As a bride, you’ll need to consider many factors when choosing your wedding party. Often, women select their best friends, siblings, cousins, and women who have played a critical role in their lives at different points in life. They may be roommates from college, childhood friends, or current colleagues. If your bridal party includes your best friends and family, then nothing could go wrong, right? What happens if something comes between you and one of your besties in the months, weeks, or days before your wedding, and you end up having a total blow out? Don’t stress. Emotions are high during life’s transition moments, even for friends and family. Remember that the women in your bridal party love you and you can repair most misunderstandings. Here is what to do if you find yourself at odds with a member of your girl squad before your wedding.
Don’t Blow Off the Blow-Up
Brides have to-do lists a mile long. Whether you have a tiny spat or a full-blown brawl with one of your girls, resist the temptation to say, “She’ll get over it,” and go back to focusing on your places setting and registry. After you both cool off, make time to repair your friendship. Meet your girl in a comfortable, private setting and talk about what happened. Be honest about how you feel and listen to her concerns, and acknowledge her feelings, even if you don’t necessarily agree or empathize. By showing your friend that a top priority before your big day is her feelings, you’ll likely be able to repair the break. Then do finish your place settings and registry, because those things are super important too.
Assess the Root Cause of her Frustrations
Anyone in your wedding is likely someone you know well, so be honest with yourself as to what might be behind your friend’s frustrations. If your bridesmaid is picking fights, complaining about every little detail, or is just generally cranky, consider what else could be going on. Maybe the answer is obvious. Perhaps it’s hard for her to take part in your wedding festivities after she just went through a painful divorce. Maybe the root cause is something she is holding deeper inside—like financial troubles or jealousy that you picked another one of your friends to be your maid of honor. If you feel that you likely understand what’s happening below the surface, that knowledge can help you be more understanding and patient. If you’re comfortable, try asking your friend about your suspicions and acknowledging how she’s feeling. Be prepared to be wrong, however, or understanding if she’s defensive. What’s important is that you show you care and are trying to keep the lines of communication open between you both.
Don’t Carry Her Burdens
A good friend is open to listening to and acknowledging her girl’s feelings—but that has to go both ways. If you go to your bridesmaid with genuine, compassionate concern, and the dynamic between you two doesn’t improve, you are within your rights to make it clear how you feel in the scenario. Being understanding and sympathetic does not mean acting as someone’s emotional punching bag, especially at one of the most important times in your life. If one of your bridesmaids is mistreating you, calmly but firmly tell her how her actions and words are making you feel. If you cannot make amends, see number four below.
Be prepared to Ask Her to Step Down
If you try to mend the strain between you and your friend, and you cannot reach an accord, then it may be best to ask her not to be in your wedding. Depending on when this conversation takes place, she may have already invested in a dress and a plane ticket; therefore, the discussion might be a difficult one. However, if someone isn’t willing to support you on your wedding day, no matter the reason, then it will likely be more comfortable for you both if she is not part of the wedding party.
Breaking up is hard to do, and hopefully, any altercation between you and one of your bridesmaids won’t get to that point. Traditionally, bridal parties exist so that brides have support throughout the wedding planning process and on the day of the ceremony. Anyone who you ask to be part of this precious life event should want to uphold these values. If she can’t—for any reason—even after you try to address her concerns, you’ll have other women standing with you on your wedding day, and it will still be one of the most unforgettable days of your life.