Many-a-time as a designer I get brides telling me their bridal party woes. One of the most common centers around bridesmaids who are just making life difficult for the bride. They were your best friend, there were never any problems, but as soon as she got promoted to the coveted BM (as in bridesmaid not bowel movement) she became a different person. Maybe she needs to be the center of attention or maybe she's just never around to help. Maybe she hasn't ordered her dress or pitched in for the bachelorette weekend. In any case, she's become a headache for you, and you are tempted to remove her. Before you do though, try these steps to resolve any issues and hopefully salvage a friendship and chalk it up as a misunderstanding!
This bridesmaid is quite common and tough to handle. She wants to make your wedding all about herself. She will do all the things you've asked her, but they'll have to be done her way. Plus, on the big day, she'll want to be in front of the camera more than you are. There are a couple of reasons why; her acting out can mean either jealousy or sadness. If she's single or in a relationship, but not there yet, she may not be taking your good news in the right way. Or perhaps the reason for her sadness is because she thinks she'll lose her sister or best friend. Handling a jealous bridesmaid is a toughie. Avoiding opportunities to communicate with her, heart-to-heart, is a big mistake. This will only encourage her and give you sleepless nights. Invite her to lunch or coffee, and ask her about what's going on. When you give importance to her feelings, she'll probably open up to you. That way, you two can work towards finding a common ground. However, maybe she's just a narcissistic jerk and your wedding gave her a stage to act out on. In this case, eject her from your party and move on. You will not win with a narcissist until you walk away and stop giving them attention.
The Cry Me a River
For a wedding, apart from the bride and groom (and their families), the bridal party too has to bear a few expenses. So even after knowing this fact, one of your bridesmaids shows displeasure about having to spend so much for your wedding. She complains about spending a ton on the dress, accessories, gifts, and much more. You may feel that it's best to let her be, instead of ruining your relationship with her. And you're right about thinking so. A good way to ensure that your bridesmaids don't feel the pressure of spending a lot for your wedding is to discuss yours and their budgets beforehand. If everyone agrees on a particular amount, then the next steps shouldn't be difficult. However, even after having the budget discussion, if a bridesmaid is complaining about her share, you can ask her to step down from her role (for her own benefit).
The Never Good Enough
You took a lot of time and effort to finalize the bridesmaids' dresses, but one of them isn't too happy with your choice. Perhaps the color isn't one of her favorites, it doesn't complement her, or the fabric is not what she wants. Every time you pick a new dress, all she likes to do is reject it or find some flaws. Recently, many brides-to-be choose different styles of dresses for the bridesmaids. If you want, you too can choose to go contemporary for the bridal party. Ask your bridesmaids to choose the color and style of the dress. Let them go shopping first, select a few dress styles, and then you can go and make the final decision. However, if you're not too keen about this concept, you need to speak to her about your dilemma. Explain to her, once, that this is the dress you have chosen, and it is necessary for her to wear it. Keep in mind though her need for dignity. If the dress is strapless and she is falling out of it, work with her, if she hates her arms or is pregnant in a dress that is not made for pregnancy, just have mercy. It's not worth coordinating dresses if one of your friends feels self-conscious, uncomfortable, and unable to dance and enjoy your day with you.
As far as bridesmaids' duties are concerned, she's not quite measuring up. She may think that your expectations are unreasonable, and she can't invest so much time, effort, and money into it. Basically, she's MIA in everything and everywhere. A bridesmaid doesn't just support the bride while planning the wedding, but comforts her every step of the way. Perhaps there are some issues that have cropped up and may require to be discussed. Be honest with her about what she is doing and things that need her involvement. Don't blame her for being uncooperative, but talk to her about how and where she needs to be present.
The "Was I Supposed to do That?"
She forgot to plan your shower. You had to call her to remind her about dress shopping. She forgot to invite a few people to the bachelorette party. Her carelessness is becoming too much for you to handle. Your bridesmaid is clueless about her duties. This doesn't necessarily mean she doesn't want to be involved or is jealous of your happiness. Perhaps she's a rookie or has too much on her plate at the moment. If her missing out on important duties is becoming a common occurrence, you need to sit with her one more time and give her a crash course. Make a "To Do" list, and go over the points with her. That way, both of you won't have any issues later on.
The Broken Record
For every decision you make, she wishes to include her input. Right from choosing the cake to writing your vows, or other details about the wedding, she likes to raise her eyebrows and put her two cents in. If she's married, maybe this behavior can indicate all the things she couldn't do at her wedding, and wishes that you would. As far as single bridesmaids are concerned, her efforts at "wanting" you to do certain things can mean that her idea of what a wedding should be and look like is way different than yours. Advice and suggestions are all great, especially while planning a wedding as it can make a world of difference. However, if these suggestions are unsolicited, then sparks are definitely going to fly. This is your dream wedding, and you get to decide what stays and what goes out. Take her opinions, but don't give in to them unless you feel they are what you want. Let's say, you are out finalizing the floral arrangement, and she wants you to ditch the roses and choose lilies instead. Here, you can explain to her that even though you'd love to select lilies, your heart is set on roses. There are many less defensive ways to get your work done.
Surrounding yourself with irresponsible and undependable bridesmaid will do you no good. So, if you catch her being so early on, you can save yourself a lot of headache and anxiety while planning your wedding. As the day comes closer, you want to make sure that you have reliable people in your party. That way, you have a chance to enjoy the days approaching the wedding stress-free.