“Why can’t you be happy for me, and then go home and talk about me behind my back like a normal person?”
~ Lillian, the bride, to Annie, her maid of honor,
in scene from the movie Bridesmaids
Welcome back as we resume The Wedding Series!
We’ve heard a lot about the bridezilla, but what about the bridesmaidzilla? She’s the one who has accepted the bride’s invitation to be a member of the wedding party, either as a bridesmaid or maid/matron of honor, but is not really able to get with the program or function as a member of Team Bride, or she might just have a moment of bridesmaidzillahood that throws everyone and everything off. Regardless, such behavior can be a headache and heartache for the bride and other members of the wedding party.
As has been mentioned previously, being asked to be in a wedding is an honor, but it’s important to understand the scope as well as the details of what is being asked and to be candid and clear up front about what a prospective bridesmaid — or even more importantly a maid of honor — can afford in terms of availability and finances. Moreover, if you’re asked don’t carry any baggage, jealousies or hurt feelings into your acceptance. Clear the air about anything that might be bothering you to make sure that you and the bride are on the same page. And don’t be afraid to decline the request if you feel it’s in the best interests of both you and the bride. Here for your consideration are some further guidelines:
Bridesmaidzilla Avoidance Checklist
- Keep The Bride Happy – It’s her once-in-a-lifetime day, and you have been honored to have a special role in it. Simply put, do whatever you can to make this one of the happiest experiences and fondest memories she will ever have.
- Be A Team Player – If you are one of several attendants, or the maid of honor in a good size wedding party, be attentive, cooperative and helpful in contributing to whatever needs to be done, and be prepared to compromise. Don’t be an outlier; this is not the time.
- Be A Sport – Occasionally a suggestion or decision by the bride, MOH or majority of the attendants might not agree with your desire or viewpoint; but, unless it will drastically affect you adversely be a sport and go along.
- Retain Your Sense of Humor – Things sometimes go awry, but I’ve found that if I roll my eyes and try to be philosophical about a mishap I can usually find something humorous that will help get me through it. Feel free to vent to a friend who isn’t involved in the wedding and you’ll probably end up laughing — maybe even hysterically.
- Keep Your Head On Over The Dress – Forget the bridal dress! Often the selection of the bridesmaids’ dresses is the most stressful task undertaken. No wonder; there are more women to please! As bridesmaids come in all shapes, sizes, ages and temperaments it can be challenging for the bride as well as her attendants to settle on a style that everyone loves, or at least tolerates. For the long-suffering MOH and bridesmaids this is a key moment to call upon all of the aforementioned tools — remember whose party it is, be a team player and sport and dig deep down for that sense of humor!
- Make Feelings Known – Calmly – If the dress selection, shower or bachelorette plans or anything else causes you angst, discuss your feelings, opinions and suggestions with the bride or MOH calmly and with a positive attitude. Reasonable people usually find avenues of compromise that can alleviate some if not all concerns. Perhaps a dress that comes in the same color and fabric but in various styles that flatter different female shapes can be selected; or a middle ground can be reached on the shower venue; and the bachelorette party can be scaled back so that everyone can afford to attend.
- Be Dependable – Respond without delay to invitations, dress fitting appointments, requests for opinions, decisions and assistance. Be punctual and complete any assigned tasks on time. Return calls, emails and texts promptly. Remember to pick up your dress and accessories on time. Show up for the rehearsal and wedding early and be prepared to get yourself ready and help the bride in any way. Do what you say you will do. Be a bridge over troubled waters.
- Call In The Favor – Breathe a sigh of relief when your friend, the beaming bride, tosses her bouquet (or not) and drives off into the sunset with the love of her life. And think about how you will enjoy the reversed roles someday, or at least an equitable quid pro quo. That will give you something to dream about as you unwind from performing one of the biggest favors a friend can do for another (and with a smile on your face the whole time).
What Would Mother Say?
I interject this closing thought as we approach Mother’s Day this Sunday. As a three-time bridesmaid and one-time bride, I recall consulting with my late mother, Carolyn (Carrie for short), to some degree on each occasion. Whether it was to ask advice or gripe about something, she was frequently my sounding board. And her counsel was always sound, combined with a reminder that I should always be thoughtful and kind. So, to all bridesmaids — as well as brides, grooms, maids/matrons of honor, best men and groomsmen — I urge you to honor and seek the advice and opinions of your mother, grandmother, godmother, favorite aunt and any other mother figure in your life, not only on Mother’s Day but regularly throughout your lives. It couldn’t hurt, and it usually helps!
Until next time,