Bridal party etiquette 101
A bride came into my shop by herself the other day, wanting to look at bridesmaid dresses. Sensing she couldn’t decide on a style, I suggested she talk with her wedding party to see what they would like to wear. “I’m the bride,” she replied. “Why do they get to say what they can wear on my big day?”
Such an attitude, I have to say, is not uncommon among brides. When it comes to her wedding, a bride can be so focused on getting what she wants that she may not realize she’s hurting the feelings (and friendships) of her bridesmaids.
So how should a bride handle her bridal party without damaging her friendships? Here are 3 simple keys to keep in mind:
|1.||A bridesmaid is an individual who has feelings—not a prop to make you look good in photos. As much as you may love that pink tulle meringue gown, it’s not going to be for everyone. No one silhouette or color fits all body types. By dictating that bridesmaids must wear dresses they wouldn’t be caught dead in, a bride shows how little she cares about them. Consider that there are other ways to incorporate a theme color without making them feel horrible about their frock, such as in belts, shoes, bouquets, or even headpieces.|
|2.||A bridesmaid is your friend—not your slave. It’s understandable that as a bride you’ll want everything to be perfect on your big day. But that does not justify bombarding your bridal party with unlimited emails, text messages and demands for numerous meetings. Everyone has a hectic schedule these days and your bridesmaids are probably already giving up their holidays and other free time for your wedding. Why not try setting up an event page on Facebook to disseminate some of the information—fitting times, rehearsals, rundowns and other details? Your bridesmaids can then be updated at their convenience.
|3.||Respect whoever pays. Some brides choose to pay for their bridesmaids’ dresses, makeup and hair while others do not. There’s no rule that says you have to do one or the other. If you are not paying, however, don’t force your bridesmaids to wear a particular style or color. Instead, tell them what to avoid. (“No blue, no glitter.”) Your bridesmaids will appreciate your flexibility, and you won’t have to look at wedding photos of a bridal party dressed in colors you don’t like.
Remember: Your bridesmaids have agreed to be in your wedding party because they’re your friends and they love you. They want to share your joy and happiness on the most important day of your life. It’s not worth jeopardizing precious relationships with the aspirations of a “perfect wedding”. A wedding is perfect because of who is there—not because of how good everything looks.
Karen Yuen is a professional wedding consultant based in Hong Kong. Her company, Paradiso Wedding Services, specializes in pre-wedding photography and overseas wedding planning, as well as bridal and special occasion wear.