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I'll be the first to admit that bridal privilege has gotten a little out of hand in recent years. Yes, it's your big day. Yes, in theory, the bride should get whatever she wants. But some Bridezilla-esque requests are, in my professional opinion, downright unreasonable.
You know you've read stories about crazy brides who drag all their girlfriends to a fitness bootcamp so they look better in their dresses, and brides who intentionally choose unflattering bridesmaid dresses to ensure they'll be the prettiest girl up front. Or that one bride who asked her bridesmaids to pay for her $10,500 wedding dress. It's horrible.
With that said, there are three things you cannot do, even if you're the bride:
1. You can't force your bridesmaids to spend money that they do not have.
This seems obvious, right? Unfortunately, too many brides forget how the expenses add up in the enthusiasm of planning their weddings. Not only do the members of the bridal party have to buy their dresses, shoes and any other accoutrement you're requiring, but they may also have to pay for travel, accommodations, and take time off from work to be there for all of your wedding events. Adding on a destination bachelorette trip to the Dominican Republic a month before your wedding may just be the expense that breaks the piggy bank's back. Even if your girls have room on their credit cards, they may feel a little bitter resentment about taking on the additional debt.
2. You cannot tell your bridesmaids to change their shape to fit into a dress of your choosing if it doesn't work for the way they are built now.
No one chooses their friends based on their shape (I hope), and that means you have to be accommodating to your wedding party when you start shopping for bridesmaid dresses. If even one member of your wedding party would look really bad in the dress you've chosen, find another dress that you like. You've asked them to do you the honor of being a bridesmaid, you don't have the right to ask them to lose weight, work out, or wear something that makes them feel uncomfortable and unattractive. Most friends will suck it up (and suck it in) to make the bride happy, but they will likely be miserable for the entire event, knowing they not only look terrible, but they're being photographed from every angle in the offending dress.
3. You cannot ask a member of your wedding party to change their appearance in a way that they can't undo after your reception is finished.
Recently, BRIDES covered the bridezilla who asked a bridesmaid to dye her hair to match the rest of the wedding party. The bridesmaid, a natural red head, was horrified, and rightly so. That's a completely unfair and unreasonable request. You knew what your friends looked like when you asked them to be in your wedding party. If you're crazy enough to want something as drastic as a change to hair color, the bridesmaid should have been told before she accepted the invitation to be in your wedding.
See More: The 49 Mistakes Bridesmaids Always Make
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events and author of How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show Wedding Island, about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques.