Hopefully you picked your bridesmaids because they are close to you and you want to share your big day with them, and they with you. There are sometimes familial political rulings that occur without your consent, but there’s nothing you can do now but make the best of it. Here are a few pointers when you’re faced with a few common bridesmaid headaches in the months before you say “I do”:
She asks to be a bridesmaid
This happens at most weddings, but you really don’t have to cave to anyone, no matter what. Like building a guest list, you should be surrounding yourself with the bridesmaids that you choose, not the ones chosen for you. If someone tries to force a new bridal party member on you, be kind but firm.
“I’m sorry, but we’ve already chosen our bridesmaids, but I can’t wait to see you and your husband at the wedding!”
Don’t try to lessen the sting of rejection by offering her a side job. No one wants to set up place cards or man the dessert table as some kind of a consolation prize – that’s more like work.
She drops out of the wedding
If your maid drops out of the wedding unexpectedly, you should be more concerned as to why than the uneven sides in wedding photos. Is it a money issue? Does your maid know that she doesn’t have to throw you parties and showers? The most a bridesmaid is required to do is buy the dress and show up on the wedding day. If the dress is an issue, would you be willing to pick up the tab? Let them wear dresses they already own? If your bridesmaid really isn’t sure that she can stand up for you without a major inconvenience on her part, be gracious and tell her that you hope she can still make it as a guest. No big deal.
Don’t replace her. Not only will that potentially ruin your friendship, it will hurt the bridesmaid you use to take her place. She’ll feel B-listed, no matter what she says. She’s good enough to stand in pictures to even out sides but not to be a chosen the first time around? Nuh-uh.
She gets a tattoo
So your bridesmaid has a forearm-sized tall ship on her back and you have backless bridesmaid gowns. What should you do? Nothing. There is no way to approach this issue without hurting your maid’s feelings. She has made a permanent change to her body, and by making an issue of it, you are telling her that her new appearance is ugly and you don’t want it in your pictures. Your maids can’t put their lives on standby during the time leading up to your big day, so no matter what happens to her before the big day (including belly-swelling pregnancies!), she’s as is, baby.
Don’t tell her to cover up, even if she got the ink after she accepted the position. Your bridesmaids aren’t just props in pictures, they’re your friends. Smile as her new purple butterfly chest piece clashes with her orange dress; her permanent fashion choice doesn’t reflect in any way on you.