This multiple part blog post series is going to cover a few of the troubles a bride (sorry guys, this is all for the gals) faces during her planning and give you a little perspective to consider as you journey through your planning.
Having never seen the movie “Bridesmaids”- I have no idea what sort of glamorized drama Hollywood has put in your minds when it comes to this topic, but being alongside of hundreds of couples during the wedding planning… I have dried a lot of tears when hearing the stories, seen life-long friendships ruined, and even had to physically step in-between a bridesmaid and a mother of the bride once. Ridiculous.
I am sure you can all imagine the scandalous and humiliating scenarios surrounding a bunch of girls all being told only one of them is “the most” important for a duration of time. These women are sometimes inundated by passive aggressive emails and texts about their “duties and responsibilities” and often are being asked to cooperate with of a greater group of people who they may not know or otherwise befriend in their every day lives.
Some of the adjectives I have heard about Bridesmaids are: catty, defensive, uncooperative, ungrateful, and bitter. But last I checked, we have all been that at one point or another, bridesmaids aren’t the only ones who display these traits nor only when their friends get married (you know, because they are so jealous). Don’t get me wrong, some people are indeed jerks and near professionally unpleasant… but never the less, the relationship of the Bride and the Bridesmaid(s) depends on a complicated system of actions and responses.
The first action that sets the tone to this is the establishing of the wedding party. Without fluffy editorial, this is the bottom line;
DO: You ask your friend/relative if she would like to stand by your side as you make eternal promises to your beloved, then truly give her time to answer you.
DON’T: Tell her that because she is your best friend/sister/cousin, you’ve selected her to be a bridesmaid.
Who likes to just be told what to do with their lives, money, and free time? Nobody.
There might be a lot of things on her plate that could prevent her from taking part in your day and the months before. She might be in law school or flat broke, maybe she has kids or plans to start a family, maybe she’s going to be traveling abroad or has a demanding job. Perhaps she doesn’t understand what the big deal is because she is only 17 or 22 or 35 and in a completely different stage of her life or she might have grown up in a different culture where weddings and bridal parties are not like what they are in the U.S. Maybe, just maybe she doesn’t want that kind of responsibility. All of which is OKAY!
It doesn’t make her a bad person when she is not excited that you announced to everyone on facebook that she would be part of the wedding, or that she wasn’t instantly throwing confetti up in the air when you pulled her name out of the hat she didn’t even know had her name in it. Without actually talking to her first, you cannot assume she is going to be excited, happy, glad, honored, anything but taken by surprise. You also have to accept that it is okay if she rather be there to support you as a guest and not standing next to you, it doesn’t mean she isn’t happy for you, that she doesn’t love you, cherish your friendship, supports your decisions, or isn’t honored. There could be a myriad of things going on in her life (like maybe she has cancer and hasn’t told a soul yet… true story).
Just like your fiancé asked for you hand in marriage, you have to ask her to be part of your day.
How did you ask your bridesmaids to be part of your wedding? How did they respond? Would you change anything?
Image by Allie Lindsey Photography