva demands, and passive-aggressive power plays
  • You can smile and nod, negotiate or try to distract the bride
  • If things get really bad gather a group to confront the bride about her behavior
  • Don't feel forced to take out a loan to participate in someone's wedding

(The Frisky) -- Everyone who's been a bridesmaid knows the drill.

Hideous bubblegum pink chiffon dress you'll never wear again? Check. Matching jewelry that costs more than the engagement ring? Check. Frumpy flat shoes because the groomsmen look like Keebler elves? Check.

It's not fun, but we handle it because it's for our friends or family.

But how do you deal with bridezilla? How do you combat freakish heights of irrationality, diva demands, emotional vampirism and passive-aggressive power plays?

We can offer you these 10 tips for keeping a bridezilla at bay:

1. Smile and nod. Remember that the Mr. Hyde in front of you will return to the kind, caring Dr. Jekyll you know and love once the wedding is over. Do what she wants, even if it's a little bit crazy. One day she may return the favor when you have your own bridezilla moment.

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2. There's safety in numbers. Delegate the bride's demands to other bridesmaids, groomsmen and family members to help alleviate your own stress. This will also help divide the blame if things don't turn out the way your bridezilla planned. Try to include a sweet grandma or favorite aunt that she loves too much to yell at.

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3. Negotiate. When you can't meet all of your bridezilla's pricey demands, be ready to offer a cheaper alternative. Get your Aunt Sue, the seamstress, to alter your gowns rather than ordering custom-made. Host a shower at home rather than booking a banquet hall. Most importantly, make her think it was all her idea.

4. Act like a duck. Adopt a Zen-like attitude and let her self-centered rants, petty demands and general craziness glide over you like water rolls off a fowl's feathers. If you don't absorb it, it can't hurt you. Vent to non-mutual friends about your crazy bridezilla to help lighten the emotional load.

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5. Listen. Many normal brides turn into bridezilla because of the stress and crushing expectations of perfection. Give her the time to complain about her demanding mother, interfering in-laws and incompetent florist. Offering a shoulder to cry on can help deflate the buildup of angst that makes her lash out at you and anyone else within a five-mile radius.

6. Dull the senses. There's no need to break out the "Desperate Housewives" travel pack of Valium, but offer your bride a glass of wine or a giant box of chocolates to help improve her mood. Join her in a little indulgence, and you can dull your own pain as well.

7. Distract. Like dangling pretty, sparkly car keys in front of a crying baby, offer your bride something shiny to get her off the bridezilla warpath. Set up a shopping spree, hiking trek or spa trip as far from the madness as possible. Declare a ceasefire on wedding planning and reminisce about your high school crushes or that lost weekend in Vegas instead.

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8. Stand your ground. You shouldn't be forced to take out a five-year loan to pay for your part in a destination wedding. Respect yourself and the bride will respect you too. Tell bridezilla you love her and will do everything in your power to make her day perfect, but diamond-encrusted Ferragamos aren't in your budget. And no, you can't make 50 centerpieces by tomorrow.

9. Intervention. If you've been grinning through the pain for so long that you've ground your teeth to stubs, extreme measures may be necessary. Get all the injured parties together and calmly let the bride know how much she's crossed the line. Hopefully, she'll see the light when she hears it from every member of the bridal party. Keep the groom out of it in case she doesn't react well.

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10. Pull the rip cord. Sometimes a bridezilla goes too far, or the whole experience exposes giant cracks in an already-strained friendship. If you're constantly battered and abused, it's time to bail. And if a graceful exit isn't possible, just show up 20 minutes late for the cake tasting. The rest should happen naturally.

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