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Five common bridesmaid problems and how to tackle them

It doesn’t matter how close all your friends are, weddings are stressful and tensions can run high. While your bridesmaids are supposed to be the ones who stand by your side and support you through all the planning and on the big day itself, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be a few hiccups along the way.

Personal issues, high expectations, personality clashes and insecurities can all combine to wreak havoc just when you least need it. Fortunately, we’ve put together a handy little guide on what to do when things start going awry.

  1. 1. When they don’t like the outfit you picked

    Taste is such a personal thing – while you might love how your bridesmaids look in the outfits you chose for them, they might disagree. On the one hand, it’s great when you have friends who aren’t afraid to tell you how they feel, but when it comes to your wedding, sometimes it would be nicer if they kept their thoughts to themselves.

    Realistically, the best approach is to try to come up with a compromise. At the end of the day, while it’s your wedding and you’re probably paying for the dresses, at the same time, they’re the ones who’ve got to wear them and everyone will have a better time when they feel comfortable with the way they look.

    You could try choosing the colour and letting your bridesmaids pick the style. Alternatively, there are some brands out there which will let you customise various aspects, such as necklines or details, so everyone can have a different outfit which they’re happy with, while coordinating with your vision. Don’t limit yourself to dresses either – jumpsuits can be a stylish option for those who aren’t comfortable in skirts.

    However, at the end of the day, it’s still your wedding. If a bridesmaid really is being too difficult and won’t budge in what they’re willing to wear, it’s down to you to let her know how important it is your day reflects your vision and, while you’re willing to work with her to find a compromise you can agree on, maybe there are other roles she would be better suited to.

  2. 2. When you leave a friend out because they’re not a ‘maid’

    This one’s a straightforward fix. These days, no one should be worrying about gender norms. If your best friend’s male or you have a male family member you’d love to have standing by your side, then just go for it!

    As far as coordinating outfits are concerned, you can either let him wear the same as the groomsmen or have little matching details which echo your bridesmaid dresses, like a pocket square or same colour tie. You could even let him stand out in a look entirely his own.

  3. 3. When someone tries to steal your limelight

    While it’s nice to think all your bridesmaids have got your back, sometimes you’ll get one who gets jealous of it being your big day and tries to outshine you.

    Well, we’ve got some good news. No matter how hard she tries, no bridesmaid will attract more attention than the bride. She can wear her best dress and go all out with her hair and makeup, but you’ll still be the one everyone’s looking at because you’re the one madly in love, ready to promise to spend the rest of your life with your partner.

    If you are having issues with someone trying to takeover or make you feel insecure, the best approach is to ignore them – or even drown them with loving kindness. The reality is, anyone behaving like this has underlying issues driving them. Focus on your happiness and let them be miserable. In any case, they’re likely to have gotten over themselves by the time the wedding comes around.

  4. 4. When people aren’t pulling their weight

    Part of the duties of a bridesmaid is to help out when you need, supporting you emotionally and logistically in the lead up to the big event.

    If someone isn’t living up to your expectations, it’s always worth having an honest discussion with them. First, make sure it’s not that you’re being unreasonable. Sometimes, we get so caught up in wanting the perfect day, we can develop tunnel vision and forget that other people have lives of their own with responsibilities they need to meet.

    Once you’ve had a talk and you both know where you stand, you should be able to move forward and get back to focusing on the wedding. And remember – thank your bridesmaids publicly and frequently in the run up to the ceremony. There’s nothing like feeling appreciated to motivate people.

  5. 5. When you have to let someone down

    While weddings should be all about the happy couple’s wants and needs, the reality is that we’re often pressured into doing things we don’t want to do – like invite someone you don’t really know or simply don’t want to be part of your bridal party. While you should never feel obligated to have a distant relative as your bridesmaid or a friend who asked you to stand by her, think carefully before making a final decision. Consider what the fall out will be of not asking them before you let them down, then be very diplomatic in how you handle it.

    Say that you’ve only ever wanted a small bridal party and you’re keeping your bridesmaids as your closest friends and family. Think about other ways you could involve them to mitigate their feelings, like asking them to do a reading, making a toast or helping out with the hen party.

Of course, before the actual wedding, the hen night or hen weekend is an important thing to think about. This is sort of a team-building event where everyone gets to know each other better and, of course, has fun. Kippure Estate isn’t just a well-known and popular wedding venue, but is also a great place to hold a hen party weekend!

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