The Anti-Bridezilla: Treating your Wedding Party Right
We have all heard the horror stories. It starts with a beaming bride gone rogue, abusing everyone in her path; especially the nearest and dearest who want nothing more than to help her celebrate the big day. I’m not sure I fully understand how it happens. Perhaps it’s the stress, or the years which have gone into dreaming about this day. It might have something to do with personalities that are already a little on edge, or brides who overwhelm themselves with the idea of “perfect”. Whatever the reason, the end result can be severed friendships and unhappy memories for all even years down the line.
Your wedding day is about you, absolutely, but the smart brides never lose sight of the sacrifices those closest to them are making in order to ensure that day goes off without a hitch.
From hours spent away from their own families while planning your various pre-wedding parties, to the money spent on dresses, accessories and often even travel – your wedding party truly is bending over backwards and working behind the scenes to make everything as special as possible for you. So the least you can do is remember to thank them in a few equally special ways in return.
Start by putting serious consideration into the dresses you are about to ask your bridesmaids to don. Will they really flatter every body type in your lineup of friends? If not, could you select a color and then allow your bridesmaids to choose the dress style that suits them best? Try to stay within a reasonable price range, remembering that not all of your wedding party will have the same expendable income. If your heart is just set on dresses which would be considered spendy by most, consider splitting the cost with your bridesmaids or even picking up the tab yourself if possible. Remember, you don’t want the cost of being friends with you to be going into debt for a dress they probably are not realistically ever going to wear again.
When it comes to other details, such as accessories, hair and shoes, think again about how important each of these pieces is to you. Do you want them all in matching shoes? Do you have visions of everyone getting their hair done together prior to the event? Does your dream wedding involve a bridal party with matching mani’s and pedi’s? These can all be great touches to tie a wedding together, but truly put some thought into how much you are asking of your bridesmaids. If your heart is just set on the matching shoes, earrings and hairstyles – consider treating them all to those mani’s and pedi’s as a thank you.
The guys are easier. Most of them can rent their wedding day attire and you obviously won’t be dictating the color of their nails or the way they wear their hair (hopefully – Cousin Jake may need a trim). But still, it’s always nice to acknowledge them for standing up beside you as a couple when you say “I do.” Throw a bridesmaid’s luncheon in the days leading up to the wedding, and encourage your fiancé to take his groomsmen out for a little male bonding at a local steakhouse or pub. Try to come up with wedding party gifts that will fully express your gratitude. Monogrammed flasks for the guys and engraved wine glasses for the ladies for instance, accompanied by the whiskey and wine to fill those gifts of course. If traveling is involved, have welcome baskets waiting for each of your wedding party in their rooms when they arrive – include items like gift certificates to local restaurants, area maps, and hangover remedies for the morning after the big party.
Planning a wedding can be expensive and stressful, but that’s no excuse for forgetting the people who are most invested in making that day memorable for you. Put some time and thought into how to make this an enjoyable event for them as well, and don’t get stingy with the “thank-you’s”.