What to Do When Your Bridesmaids Are Being Mean Girls
Separately, great movies. Together in real life, not so much.
Wrangling a large group of excited, opinionated, and unique ladies can be difficult, even with they're your dearest friends. For the most part, people tend to be on their best behavior during a wedding, but you'd be surprised at the moments that pop up throughout the planning and while getting ready for the wedding day that cause conflict amongst bridesmaids or toward unlucky outsiders like vendors or family members.
People get nervous about weddings, leading emotions to run at a hotter temperature than usual. That could translate to someone being rude with a photographer or wedding planner, or it could lead to some kind of internal conflict between the bridesmaids. While you shouldn't have to be the mediator on your wedding day, there are bound to be moments when you may have to step in and be the level-headed person since these relationships are some of your most cherished.
Recognize that a problem is brewing
Step in early if you're getting the sense that something's up. Everyone is here for the same reason, and that reason is to celebrate your marriage and enjoy each other's company while doing so. Assess the situation to figure out what's really behind the mean girl behavior and be smart about deciding whether it's necessary for you to get involved. If you feel the conflict is small and will work itself out quickly, let the ladies find a resolution on their own.
Speak up for yourself
Nine times out of ten, spats that arise among bridesmaids have to do with what's deemed to be best for the bride. Since you're the bride, you're the only person who can really say what's best for you. So we say in our best Sheryl Sandberg voice, "Lean in." Okay, we may be taking that out of context, but hear us out. If you can shimmy your way into the conversation and speak up for yourself, it's very possible that a potential conflict can be avoided.
Validate everyone's good intentions
If you've noticed your bridesmaids being particularly rude with your vendors, whether the makeup artist, florist, or wedding planner, it's usually helpful if you can intervene to settle the tension in the room. Start off by acknowledging and thanking your bridesmaids for their good intentions. Then gently explain to your ladies that you've hired vendors whose work you're really impressed with. Once they understand that you fully trust your vendors' abilities to pull off the wedding you've spent months planning, they'll probably ease up on the mean girl act.
Determine whether you're encouraging bad behavior and stop
It should come as no surprise that a lot of mean girl moments arise after a buildup of events and a whole lot of gossipy chatter. Once one person is frustrated about something, they start talking about the frustration and others chime in. The best thing for you to do when gossip becomes an issue with your bridal party is squash it and not allow it to brew.
Mediate what you can and accept what you cannot
Tried and true, this is advice that absolutely applies to group conflicts: Keep your cool. Some relationships will always have a mean girls component. Anyone with sisters can tell you that some arguments are best left to settle in their own time. If there's an opportunity for you step in and say, "Hey, can you guys continue this scene later?" more power to you, but sometimes it might be better for you to just walk away and move on to the next thing. Especially when that next thing is exchanging wedding vows with the person you love most.