Planning a wedding is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times in a bride’s life, and being asked to stand by her side as a bridesmaid is an honor. Out of all the people in her life, she chose you to be a part of her big day – isn’t that a great feeling?
However, as you embark on this journey with your friend, there may be moments when the road gets bumpy, and you find yourself navigating through the dreaded “wedding drama”. Weddings can stir up all kinds of feelings in people, bringing up unresolved conscious and unconscious issues in all attendees, including the bride and her bridal party.
To ensure that your time as a bridesmaid is filled with joy and love rather than disagreements and hurt feelings, we’ve put together this guide. Here are ten tips on how to spot the signs of wedding drama and tactfully avoid it while fostering better communication with the bride.
Look For the Signs
Before you can navigate wedding drama, it’s crucial to recognize the early signs. Of course, every bride is different and may express her frustrations in a different way. But, some common red flags can include:
Emotional Outbursts: If the bride seems irritable or overly emotional, it might be a sign that wedding stress is taking a toll on her.
Micromanaging: If she starts micromanaging every detail and decision, it’s likely the stress is getting to her. She may feel that she is losing control of the situation, and might turn into a micromanager as a result.
Silent Treatment: When she withdraws or avoids conversations about the wedding, this could indicate underlying tension, or that something is bothering her.
Empathize & Validate
Show empathy and validate the bride’s feelings. Let her know that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and stressed during wedding planning. Avoid downplaying her emotions, and instead, say things like, “I understand how planning a wedding can be stressful, but we’ll get through it together.”
Being a good listener can go a long way towards avoiding wedding drama, but it’s much more than that – it’s part of being a good friend. Sometimes, the bride just needs someone to vent to. Let her express her concerns and frustrations, even if it seems trivial to you.
But, remember to not take this opportunity to turn the conversation towards yourself, or worse, to take sides and point fingers at the other bridesmaids for the bride’s troubles. This only makes drama worse, and will make you come off as petty and childish in the process.
Offer Help & Support
One of the most significant ways to prevent wedding drama is to offer your assistance. Sometimes, brides carry all of the weight of wedding planning on their shoulders alone, and the pressure can get to be too much for one person to bear. If she feels overworked and stressed, she won’t be acting like her best self – which is a recipe for drama.
By taking on some of her smaller responsibilities, you not only ease her burden but also strengthen your bond. Be specific in your offers, like, “I can handle the RSVPs for you” or “I’d love to help choose the florist.”
Of course, leave big decisions like the dress and the guest list to her, but every small task you can lift from her shoulders is one less thing that she will have to worry about.
Try your best to foster open communication with the bride. Make it clear to her that you are ready to listen, but it is also important that you make her aware of your own concerns. If you are having reservations or mixed feelings about something that is happening, it’s important to let her know.
It’s tempting to keep your concerns to yourself, especially if you are worried about adding more worries to the bride’s plate – but this strategy can often backfire. Better to let her know ahead of time so that the problem can be dealt with in a calm and rational manner, rather than having to scramble to deal with problems at the last minute.
Respect Her Choices
Every bride has a unique vision for her big day, and her choices may not align with your preferences. It’s crucial to respect her decisions regarding the wedding, even if you don’t entirely agree with them. A wedding is a reflection of the couple, not just the bride, so embracing her choices with positivity can prevent unnecessary drama.
Address Conflicts (In Private)
If a disagreement arises between you and the bride or within the bridesmaid group, address it privately. This prevents the issue from snowballing into something more significant and potentially public.
Airing your grievances in front of others, or worse, on social media, is not an appropriate way to address conflict. Open, honest, and private communication can resolve conflicts more effectively and with fewer hurt feelings involved.
Bond Over Bridesmaid’s Dresses
The process of selecting bridesmaids’ dresses can either bring you closer or create tension among the bridesmaids. To ensure it’s a unifying experience:
Set a Budget: Before you start shopping, establish a budget that works for everyone. Be mindful of varying financial circumstances.
Discuss Styles: Consider the body types and preferences of all the bridesmaids. The bride’s vision should align with her bridesmaids’ comfort and style.
Shop Together: Schedule a day to shop for dresses together. This not only makes it a fun and bonding experience but also ensures that everyone is satisfied with the final choice. Include an activity during the day that everyone enjoys, like sitting down for coffee at your favorite place.
Compromise: Be open to compromise and find a dress that flatters everyone. Remember, the goal is to complement the bride’s vision while making everyone feel beautiful. It may not have been the dress that you would have chosen -but it’s not your wedding.
Work Together On Events
As a bridesmaid, you’ll likely be involved in planning pre-wedding events such as the bachelorette party and bridal shower. To avoid drama while organizing these celebrations:
Consult the Bride: Discuss her preferences and comfort levels for these events. Some brides might prefer a low-key affair, while others want an all-out celebration.
Involve All Bridesmaids: Make sure all bridesmaids are part of the planning process. This fosters inclusivity and reduces the likelihood of hurt feelings. If you don’t feel like someone is up to a certain task, find other helpful tasks that they can take care of so that they don’t feel left out.
Budget Considerations: When planning pre-wedding events, keep in mind the financial situations of all the bridesmaids. Try to choose activities and locations that are affordable for everyone.
As a bridesmaid, your role is not just to stand by the bride’s side but to support her through the highs and lows of wedding planning. By recognizing the signs of wedding drama, being an empathetic listener, offering help, and promoting open communication, you can help the bride navigate this journey with grace.