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The Bothersome Bridesmaid

According to a poll on WeddingsOnline.ie, 46% of newly wedded brides would choose a different bridesmaid than they had for their wedding if they could. That’s a startling statistic when you think about it -nearly half were unhappy with one of their most important relationships in their lives on one of the most important days of their lives. By Karen Birney

Most girls have their bridesmaids chosen years before they’re even engaged, so when it comes to the wedding planning, why do so many brides find themselves with difficult bridesmaids? And worse, why do so many girlfriends drift apart as soon as there’s a ring on their finger?

For a lot of brides, troubles with bridesmaids begin at the very start of their wedding journey -the engagement announcement. For some, an engagement announcement can be the trigger that sets off a range of friendship faux-pas. Some brides are met with a cold reception, or maybe even a nasty one. This can be because of a jealousy factor. Did she think she would be the first to get married? Is she in a bad relationship? Is she used to being in the limelight, and unhappy that the attention is now on you? While this may be the case, some brides misinterpret a reaction to their engagement, so jumping straight to the conclusion that she’s jealous isn’t a good idea.

The number one problem for most brides and their bridesmaids is that she seems uninterested, often to a point where it feels as though your wedding is nothing but a burden on her. There may be something else at play here, so talk to her about it. Although you may have wanted her to be your bridesmaid since you were kids, things may have changed. Some brides want their bridesmaids to go above and beyond their duties and that’s ok, but you have to let her know that, and if she’s not up to that she can tell you and you can both come to a mature decision about whether or not she should be involved in the wedding party.

What to do if you find yourself with a difficult bridesmaid:

Don’t let the issue fester. Talk it out as soon as possible. It may be uncomfortable and you may not want to ‘rock the boat’ so to speak, but it’s better to get it out in the open before things go too far.

Don’t attack or make assumptions. It’s easy for people to run away with their thoughts, how many times have you thought ‘x isn’t speaking to me, what did I do wrong?’ only to find out that she was buried in paperwork for the day?

It’s not all about you. Your bridesmaid may be having trouble in her relationship, with her family, or it could be something to do with her/her families health and maybe she isn’t quite ready/able to speak about it.

Put yourself in her shoes. Imagine what you would feel like had you just been broken up with/put on weight/lost your job. Of course, it is your wedding and as your best friend, your bridesmaid should be excited and happy for you, but if she doesn’t act the way you expected, try to see things from her point of view. If you do that, relations between the both of you will improve and you are sure to have her back on your side.

Be prepared to walk away. If your bridesmaid is giving you hassle, not pulling her weight, or is bringing you down, walk away. It’s not worth going through months of wedding preparations with a negative or spiteful ‘friend’. Often it will just come to a head on your wedding day and you’ll find that your relationship has outstayed its welcome.

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