advice - What if my bridesmaids don’t get along?
Our wedding days are often met with the usual drama of family politics but we don't often think our best girls are the ones that don't get along. So what do we do when our best friends disagree?
When planning my own wedding a few years ago, I had to introduce two of my bridesmaids to each other and I was pretty wary of forcing a 'bond' that might not be there. We had nights out and some special 'bridesmaid' time to let them get to know each other. One of them had been my best friend since meeting at work. The other was my now-husband's sister, who I'd become close with while dating her brother for eight years. If I loved them so dearly, could they possibly dislike each other so vehemently? After all they were both so similar in their personalities.
I had 3 bridesmaids in total and I knew my Sister-In-Law-to-be didn't like one bridesmaid she already knew so I was scared she'd also hate the bridesmaid she hadn't met properly before. It was the trying on of dresses where patience grew thin and where my taller bridesmaid wanted a more slim fit with straps, whilst my other petite bridesmaid wanted fuller sleeves and a higher neckline. My third bridesmaid, who was my one neutral ally, just wanted her arms covered. Should I have tried mismatched dresses? Perhaps! But as they say, hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I was a bride set in my ways with a specific vision in mind.
Once dress shopping was over, I thought any tiny dramas with my ladies was at bay. But alas I got a phone call from one bridesmaid to tell me she no longer wished to be my bridesmaid. Why? Because her schedule was so busy she couldn't commit to it. Hmm... As it turned out, I found out that it was actually because her boyfriend at the time had ended their relationship and she couldn't face a wedding without him. So I was a bridesmaid down and a dress up. I was upset that my friend was abandoning my wedding and ultimately friendship for a busy schedule.
As the wedding countdown continued, the drama settled a bit, but mostly because I avoided bringing the bridesmaids together when it wasn't needed. Living a couple hours away helped. So did minimising the need for a big bachelorette party in exchange for a smaller get-together in my town. I figured having more of my friends and family members in tow would add strength in numbers; still, one of the troublemaker bridesmaids chose to sit the event out.
I won't lie—it stung a little. It wasn't about her. She was supposed to be there to celebrate with me, even if it meant having to force a smile for the evening. I feel I would've done the same for her had the tables been turned. But on the flip side, it was the first time since bringing all of my bridesmaids together that I didn't feel completely stressed out. Little wins, I guess.
In light of all that had happened leading up to the wedding day, I'm happy to say my two bridesmaids put on their big girl pants (or dresses), pulled it together and made it through the event without any squabbles—or at least none that directly affected me. I still love those girls to the moon and back, but surprisingly, the two that I was nervous about getting along actually are still friends five years on. If I had to do it all over again, it's safe to say the girls would be in the crowd—definitely in the VIP seats, but I'd skip the hassle and just have my groom to stand by my side.
Have bickering bridesmaids of your own? If your besties aren't getting along, there are ways to avoid the drama from getting the better of you, your day and all the pre-wedding festivities that come with it.
● Don't take it personally. Some people simply don't see eye-to-eye with others, but their opinions are not reflective of your friendships or relationships. Remember why you selected someone to stand by your side, and let go of other people's judgements.
● Don't pick sides. Drama is going to happen, but that doesn't mean you have to get involved. Stay on neutral ground when tempers flare, and do your best to play mediator, reminding everyone that your wedding should be a cause for celebration, not quarreling.
● Be a good listener. Some of your bridesmaid issues may be valid. While you want to avoid creating further ill will through gossip or negative talk, listening to their problem shows you care. Don't forget that sometimes people just need to vent.
● Have a heart to heart. If the problems are getting out of control, sit down with your fighting bridesmaids individually and talk it out. Your girls should be involved in your wedding as a way to help and support you. Let them know that they're fighting is doing the exact opposite, causing you increased stress. Ask for their ideas on how best to resolve the conflict, and work together to solve the problem.
Photographer: Emily Dorman of Alp & Isle | Film Lab: The FIND Lab | Stylist / Planner: Bash Weddings & Events | Floral Designer: Hops Petunia | Dress Designer: THEIA | Venue: Clermont Historic Estate | Groom’s Attire: Theory | Groom’s Shoes: Allen Edmonds