How to Handle Those Touchy Bridesmaid Subjects

You obviously love your friends…that’s why you asked them to be your bridesmaids! But from the time you pop the question to the time you walk down the aisle, things might not always go according to plan. Keeping everyone in your bridal party happy while managing your own wedding wishes isn’t always easy, especially when you’re surrounded by strong, opinionated women. So while there will be moments of dress distress, gripes about expenses, and awkward conversations galore, you CAN navigate those rocky waters with grace. Here’s some advice on how to handle those touchy bridesmaid subjects like a boss.

How to Handle Those Touchy Bridesmaid Subjects
Photo by Timothée Pons

1. Your MOH is pregnant. Regardless of if your MOH is your sister or your bestie, you’re going to smother that little baby with love from the minute it’s born. You’ll love it like it’s your own because, well, it is. But being a pregnant bridesmaid isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. For starters, your friend has to think about how her body will change between purchasing the dress and the big day. She also has to consider everything from her bathroom needs to her breastfeeding needs. So whether she’ll be barely showing, just about ready to pop or a newly minted mama at your nuptials, make sure you talk to the mother-to-be about what would make her most comfortable. Does she need to order a few sizes up and have the dress taken in at the last minute? Does she need help finding a supportive bra and a dress that works with it? Whatever she needs, let her know that you’ll make it happen (even if it means switching up your choice of bridesmaid dress). Because the most important thing is that she’s standing by your side as you say “I do,” right? Also, keep in mind that your pregnant friend may be feeling a little nervous about how she’ll look in the photos at your wedding. Remind her that you think she always looks gorgeous no matter what.

2. Your sister wants to cut her hair suuuuuper short a week before your big day. While you can’t (and shouldn’t) control what your bridesmaids do with their hair, you may be freaking out inside due to your sister’s desire to dye her hair bright pink or pull a Jennifer Lawrence. She wants to do WHAT?! Instead of doing irreparable damage to your friendship by putting your foot down, make it about her. Remind her that you’ll be taking a lot of photos that you hope you both can look at for years to come, and maaaaaybe the week before the wedding isn’t the right time to make a huge change. If she’s adamant, let it go. It IS her hair. And remember, no one’s going to be looking at her on the big day anyway…and there’s always the option of extensions if she regrets her decision.

3. Your cousin has a rowdy boyfriend…and he’s invited to the wedding. So you love your cousin (you’ve known her your whole life, after all), but her boyfriend is a bit of a party animal. If you’re worried that he’s going to cause some problems, have a respectful chat with your bridesmaid. Just lay out the facts and say you want to make sure she can enjoy the evening as well. Or, if you’re worried about hurting her feelings, send out a group email to all your girls a few days before the wedding. Remind them where they need to be and when, and then add a note asking them to refrain from getting too crazy too early on in the night. Let them know that you need them AND their significant others to be on point until the last dance, you know, just in case. And hey, you can always let loose at the after party!

4. Your friend doesn’t understand why she’s not your maid of honor. If you don’t have a sister or a close female relative, picking an MOH can be challenging. Who out of all your friends deserves this honor? Once you’ve made the decision, you might get some questions from a bridesmaid or two. Make sure you tell everyone the same thing: you picked so-and-so to be the MOH because she’s real good at planning parties or she lives the closest to you so can be available or you’ve known her the longest. You know what your reasons are, and while you don’t have to defend your pick, it can’t hurt to just let everyone know what you’re thinking. Also, remind each and every girl how much she matters to you often throughout the planning process. Each of your friends serves a different purpose in your life…so make sure they all feel appreciated.

5. One of your girls likes to show off the, um, girls. Your bridesmaids come in all shapes and sizes and they all have different features they like to show off. If you’re got it, flaunt it, right? Well, usually we’d agree, but when it comes to weddings, sometimes less is more. So if you have a friend who likes to bring out the bust, make sure you have a frank conversation with her. Remind her that your grandma will be sitting front and center during the ceremony or that you’re planning to do some crazy jumping bridesmaid shots. And if you’re really worried, have your MOH say something when they’re trying on dresses or at the alteration place. That’s what she’s there for!

6. Your bridesmaids hate the dress you love. You think you’ve found the PERFECT bridesmaid dress but you can tell by looking at your girls’ faces that they definitely don’t agree. If you haven’t already committed to the dress financially (meaning you haven’t placed the order yet), figure out how to compromise so that everyone walks away happy. Maybe they hate your choice of fabric, but maybe it’s more about how the dress makes them look and feel. We get that this is YOUR day, but your girls have to wear the dress, so make sure you listen to what they have to say! So, if you’re comfortable with the mismatched bridesmaid look, tell your girls that you’ll pick the color, the designer, and the length and they can pick their style. Make sure your bridesmaids know how important they are to you, but that you also have a vision for your big day. Communication is key when self-esteem (and cash) are on the line.

7. One of your girls got engaged right after you…and is totally MIA when it comes to your wedding. Being engaged at the same time can actually be ridiculously fun…as long as you both understand when it’s your turn to take the limelight. While it’s totally okay for your bridesmaid to be wrapped up in her own excitement (and vice versa), if you feel like she’s ghosting on you, speak up. Tell her that you’re so excited for her and want to shower her with all the goodness ever, but that you need her support as you plan your own wedding, too — that’s why you asked her to be a bridesmaid, after all. Just make sure you’re paying her the same respect you’re demanding. And, maybe even consider doing some wedding planning stuff together, like going to see a potential band perform or getting your a hair and makeup trial checked off the list.

8. You’re hearing some grumbles about how expensive everything is. It’s not a secret that being a bridesmaid is expensive. From the dress to the shower present to the hotel on the night of, things start to add up. So be considerate. If you know that your girls don’t have a lot of extra dough to spend, choose a dress that’s reasonably priced (maybe even have them tell you what “reasonable” means to them) or let them pick out their own dress (recycling a beautiful blue dress from her closet is a much more cost-effective option). Try to alleviate expenses wherever you can — if your girls are buying the dresses, don’t ask them to purchase brand new shoes and jewelry too. And maybe you don’t need to go somewhere exotic your bachelorette bash either. Your homebase can be a surprisingly fun (and real affordable) place to party with your favorites!

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