They say that breaking up is hard to do – but when it comes to bad bridesmaids, how do you cut the cord without destroying a friendship in the process?
In the first few weeks post-engagement, when you’re in the first flush of excitement and all you can think about is your upcoming wedding, it’s easy to make rash decisions. Let’s cover an entire wall in peonies! Fly to Paris for wedding dress fittings? Why not?! Your seven closest girlfriends? All perfect bridesmaid material!
But as the dust settles and reality sinks , your priorities can shift, and ideas that once seemed brilliant can seem, well, not so brilliant.
Let’s get one thing straight: bridesmaids are great. They’re contractually obliged to counsel you through your every wedding-related crisis; they take responsibility for your hen night; and, on the morning of your wedding, they’ll be a calming presence to talk you off the ledge of panic.
Of course, not all bridesmaids are created equal – for every organisational genius with a penchant for planning and a soothing bedside manner, you’ll find two whose high-pitched squeals and thinly veiled criticisms are not conducive to calm. Here’s a handy guide to bumping your bad bridesmaids – without friendship-ending consequences.
MAKE SURE IT’S REALLY HER (AND NOT YOU)
The term “bridezilla” exists for a reason and, while we take issue with it in general – a wedding is stressful and the bulk of it is often left to one person to organise, which can lead to justified feelings of rage and impatience – it’s always worth considering whether or not you’re, for want of a more sensitive term, letting it all go to your head.
Are you expecting too much of your ‘maids? Have you lost all sense of reason? Or is this one bridesmaid simply being lazy and uninterested, and entirely ignoring the fact that this wedding is a really big deal to you?
Let’s face it, weddings aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But if this gal is really one of your closest friends, she’ll be happy for you – and invested in helping out where possible (and practical).
IS THIS THE ONLY SOLUTION?
In times of high stress – and look, weddings aren’t up there with solving nuclear fission, but they can be massively stressful – it can often seem like there’s just one solution: the drastic one.
In the case of bad bridesmaid behaviour, however, is there a chance you could sit down and talk it out? A frank and open conversation about what she’s doing wrong and how it’s making you feel could be all that’s needed. Chances are, she has no idea she’s stressing you out.
WEIGH UP THE PROS AND CONS
Before you make any rash decisions, what will the outcome of your scene-stealing showdown be? If you tell your bridesmaid she’s off the team, will she forgive you? And, if you keep her on board, will she totally ruin your experience?
You’ll need to figure out which is more important – making sure that you have the perfect few months running up to your wedding, or ensuring that you don’t lose a friendship.
BE HONEST – BUT TACTFUL
There is absolutely zero point lying to someone about why she’s not making the cut as bridesmaid – but, by that same token, if you want to have a friendship at the end of proceedings, it’s worth shouldering some of the blame yourself.
“I’m finding this experience really stressful”, for example, is a better start than “you’re really stressing me out”. This is, after all, more about your expectations than about her behaviour
And don’t forget to emphasise the fact that you don’t want to lose her as a friend. Unless, of course, you’ve decided that, not only is she not bridesmaid material, she’s not friend material either, in which case forget the tact and say whatever you want to get rid of her.
Just remember: once the dust settles and the wedding album is forgotten in the back of the press, the fact that your bridesmaid didn’t take your “teal or turquoise?” talk seriously may no longer seem like friendship-ending stuff. (Also: teal is so over. You heard it here first.)