Wedding Party Drama: How to Keep the Peace as You Plan

A bride and groom with their bridal party and confetti in the air around them.

For all its joys and happy moments, planning a wedding can be stressful. After all, so many people consider this the most important day of your life. You want it to be absolutely perfect! It may seem logical to ask your nearest and dearest friends to join you on the wedding planning journey. But if you aren’t careful, bridal party infighting could be more trouble than it’s worth. Here are a few do’s and dont’s to help you avoid drama.

Do: Choose Your Bridal Party Carefully

When you and your fiancé begin planning your wedding day, it’s important to discuss who you’ll want in your bridal party—and how many people will be at the altar with you. While you may have promised all your cousins when you were seven, and he may have promised every brother in his fraternity, you have to work together to find that magic number. Once you do, fill those roles with people who won’t try to upstage you and who will gel with each other easily.

Don’t: Select the Bridal Party Based on Obligation

Your future sister-in-law and her long-term girlfriend are about your age, so you kind of have to ask them to be bridesmaids, right? Not unless you truly want to! Your wedding party should include the people you’re closest to, and who know you well enough to a) help you have the best wedding possible, and b) share in your joy every step of the way! If you choose a bridesmaid or groomsman based on obligation, it will show in the group dynamics—and that’s a recipe for disaster.

Do: Pick People Who Will Get Along

A group of laughing women by a pool.

By the time you get engaged, you and your future spouse have probably spent a lot of time around each other’s friends. You have a sense of everyone’s personalities and which girlfriends and guy friends will click with each other. This is a wonderful thing. When selecting your bridal party, try to fill it with people who will have a great time together! While bridesmaids and groomsmen won’t spend every moment of the planning process together, there are enough group activities that you want a fun dynamic all around.

Don’t: Play Matchmaker

Maybe your best friend/maid of honor would be a perfect fit with your future spouse’s best man. Maybe two of his groomsmen would be unbelievably cute together. While setting your friends up and watching love blossom can be a lot of fun, your wedding is simply not the time. You and your partner have quite enough on your plate during this busy time. And if anything should go wrong, you could have a pair of volatile exes raining on your wedding day! Save the matchmaking for after the wedding or better yet, let that romance spark on its own.

Do: Keep in Touch

This is particularly vital if you have members of your bridal party living in different states. There’s a lot that goes into planning a wedding, and a lot that the bridal party needs to be part of. But here’s the thing: the rest of your bridal party also has their own busy lives! If you want to avoid drama over missed appointments or absentee bridesmaids and groomsmen, give them reminders of important dates and details from time to time. A quick text a few days before the dress fitting beats an angry phone call on the day every time.

Don’t: Communicate Constantly

Neon socks and brown shoes on groomsmen feet.

Remember when I said that your bridal party members have their own busy lives? Well, that usually means your wedding isn’t the center of their world. Sending constant text messages or calls to discuss every minute detail (what color napkins, for example) will only force wedding fatigue to set in—fast. Only share the need-to-know info with your bridesmaids, plus the occasional excited post or cute photo. This way, they’ll be in the loop without feeling like the wedding is taking over.

Do: Listen to Constructive Feedback

Being a bridesmaid is fun and sharing in someone’s special day is always an honor. However, it’s also expensive—it can cost some up to $1,500 per wedding, not to mention countless hours of work. It’s important to keep in mind just how much you’re asking of your friends.These people are your nearest and dearest. They love you and they want you to have the perfect wedding day. But if they have a grievance to share, do your best to hear them out.

Don’t: Air out Your Issues Online

So much wedding drama could be avoided if we all kept our issues off of social media! You may not be “friends” with your future mother-in-law, but believe me: someone on your friend’s list is. If you head to your computer to vent (about anything, from your in-laws to your partner’s best man) it will inevitably get back to them—and those things you wrote in the heat of the moment can never really be deleted. Just be smart and step away from the keyboard!

Do: Delegate Peacekeeping Duties

Three bridesmaids and a bride holding up her bouquet and facing away from the camera.

You’ve likely selected your maid of honor and best man for several reasons. They know you or your fiancé better than anyone else. They may be the friend who has helped you through the greatest challenges in your life. Or maybe they’re a pair of no-nonsense types that can keep the squabbling to a minimum and ease all the drama. If your maid of honor or best man fit that mold, don’t be afraid to delegate the peace-keeping tasks to them!

Don’t: Totally Check Out

Yes, your wedding day should be about you and the love of your life. But if you invite your friends to share the joy, you need to be there for them, too! No one likes drama, but sometimes a little empathy can go a long way in smoothing things over. Take the time to listen to your bridal party when there’s trouble. This will ensure you have your dream wedding and keep your friends in the process.

Find Amazing Vendors