As my high school Spanish teacher once said, "pretty girls do pretty things."
A couple of weeks ago, Faran Krencil made a solid case for eschewing bridesmaids duties, but the fact
remains most of us will continue to do our due diligence as friends and sisters and
cousins and in-laws and stand next to a lady we love as she promises forever to a tuxedoed
gent (or another lady). Also, women are notoriously bad at saying no—so bridesmaids,
as a species will most certainly continue on. Two years ago I had nine bridesmaids at
my wedding in Bermuda. I like to believe that they loved me—and liked me—just as much
before I got engaged as they did after I made it down the aisle. I believe I was a fairly
laidback bride, but I can see how the stress of a wedding can turn even the even-keeled
into a snippy, histrionic stranger to herself, her loved ones and her betrothed. Below
are 10 ways to maintain solid relations through this very happy time. Warning: brides
are not going to like them all.
1. Never, ever deny your single bridesmaids a plus one. They may opt on their own accord not to bring
anyone, but they are ponying up a lot of funds to make you happy, possibly traveling
and most likely getting involved in all of your events (showers, bachelorettes, rehearsal
dinners et al). They more than deserve a plus one, regardless of whether they are on
the marriage track at this particular moment. You may need to not invite your father's
accountant in order to make room, but I think we can all agree a woman in her late 20s
or 30s shouldn't be asked to attend an event solo.
2. Do not choose a bridesmaid dress that is ugly. I understand that this is subjective, but do a little
homework and don't choose unflattering shades or shapes. It's ultimately your decision
but keep in mind a range of body types—you may have a pretty pregnant girl in your wolf
pack or someone who NEVER wears short dresses—don't torture your friends. We look beautiful
when those around us look beautiful.
3. Do not pick a bridesmaids dress that could bankrupt people. So you love that designer gown but know
that it will severely stress your ladies out, get creative and pick something else.
If you have a slew of Rockefellers at your disposal, by all means, go big and go Oscar.
4. Realize that you and your bridesmaids are adults and that as adults you really can't tell other people
how to wear their hair. Especially when said 'do can cost upwards of $150
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Give notice, give dates when you have them, provide directions,
send links and phone numbers of where and when to purchase dresses. A bride is also
a host and if she thinks these tasks are too much—hire a wedding planner and have her
update your website.
6.Be cognizant of your bridesmaids' situations and try to maintain balance. If you're having a destination
wedding, consider a more local bachelorette, and don't be adverse to making it a conversation.
Also, bridal showers are like husbands, ideally one is enough. If you have multiples
because you're very loved don't pressure your girls into attending them all—but an invite
is always nice. And don't get angry if someone can't afford to partake in ALL of the
activities. As long as they're there for the wedding, in the end that's what they signed
7. Involve your mother and your future mother-in-law. Stop the eye rolling now. A wedding, unless you're
eloping, is a family affair. Be gracious, try to include both sides of the family, and
if you're super organized you can delegate responsibilities that are important, but
maybe not infringing on important things like your aesthetic.
8.Include everyone or no one as your bridesmaids. I may get push back on this, but if you have four best
friends from college but only imagined yourself three bridesmaids, try to reimagine.
Who wants to go into the next phase of their life by hurting people's feelings and causing
riffs in your social circle?
9. Don't bankrupt your family. If you have a $250K budget, have fun, get peonies off season, get the
band and the DJ and the string quartet, but if you don't then be smart. Decide what's
important to you. If you need a $7,000 dress, realize that you'll have to sacrifice
elsewhere. In other words, realize this is a wedding for adults, and not your 6th birthday
party—when you were allowed to mope and be irrational.
10. Keep the reason for the season in mind, always. A weddings is a celebration of love, not a live Pinterest
board. Have fun, try not to be a dictator and smile—you only do this once. Hopefully.