Your ‘maids are like a box of chocolates – a sweet one, a tough one and even a nutty one – let’s get you down the aisle without hating each other, ok?
Disclaimer: being a bridesmaid is amazing. Being a bride is even more exciting. But like any good love story, there’s always a few twists and turns in the roads. You’ll be unreasonable (and completely unable to see it). Your bridesmaids might not have all-out in-fighting, but there’ll definitely be a few resentments that will bubble away like a Lush bath bomb throughout the process. Let’s get you all down the aisle without hating each other:
Pick a little mix
We’re really not suggesting tactical appointments for your bridal party. Just because your work bestie has an entire room for crafting doesn’t mean she should oust your own sister. That said, a bunch of party animals will doubtlessly be a riot on the hen, but without someone that knows their way around a spreadsheet then you might be standing at Alicante airport with no transfer (and someone’s scrunched a piece of chewing gum into the scrap of paper with the apartment address and discarded it somewhere over France).
Appoint the right maid of honour
It doesn’t matter how good your players are, without a decent manager, you’re never going to win. The head bridesmaid should be a diplomat, an exceptional organiser, have a strong backbone and be bursting with creative ideas. But let’s face it: you’ve not formed this unbreakable bond with someone because they are exceeding at adulting. Nope, it’s because they’ll tag you in the best Love Island memes, will sneak Capri Suns full of vodka into festivals with you and allow you to get your ASOS deliveries to their house so you look like you’re sticking to the wedding saving.
Be realistic about their role
This one’s easy. You want a wedding planner on call 24/7? Hire one. You want someone to occasionally chum you to wedding shows, plan a fun hen and show up on the day wearing a pre-agreed dress? That’s essentially what you can expect from a bridesmaid. The role has morphed over the years – especially because the ‘last fling before the ring’ now involves goodie bags, cakes, garments and games – but you can’t really throw your toys out of the horse-drawn carriage unless they flake on one of the more universally accepted elements of the role.
Listen to everyone
Especially when dress shopping. Your ‘maids will likely have very different shapes and colouring, and there’s a vast difference between ‘I don’t suit blush’ and them dreading the day because the multi-wrap dresses are too translucent to wear Spanx under, or they feel uncomfortable in a sweetheart neckline because a strapless bra doesn’t provide enough support for them. Brushing these fears off with a ‘I wish I had your boobs’ isn’t going to cut it here – you’re not trying to skip the queue at a nightclub and if your friend isn’t going to feel comfortable then you have to take this on board and find something everyone is excited to wear. Impossible task right? Pick a colour and let them mix and match instead.
Give them direction on the hen and don’t bankrupt them
Everyone knows you differently, so a steer on how you’d like to party will *fingers crossed* make organising your hen much smoother. Yeah, you might have loved licking cream off an oily stripper in Benidorm when you were at uni, so it’s a fair assumption that your BFF from this time be convinced this is what you want to do. She’ll feel resentment that these ‘new’ pals are equally as certain that you fancy hitting up Ocean Beach Club in San Antonio in a white monokini and veil. Speak to them all on the sly and tell them what you want, what you really, really want (Spice Girls tribute night?).
And speaking of Ibiza, there’s life outside the bubble that is ‘your wedding’ and everyone has their own lives and goals they’re saving towards. Spending a grand on your hen holiday is a thousand pounds less towards their flat deposit so don’t presume everyone can commit to this, be appreciative if they do, and let them know that you’re just as happy with an overnight in Millport as you’d be with a week in Marbs.