Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How To Deal With Difficult Bridesmaids

Let's face it.  We have all been there.  And if we haven't, then you will one day agree with at least one of these or a combination of a few. (Whether it be wedding related or not)
There are many different "types" of bridesmaids, and as much as you love them dearly (after all, you chose them to stand by your side- so they mean a little something right?)
they still get classified into one of the following categories:

The Diva
 The Rookie
  The Critic
  The Loner
  The Whiner
  The Had-to-Ask-Her
The Gem
The Diva: This bridesmaid tends to make your wedding all about her. She insists on planning everything her way and only if it's convenient to her schedule.  She will turn up her nose to any ideas you may have, and make everything about herself and what she likes. She also spends more time primping for the camera than you do.
Watch out girl: The Diva is trying to be the star of the show!  This is YOUR day, don't let this diva get in the way of you shining bright like a diamond.

What's going on: There are a few reasons a bridesmaid might try to steal the show. If she's not married, it's possible that she's jealous. She could also simply be envious of all the attention you're getting. (She may be used to getting the attention most of the time)  Another common reason—and this may explain any one of the bridesmaid "acting out" behavior. 

How to deal: Have a heart-to-heart with her. You might say, "Hey, I've noticed lately that you've turned up your nose at every idea and thought that I've had. It seems there may be something else going on. What's up?" "It sounds simple, but putting it out there and validating her feelings just might do the trick.
The Rookie-This is the first time this bridesmaid has been in a wedding. She may not know what is expected of her.  She will most likely stand back and wait for someone to tell her what to do. You may feel hurt that she's not more involved.(don't take it personally-- she's not doing it on purpose)

What's going on: She's clueless! Because she has little or no wedding experience, she is simply unaware that a bridesmaid has responsibilities other than showing up at the ceremony and planning events leading up to the wedding.

How to deal: Don't take her inaction personally. Before you got engaged, you were probably unaware of alot of things involved with planning a wedding.  The Rookie simply needs a little push.  Maybe as a gift for the newbs, buy them a bridesmaid book. Or, if you have a more experienced bridesmaid, ask them to chime in and let her know what's expected. If this person happens to be your maid of honor, you might want to ask another bridesmaid to step in at times and perhaps make that willing and able bridesmaid a co-maid of honor as a thank-you.
The Critic- Often times the critic is a newlywed. Or someone who has been wanting to get married and is jealous you are first.  She will have a ton of advice (both good and awful).
She may make a lot of "should" and "can't" statements such as, "You should use red roses" and "You can't have a cakepops!" Or, if you tell her about a wedding detail you've picked out, she'll smile politely, raise her eyebrows and say something like, "When I had my wedding, I did this…" in a not-so-subtle attempt to get you to change your mind. This know-it-all bridesmaid may be well-meaning, but it can drive one crazy.

What's going on: This behavior usually indicates that she has regrets about her own wedding and wants to live through yours
How to deal: While at times it may be great to have an expert around (after all, she did offer you that helpful tip about researching vendors and reading reviews), you don't have to let The Critic turn your wedding into a "take-two" of her own. When she offers a suggestion you don't like, thank her, but stand firm in your decisions. You could say, "I know you would choose white roses, but I've had my heart set on freesia since I was five," or "Gosh, your wedding was so great, but I want to do this my own way." If The Critic doesn't get the message and persists, just ignore her—she'll go away once she realizes her comments are falling on deaf ears.
The Loner- Your bestie since grade school.  She may feel out of the loop with your new college pals. As a result, she may take several steps back from the planning, possibly acting distant.
What's going on: The Loner feels out of place and may find it hard to see you become really great friends with people you see on a daily basis.

How to deal: You and the other attendants must make an extra effort to ensure she feels welcome and part of the group. Early on, host a casual bridesmaid dinner where the goal is simply for everyone to get to know one another. Always include her in group e-mails, and texts and keep the inside jokes to a minimum—unless they're new ones that include all of your bridesmaids. If that doesn't work, you might want to graciously give her an out. You could say, "I get the feeling you're not as excited about being a bridesmaid as the other girls, so I want to give you the opportunity to bow out of the wedding party, if you wish."Or ask If there is anything going on, and anything you can do to make her feel more welcomed.
The Whiner- The whiner is too busy to go gown shopping. She hates all bridesmaid dresses you've picked out. Planning a shower is such a pain. Why did this wedding-party-pooper agree to be a bridesmaid at all if she's just going to poop on your party? 

What's going on: Perhaps, as with The Diva, this bridesmaid is expressing sadness over "losing" you or feeling afraid or unsure about how your relationship might change once you're married (no more girls' nights out?)

How to deal: It's possible to avoid a blow-up situation, but you'll probably have to be the one to make the first move. Talk with the difficult bridesmaid and gently say, "What can I do to make you feel better about…?" Hopefully, she'll open up about her real feelings and the problem will simply dissolve. If she resists, perhaps you need to ask her if she wants to bow out of the wedding party.Be reminded, this friendship might slowly wash away due to lack of "trying" on her part if you've done everything you can.  Some people just grow apart.
The Had-to-Ask-Her -This generally is  your long-lost-cousin/fiancé's stepsister/insert-random-family-member-here to be a member of your wedding party. You feel obligated to ask her. But giving in to pressure from other people can make you feel resentful.

What's going on: Your invitation to join the bridal party is insincere, and the person you're asking may very well know it—but feels obligated to accept for the same reasons you asked her. Goes both ways.

How to deal: Don't extend the invitation in the first place. If you think it's an obligation to ask someone, that person probably knows it, too.  However, if you know that being a bridesmaid is really important to your future sister-in-law, for example, then do it. It could be a big step in improving family relations (we're talking about your future husband's relatives, after all—who will soon be yours, too). Besides, if you chalk it up to keeping the peace with your new in-laws it won't feel like such a burden. Just do your best to make the bridesmaid feel she's as special as all the other attendants, and you can always look back on the experience and feel good, knowing you did the right thing.  Plus she'll be in your life for a long-while.
The Gem-Hey, not all bridesmaids act out. In fact, most bridesmaids fall under this category. The Gem is thrilled for you and wants to help in any way she can. She may give you honest advice, but she'll wear whatever you choose for your bridesmaids  if that's what you want. She's there when you're feeling overwhelmed by all the planning and need a hug, a shoulder to cry on or a glass of wine. On the big day, she makes sure you've eaten and even dances with someone who may seem left out.

What's going on: She's a gal who knows the true meaning of friendship.
She'll stand back when she needs to, yet will be honest when the time is right.  She'll understand when you need to act like a bridezilla, but won't ever get mad at you.
How to deal: Thank your lucky stars for having a pal like this, then tell her how much her love and support mean to you.  Say thank you so many times to her so she knows you care. And don't forget to feel good about yourself, too— you obviously did something to deserve a true friend like her.,1 



  1. Ahhhhhahaha! Amen to all of these! Perfectly said! I definitely had alllllll of them! Ugh! ;)

  2. SO SO SO TRUE! Sadly, you realize who your TRUE friends are during that time!

  3. Awesome list! I had all of these in my party! Suffice to say, it rather obvious to tell which is which in our photos too.


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