A Bridesmaid’s How-To on Maintaining a Friendship With the Bride

It’s your closest friend’s big day. She’s getting married, and you were honored with the title of bridesmaid. And, at first, it was an honorâÂ?¦ until you realized that planning a wedding had turned your close friend into a total stranger. Now, all you want to do is hide every time she comes calling and you can’t help complaining with your friends or fellow bridesmaids that the bride has lost it. If you’re ready to call it quits-whether to the friendship or the wedding-read the following tips on how to get along with a crazy bride on her big day.

First of all, the key to any good relationship is communication. Make sure you and the bride are communicating. Not just talking on a regular basis, but talking about the wedding and getting the plans and timeline all clear. Plan with the bride. Generally speaking, there are to types of brides: one’s who want too much help and one’s who want none at all. If you’re bride is asking you to do things you can’t fit into your life, make sure to be upfront. Tell her you can’t fit a certain errand in or you are at work and don’t have time to talk about the thirty-fifth color change. But, be nice and help her think of someone else who might be able to take the errand or conversation. If the bride doesn’t want help and refuses to give up information on her own, make sure to ask on a regular basis if you can help with anything. If there’s something you think you should know, ask directly. The closer to the wedding that you get, the busier the bride will be. Utilize emails for questions that don’t need to be answered right away, that way the bride can answer the question at her convenience.

Second, it is important to put yourself in the bride’s shoes. Yes, she may be acting a little crazy or selfish, but try to think about your wedding and how you want or would have wanted your bridesmaids to act. If you get irritated with something, think about how you would want your bridesmaid to handle it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed talk to the bride. Talk to other bridesmaids who might be able to help take some of the weight off of your shoulders. Try not to lose your temper. Weddings are stressful for everyone involved. Remember, the bride is handling a lot of planning and logistics, keep this in mind if she loses her temper or seems short with you.

Unless explicitly asked, keep all opinions to yourself. Whether it’s about the husband-to-be, the flowers or the dresses, don’t make any negative comments. Remember, it’s the bride’s day and everyone has different tastes. If you like something, compliment away, but keep the negatives to yourself. If you are worried about your expenses for the wedding, talk to the bride alone. Express only your concerns about the money, not about what you’re buying. Don’t blurt out that you can’t afford it, calmly explain that you’re not quite sure you can cover all the expenses she’s asking you to incur. Ask if there might be a less expensive alternative to something. Make sure she is part of the decision and that she understands you really can’t afford what she’s asking of you, not just that you’re too cheap to spend money on her.

Avoid gossiping and complaining with other friends of the bride and bridesmaids. You may really feel like blowing off some steam about the bride or the wedding, but anything you tell another bridesmaid might get back to the bride eventually. And, if it does so before the wedding, things are bound to get uncomfortable. Even if it doesn’t get back to the bride until after the wedding, you are jeopardizing your friendship with the bride. Keep nasty comments to yourself or people who don’t know or talk to the bride. A wedding is not worth ruining a friendship over, remember that when the need to complain/gossip arises.

It’s important to utilize the help and opinions of other people besides the bride. When planning the bridal shower, one of the best resources (besides the bride herself) is the bride’s mother, if they have a good relationship. This is especially important if you want to throw a surprise shower. The mother-of-the-bride may have ideas on places to hold the shower, people to invite, even colors to decorate in. Moms are a wealth of information, even for the tiniest details. After all, they’ve probably lived with the bride for a long portion of her life. Close relatives or friends of the bride who are not in the wedding party may also have suggestions or ideas on the shower or bachelorette party. Consult them in a casual discussion. Remember, you don’t have to do all the suggestions, but they may give you some ideas on details. Always feel free to expand on the ideas as long as you’re keeping the bride in mind. Not only will consulting other people give you a wealth of information, but also it will give you some time away from the bride if necessary.

In the end, the most important thing to remember, no matter how crazy or stressful things get, is that the bride is your friend. When you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, remind yourself of that and the good times you’ve had together. You want your friend to be happy, and if everything goes well, the wedding should be one of the happiest days of her life. Keep the end in mind as you struggle with all the stresses of being in a wedding.

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