That's not to say there won't be a few bumps on the bridesmaid road, but an ideal 'maid is there to support you and not stir up trouble. But, if one does... she may be a toxic bridesmaid. Here's how to know.
1. She's bad mouthing your partner.
Saying mean things about your soon-to-be spouse is a sure sign you have a toxic 'maid. "A toxic bridesmaid will find things to not like about your partner, while a true friend will love and appreciate him or her because he or she makes you happy," says Jaclyn Fisher, owner of Two Little Birds Planning in Philadelphia.
2. She's totally disinterested in wedding planning.
Your 'maid can't muster up an interest in your wedding or plans. "You picked your bridesmaids hoping that they would be excited to be by your side on the big day," says Amy Nichols, owner of Amy Nichols Events and co-founder of The Poppy Group. But, "a toxic bridesmaid is often disinterested in the process and isn't available when you might need her."
3. She criticizes everything about your wedding.
Your bridesmaid cringed when you showed her your wedding dress, told you that your color palette is off-season, and every time you bring her to your venue, all she can do is point out its ugly carpeting. Yep, you've got a toxic 'maid. "Bridesmaids should make you feel good about your planning decisions, not doubt them," says Fisher.
4. Your other bridesmaids can't stand her.
From not pulling her weight to picking fights and "forgetting" to chip in her cut for the bachelorette party, a toxic bridesmaid is the bane to your other 'maids existence. "She may not be the most agreeable person, or have a slightly more abrasive personality," describes Nichols. "Your other bridesmaids may become resentful and feel like they have to pull her weight, which isn't fair."
5. She's constantly complaining about costs.
Even the most intimate weddings can be expensive. But if your bridesmaid is whining about everything from the cost of her dress to the gift she is buying for your big day, she may be toxic. "It's true that being a bridesmaid impacts her bank account, but she knew what she was signing up for when she said yes," says Fisher. "She shouldn’t make you feel bad about it every step of the way."
6. She's making your wedding all about her.
It's your big day or so you thought, until this bridesmaid made it clear it's all about her. "You may find her trying on wedding dresses when she's supposed to be helping you choose yours," describes Fisher. "Instead of focusing on you and your wedding, she's worried about finding a date to bring. When she's shifting the focus from you to her, it’s a sign she’s a toxic bridesmaid."
Of course, knowing you have a toxic bridesmaid doesn't mean you know why she's behaving this way. So before you give her the boot, "be a good friend, and ask her if there's something she wants to talk about," suggests Fisher. "It's hard to imagine or come to grips with the fact that one of your best friends is showing a different — and terrible — side to herself. And if her negativity and bad attitude are casting gloom over this happy time, it's OK to ask a toxic bridesmaid to step down."