How to Handle Every Kind of Difficult Bridesmaid

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Photo: Matt Andrews Photography

Even our best friends can make bad bridesmaids. Here are five kinds of difficult bridesmaids you may find in your own wedding party, complete with expert advice on how to deal with each one.

The Show-Stealer

This is the bridesmaid who mistakenly thinks your wedding is actually all about her. If the spotlight isn't on her, diva-style, she's one very unhappy ‘maid. But while you may be surprised at the lengths your friend is willing to go to in order to bogart your big day, it's likely you got a glimpse of her show-stealing tendencies long ago. “You knew who she was before you chose her,” says Victoria Canada, owner of Victoria Canada Weddings + Events in Phoenix. “And while you can't change your friend, you can harness her diva-like abilities to get you better room upgrades or a stellar dinner reservation at the bachelorette party.”

The Newby

This new-to-wedding-parties woman needs her hand held through every wedding-related task because it's her first time acting as a bridesmaid. But take heart, because this friend likely isn't foregoing her duties or making your wedding planning more difficult on purpose. “Don't take her lack of involvement personally,” recommends Jaclyn Fisher, owner of Two Little Birds Planning in Philadelphia. “She needs to be taught the ropes. You can buy her a cute bridesmaid how-to book or have one of your more experienced bridesmaids take her under her wing and fill her in on her responsibilities.

The Captain of Complaints

This bridesmaid is never happy. Talk about grating. But rather than engage her in a debate each time she whines about your wedding, tell her how her complaining makes you feel, suggests Canada. By letting her know her nonstop complaining hurts your feelings, she may curb her complaints or find another ear to listen. Fisher adds that your bridesmaid's complaints could run much deeper than a frustrating personality flaw, and it might be helpful to ask her why she's so unhappy.

The Critic

This bridesmaid hates the dress you've picked out for her. She can't stand that your wedding is on a Sunday. And she certainly doesn't want to read the poem you picked for your ceremony. But as mean as she may seem, Fisher says, this bridesmaid may really be offering up her critiques because she sees herself as an expert. “She is probably coming from a good place and just trying to give helpful advice,” Fisher says, “but it's important to stand firm in your decisions. Let her know that you love what she chose for her wedding, but you're excited for your special day to be a reflection of you and your partner.”

The One You Didn't Want

Whether she's your partner's mean sibling or another family member you had to welcome into the fold, this is one bridesmaid you didn't necessarily want with you. “But while she may not be part of your squad, but think about the long road ahead,” says Canada, who encourages you to welcome her into the fold and make a better future for you both. Adds Fisher, “she might be feeling the same uncomfortable feelings you do about it, so if you had to ask your future sister-in-law, use this as an opportunity to get to know her better. She is going to be your family, so embrace the situation and be positive.”

This article was written by Jillian Kramer for

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