Being a bridesmaid: how to handle 5 of the most common bridesmaid problems

Who pays for the bridesmaid dress?

Being asked to be involved in a friend or family member’s wedding day is a special honour, and even more so if you are offered a position in the bridal party. If you have been asked to be a bridesmaid, it is important to be sure you can fulfill the required duties before accepting. After all, there are certain issues you may have to encounter throughout the process.

Here are a number of potential bridesmaid dilemmas you may encounter if you are asked to be a bridesmaid (and here are even more). And, although many of these don’t always occur, it is important to be prepared for any potential hiccup or issue along the way so you know how to handle the situation when it arises.

bridesmaids dilemmas who pays for the dressYou may be required to buy your own dress

Bridesmaid dilemma

Not all brides request this of their bridesmaids, but some do. If the bride is on a particularly tight budget, she may ask that you pay for your own bridesmaid dress and, sometimes, even your shoes and jewellery, too. While this is hardly uncommon, it can become an issue when bridesmaids are expected to purchase dresses and accessories that they simply can’t afford, don’t like or will never wear again.

Bridesmaid solution

It is important that you are honest with the bride and explain to her that, though you’d love to be in her bridal party, the outfit she has chosen does not fit within your budget. Most brides will understand and you can always offer to go shopping with her and help select a similar outfit that will be less expensive.

bridesmaid questions

You may be required to pay for additional costs

Bridesmaid dilemma

There can be many costs associated with being a bridesmaid. Things like putting in money for the bridal shower or kitchen tea, putting in money and covering the cost of the bride for the Hen’s party, and purchasing gifts for the engagement party, bridal shower, and wedding can become quite fiscally overwhelming. Not to mention any extras like flowers, any bridal party activities, lunches and events, or even booking flights and accommodation if the bride chooses to have her Hen’s party in another city.

You’ve been asked to be her bridesmaid, so you, no doubt, know the bride quite well, which will may help you to predict what her expectations, plans and tastes may be and, therefore, you should have a rough idea of what you are getting yourself into.

Bridesmaid solution

Have a discussion with the other bridesmaids and Maid of Honour and explain to them that you feel the planned events and activities won’t fit within your budget. As a team, you may be able to brainstorm some budget-friendly options and alternatives that will make both the bride and your bank account happy. However, if you feel like you can’t talk to the other bridesmaids, it is best to go to the bride herself. Be honest and explain to her that you will help find alternatives and options that aren’t as expensive.

bridesmaid problems

You may not be as involved in the wedding planning as you’d like

Bridesmaid dilemma

For some bridesmaids, the greatest problems are being too involved in the wedding planning but for others, it’s about not being involved enough. If you are excluded from the wedding planning process, it may not be intentional; it may simply be a matter of the Maid of Honor doing what the bride asked of her. Perhaps the Maid of Honour has plans in her mind and wants to stick to those to stay on schedule. If you feel too excluded, contact the Maid of Honour and let her know you are there to help she need only ask. She may not even realise you’re ready and willing!

Bridesmaid solution

You can also be specific and let her know that you can help her with a certain task or tasks. If she still prevents you from helping accept it and, if she makes plans you cannot afford, you have the right to say no, since she did not allow you to provide any input.


You may recieve excessive emails, texts and phone calls from the MOH

Bridesmaid dilemma

When you are constantly getting texts and/or emails from the Maid of Honour or, maybe, even the bride herself, regarding every detail of the wedding planning, it can become overwhelming and, perhaps, even annoying.

Bridesmaid solution

As easy as it may be to get upset, keep yourself calm and suggest, ever so diplomatically, to the Maid of Honour that, perhaps, she send out a single email once a week that details all of the plans that are being made.

This will allow you, and the rest of the bridesmaids, to answer everything at once. Further, encourage the idea by letting her know that by using this approach you and the rest of the bridesmaids are less likely to miss an important email. An alternative is to suggest having an in-person meeting to discuss everything once a week or every fortnight.


The bride may have a few bridezilla moments

Bridesmaid dilemma

Ah, beware the bridezilla, a bride who is overly demanding and/or so self-absorbed, she can’t see what’s going on around her and, very often, takes it out on her nearest and dearest, which can include you, her friend and bridesmaid. If your friend gets to that point with her wedding planning, you may need to sit her down and give her a bit of a wake-up call.

Bridesmaid solution

In the friendliest way possible, with a smile on your face, let your friend know that you understand how her mind is focused on the wedding but you miss sharing what is going on in your life with her. Let her know that you would like to share some time talking about things other than just the wedding, because in all reality, there is a lot more going on in your life than just that event.

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