In getting any group together, there are certain challenges. From the business world to the world of weddings, people can be tough to navigate in a gathering. You may be worrying about how certain members of your party will get along, or maybe the discord has already started. So, how do you handle these situations in a delicate way? And if you’re pre-war, how can you keep the discord from happening at all? We’ve got some tips and tricks for keeping your party as peaceful as can be. (Remember, you want your bridesmaids to remain your friends after the wedding.)
Avoid Changing Expectations
The truth is you are the biggest factor. It may not be fun to admit that you’re part of the problem, but sometimes you are. The vibe rests on your shoulders and you may be doing things, accidentally of course, that are setting your peaceful hopes up for failure. Are you giving your bridesmaids certain expectations and then changing them all the time? Weddings can be stressful to be a bridesmaid and if you’re constantly pulling the rug out from under them, it can cause discontent. The more stressed your party is, the more likely they are to take it out on each other or even, heaven forbid, you. Here’s a real world example: you tell them to buy a certain pair of shoes for their wedding outfit and a month later you change your mind. Planning is hard, but if you want things to be simple, don’t complicate things for your party.
Keep Costs Reasonable
Those shoes probably cost a pretty penny, too, which brings us to the next possibly inflammatory situation: money. Are you asking your party to spend a ton of money? Be sensitive. You may have been planning and saving for your day, but they haven’t. Asking your bridesmaids to spend beyond their means can cause major discord. Try to be realistic about your costs or pay a part of it yourself.
Treat Your Party Equally
Make sure your party is equal. By this I mean don’t make special accommodations for one bridesmaid and tell the rest to get lost. If you have certain expectations, it’s not fair to let one bridesmaid off the hook. This unfairness can cause the others to get irritated with that person or with you and that is the opposite of what you want.
Take the Pressure Off
Are you letting your bridal party have fun? While it’s true that your bridesmaids are responsible for supporting you on your big day, they’re not responsible for 100 different things. You don’t want them to have to run around taking care of everything from flowers to food. So, instead of asking your them, recruit your friends and family to help with some of the wedding stuff. Your bridesmaids have plenty to do helping you. Try to make it so that they don’t have to do much else other than that and getting themselves ready. This will leave room for the little tasks that come up. If you give your bridesmaids too much responsibility, they won’t be able to fully focus on what you actually need them for.
Another great way to mitigate disaster is to coordinate lots of time for your bridesmaids to spend together. A great way to do this is to have party nights where you work on crafts for the wedding. If that’s not possible, it’s great to get group texts or even group Pinterest boards going. Allow these situations to get off track a bit. It’s okay if it’s not completely wedding-focused; you want your bridesmaids to bond. The more they know each other, the less likely they are to not get along.
Talk to Those Having a Problem
If you’ve got two bridesmaids that just do not get along, it’s important to sit them down. You don’t need to be worrying about them (you’ve got enough on your mind), so you can ask another bridesmaid to be a buffer, but if that’s not possible, sit the two trouble makers down and have a serious chat. Honesty is the best policy. Be kind, but let them know your expectations and that this should be a fun experience. Make it clear that they’re to try and get along. Give them a chance to air things out and be done with it.
Don’t Feed the Gossip Monster
If you are feeding into the gossip about one or more of your bridesmaids, you are asking for an issue. The more hate-speech is spewed about them the more others are going to see them that way. Remember, you are neutral at this point. As far as you’re concerned, everyone on your team is awesome and you love them. If a bridesmaid wants to vent about a different bridesmaid, hear her out, but instead of feeding into it, just listen.
Just hear them out. It’s their job to help you through your wedding, but above all else you are still their friend. I know you’re busy, but take a small portion of time just to bond and talk to your party about how they feel things are going. Let them address any concerns with you and try not to get defensive. Sometimes just letting them know your door is open is enough. I’m currently in a wedding and my cousin, the bride, has asked me a couple times if I have any concerns about anything. It’s a really nice gesture and one that immediately made me feel more comfortable.
So there you have it. Breathe. It’s all going to work out. If you’ve tried all of this and you’re still having issues, you could try asking some trustworthy family members to help you out. Have them assist you in talking to all your bridesmaids together. Remember, the people in your wedding party don’t all have to be best friends, but they do have to get through your wedding without killing each other; or giving you a stress pimple. Hopefully if they’re your true friends, they will listen to you and be there for you in the way you need, regardless of other issues.