Bridesmaids can be your greatest support in the months before your wedding, but they can also make your job harder when things start to go awry. Some friendships are damaged forever when bridesmaids announce that they don’t have time to plan a wedding shower, or that they “forgot” to get their matching dresses ordered on time. Before you go into full bridezilla-mode and alienate your closest friends, remember: you are the one who put your bridal party together in the first place. A little extra care on your part could diffuse a bad situation, or even prevent the headaches altogether. If you’re having trouble with your bridesmaids, ask yourself the following questions.
Choosing the Wrong Bridesmaid
Many bridesmaid problems could be solved before they started if brides made sure to pick the women who will be the most helpful to them from the beginning.
Simply put, your bridesmaids should be your best friends. They should be the women who have stood with you through good and bad times. They should be the women who make you feel good about yourself and know how to talk you down from a high ledge. No matter how low-key a bride you are wedding planning will get stressful and your bridesmaids should be able to help reduce the stress not add to it.
Too often, this is not who women choose. They choose siblings or cousins because of family pressure, they choose “frenemies,” women they want to impress, or friends from past times with whom they want to reconnect. Some women think “Well, Anne is always so organized, and she knows so much about weddings, she’ll make a great bridesmaid,” forgetting that Anne’s organization and know-it-all attitude are exactly the reasons she only likes to see her at parties, not one-on-one. Other brides get excited in the early days of planning and randomly ask women they like, but with whom they don’t have enough history.
Sometimes choosing the wrong bridesmaid is unavoidable. Family and peer pressure can be overwhelming. If you do feel forced to choose a specific bridesmaid, keep in mind her strengths and weaknesses and do what you can to work around them. If you know your sister is horrible at planning parties, don’t expect her to plan your bridal shower, even if she’s your Maid of Honor. If your cousin always criticizes your choices, don’t invite her to go dress shopping with you.
Are You Willing To Pick Up Some of The Slack
If your best friend or sister is having a tough time putting your bridal shower together, you might offer to give them a hand. Your bridesmaids have lives of their own, and putting a party together is a big responsibility. Maybe you could offer to buy the invitations, or call a few possible caterers. If your bridesmaids are young and fairly inexperienced at their bridal party duties, you might also ask your mother or future mother-in-law to lend a hand. You may feel miffed at having to lift a finger for your own bridal shower, but remember, these girls are not obligated to do the whole job themselves. Besides you can still have a good time at the party, even if you had to shop for a few of the decorations.
Lack of Communication
As in any relationship, the number one cause for misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and break ups is bad communication. A lot of the rules of weddings have faded away, and with them a lot of the rules about what bridesmaids are and are not supposed to do. It’s important that when you ask your girls to be your bridesmaids you be open and honest with them about what that means to you.
Before asking anyone to be in your wedding, give a little thought to what it is you do want from your bridesmaids. Do you need help making wedding decisions? Do you want help creating flower arrangements the day of the wedding? Or, do you simply want the women to look nice and stand next to you on your wedding day? Do you know that you want the bridesmaids to wear matching dresses? Are you planning a destination wedding? Being honest about your expectations from the get go can help prevent frustrations later on.
One Simple Fact
Your wedding may be the most important day of your life. But, here’s the sobering truth, no matter how much she loves you, it is not the most important day of your Maid of Honor’s life. The fact that she is not willing to drop everything to help you does not mean she doesn’t love you, or doesn’t care about your wedding, it just means that it’s your wedding, not hers. Keeping this one little fact in mind may be the key to all your bridesmaid troubles.