Wedding drama, zillas and toxic wedding culture

posted 3 months ago in Emotional
Post # 2
8370 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

There isn’t always a zilla. But stories of uneventful smooth wedding planning where everyone gets along and respects each other is pretty boring and don’t get posted much. Isn’t this true with most things?

Post # 3
974 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2021 - Australia

I think in some cases, it’s because it’s an event that some people have waited for and wanted for a long time, so when it finally comes, it must be perfect, it must be the dream event they’ve planned in their heads for years. When there’s even a hint it won’t live up to that dream, it’s very upsetting.

Also, I think often we can let poor behaviour from friends and family slide when it’s something small, but when it’s a big milestone event, it’s much harder to ignore. If they ruin your birthday you can shrug and say ‘I’ve had plenty of other birthdays and have many more to come.’ – you can’t do that with a wedding.

My final thought is, lots of people have never organised an event of that scale or expense before, and it’s a stressful time for them as a result. If the most you’ve ever done is booked a restaurant for a big group and not had to even put down a deposit, suddenly trying to coordinate an event with multiple moving parts is extremely overwhelming. I feel extremely lucky that I’ve coordinated large-scale events before for work, as it’s made me way more comfortable with what to expect.

Post # 4
3421 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I think the Zillas are people who are already difficult in everyday life. Wedding planning just makes it come up more frequetly and therefore it seems more obvious.

There were absolutely no zillas in my wedding planning, everyone was completely lovely. But you only hear the crazy stories because they are more interesting so perceptions can be massively skewed. 

Post # 5
10516 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

That’s just the internet. People aren’t going to post online about their drama-free wedding planning experience. People post online where there are problems. It’s scews the perception of the norm.

We didn’t have any drama or zillas in our wedding planning process. The people I know who did just had issues with people are always zillas, even outside of wedding planning (like a PP above mentioned)

Post # 6
47439 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
@kylobride:  I don’t think that’s true at all. Like many other things in life, negative experiences are ofen more publicized than positive.

Post # 7
452 posts
Helper bee

I agree with PPs that people post more about negative things than positive on the norm and that people that are Zillas were that way even before the wedding (whether that be the bride, groom, Maid/Matron of Honor, Bridesmaid or Best Man, MOB/G etc). 

Post # 8
792 posts
Busy bee

I agree that you are more likely to hear about the weddings where someone is a zilla or where there is a disaster – happy weddings where everyone behaves and there is no drama aren’t ‘newsworthy’.

But I think there is also a huge amount of pressure exerted on brides and grooms (but especially brides) because of other people’s expectations, especially as the wedding industry is such a huge money-maker.  And this can result in normally easy-going people becoming very stressed and snappy.

My husband and I decided when we got engaged that we wanted a very small, simple wedding.  Our budget was £3,000 max, including honeymoon.  And we set a limit of 30 on the guest list.  You would not believe the pressure we came under to go bigger, grander, more expensive.  “People won’t want to come if it’s not a big event”.  “It’s selfish of you to expect people to attend a simple dinner.”  And the pressure I came under when people found out that I was plannng to wear NO MAKEUP AT ALL…I would ‘ruin’ my wedding photographs and it was ‘offensive’ to people who dress up for our wedding if I turned up looking ‘a mess’!!!We stuck to our principles because we believed that those who cared about us would be happy to come to a wedding that felt right for us.  But we did find the constant pressure to do ‘more’ and ‘better’ very stressful.

We had the last laugh though – Covid arrived, even small receptions like ours had to be cancelled, and we got married in a short, simple ceremony with 12 guests (including the minister).  And I couldn’t have got my face made up even if I’d wanted to, because makeup artists weren’t allowed to work!

Post # 9
9535 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

There is always a zilla!

not true.  my wedding easy and stress free to plan.  my other married friends also said planning was relatively easy and stress free. IMO, the less hands in the cookie jar the better.  in my case.  my mom paid for the wedding, the only people involved in planning were myself, my husband, and mom.  i did not share any details, unless it was something you needed to know, like bridal party knowing needing to know certain information. if people gave their opinions, i said “ok, thanks for that,” and did what i wanted.

Why do you bees think this happen? Why weddings seems to bring out the worst out of people?

people post the negative and want the attention on the internet.  these people are probably already self centered and demanding in their daily life, but you brush it aside when it not related to weddings and spending excessive amounts of money.

Post # 10
525 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2021

Basically agree with the sentiment that the bad stories get posted more, partly because when things go wrong people look for advice…like yes I could post “wedding planning is chugging along smoothly, no problems and everyone seems content” but…why would I lol? Why would anyone? I occasionally see posts that amount to “anyone else really enjoying wedding planning” or “anyone else not had any drama with their family” but IMO they’re often in danger of sounding smug or humblebraggy. Which is why people probably avoid posting that sort of thing. 

Post # 11
4322 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Our wedding had no zilla. But I also don’t surround myself with assholes, or people who cause drama.

Ultimately, it’s like anything else: 9/10 people will tell you they always knew that person was drama/trouble/had controlling tendencies, whatever. But for some reason they assumed they would get it together for the wedding. Newsflash: they won’t. They never do. They will be their worst selves, so don’t choose those people. 

Post # 12
4629 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

View original reply
@sapphire27:  Yep same here.  I didn’t have any zillas in my wedding, because I didn’t ask people who were already difficult to be a part of it.  I have been in a zilla wedding before and it was my own fault, because she was already challenging and narcissistic day to day and being The Bride only made it worse, as she felt like she had power over all her “minions” for her special day. 

Post # 13
2003 posts
Buzzing bee

When you join families together you’re going to ultimately weed out the culture and social clashes between the families. No two families are raised the exact same with the exact same values, and when you start talking about big life events like weddings and having children, everyone is going to have an opinion. You’re also dealing with generational social expectations creeping in. No two people alone will agree on everything about a wedding, let alone family. Melding families is a big deal, and you’re going to have people who want a say. 

Also, the culture of having family members pay for weddings also allows for people to creep in their opinions. 

As far as zillas? I blame social media and consumerism. Bad enough to have someone with OCD or perfectionist tendancies, and then you give them access to things like Pinterest. Weddings are also highly marketable and consumerism is at a peak in the industry. There’s a service for everything, and it all comes at a premium because people have shown they will pay for it. We have driven a culture that says “you’re the bride, you should have it all, and it should be perfect!”. Look at wedding expos, wedding dresses, etc. Give people extravagant options, unlimited budgets because they’re either planning on someone else’s dime or because we’ve normalized going into debt for your “perfect day”…. 

It’s all a breeding ground and some fall into the trap. 

And some don’t. But nobody talks about that, because it doesn’t make headlines… 

Post # 14
7806 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I disagree. People who are having a fun and easy time planning their weddings don’t tend to post telling us this while people who are having issues/drama do. 

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