Seriously. It DOES happen. A lot. A. Lot. You ask your gorgeous friend to become one of your bridesmaids and for the first 5 minutes, everything is great. She’s going to help you plan all the exciting details, go with you to try on dresses and generally be your right-hand-woman. You’ve probably known her most or all of your life.
You’d stay out until late dancing at the club, or having long lunches and deep conversation, or hanging at the beach until the last little bit of sun goes down. You have both likely stood up to some big bully to protect each other at some point and held and comforted each other when you’ve been feeling down. Now that the wedding is coming up, things are changing… You’ve got a bitchy bridesmaid!
Suddenly, she stops answering your calls, responding to messages, cancels on appointments and likely gossips behind your back. Some days she’s great, others she’s not. Are you being a bridezilla? Or is she just being a bitch? It’s hard to tell isn’t it?
Before someone agrees to be your bridesmaid, they should really understand what it is that you will be expecting from them. Right from the start. Every single bride and bridesmaid’s relationship is different. As is what they expect from each other. After all, it is during this special time in your life that you want your friendship to grow and deepen and flourish. Not the opposite. It is only through a mutually beneficial set of expectations and respect, that a friendship can do this, especially considering that the lead up to a wedding is such a stressful and emotional time.
So what do you want from your bridesmaid? Tell her. Now. Let her think and agree in her own time.
Will you need her once a week for 30 minutes to do planning?
Will she need to meet you at every vendor appointment to give her feedback?
How much is she expected to contribute financially?
Do you want her to help you with your DIY invitations?
Do you need her to accompany your mother to her fitting for the mother of the bride outfit?
Do you just want her to stay out of it all and just meet you there on the day?
Do you want her to pick her own dress and shoes? Or do you want to do that with her?
Sorting out what you actually expect from your bridesmaid and voicing your expectations early in the piece, can help to avoid things going very very wrong later on. It is the lack of clear expectations that often cause problems in the first place and these expectations can be caused by changes to roles and financing the privilege of being in the bridal party. It is also very important that she gets to give you a similar list of expectations. Yes, that’s right… it can’t ALL be about the bride (that’s what they tell me anyway lol).
Nobody starts being a bitch for NO reason. There is always SOMETHING that triggers bitchiness. It means that somewhere throughout the journey, your expectations OR her willingness to meet those expectations has changed. And she’s being a bitch. Do you try to come together again to discuss? Or do you just give her the sack?
The best thing to do is to come together to discuss each other’s expectations again. Maybe you, the bride, has been the bitch? Maybe she has? Either way, when something shifts, a discussion needs to be had. Avoiding this will surely end very badly. And sadly. Be honest with her. Tell her how you feel and how her behaviour has made you feel. Let her respond and listen respectfully when she does. Make a new arrangement through a new list of mutually beneficial expectations and move forward. Perhaps she has changed her mind? Let her. Isn’t it best to look out at your guests on your wedding day and smile at her lovingly, rather than have her stand beside you for that day only (and be in every single wedding photo that you’ll keep forever) but never see her again?
So if your bridesmaid is being a bitch, ask yourself why this might be happening and TALK to her about it. It’s only too late once the wedding has taken place.