July 19, 2013

Bye-bye: 'Bridezillas' ending decade of wedding terror

By Leanne Italie / The Associated Press

NEW YORK — They're often drunken and controlling, weepy and abusive, but you won't have all those bridezillas to kick around come November.

click image to enlarge

This image from video released by WE TV shows Kirsten Walker, left, and her husband Seth, a couple showcased on the sixth season of the popular wedding series "Bridezillas." Walker was a theater actor before hitting the show with enough drama for an Oscar, warring with her band, lamenting that her dress had been cut too short and sobbing on her wedding day.

The Associated Press

The cranky grande dame of reality wedding TV, "Bridezillas" is ending its decade-long run, having morphed from a relatively sane look at stressed-out, spendy New York brides into a hit for WE tv featuring off-the-rails couples from all walks of life around the country.

As the cameras trail along a week or so before their big "I do's," these brides curse, scream and threaten, break stuff, whine for bling and sometimes get physical, usually with their spouses-to-be or overworked and unpaid bridesmaids.

But fear not fans: A spinoff, "Marriage Boot Camp: Bridezillas," offers some sustenance as it follows five 'zilla couples from seasons past as their stretched-thin unions teeter on wacky therapeutic exercises like playing dead for one another in a coffin.

Before there were any marriages, though, there was that big day. In more than 180 episodes that included one "gayzilla," everything goes wrong, nobody listens, vendors deserve to die and wedding vows are incomprehensible. The series finale – No. 184 plus specials – is scheduled to air Nov. 1.

Laura Halperin came on board as an executive producer deep into the third season, rising through the ranks as a story developer once the sleepy little show focused more sharply on the negative.

"There really weren't very many wedding shows on. Now it's kind of like a wedding-palooza out there," she said. "I think that we said what we needed to say, which is sometimes the ladies take things just a little too seriously."

Who wouldn't, what with all the incompetence swirling around these brides, and all the people trying to steal their limelight, and all the – gasp – fat people in their wedding parties.

Tricia Cha, now mom to two daughters in Portland, Ore., was part of the tamer freshman class on Season 1.

She bankrolled most of the wedding herself. The worst it got for this strong-willed decision maker, on camera at least, was a bridesmaid's dress delivered in the wrong size. Cha reveled in her gifts from Tiffany, met with her high-end photographer, toured her trendy West Village reception space she picked without her groom and eventually slipped into her $4,000 Richard Tyler gown with a smile on her face.

Would she sign on as a bridezilla now?

"I would not," she laughed. "I don't think the word bridezilla is one most people would like to have their name attached to."

But she felt the show fairly portrayed her union to her hubby Jeff. "We weren't the screaming lunatics that other people were so I don't think there was a lot of moments for us to be portrayed too differently," she said.

Enter Melissa Adams Moore of Season 7.

Her tipsy exit-interview advice after the wedding went like this: "This (expletive) is not worth it. Don't do this (same expletive). I love you. We're married. So beautiful. Tear. Don't do it."

But before those sage words, she threatened to gouge out her mother's eyes and strangle and eat her cake designer. Not satiated by their 15 minutes of reality fame, this bridezilla and husband Chris re-upped for this year's "Marriage Boot Camp," acknowledging trust issues and other relationship troubles. The first season of the spinoff finishes up July 26.

"I would have rather eloped in Vegas," Adams Moore said from Daytona Beach, Fla., of their stint on "Bridezillas."

"It's not really worth it. You take so long to plan for months and months and months for this one day and nothing is ever going to go exactly how you want it. It was too much stress and drama and dependence on people."

(Continued on page 2)

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