As much as you love your bridesmaids, sometimes things just don’t go smoothly. If you’re having problems, never fear – here are some common bridesmaid dilemmas and how to fix them…
I can’t afford to have everyone
Before you’ve even picked your bridal party, this can be a real problem. Bridesmaids aren’t cheap – it’s expected that as the bride, you’ll pay for their dresses, and once you add on bouquets, gifts, hair and makeup, the costs can quicky stack up. If you’re on a tight budget, you have two options: either you can keep the bridal party small, or cut costs.
If you’re looking to cut costs, then fashion is the best way to do this. Hit the high street in search of dresses, or keep your eye out for trunk shows and sales to snatch up a bargain. You can always ask your bridesmaids to buy their own dresses, but they’ll need to be able to pick one that works for their budget – it’s not fair to dictate your choice of pricey dress if you’re not forking out the cash! Instead of picking a specific dress, why not ask your maids to pick a dress of their choice, as long as it’s a certain colour, or length?
Other areas where you can cut back are the accessories, the flowers and the hair and makeup. Ask the bridesmaids to provide their own shoes and bags (just give them an idea of colour, such as nude or silver), get everyone to do their own hair and makeup, and choose cheaper blooms like gypsophila or daisies for your bridesmaid bouquets.
My bridesmaid is pregnant
First things first: be genuinely happy for her and celebrate with her! You may be having a panic in your head, but wait for her to bring up her bridesmaid status first. Depending on when she’s due, she may feel it’s more appropriate to bow out of her bridesmaid duties – even if you’re best friends and love each other dearly, it may not be realistic to expect her to be running around after you if she’s due any minute, especially if there’s lots of travel involved! Equally, she may be giving birth just before the wedding, in which case she’ll need time to recover. You may be disappointed, but try to accept her decision with grace.
If she’s still on board with being a bridesmaid, then you’ll need to make sure that her dress works with a baby bump! If you’ve already bought a dress, it may be worth chatting with a seamstress to see if it can be altered to fit her bump. If you’re still shopping, opt for an empire-cut gown in lightweight fabrics so she’s got plenty of room to grow into.
Finally, bear in mind that her catering requirements will change. Inform your wedding caterers that your bridesmaid will be pregnant on the day, and make sure that wherever you’re going on the hen do can accomodate her needs.
My girls won’t agree on a dress
It’s very likely that your girls will have different body shapes and hangups, as well as different tastes in fashion, so it may not be an easy road to finding a dress they all agree on. The easiest solution is to opt for the mismatched bridesmaid trend, and let them all pick a dress style they love within the same colour palette. You could also try multiway dresses to get a closer match, and allow your maids to choose how they wear them on the big day.
If they’re still kicking up a fuss, be firm and choose the dress that most girls can agree on. Your bridesmaids may not be 100% happy, but they’re sure to put their feelings on the matter aside for just one day.
I want to demote a bridesmaid
This is really tricky territory, and you should tread carefully. Bear in mind that firing a bridesmaid can be a friendship-ending move, so if you still want a relationship with this girl, then you’ll have to be careful with your wording. It may be harder, but it’s better to do this over the phone or in person, as words and tone can easily be misinterpreted over texts or emails.
If it seems like your bridesmaid genuinely doesn’t want to be in your wedding party, or doesn’t have the time or money to devote to her duties, then you can always give her an out and give her an opportunity to step down. Simply opening a conversation with her to say, ‘You seem like you’re not enjoying yourself – are you sure you still want to be a bridesmaid? I just want you to be happy, so don’t worry about upsetting me,’ can do the trick.
If she’s still not taking the hint, then you’ll have to take the plunge and be honest with her. Tell her that she means a lot to you, but after some soul-searching, you’ve decided that it will be better for both of you if she attends your wedding as a guest rather than as a bridesmaid. Give her space to be angry, but also let her know that you still want to be friends.
Need more bridesmaid tips? Check out these posts!