Photo by Tamara Lockwood
(And none of these bridesmaids were difficult, we swear, just a pic that fits the post! Ha ha.)

As we near the end of bridal season, it’s crazy for me to even think of how many years the team and I have been doing bridal work. We’re talking over 10 years beautifying brides, and weddings every weekend. And over the past decade-plus, we’ve seen it all  and heard it all … so we thought that a great series to bring to a blog, was a “how-to” of sorts ranging from everything beauty to everything wedding prep …

For our first “how-to” let’s begin with bridesmaids (or siblings or friend). She’s the one you love to death, the one you can’t imagine life without, and the one you wouldn’t dare exclude from you bridal party. She’s always honest, always has your back, and is the life of the party. No wonder you chose her, right?

But, once you showed up with that ring on your finger … things changed. She may have gone, what a previous bride called it when telling me about her issues, “rogue”. The rogue bridesmaid seems to choose the opposite of what you request, is MIA for bridal party chats and get togethers, and perhaps, questions or shows disinterest in anything wedding.  Or perhaps she believes that it’s her day! Prime examples of the rogue bridesmaid are :

  • chooses a strapless style bridesmaids dress when you specifically said you wanted the bridal party to wear straps – or basically, she chooses the exact opposite of what you requested;
  • seems to have forgotten to follow through on some or all of the tasks she was delegated for your bridal shower, bachelorette, etc.; and
  • has an opinion on everything, and that opinion teeters on condescending rather than being helpful.

Bride’s often ask me for bridezilla stories (I’ll never tell, xoxo) – but the honest truth is that it is very rarely the bride … and always a bridesmaid. Perhaps it’s the bestie, the sister in law to be, or for some, that cousin that you adore but also felt obligated to choose to stand at the altar with you. Regardless of the connection, any stories we do have are those that involve the rogue bridesmaid.

Rogue bridesmaids can often bring negative energy into a room on the wedding day. Things can get tense. Bridal breakfast seems cordial rather than casual. And prep can start to centre around the rogue bride and her drama instead of the bride.

If you happen to have a rogue bridesmaid who seems more interested in herself and her role at your wedding than your own nuptial bliss, here are some tips to bring the focus back to the most important person of all : you!

  • Have a heart to heart : before moving along to any of the take-aways below, it’s always best to try communicating first. Rule out misunderstandings, inadvertent hurt feelings (because someone said something to someone about something you said to someone about her – duh!), or perhaps a personal situation she didn’t want to share with you because she didn’t want to bother you. You should also take the time to communicate how you are feeling about her actions as well. Half the time, this will solve the problem … and if it doesn’t keep on reading!
  • Delegate less : if she happens to neglect appointments, meet-ups and tasks she was delegated, spend less time obsessing or stressing over it, and just delegate less to her. Or even, nothing. Don’t rely on her to help out with your bridal shower. Don’t ask her to help you shop for the ribbon for your giveaways. Focus on what you need to get done, and less on what she isn’t doing. Her only task will then be “show up for the ceremony, look pretty”.
  • Embrace a bridetatorship : it’s your day, right? Everyone knows that, and no one will argue. If you have a certain look that you want each bridesmaid to follow, and 5 out of 6 of them are following it (rogue being the 6th) – tell her “no, i’m sorry, you cannot have the deep dark royal blue dress when everyone is wearing baby blue”. If you still have push-back, then become a “dresstator” : pick three dresses you love and are happy with, and let your bridesmaids choose from the three … no ifs, ands, or buts. Take this piece of advice and apply it to anything bridesmaid-related : you choose the options, they choose one.
  • Don’t ask for her opinion: This can actually apply to everyone, rogue or not. No one’s opinion on your dress, your hair, your shoes, your bridal colours matter … but most importantly, hers definitely does not. You make all the decisions, don’t ask for her opinion if her opinions constantly drip with negativity.
  • Opt for a bride only morning: Yes, it can be fun to get ready with your bridal party, but if you have come to the point where her actions make you request valium or hard liquor before the clock strikes 9 am … opt for a bride-only morning. Get ready with just your mama. Or your maid of honour and no one else. Have your other bridesmaids get ready on their own and meet you at your house before departure time, or at the wedding venue. There is no rule that you must get ready with your entire bridal party … but if you are … keep reading.
  • Time it perfectly : There is one reason you should get ready with all your bridesmaids and that is, to ensure they are on time and that the adhered to your beauty and accessories options (because rogue is always late and she will probably take centre stage by wearing bright red lipstick in the exact same shade you are!). If you choose to get ready with your bridal party as a whole, keep your rogue bridesmaid from monopolizing the morning by scheduling her to have her makeup and hair done close to the end of your party’s appointment time. If you schedule her first, she won’t care how much time she eats up with or cuts into for the next bridesmaid on the list because she has “tweaks” to her hair and makeup. Also, have two getting ready areas : one for the bridal party, and one specifically for you where you can get ready in private and away from her.

Now of course, there is always the option of parting ways with a rogue bridesmaid if it comes to the point that you can stand each other but for the most part, we find that our brides tend to take the high road and keep the peace. things often return to normal once the bride says “I do” , so patience is always key. In the meantime, we do hope the tips above will help you survive the big day and all the time leading up to it.

Hope you enjoyed our first “how to”.