One of the most difficult aspects of planning a wedding is attempting to keep everyone happy while you organize and finalize your nuptials. The last thing a bride wants to do is negotiate conflicts while she is navigating the many details of wedding and reception planning. Here is a guide to managing your bridesmaids to keep them on time and on board.
Tip #1: The first conflict is usually over money. Before you begin shopping for the perfect bridesmaid dress, you may want to establish a price range with which your bridesmaids will be comfortable. Not every young woman who agrees to be a member of your wedding party can afford to pay immediately in cash or open a credit card in order to pay for everything.
Knowing in advance approximately how much it will cost to participate, including dress, shoes, shower gifts, travel expenses, makeup, and other miscellaneous expenses will allow your girls to know whether or not it is feasible for them to accept your offer to be one of your bridesmaids. An honest conversation with each one of your intended bridesmaids may help you understand their particular concerns and needs throughout the wedding-planning process.
Tip #2: The second conflict is often the dress. The bridesmaid who tells you she wants to lose weight before the wedding date is going to have a vastly different idea of what she wants in a dress than the bridesmaid who has not mentioned the need to diet. Everyone has a different body image and a sense of what “looks good” on them.
Sorority dresses may provide an endless number of colors and sizes in a plethora of styles that will allow you to coordinate your wedding effectively while meeting the needs and wants of each of your bridesmaids. Scheduling a group outing may not always be a feasible option, so consider having them send you pictures of the styles they think will look good on them while you narrow down your choices. In addition to style, keep in mind that color can create conflict.
Not everyone looks good in yellow, and your bridesmaids may have some very specific ideas about color. This is not to say that you should give your bridesmaids free rein, but it is important that you provide them what they need so that they can make an informed decision before accepting your invitation to be a member of your wedding party.
Tip #3: Another conflict is time. While it is wonderful to be considered a part of someone’s special day, that doesn’t mean that your closest friends can shirk their other responsibilities, including their own families and jobs and personal responsibilities. It is important that you are mindful of your bridesmaids’ schedules when you request their presence at events or ask them to tag along with you to a cake tasting, a dress fitting, or a venue viewing.
While engaging in a large number of pre-wedding festivities might be fun for you as the bride, attending a half-dozen bridal showers may be a bit much for your bridesmaids or maid of honor. Be judicious about the activities you actually expect your wedding party to attend, and even if the offer to attend multiple pre-wedding events is extended, don’t get upset about those bridesmaids who are unable or unwilling to accept.
Tip #4: Don’t make a lack of appreciation a conflict. It is likely that your bridesmaids are expending a great deal of time, effort, and energy on your impending nuptials, so make certain that your bridesmaids feel appreciated. You can include their names in the wedding program and on your wedding site, and make certain that you allow them a plus-one at the reception, even if they are currently unattached.
You may want to show them you value their time by taking the pressure off of them by relying on extra help from other friends and family members for small errands or extra help during crunch time. Even if things don’t always go as planned, be sure to remain gracious and extend an authentic “thank you” for even the smallest assistance you receive.
Be sure to make your bridesmaid gifts thoughtful, not necessarily expensive. If you decide that jewelry to be worn at the wedding is the best gift, be sure that the jewelry is something that can be worn after. Put some serious thought into the thank you cards attached to the gifts, and never miss an opportunity to make the wedding party feel special.
Do you have any tips for managing a wedding party? Have you ever been part of a wedding party and felt the bride did something really well? Feel free to comment here.