How to Handle Poor Bridesmaid Etiquette

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Bad bridesmaidsIf you or your daughter plans to have a traditional wedding, having bridesmaids is a must.  Most times the average bridesmaid is helpful, responsible and considerate, but every now and then a bad apple crashes the party.  Whenever a bridesmaid has a bad attitude, is overly aggressive, or even fails to show up for important events, a high level of aggravation and sheer annoyance is sure to follow.  Here are some tips for handling these types of sticky situations.

You’ve heard of Bridezilla, right?  Well, I have seen first-hand the bridesmaid version of this (let’s call her Bridesmaidzilla).  And let me tell you, it’s about as close to murder as I’ll ever come.   If your bridesmaid is acting like she ought to be calling the shots for your wedding, it’s necessary to deal with the behavior swiftly before it spirals out of control.  Ignoring the issue is not going to help.  So the best advice I can give you is to sit down with Bridesmaidzilla and have an honest conversation about your expectations.  Just make sure that you are tactful and respectful, as the Bridesmaidzilla is usually just trying to help (in her own sick, perverted, twisted way…).   Always begin and end the conversation with some positive feedback to put Bridesmaidzilla at ease, and to minimize the chances of hard feelings afterward.  As long as you are nice about it, the message is likely to be well-received.

Another relatively common problem is a bridesmaid who is often missing-in-action.  Obviously a bridesmaid who lives far away must be given some slack here, but there is no excuse for a local bridesmaid to miss important events like the dress shopping / fitting excursion, bachelorette party, or the bridal shower.  In the case of distant bridesmaids, even though she probably won’t be able to attend every single event, she still must be on-the-ball enough to take care of her own bridesmaid dress fitting, etc.  If not, you’ll have to deal with the issue before it becomes a crisis.  Again, the key to resolving these issues is open and honest communication.  Tell the offending bridesmaid that you really appreciate her participation in your big day, and that you would love to see her attend as many wedding-related events and activities as possible.  Usually, she will get the hint.

Finally, a bridesmaid with a bad attitude – especially toward the other bridesmaids – can really put a damper on every other bridesmaid’s ability to enjoy the wedding and everything leading up to it.  If she hates one or more of the other bridesmaids, it can make for a truly uncomfortable experience for all.  The best way to approach this dilemma is, you guessed it, open communication.  Have a heart-to-heart with the offending bridesmaid and be honest about your perspective.  The bottom line is that it’s your wedding and you would appreciate her at least trying to act like she wants to be there.  Usually this will work.  But in more extreme cases, it may not, and at that point the only real option you have is to boot her out of the bridal party.  This way, the offending bridesmaid won’t bring down everybody else.  Yes the shunned bridesmaid might be ticked off, but a true friend would not act that way so I say – adios!

The bottom line is that as in life, when it comes to dealing with bridesmaid issues, communication is the key.  No matter what the specific issue, it’s important to be honest and open about your expectations, tactful, and gracious.  Communicating in this manner should solve 99% of the typical bridesmaid issues.  For more info, check out this fabulous article that offers a bridesmaid etiquette Q&A.  Good luck!

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