I remember watching the show Bridezillas religiously (it was hilarious, especially those first couple of seasons) and being amazed at how absolutely crazy those girls were. I’d promise myself every episode that I would not be like them whenever my time came. When that time in my life did come, I always had those crazy bridezillas in the back of my head and tried to be the opposite of them.
Wedding planning would have been horrible if I had not have had such an amazing group of bridesmaids who loved me and who genuinely had my best interest at heart. If you’re in the beginning stages of planning and you haven’t picked your bridesmaids yet, listen up! It’s really important to not put anyone in your wedding who does not want your wedding to be awesome, who is a low-key hater or who may have feelings of jealousy toward you and may or may not really care if things blow up in your face.
Once you have your squad set, it’s important to remain empathetic toward them throughout the process. You love these girls enough to ask them to stand before you and your hubby in the sight of God while you make your vows, so you probably want them to still be friends with you after your wedding.
Agreeing to be in a wedding party is a sacrifice. Here are a few ways to make things a little less stressful on them:
I created a Facebook group for my bridesmaids. This was a huge factor in unifying my bridesmaids and keeping in touch as a group once things got going. They were able to exchange contact info and I was able to keep them updated about happenings as much as possible. Communication in whichever way you choose is extremely important throughout the planning process. It’s frustrating in any type of planning situation where no one knows what’s going on.
2. Let them pick out their own dress
Unless your bridal party consists of women who are all the same height, weight and shape (clones), it will be difficult to find one dress that is flattering on all of them. We as women also tend to have unique things about our bodies that are not our favorite and that we don’t feel comfortable having on display. For instance, my arms are my most hated feature. They’re huge. So I would never want to wear a strapless dress. I would not want to be in a wedding party where I had to wear a strapless dress (I was even going to add sleeves to my wedding gown until one of my bridesmaids talked some sense into me).
Keeping in mind that we’re all different, I let my girls pick out their own dresses on Weddington Way. I chose the designer, fabric and color and they picked which style they wanted. That way, they were not spending money on a dress that they hated and I wasn’t to blame if they picked out a style that was unflattering for their body type.
Photo: CLT Production
3. Keep in mind that everyone is working with different budgets
Weddings are expensive. Being in a wedding is expensive. Even being a guest at a wedding is expensive. I tried to keep this in mind with everything I did. A lot of times, your bridesmaids are having to pay for things other than their dresses, such as travel costs, pitching in for the bridal shower, the bachelorette party, shoes, jewelry, makeup, hair — the list goes on — and it’s all for YOUR big day. That’s a sacrifice. Love them for it and try to keep the costs down in as many ways as you can.
4. Don’t be mean
Even if you’re the nicest bride that you can be, someone at some point is going to let you down/piss you off before it’s all said and done. It’s OK because you’re also gonna fall short of perfection before it’s over (this was the day before my wedding for me). The good news is that if you’ve picked the right bridesmaids, then they’re more like your sisters. You get annoyed with each other and then you get over it. If you’re grown enough to get married, then you’re grown enough to handle disagreements like an adult. This may even mean apologizing for things sometimes when you really haven’t done anything to apologize for. I believe that scripture about peacemakers being blessed. Handling negative situations with grace will only work for you and never against you.
Besides, things are so much more fun when you have all your girls together and everyone is at peace. Getting ready on my wedding day surrounded by all the women that I love was my second favorite moment of my wedding, after saying “I do.” I cried a little each time I looked around and took in those moments surrounded by the women who have my heart and who I know have my back no matter what.
Originally published on BlogHer.