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No one wants to be the bridezilla whose idea of support means keeping her bridesmaids frenzied and all-but-bankrupt. But sometimes, even unintentionally, we ask too much from our best friends — and rather than stay a calm, cool, in-control bride, we become a "high-maintenance diva that no one wants to be around until they absolutely have to," warns Marisa Ronca, owner of Marisa Nicole Events in Marina del Rey, California. And that "can cause major drama leading up to the wedding, leaving a bride alone throughout the planning process, without the genuine support and engaged participation from her gals."
If you fear you're expecting too much from your 'maids, here's your reality check.
"A bride who expects too much tends to be inflexible, demanding, and controlling," describes Mari Spiker, an event stylist who has seen firsthand how high expectations have led to wrecked relationships. "[My friend] was in a wedding with a bride who was acting childish and basically spoiled. It was requiring a lot of time and money. She was taking time off of work as well as spending hours helping — which she was happy to do until the bride became so difficult and hard to please that it made her want to resign entirely."
Often, expecting too much of your bridesmaids means taking what is reasonable one — or 10! — steps to far. For example, Spiker says, it's more than okay to host a destination wedding. But it's not okay to ask your bridal party to pay for their own airfare and accommodations. "They want to be a part of your big day and celebrate this wonderful milestone, but it wasn't their choice to have it in France," she explains.
A DIY-wedding can be to-die-for — but the assembly line of projects shouldn't actually kill your 'maids. "Yes, they can help out with a few of those DIY-projects and potentially attend a meeting or two," says Ronca. "Anything other than that is truly over-and-above."
It's also unreasonable, Ronca warns, to expect your bridesmaids to attend every single pre-wedding event, from your engagement party to your bridal shower and bachelorette party. "Sometimes the date that works for most of your bridesmaids is the same day that one of your gals simply can't get off work without being fired," she explains. "Whatever the situation, brides need to understand that things happen. Give her a pass and she will make it up to you later."
And if she does make it to all those parties but doesn't bring a gift, don't get upset. "If a bridesmaid has poured her energy into your wedding, hosted events in your honor or traveled far-and-wide to celebrate with you, please do not expect a big wedding gift from her," Ronca says. "Actually, I encourage you to let her off the hook altogether when it comes to a wedding gift and let her know that she has done more than enough in terms of a wedding present."