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I know I’m not the only person who felt enormously stressed by simply being asked to be a bridesmaid in a wedding. The whole opportunity to support my loved one was nice, but I saw a side of folks, including other bridesmaids and the bride, that I wasn’t too crazy about. If you are the one planning a wedding or just trying to take part in one to make somebody else happy, please don’t be the person to do the following:

Don’t Assume People Are Balling Out Of Control

You might be rolling in dough while preparing for your big day, or as the maid of honor, you might want the bridesmaids to put in big dollars for getaways, spa sessions, and unique ways to celebrate bridal showers and bachelorette parties, but always remember that times are hard. With people having to buy dresses, gifts, pay for travel expenses and more, folks need to be reasonable in what they expect from wedding parties and family, unless you just want to keep things very small. But trust, if people can’t afford certain expenses, I’m sure they’ll let you know reeeeeeeeal quick.

Be Upfront About Who You Want To Be Your Maid of Honor Early

Who knew the maid of honor title was so deep? After watching an episode of Say Yes To The Dress: Bridesmaids, I witnessed a childhood friend run to a bathroom and break down in tears when the bride-to-be waited until the last minute (while picking out what the bridesmaids were going to wear and on camera mind you) to figure out who would be the MOH. By throwing that on them during the fitting, all hell broke loose and everybody ended up stressed.

Save that for another time, and get it out of the way early. Let the MOH know that you would like them to take on the responsibilities that come with that before it’s time to start buying dresses and coming up with ideas for parties, and do it at a time where if you have to, you can explain why you picked your choice to all bridesmaids involved who might have questions. Throwing that on folks when you know you have several people who would love to stand by you as MOH comes off messy.

Trying To Rationalize Why You’re Not Getting The Couple A Gift

Times are hard, and if you know as part of a bridal party that you bit off more than you can chew, it’s best to be upfront and honest about it all. But what we don’t recommend is trying to rationalize why you won’t do certain things for the bride and groom, including getting them a gift. If you chose to attend their destination wedding knowing your pockets were funny and tell them straight up that’s why they’re not getting anything from you, that’s not the best idea. Hell, it might be best just to keep it on the low that you can’t get them a gift rather than making somebody feel bad about the money you’re spending for their big day.

Don’t Make Things All About You And What You Like

This one’s for the bridesmaid, or sister or friend–please don’t second guess every opinion the bride has. Say they like blue, why are you pushing periwinkle pink, son? If she is in love with a bridal gown, try not to be harsh with your critique of it (“I hate it!”). And if they want to have a destination wedding, and are sure of where they want to go, try not recommending somewhere you would prefer (“Ooooh, what about Miami??”). It’s not about you dear…

Being The Bridesmaid Who Doesn’t Seem Happy For The Bride

True story: As a bride prepares to walk down the aisle, bridesmaids walking before her, one of them walks stank-faced, twirling a bouquet of flowers around as she two-steps to the altar. Her face reads “over it” and her whole demeanor screams “HATER.” This actually happened to one of our editor’s aunts during her wedding, and it was later admitted that this bridesmaid was just feeling a little salty about the bride being able to take the next step in her relationship. You might not always want to jump for joy, but before you become a sourpuss, just think about how you would feel if your friends tried to sabotage your day and were less than happy about such a major milestone in your life.

Make Some Shady Requests

It’s okay to ask folks to wear their hair a certain way, try different shoe colors and wear a certain style of bridesmaid dress, but when you start telling people they need to drop pounds to be in your wedding, it’s clear that you’ve taken things to the next level. Things that have less to do with style and more about body changes are a bit excessive in the demand department so don’t go there.

Be More Invested In The Wedding, Not The Marriage

You can drop $25k on a wedding and spend every minute worried about who will wear what, who will play the music, if you’ll have a honeymoon in Belize or St. Tropez, but are you as invested in what happens after the wedding as you are in all the things leading up to it? Too many people spend a great deal of time and energy planning, but a la Kim Kardashian, give up on the marriage before it even really gets started. Keep that in mind and don’t be afraid to keep it simple!

Putting Doubt In The Bride Or Groom’s Head

I think we’ve all seen enough movies and TV shows to know that once you start giving negative two cents about marriage, the results are never good. People start getting paranoid and worried and second guessing themselves. This category also includes people who don’t like the groom and continually walk around asking, “Are you sure you’re ready???” Let the bride and groom come to whatever conclusions they do on their own.

Trying To Show Out For Guests

In the same vein as caring more about the wedding than the marriage, your wedding shouldn’t be a public proclamation that you think you’re balling out of control if you’re really not. You don’t really need ice sculptures and live animals, or to pull off from a church in a Rolls-Royce just to go out with a big bang when you don’t have it. If you can afford it, then by all means, go for it. However, if you’re going all out to keep up with the joneses, you’re only going to be playing yourself…

Get Into A Battle Royale With Family Or Friends (Or Baby Mothers…)

Please don’t let your wedding play out like a scene from Bridezillas where you’re screaming at the mother of your man’s child on the phone, or having a screaming match with your groom’s parents at the last minute because they’re not excited about their son settling down with you. Issues such as these should be resolved before folks get to the ceremony (or some people shouldn’t be invited) so that when the reverend asks ‘If there’s anyone here who thinks these two shouldn’t be lawfully wed, speak now or forever hold your peace,’ somebody doesn’t jump up and act a fool. Either way, you want happy memories from your big day–not rachet.

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