Newport Manners + Etiquette: Bridezilla Returns

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


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Are you scared of standing up to a demanding bride? Set your boundaries and stand your ground to avoid being manipulated by a bridezilla.

Dividing a loved one's ashes, children on the loose at weddings, bridezilla in need of wedding etiquette, and what does the dress code 'Classy but Casual' mean for a 20th high school reunion? All topics to Didi Lorillard from question-inquirers this week at

Children cut loose at weddings

Dear Didi,

At an evening, family wedding recently a 12-year-old-boy danced on the dance floor by himself all night long. To look cool, he put on sunglasses. If your seat was facing the dance floor, he stole the show. Guests first stared in amazement. Then it became boring. We wondered why his parents didn't give him the hook or have him dance with the other kids. His dancing became a deterrent to getting up on the dance floor because you had to go around him and dance away from him when he cut loose. By the end of the evening, his behavior was all that people were talking about. What would you have done, dear Didi? N.C., Newport

Dear N.C.,

Whether the lad was on a sugar high, had guzzled his parents' champagne, or was just chilling, there is no excuse for him being allowed to cut loose and monopolize the dance floor. Some thoughtful female guest should have spared his family the humiliation and cut in on him to put an end to his attention-grabbing behavior. Taking him into a gentle two-step, the woman could have suggested that he take a break as she gracefully guided him off the stage. Then a parent would have explained that if he still wanted to dance, he should dance with someone his age, because solo show-boating wasn't considerate at a wedding when everyone should be taking turns dancing with the bride or groom. ~Didi

Bridezilla asking too much of fiance's siblings

Dear Didi,

I have searched high and low for answers online and cannot find any, so I'm hoping you can help me:

My brother is getting married (we are in our 20s and 30s) in his home state and I live in another state. Our parents died when we were much younger and we do not have a grandparent/aunt/uncle on either parent's side, so in their place, my husband and I and my sister have offered to host the rehearsal dinner for him. Now his fiancée has insisted that both my sister and I be bridesmaids and my daughter be her flower girl--which is fine. But in the traditional sense, I feel conflicted because now I am acting as mother-of-the-groom as well as bridesmaid. On top of that she is now asking that we also help host bridal showers and a lingerie shower. It also means expenses for travel to be there and then turn around and travel for the wedding and stay for about a week to help out. I'm a bit overwhelmed by the cost and feel like there is a bit much being asked of us. Her excuse is that her MOH is too young to host anything by herself and her sis-in-law isn't nice and in college (she is a bridesmaid, mind you), so they can't be depended on. Please help with clarity on what we should be expected to do. B.G., Settle, WA

Dear B.G.,

Set your boundaries. Yes, it is flattering to be asked to do more. But you are hosting the rehearsal dinner, which is a huge deal and a big job. That's enough. Tell her that you want to be able to focus (your time and resources) on making the rehearsal dinner memorable. Keep to your boundary. You'll be invited to the other events because you're hosting the rehearsal dinner, so you are off the hook about doing more.

This is why. The bride does not ask people to host showers for her. If a friend is up to the task, then he/she offers, often co-hosting with other friends being invited to the wedding. When the maid-of-honor isn't up to performing her duties, then she steps down to the role of bridesmaid and a bridesmaid who is up to organizing a shower steps up. If nobody steps up then the showers aren't held. There is no rule carved in stone that dictates that there has to be a bridal shower or/and lingerie shower. Furthermore, the bride shouldn't be organizing showers for herself because it is a blatant push for presents. My point is, don't be guilt tripped into doing more than you have already committed to doing. I'll tell you why. If you let her manipulate you now, how are you going to turn her down when she arrives at your doorstep with two toddlers and says, "Your brother and I are going on vacation. We knew you would want to help out and take the kids for ten days." Think about the precedent that you'll be setting if you do more than is required. ~Didi

Asking for her daughter's ashes

Dear Didi,

How do I get my ex to let me have half my daughter's ashes? K.I., Providence

Dear K.I.,

Since your former partner is in possession of the ashes, you're going to have to ask him to make a compromise. Tell him that civilized people divide the ashes when there are others who feel strongly about having them as well. It would be helpful if you could have a lawyer to talk him. Or even a friend or relative that you both communicate with who could state the case for dividing the ashes. Lastly, you could talk to the minister who performed the service to see if he could put in a good word for you. I am sorry for your loss. Sadly, I can't help you further but if he is in possession of the ashes, you will have to ask him to compromise, especially if you did not have custody of your daughter at the time of her death. ~Didi

Classy But Casual: Dress code for 20th class reunion

Hi Didi,

I am going to my 20th high school reunion in October in SC. The invitation says casual but classy. Is a LBD appropriate for this or should I go more casual -- like dark jeans and I nice top with accessories? Age group is 38-39. L.M., Charleston

Dear L.M.,

Well, as you know, the LBD, is short, sexy and says that you're totally available. If, in fact, you are available, then go for it. On the other hand, don't wear jeans as it will make you look unoriginal. Wear a short fitted dress, like the ones you'll find at, with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. ~Didi

Do you have a question to ask Didi? Email it to [email protected] or visit her at If we use your question, we can withhold your name and address. Didi researches etiquette and all matters of manners for her book,"Newport Etiquette." Prior weekly GoLocalProv columns are listed below. More topics can be accessed through a search.


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