So, normally Sundays are for the girls… but since it’s National Bridesmaid Day (March 25), we’re going to say that Monday is for the girls. Instead of getting really lovey dovey, cutesy on that note, we thought it’d be even more fun and informative to talk about something that - if you polled 9 out of 10 bridesmaids RN - they’d say they’ve definitely had to deal with at some point on their #blessed bridesmaid journeys: the bats*it crazy bride.
And we mean that in the most sincere, loving way, because truthfully lots of bridesmaids say “yes” to the major ask and then have nooo idea what they’re in for along the way. One day, you’re sipping on mimosas and eating perfectly-decorated ‘will you stand by me on the big day?’ sugar cookies, the next, you’re being told that the bachelorette trip is mandatory and yes, even though it’s your tax season (and you live at the office), you’re expected to be there - no ifs, ands, or buts (well, unless you count your own, because girl if your ass ain’t there, you might be looking at grounds for firing….).
Granted, it’s one of those things that you sign up for, in the spirit of your friendship and sisterhood, and because you want the bride to have her best day(s) ever, but still it can get overwhelming and sometimes push you to the point where you’re absolutely ready to bail. We want to save you from having to do that. 1) Because you’re not that girl, you want to show up for your friend/sister/cousin/coworker, etc. and not cause waves. 2) Because you’ll regret it, really, especially when you start to see her hashtag getting ALL the hits the closer it gets to her bridal shower, bachelorette, rehearsal dinner, wedding day, after party. 3) Because people don’t forget. If you let your bride’s crazy get to you, and then decide to peace, there’s a chance she might not show up for you when you’re in her position.
All this said, here are 5 ways to handle a bride that’s gone to the dark side.
Request a scheduling commitment conversation.
One of the worst things that a bride can do to her bridesmaids is not be transparent with them on v. important dates during her engagement. For instance, days blocked out for dress shopping, the bridal shower, the bachelorette, etc. Of course, she’s busy and she’s trying to live her life and be a bride as much as you’re trying to live yours and be her bridesmaid, but it’s important that she keeps you apprised of all the pre-aisle occasions where she’d like to have you present. So! Before you get into anyyy heated scheduling conversations, we suggest proposing a time and place for you and the bride, and the rest of her bridal party, to sit down with a calendar and go over those precious dates. If you can handle any ‘f***, I won’t be able to be there, I have X, Y, Z (that’s TOTALLY non-negotiable, obvi you wouldn’t cancel if it wasn’t huge)’ discussions early on, you might be in a much better position.
Offer to help as much as possible.
Yup, sounds counterintuitive to head towards the crazy, but a lot of what drives a bride nuts is thinking that her squad would rather be doing something else than having anything to do with her wedding. That’s why it’s smart to follow up every once in awhile, see how things are going, do a pulse check; if the bride is heading for strug city, and you can get to her before she ambushes you all with a “hiiiii, does anyoneeee want to be there for me, I’m getting married in 547 days, jeeeeze” text, then you’ll probably keep yourself and the rest of the crew out of the crosshairs - at least for a little while. And sometimes, it doesn’t even have to get so involved! Brides don’t always need actual help with things, a lot of times, they just want to know that you haven’t forgotten about them and still care about their well-being, especially now that they’re a bride and going through it.
Lean on the other bridesmaids when you can.
At the end of the day, no matter where you - literally - stand at the altar, if you’re a bridesmaid, the bride values you and respects/loves/adores you just as much as the other members of the bridal party. As such, she’s going to expect just as much out of you, too. Truly, the maid/matron(s) of honor are the ones that might have the most pressure, but really, as a group, you’re held to a certain standard in the bride’s mind, and in order to rise to the occasion, you all have to be committed as a team. The bridal party that balances the bride out together, stays together. And if that means you have a group text or Facebook message that’s reserved for everyone - sans bride - to vent when she starts getting icy, then so be it! Now, you’ll want to be damn sure you guys have a pact in place to never loop her in to see you bitching about her, but otherwise, use those chains to help each other cope.
Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Push back if certain lines are crossed.
And by crossed, we mean, if the bride goes a little too beyond what’s appropriate to require of her bridesmaids. Maids, for the most part, understand that their roles come with financial responsibilities that aren’t light, by any means. They get that there will be a dress that costs money, there will be expensive pre-wedding events that they’re expected to attend, there will be a wedding at the end, that befits a gift. But every bridesmaid is entitled to show some resistance once expenses start to get ridiculous. By ridiculous, we’re thinking of asks that just make us SOH for how much they cost. Along with that, the requests that just don’t seem real: you need to lose weight, you can’t be pregnant, your hair/beauty/grooming game needs to be stepped up before you stand beside me. If you’re getting those demands, you can kindly tell the bride that as much as you love her, you’re going to pass on her prejudices. It’s okay to do it, too, because things like this have no impact on her wedding day, if you’re “good” enough to ask one day, you’re “good” enough to be there, as your best self, on her big day.
Advocate for non-wedding related recreation every so often.A bride is going to be a bride, if no one tells her otherwise. She’ll talk about her wedding, she’ll want to pick your brain about centerpieces and reception entrance songs and honeymoon excursions every time she sees you. And let’s be honest, she’ll have a right, right? That said, if the self-centeredness gets to be that nauseating and annoying, to the point where the attention-seeking is outright obnoxious and not conducive to bonding or relationship-building, then be the one to rewrite the script. Instead of letting her come up with the game plan for your girls day/night out 24/7, make plans on your own terms! Find something that has little to nothing to do with nuptials/flowers/rings/dresses/etc. Ax throwing maybe?? It’ll force her to forget about the I Dos for a minute, and it’ll give you loads of freedom as well. Every bridesmaid should have non-wedding related outings with the bride on the regular, but it also helps to appoint a “rallier” who can do that for the group - especially if the bride starts to spin out.
Photo Credit: Ian Schneider on Unsplash