One of the best parts of the wedding-planning process is having the opportunity to gather some of your closest friends and relatives together to be in your bridal party. While being asked to be a bridesmaid is certainly an honor, it also can be very expensive and time-consuming. Talk to any group of bridesmaids and you’ll hear complaints about the process, no matter how much they love the bride. Unfortunately, there are even many cases of friendships ending because of the stress and tension during wedding planning. Now, sometimes this can be due to jealousy and selfish behavior on the part of the bridesmaid, but the Internet is also filled with horror stories of demanding brides with unrealistic expectations in need of a reality check.
In order to help you avoid being seen as a bridezilla, we’ve put together a list of dos and don’ts for how to treat your bridesmaids.
- DO offer some direction for the dresses (i.e. color, length), but let them have a say and be mindful of their finances and body type.
- DON'T pick an expensive dress without giving anyone a chance to give their thoughts. Also avoid saying, “Pick whatever you want!” as too many options can be overwhelming.
- DO share your excitement about the wedding. Being a bridesmaid means getting a sneak peek of the bride-to-be's gown and all of the décor ideas.
- DON'T monopolize the conversation with wedding talk. Your friends have lives outside of your special day; don’t forget to ask them about themselves!
- DO accept help if any of your attendants offer. You’ll be glad to finish stuffing envelopes quickly and it gives you a chance to catch up.
- DON'T demand help with the wedding. Yes, bridesmaids are expected to plan your shower and bachelorette party, but everything else is a “nice to have” and certainly not required.
- DO make important deadlines and dates clear – your girls can’t be good bridesmaids if they don’t know when they need to order their dress or what time the rehearsal will be.
- DON'T expect them to go to everything. People have jobs, children, and possibly even their own weddings to plan, so they may not have time to attend your fitting, makeup trial, pre-wedding party, etc.
- DO highlight their special part in your celebration, such as a section on your wedding website or ceremony program.
- DON'T make your bridesmaids feel more like servants than honored guests. They should get to enjoy your wedding day, not spend the whole time performing menial tasks.
- DO give meaningful gifts that show your appreciation for their hard work and support.
- DON'T give insignificant gifts that will have no purpose or value beyond the wedding day.
For more advice on keeping your bridesmaids happy, read these tips from etiquette expert Anna Post, the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post.
Opening photo by Mi Belle Photographers