Photo: Jessica Christie Photography
Here at BRIDES, we're equally committed to making sure bridesmaids have as enjoyable of an experience at a wedding as the bride and and groom! Though a bride's happiness and satisfaction with her wedding is of utmost importance, it's easy to fall into a Bridezilla role and make bridesmaids' lives not so fun. Even if your friend is relaxed about her wedding, there are still difficult scenarios that arise. If you're a 'maid who's dealing with a demanding bride or are stuck in a hard place, it's hard to find a way to diplomatically raise questions and concerns. In that light we found etiquette expert-approved solutions to some tricky situations so that brides and their gals can all have a happy day.
My friend asked me to be her bridesmaid, but I'm on a strict budget and I'm sure she'll select expensive dresses for us to wear. Can I hint that I'm on a limited income, or should I simply turn her down and tell her why?
Tell her truthfully that you cannot realistically afford an expensive dress, and that even though you would love to be a bridesmaid, it is simply out of the question economically. That way, you give her the choice of finding someone else or selecting a less expensive dress. If you are really close, the bride may decide that her wedding wouldn't be complete without you and offer discreetly to buy the dress for you herself.
I'm going to be my friend's bridesmaid, but she's making all her attendants crazy with her instructions — giving us lists of color and brand of lipstick, eye shadow, and nail polish we need, telling us we need to have our hair done at an expensive salon, even asking one bridesmaid to get her ears pierced and another to get her hair highlighted! Is this normal? What can we do?
You and the other attendants should meet with the bride now and talk about your issues. Be as kind as you can (she may not realize her instructions are excessive), but let her know that you are united. Explain your objections clearly and rationally. Look for compromises. You'll be glad to discuss makeup and hairstyles, but the final choice is up to each of you. You might bring up costs, but don't make it your main issue; if the bride says she'll pay, you will be back to square one. Remember to give her a few compliments in addition to voicing concerns; these will go a long way. If she still insists on having her way, you have two choices: Go along graciously or get out. Should you choose to resign, avoid blaming or saying anything that could end your friendship. She is stressed, and that can turn the best person into a bit of a nightmare!
My friend, for whom I'm a bridesmaid, mentioned that she wants us all to wear the same jewelry. Should I buy it or will she?
If she expects you all to wear matching jewelry, she should provide it, perhaps as the bridesmaids' gifts. If she's not willing to do so, then she can't expect you to comply.