Photo from: @_baileylandry
I’ll be brutally honest, Bride Wars is one of my favorite movies in life. Truth be told, I’m not the biggest Anne Hathaway fan, but I kind of love her in this - and Kate Hudson is a balls to the wall, realistic AF bride in it too. I even wrote one of my final papers in college using this movie as a muse and leading with the reality that modern brides are hella competitive, so much so that they can truy lose sight of the bigger picture here: that they’re getting married to the love of their life and nothing else really matters. But as engagement season heats up, and more girlfriends start becoming fiancées, it got us wondering - can two best friend brides actually stay that way? Or does the bling on their fingers inevitably mean that they’ll end up ‘in the ring’ together?
We’re going to come out real strong and optimistic and say that it IS possible to be best friends and brides-to-be at the same time, but it’ll take work from both parties.
Here’s what to do if you and your bestie get engaged at the same time. At the end of the day, if you can avoid those salty feels like ‘she’s my best friend, and I love her, but I hope her wedding totally 💩💩💩 the bed,’ then it’s looking up for you to keep that friendship 💯.
Before you’ve both got your rings, talk out your plans.
Look, no matter what any bride says, before she has a ring on her finger, she’s already given a lot of thought to what and how she’ll want her wedding to be. And as best friends, girls probably know the drill when it comes to each other’s dreams, so the locations, the vibes, the seasons [of said weddings], shouldn’t really come as a shock once either of the two gets engaged first. If you can have a pre-proposal pow-wow well before wedding planning officially kicks off, then you’ll have a chance to talk about all of each other’s ‘must haves’ and can make a game plan that ensures neither of you feels that your thunder was stolen. If she’s wanted a spring wedding for as long as you can remember, then let her have the spring! If you’ve made your boho bride vibes blatantly clear since you first told her that you thought he or she was ‘THE ONE,’ then she should respect that and leave the dream catchers and pampas grass to your discretion.
Celebrate each other’s engagements separately.
Inevitably, one of you will get engaged before the other one does (unless your baes planned to sync up their asks, and we wouldn’t advise that!). And that’s totally okay! Having some time between your proposals can give them their own identities, and let each of them be special. So, if you’re still waiting out your ring, relax and try your best to be happy for your bestie - as if she’s one of your siblings, and you’re showing your support! Go to her engagement party or her dinner, bring her a card, bring her a gift, be the best kind of friend you can be, so that she feels all the love and would want to do the same for you when the time comes! And if you’re the bride who ‘got there first,’ then enjoy all the celebrations, soak up all that special love and attention, and don’t get sour when it’s time to share it. You’re still a bride, and obvi everyone cares about you and wants to hear all about your wedding plans, but they want to hear from her too!
But go to a few events/bridal fairs together.
Last year, I was helping one of my former wedding vendors out with a bridal fair she was showing at, and a pair of bride besties came up to our table, introduced themselves, and picked our brains on stationery suggestions for their respective weddings. They seemed to have no animosity towards each other, and legit looked like they were both living their best [bride] lives. What definitely helped was the fact that their wedding styles were so different - very little overlapping preferences, palettes, etc. - and we could show them both attention at the same time, without favoring one over the other at all. I think I even asked them how they were handling being brides at the same time, and they hardly said ANYTHING negative. Coming together to a bridal show was a great bonding experience - because they could vent to each other about anything they were struggling with on the car ride over - and who can’t bond over free canapes and champagne? And with so many versatile vendors assembled in one space, they could each go off on their own to seek out professionals for their type of party.
Say no to secrecy.
It goes without saying that there really isn’t much secrecy between best friends/soul mates/sisters. You know each other’s business, sometimes better than you know yourselves, so there’s no reason that should change when you get engaged. In fact, once you start saying “yeah, I found my dress, but I’m not telling anyone about it,” you risk opening up the floodgates to fiercely-competitive feels. Especially if you’re not willing to divulge any details about the dress, but also don’t want your bestie wearing anything even remotely close to your couture. Of course, brides have the prerogative to keep their nuptials preferences as close to the vest as possible - all we’re saying is that secrecy can be a recipe for a raging rivalry between you and your ride-or-die. Major milestones for brides, like finding the dress, picking an epic place to stage your engagement photos, choosing the ensems for all of your pre-wedding events, deserve to be talked about and are fun to share with your best friend. But if you close off all those conversations, you’re also creating distance between each other. If you both want to keep a few things a bit of a mystery for your own wedding days, then be open and transparent about it. Don’t withhold, especially if one of you is a total open book about your big day.
And don’t make assumptions about flattery.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Well, when it comes to brides, that mantra isn’t always true. In fact, having a friend ‘copy’ stuff that you did or used for your own wedding can incite downright bridezilla behavior. It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility for two bride best friends to have similar ideas about the bachelorette, the bridal shower, the wedding favors, the flowers, the gifts for the bridal party, the honeymoon location, etc. They’re best friends, they have lots in common, c’mon. But one of my sister’s best friends (who was a bride for almost as long as she was) said it best when she told me that “for the most part, our styles were a little different; the venue she chose and the things that she loved and picked for her ceremony/reception were beautiful, but completely different than the things I used for my own. If she told me about anything that she found and that I liked, I would ask her if it was okay for me to use it/buy it/etc. before just going ahead with it - especially since my wedding happened to be first.”
And it doesn’t have to mean “asking permission,” rather it’s more about making sure no one feels uncomfortable or that they had one of their ideas ‘stolen’ away from them. For my sister and her friend, they were able to bounce ideas off of each other without any one-upping contention.
Commit to wedding-free hangs and bring backup.
This is huge. We’ve talked about reasons why a staycation before the wedding is a great idea and how to wedding plan when you work full-time and they both make a point about the importance of non-wedding-related recreation to preserve your sanity when you’re in planning mode all. the. time. If you’re in the same boat with your bestie, then both of you know how real the struggle is and how much some down time/R&R is really needed. So, make it a priority to get together every few weeks for brunch, girl nights out, Netflix (or reality TV)+wine dates, and completely ban any conversations about wedding stress, vendors, bitchy bridesmaids, pain in the ass in-laws, etc. Rejoin the rest of society and forget that your brides for a few hours. Doing so can really curb any non-friendly/competitive spirits. And while you’re at it, if you truly can’t honor your pledge to nix wedding planning from your plans, then invite your future spouses and tell them to run interference. Or instead, see to it that you squad is stacked with non-bride friends who are SO over hearing about your weddings that they’ll make sureeeee you have other things to discuss/places to go/distractions to mellow out all the bride-related drama.
And one last thing.
Try to keep your equal status intact the whole time to preserve that friendship. You’re both beautiful brides-to-be, and you’ll have the weddings of your dreams, we promise! But once it becomes an unbalanced relationship - with one friend feeling mightier and/or like she won’t make concessions because she’s getting married first or because she ‘picked’ things first and the other feeling completely steamrolled and powerless - that’s when the resentment can ensue. This is why communication and candidness is so key. Being able to call each other out, IF NECESSARY, is paramount for bride-to-be best friendship to thrive.
Also. And this is truly the last. Don’t do joint bridal showers or even bachelorettes. Even if you have the same circles of friends, keep them separate. You each deserve to have your own experiences and be showered singly. You don’t have to share everything!