The Bride’s Guide to Keeping Her Bridesmaids as Friends (After the Wedding)

by Be Heard on April 5, 2012

in Sex & Relationships

With wedding season quickly approaching, potential bridesmaids across America are hoping they will not be asked to purchase and wear an especially heinous dress or throw an over the top, financially draining bridal shower. While most brides embark on the journey of planning their wedding with the best of intentions for their big day and their bridal party, there is always the potential for something to go terribly wrong or for her to lose all touch with reality. Chiffon and flower arrangements do strange things to a woman.

I have been in 11 weddings, which by my count, certifies me as a Professional Bridesmaid. You know, the kind that has perfected the art of appearing easy going, but also finds a way to tactfully suggest that a peacock-shaped ice luge may not be the best idea for the reception?  (Yes, I did talk her out of it.)

As women, there are times when we all go a little crazy, but in my experience, weddings can bring out the worst in people.

If you find yourself tapped for this year’s wedding season or if you’re a bride who desperately wants to keep the term “bridezilla” off the lips of your closest friends, have no fear! There are things that you can do to help maintain your post-wedding friendship. Just follow these simple Do’s and the Don’ts to help you make it to the altar with your friendships still intact.

DON’T: Expect your bridesmaids to take out a personal loan to pay for your wedding events. This includes asking them to buy an expensive bridesmaid dress. No, it is not cute, and no they cannot shorten it and wear it again. It is a dress they will be wearing once and then promptly getting rid of. Don’t demand that they take you to Vegas or do something extremely expensive for your bachelorette party. They should throw you a party that they want to throw you, and if you have over the top expectations then you will be miserable along with them. Asking your friends to be your bridesmaids comes with a bit of an understanding that they will be spending some money, but you shouldn’t expect them to fork over their life savings because you want something extravagant. And be prepared, if there is a friend that you can’t imagine your day without, and she can’t afford the expense of a wedding, you may have to pay for her portion. It is the price you have to pay to have that person by your side on your wedding day.

DO: Choose the right Maid/Matron of Honor. This is a very important title that shouldn’t be handed out lightly. This person needs to be someone you can depend on and who you can call when you think you may actually poison your soon to be mother-in-law. Too many times I have seen this position given to the bride’s sister only to have the bride be disappointed and wish they had chosen someone else. In my case, I had two brides choose their unmarried sisters to be their maid of honor, only to later appoint me as their “matron” of honor midway through a meltdown where I talked them off the ledge.

DON’T: Repress issues you have with some of your bridesmaids. This is a bad idea with the potential for feelings to come flooding out at the bachelorette party when you are a few cocktails in. This is when you may say things like, “Don’t even get me started on you, Jamie, you are just jealous that I’m getting married,” while throwing your 6” deep blue stiletto heel at the offending bridesmaid’s head.

DO: Ask for help. There will a come a time when you are overwhelmed with your ‘to do’ list or when you’ll need help dealing with delicate family matters. Ask your bridesmaids to lend a hand. That’s what they are there for, but no your boundaries. Don’t be too demanding and, of course, ask nicely.

DON’T: Forget to take the time to say something special to each of your bridesmaids at the rehearsal dinner. By the time the rehearsal dinner rolls around, they have put up with so much of the crazy, they may need a reminder that you are still indeed inside this monster and that there is still hope that you will one day return to your pre-wedding self.

DO: Choose bridesmaid dresses that will flatter any body type, or choose a color and let them decide a dress that they makes them feel comfortable. Bridesmaid dresses are not all created equal. Select one with the potential to flatter petite girls, as well as curvy girls. Please remember that silk doesn’t hide anything, that floor length is difficult to walk in, and that if your bridesmaids have boobs backless is not conducive to wearing a bra.

DON’T: Require that your bridesmaids wear their dresses the whole night. Once the pictures and the announcing of the bridal party is over, let them change into something they can actually dance in. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than trying to dance in a dress with boning.

Being a bridesmaid is an honor and more often than not, as a bride, you are choosing your bridesmaids because they mean something to you. If you can refrain from abusing them in the process, they will continue to be your friends long after your wedding, and one day you will all be able to laugh at the beast that you were during the venture.

Danielle B. is a mother of one beautiful baby girl, married to her high school sweetheart, has two dogs, and is is a woman navigating the corporate world.  She is sometimes sarcastic, always kind, always giving, and is loyal to a fault. She’s a bit odd and boarders on OCD; however it’s selective. Follow Danielle on Twitter

image via WikiCommons

Heather April 5, 2012 at 8:26 am

I’ve been married almost 11 years now and my BFF still teases me about the meltdown I had 2 weeks before my wedding when I found out she was spending time at the beach wearing a bathing suit with straps. The dresses my bridesmaids were wearing were strapless and I ripped into her for getting tan lines because that level of tackiness was not appreciated at my wedding.

Thank GOD we can laugh about it now- but I cringe every time I think about it!

Elizabeth L. April 5, 2012 at 10:16 am

I am in my 9th wedding in October. I’ve seriously considered adding “professional bridesmaid” to my business cards and hiring out my services. I’ve seen everything at this point; there is nothing I can’t handle.

I have a few other tips that I’ve come up with through the years that might help everyone remain friends:

1. For the bride: Your wedding is your whole world right now, but it’s not mine. Respect that I may not want to talk about it ALL THE TIME and that I might have things I want to share with you.
2. For the bridesmaid: Don’t complain about the dress. Just don’t. The bride picked it for a specific reason and it’s your job as her bridesmaid to wear the dress/shoes/hairstyle the bride picked and smile and be supportive. If finances are an issue, it’s ok to speak to the bride about it privately and try to work something out, but don’t complain to the other bridesmaids. It will get back to the bride and she will be mad.
3. For the bride: If a bridesmaid volunteers to help you out, give her something to do. Do not say you’ve got it all under control and then call at 2 am freaking out about something and demanding help.
4. For the bridesmaid: If the bride asks you to do something, it’s because she trusts you to do it. Don’t ignore it, don’t put it off, and don’t complain (see number 2). You agreed to be a bridesmaid so you do whatever it is the bride needs you to do, or risk losing her as a friend.
5. For everyone: Relax and enjoy the wedding. You are all gathered to celebrate the love of the bride and groom and to spend time together as friends and family. The little things don’t matter in the end; what matters is your friendship.

Al_Pal April 6, 2012 at 2:27 am

So glad I was a pretty chill bride…but that’s just how I am. ;p

Rachel Alexandre April 6, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Thank goodness I’m never getting married again! Dont play well with others. So over it!

Tina April 14, 2012 at 1:34 am

I’m a bridesmaids to my future sister in law. I’ve never wanted to beat someone more in my life. Not only has she become a bridezilla but my brother has become a groomzilla! I can’t wait for this to be over already!

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