While most of the focus of a wedding is, obviously, on the couple, it’s safe to say that they aren’t the only important relationship in the room. In fact, as a bride you often are juggling a huge number of crucial relationships—not just you and your partner, but you and your family, you and your partner's family, and, of course, you and your friends. It seem obvious to have your closest friends make up the ranks of your bridal party, and there’s a good chance your best friend is one of them. In fact, she's probably your maid of honor—but many underestimate how complicated the particular relationship can become.
Weddings can wreak havoc on friendships, especially if your best friend is in your bridal party. There’s a reason why professional bridesmaids are a thing; friends and nuptials don’t always mix, and sometimes it’s easier just to get in an expert. But if you find that you're fighting with your best friend in the run-up to your wedding, know that you are not alone. Whether they’re in your bridal party or not, it’s awful to have a fight with your BFF when your wedding is right around the corner. But you can come back from it. Here’s what to do if you find yourself fighting with your best friend right before your wedding—because it takes two to tango.
Make Time for It
One of the easiest things to do when you have a lot on your plate is to simply say, “I can’t with this" and just push it to one side. But if this is really your best friend, you need to make time to make this right. No matter how tied up you are with wedding stress, it’s never healthy to make your entire life about the wedding. So first and foremost, approach your friend and say you want to talk it out. If she doesn't want to play ball, that's her choice. But if you make her feel like you can’t possibly make time for her, then you’re probably not going to bounce back from this.
Try to Work Out the Root of the Problem
There’s a good chance that your friend and you are fighting because of something to do with the wedding: Maybe she doesn’t like the bridesmaid dress you want her to wear; maybe you don’t want her to bring her boyfriend that she met a month ago; maybe she feels like you haven’t been there for her because you’ve become too consumed with your new partner. Whatever it is, take a step back. This fight is about something bigger and something deeper than your wedding.
The real issue may be that she feels abandoned by you or that your friendship has changed since you’ve become engaged. Or it may be that there are problems from long ago that are just bubbling to the surface in the wake of the wedding. Whatever it is, try to unpack it. Talk about any tense moments you've had—don’t skirt around the edges—to try to figure out what the heart of the problem is. Have you two grown apart? Have you both changed? Have you just stopped supporting one another? Move beyond wedding plans and details to get to the root of the problem.
Make Sure You Say Your Piece
While you have to make time for your friend and be open to hearing what’s troubling them, that doesn’t mean you should just be a punching bag. Normally when there’s a big fight between friends, both people are to blame. Those intimate, intense friendships mean that we’re not always at our best—especially during stressful times like right before a wedding. But just as you need to make time for her, you need to say your piece, too or else the resentment will just build and build. So listen to her criticisms, but also make your point of view clear. It takes two people to fight, but it also takes two people to move past the fight and get the friendship back on track.
Although it can be easy to be sucked inside the wedding vortex, try to think about the long-term. Yes, the wedding is one of the most important days of your life, but best friendships can last a lifetime. As angry as you might be, and as indignant as you might feel that your friend is causing you more stress at the worst possible time, think of how you want to the friendship to look a year from now, three years from now, and 10 years from now. Things feel so heightened and intense in the heat of the moment—especially right before your wedding—but you’ve had a long history with this person.
Now, it might be that when you think about the long-term, you realize you don’t want this person to be apart of it. Maybe this fight is bringing up so much that’s been unsaid at such an important item that you realize this friendship died a long time ago. That’s OK—people drift apart and move on. But make sure that you’re really thinking about the friendship as a whole, and whether you’re going to look back at the moment and wish you’d tried harder.
Only you can know if you want a friendship to last, but it’s important to tread carefully if you fight with your best friend before your wedding. Make sure you’re making space for this fight, even in the middle of everything else, and really hear each other out. Only then can you know if it’s worth letting go or fighting for this friendship.