Bridezilla and Other Programming Show the Very Worst of the Very Best Day

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Programming highlighting the very worst behavior leading up to and including the wedding day puts the focus in the wrong place. Renowned wedding photographer, Shel Secunda sees a growing trend towards making the day much more special.

Shows like Bridezilla are entertaining millions as demanding and often out of control brides yell, scream, rant and pout their way towards the most important day in their lives. Though entertaining, are these programs putting the emphasis in the wrong place?

“There are so many special and beautiful moments that can be overlooked because television has put the emphasis on the negative rather than the positive,” Shel Secunda, a renowned Connecticut wedding photographer explains.

“I remember one couple that wanted to entertain their guests and share a magical moment during their wedding. They rehearsed an elaborate dance routine for many months and left their guests standing for a five minute ovation as a result,” Secunda recalls. “Moments like that embody the beauty that most bride and grooms try to capture, much more than the television programs depicting the very worst do.

“The show is funny but I mean, come on, not every bride gets that bad. I know I was tough, but not that tough,” Anita Melillo, 35, Island Heights, NJ recalls. “I just wanted the day to be perfect, it was the day I have been dreaming about since I was twelve,” Melillo continues.

Many brides echo the thoughts of Melillo and look to create a magical wedding that they and their guests will remember forever. “My job as a wedding photographer is to tell a story, to tell the story of the bride and groom, and I can tell you every one of their stories is one of love, devotion and a quest to create a wonderful event,” Secunda explains.

“I have dealt with some of the most wonderful brides ever to grace an altar, and I have dealt with some difficult brides, but I can tell you everyone of them wanted to make sure their day was as special as the day they have been dreaming about for years,” Secunda states.

Television shows like Bridezilla do not ignore the fact that brides transform themselves into difficult, demanding, often scary taskmasters during the planning stages because their ultimate goal is perfection. Showing brides in such negative light, however, may make some lose sight of the reasons behind the behavior.

“I have been a wedding photographer in Connecticut and Westchester, as well as surrounding areas for quite a number of years,” Secunda begins. “I can tell you from experience that the driving force behind even the most outlandish behavior has been a quest to create a special day,” Secunda concludes.

Though the bridal industry does not expect any backlash from programming about the behavior of brides leading up to their wedding, there have been whispers about the negative image being portrayed to millions of brides and grooms and soon-to-be brides and grooms. Wedding photojournalist, Shel Secunda, however, is one wedding professional who believes as long as there is love and romance, nothing will cast a dark shadow over the industry.


Shel Secunda is a published photographer and his wedding photography has been featured on the "Vows" page of The New York Times Sunday Style section. He is an experienced photojournalist, fashion and fine art photographer. His work is in the Permanent Collection of the International Center of Photography in New York City and has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States and Europe. He has photographed fashion supplements for The New York Times and his portraits of celebrities have appeared on the covers and in the pages of national magazines, among them New York, TV Guide, Life, and The Ladies Home Journal. Five books of his photographs have been published, most recently, The Bond: People and Their Animals (Simon & Schuster). Its subjects include Morley Safer, Mary Tyler Moore, and James Earl Jones.

Shel Secunda

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