They say that there’s a secret nobody tells you about getting engaged: you’ll probably lose a friend (or two) before the cake is cut. Do you believe that? Well, we are not sure, but we think it can definitely happen. The pressures of weddings could cause some relationships to fray.
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and will undoubtedly be a happy occasion. The months leading up to it, however, can be stressful—especially when it comes to decisions like choosing bridesmaids and picking out dresses. Sometimes, the dynamic between the bride and her friends can become a little fraught. Head off tension and uncomfortable situations ahead of time by following this guide to maintaining your friendships through the wedding planning process.
When Your Bridesmaids Don’t Like Their Dresses
Choosing bridesmaid dresses can be a delicate matter. If you have friends with very different body types or skin tones, it can be difficult to choose a style that’s flattering for everyone. However, this is your wedding day, and you will ultimately be the one making the decision. No matter what the dress looks like, your friend will only have to wear it for a few hours out of her life.
If your friend’s issue with her dress is more about cost rather than look, you might want to reconsider tough.
Your Friend is Upset About Not Being Chosen as Bridesmaid
Choosing your bridesmaids can be a fun task, but not if you must leave someone out. No matter the reason – whether it’s financial or logistical – you do not have to feel guilty for whomever you choose to include in your wedding party. However, if you suspect your friend feels slighted by this, face the problem head on. Explain that while you would have loved to include every single one of your friends, it simply wasn’t a feasible option. Then reiterate how important your friendship is and include her in a different way. If she’s got an eye for design, ask for her opinion on flower arrangements. Does she love fashion? Make her join to dress choosing—then treat her to lunch. She’ll feel appreciated, and any lingering annoyance should melt away.
Be Upfront About What You Need
You’re going to be needy during this process. It takes a lot out of a couple to put together a wedding. Make a list of the kinds of support you’ll need from your wedding party, then be honest about whether or not the people you’ve listed can provide that. There’s nothing worse than asking a friend who’s been through a rough year to be your stress sponge.
If you have a friend who’s had a rough go of it financially, be kind and ask them if they’re in a place to participate in your wedding party. Showers and parties and gowns and flights cost money. Don’t be rude and assume everyone is working with the same financial situation.
On the Other Side…
The interesting thing about being a bridesmaid is that every time you take on the role it's a little different. Sometimes being in a bridal party feels effortless. You're asked to attend a few pre-wedding events like the bachelorette party and bridal shower, buy the dress, and be there early on the wedding day. But sometimes, being in a bridal party can suck all of the time, money, and energy you have out of you leading up to your friend's big day.
While being a bridesmaid might seem like the greatest honor you can take on for a friend getting married, it's worth exploring why and how your friendship with the bride could change just by having you say "I do" to being part of her wedding squad.
There’s A Lot of Stress, Like, A Lot
Weddings can be stressful, and usually that stress turns into moments of fighting and bickering with those close to you—which tend to be your bridesmaids. A bride might feel so overwhelmed with all she has to do before the wedding that she starts to take it out on her bridal party, making irrational demands and getting upset when they don't help out with things, they didn’t even realize she wanted them to do.
Watch Out for Secret Expectations
You could read every “how-to” bridesmaid manual in the world, and you still might miss a few of the expectations that a bride might have for you as her bridesmaid. She might provide you with a spreadsheet or email chain that has a to-do list of tasks she’d like you to take on (like buying the dress, planning the bachelorette party, or even helping her make DIY centerpieces for the wedding day). Then there are the things she might need that she directly asks for but will be upset when you don’t do them.
- Remember this is a temporary shift in your friendship dynamic.
- If you're single and can't help but feel a little bit resentful, try to keep things in perspective. This is a very special moment for your friend and as she needs your support. Celebrate as much as you can. And don’t forget to remember that people’s lives are different, they always have been. If you feel overwhelmed, then distance yourself when you need to or when it isn't necessary for you to be there or involved. Don't over commit if you feel it's going to be difficult.
- If your feel like all your conversations are wedding-centred, try and set some non-wedding chat time aside to remind each other of the friendship that exists outside of those peripheries.
- If your friends aren't supporting your wedding in the way, you want then you must remember other people do have lives and try and weight it up as much as they can.