Miffed maids spill the beans on the worst things a bride can do during wedding planning. We reveal the best way to keep your bridesmaids onside and avoid any dramas. You’ve been warned...
Bridesmaid confession #1
“My friend’s wedding dominated our conversations for an entire year. The final straw was when I told her I’d broken up with my long-term boyfriend – her main concern was needing to rework her table plan!”
Avoid the drama: Wedding planning can take over your life, but remember your big day isn’t such a big deal to everyone else (I know, right?!). Most bridesmaids will be excited for you and happy to talk over the details for hours, but it’s vital to maintain an interest in what they’re doing. Avoid relating all their news – good or bad – back to the wedding. Yes, they may be your bridesmaid for a year or so, but they’re your friend for a lot longer.
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Bridesmaid confession #2
“Our bride-to-be wanted her hen do to be a surprise, but had really high expectations – organising it felt incredibly stressful and it would have been so much easier if we could have had some input.”
Avoid the drama: Surprise hen dos are lots of fun, but not if they’re a nightmare for your maids to plan! Accept that if you don’t want to know anything, you have to go along with whatever your girls come up with and be graceful about it. Setting a few guidelines will make their task a lot easier too, so give them a rough idea of how much you want to ask people to spend, a range of locations, and a few activities you’d love (plus some to avoid!).
Happy bridesmaids are the best bridesmaids. Image: McKinley-Rodgers
Bridesmaid confession #3
“The bride was really indecisive about bridesmaid dresses and kept making us all travel halfway across the country to try on lots of different styles and attend fittings. It cost a fortune in train fares and took up so many weekends!”
Avoid the drama: It’s lovely to see all your bridesmaids at the same time if they’re scattered around the country, but there’s a limit to how many times you can expect them to attend dress fittings. If you’re choosing high-street dresses, your bridesmaids can easily try them on in a store close to home – just ask them to get adjustments made locally. If you’re looking for dresses in a boutique, check for regional stockists. There’s likely to be somewhere closer stocking them so your girls can try them on and report back. You can then purchase them over the phone, or ask your boutique to order in the size and just get your girls in once for measurements.
Bridesmaid confession #4
“We had such a huge to-do list on the wedding day, it felt like we missed out on lots of the celebrations. Everyone seemed to be having more fun than us!”
Avoid the drama: It’s great having your girls on-hand to help out on the day, but you need to think about their wedding experience too. While they’ll be happy to help you set up beforehand, it’s not fair for them to have to miss the entire drinks reception because they’re setting up your tables. Ask a few good friends who aren’t part of the wedding party to help out with tasks so you’re spreading the load, and consider hiring a wedding stylist for the day if you really do have a lot of details to set up and dismantle.
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Bridesmaid confession #5
“I’m a size 18, so wearing the same (strapless) dress as three size-10 bridesmaids was a nightmare. I felt really self-conscious all day.”
Avoid the drama: One major bridesmaid fail is putting your girls in dresses they hate. Even if you think they look gorgeous, they won’t enjoy the day if they feel uncomfortable. If one of your girls is larger/taller/bustier than the others, opt for different styles of bridesmaid dresses in the same colour – lots of bridesmaid ranges offer this, or give them a colour scheme and let them choose their own dresses.
Being a bridesmaid can be fun (honest). Image: Dottie Photography
Bridesmaid confession #6
“Being asked to buy my own dress and shoes, as well as pay for hair and make-up, meant being a bridesmaid almost bankrupted me!”
Avoid the drama: Asking bridesmaids to pay for a few bits can seem a great way to keep costs down. However, think carefully about how much you’re asking them to pay. If you can’t afford to treat them, try to contribute towards the dress (even £30 will make a difference), and stress that having their hair and make-up done is optional if they’ll have to pay for it themselves. Giving people plenty of warning of costs will help too.
Bridesmaid confession #7
“As the groom’s sister, I felt that I was only asked to be a bridesmaid out of politeness. The bride’s friends took over everything and I didn’t feel at all involved in the day or the planning of the hen do.”
Avoid the drama: Often it’s easier to agree to a couple of extra bridesmaids to keep the peace, but don’t go there if you’re going to feel resentful about it. If you’re asking the groom’s sisters (or other family members) to be polite, follow through on that and make them feel valued. It’s natural to give the bigger jobs to trusted mates, but set aside some tasks for the rest of your bridesmaids and involve them in dress discussions from the start.
Need some more bridesmaid tips? Here are 7 things you can totally ask your maid of honour to help with