Who NOT to Choose as your Bridesmaid – Your Guide to Asking your Friend to be your Bridesmaid

Planning & Advice

Since they were little girls, a lot of women have dreamed of their wedding day – the white dress, prince charming, the high heels and lashings of confetti… Some even went as far as to hug on their bridesmaid decision! Maybe you knew instantly who your right hand woman would be on your big day the minute your man slipped the ring on your trembling finger, in which case you’re in for a fun and memorable few months of planning. But maybe you panicked, questioned everything, and started to see the girl you thought was your best friend in a different light?

In a perfect world, choosing your bridesmaid should be an exciting, encouraging and affirming moment in your friendship. Unfortunately this ain’t a perfect world, and sometimes popping the question to your long time companion and partner in crime can spark the beginning of the end. So how do you know if she’s the one? How do you make sure your friendship will grow stronger over the course of the next few months? We’ve put together a little guide so you know what you are in for, should your bridesmaid-to-be be any of the following:

The Cynic

Most ladies go through a rough time in relationships before finding ‘the one’, some a lot rougher than others. Luckily you have the love of your life in your hands and everything is falling into place, unfortunately for your best friend, this is not happening at the same time/with the same ease as it is for you, leaving her cynical about love and pessimistic about the future. Cynics are not the best people to be around as you plan one of the most romantic and important days of your life, and so you should avoid these girls when it comes to choosing your bridesmaids. Negativity can really take its toll on you, leaving you feeling tired and deflated as you also deal with the stress of guest lists and finances. Often cynicism goes hand in hand with passive aggression which will grate on you to the point where you will do anything to not be around that person. Your cynical friend is more than likely not acting this way to hurt you, and when/if she comes out of this mood she may feel regretful and embarrassed to have behaved in such a way, but for you it may be too late, and a friendship that should have been in full blossom, has all but withered away.

How to deal with a cynic: Chances are your friend probably doesn’t want to be a bridesmaid if she’s feeling all anti-love and anti-romance. Talk to her and tell her  you’d like her to help you out if she’s feeling like it but that you won’t be depending on her to do all the ‘silly stuff’. Try to get on her level while you speak to her so that she doesn’t feel like you’re talking down to her, who knows, she may surprise you by changing her mind.

The Green Eyed Monster

It may sound a bit strange to have a ‘friend’ who is actively jealous of you, but it’s more common than you’d think! Perhaps it’s something that you’ve noticed for the whole time you’ve known her, or she may have just turned when she saw the sparkler on your left hand. Whatever the case may be, the green eyed monster is not something you need around you as you go dress and decor shopping. If your friend is feeling like she should have been the one to get married first, or is annoyed that her day has been and gone, chances are she will be unhelpful, a little sneaky and, like the cynic, display passive aggressive traits. You want to enjoy planning your wedding, to have someone to talk to about it and for them to be as excited as you are (or at least to feign excitement!) but with a jealous bridesmaid you won’t have any of this, and will feel self-conscious and cruel whenever you open your mouth – definitely not good for the psyche, or indeed for your friendship n future.

How to deal with jealousy: If your friend is jealous you are getting married, the best thing to do is to avoid her as much as possible on the run up to the wedding, and look forward to having your friend back when it’s all over (if you still want her!) If this is something that has been apparent for years, it might be time to try to move on without her.

The Workaholic

Most people are proud and supportive of their careerist friends – the ones who work their behinds off studying or interning to bulk up their CV, who are passionate about their field of work or who grind it out for long hours and deal with stressful situations to make a better life for themselves and/or their family. Your friend is climbing the career ladder and has her eyes fixed on success at the moment, and unfortunately that doesn’t leave a lot of room for her own relationships, let alone yours. If your friend works long hours and has to deal with incredibly stressful situations on a daily basis, it’s going to be hard to dovetail your schedules for the next few months, she will prbably end up being a most unhelpful bridesmaid. However if you’re aware of her workload, and don’t mind organising your own hen, by all means ask her to be there for you on the day. Just make sure she has it booked off well in advance!

How to deal with a workaholic: Schedule a coffee or a phone call with your friend and talk to her, tell her you understand the sacrifices she has to make to get ahead in her workplace and that you would hate to add to her already chaotic life so will not be asking her to be a bridesmaid. Make sure to put this in a positive way, so that you don’t look like you are punishing her for not being there all of the time. She may even scream "I don’t want to be a bridesmaid!" and you’ll both be quite relieved!

The Power-tripper

Many girls love being the organiser, the voice of the group, the list maker and the one with the bulk of the power. While these girls may be AMAZING bridesmaids, some go too far, and proclaim such strong opinions on your decisions that the wedding ends up being theirs instead of yours! You will know yourself if you have a friend like this, and even if you have an inkling, nip it in the bud from the get-go. These girls can become quite overbearing and may end up driving all of your other friends mad with their constant hen-weekend updates, and you with their better-informed judgement of your hotel, dress and wedding menu.

How to deal with a power-tripper: From the start you must say if you do or do not want opinions from your bridesmaids on your decisions. One way to do this is to say that you’d like opinions but after you’ve booked or bought something that you’d like your friends to be as positive as possible about your decisions. This girl can still be your bridesmaid, and be an outstanding help at that, but you need to lay down the law first. It’s your day and it will be your way.

By Karen Birney

Main image by Stacey Kane Photography