How to Deal With a Bossy Bridesmaid

The ideal bridesmaid is there to support the bride and help the wedding day go smoothly. But what do you do when one of your bridesmaids just doesn’t want to play a supporting role? They take over dress appointments or try to order cake-toppers. They think they’re helping, but end up making the bride want to pull out her hair and banish them from the wedding! Bridesmaids can get bossy for different reasons, and you need to figure out why your ‘maid is steamrolling the party before you can address her behavior. Read on for the four types of bossy bridesmaids and how to deal.

The “Do it by the Book” Bridesmaid

This bridesmaid has very strict ideas about weddings. You may hear phrases like “You have to…!” or “But you can’t…!” While it’s helpful to have someone on your team who’s concerned about protocol, these ladies can’t get it through their heads that a wedding is whatever the bride and groom want it to be.

How to Deal

Explain to this ‘maid that your wedding is going to be different. Let her know that you appreciate her point of view, but that you will be wearing a black dress/walking down the aisle with your hubby/not be giving out wedding favors. Share a general overview of your budget or your views on gender equality. You want your wedding to be reflective of the two of you, and because of that, you might be throwing out certain traditions that she’s seen at other wedding. If she’s your friend, she’ll understand and may even get excited over the unique details!

The “My wedding was so fun, I want yours to be just like mine!” Bridesmaid

These bridesmaids loved the details of their own weddings, and would love to help you out by doing the same thing for yours. Problem is, you don’t want glitter confetti or her Italian menu. Please, no, don’t call your florist!

How to Deal

She’s been there, so she knows how stressful it is to get all the details together. And you don’t want to insult her by telling her you thought her dress was, well, not flattering. Is there anything on your to-do list that she could help you with? “You know, I’ve got my own ideas for flowers, but I loved your cake! Can I have the number of the bakery?” If you’ve got a reason why her details won’t work for you, let her know. And if she insists on bringing that glitter confetti to the reception? A little white lie never hurt anyone. “Oh, wow, I just found out his grandma HATES glitter, and I want to make a good impression. Thanks anyway!”

The “I LOVE to plan stuff!” Bridesmaid

She’s a type A. Her favorite activity is organizing her sock drawer, and nothing makes her salivate more than taking on a shiny new project. You thought that would come in handy for helping you plan your own wedding, but now she’s on your case about color-coding her Google Doc on dress fittings, showers, and girls nights. Ack!

How to Deal

Give her control over one aspect of your wedding. If you’re a type A too, this might be hard. But is there some detail you can let go of? My fiance and I are picky about food, but we were only vaguely interested in what dance music got played at our reception. Our type A bridesmaid threw herself into “Project Wedding Music”, making play lists based on the timing of activities and the proper mood. It kept her from trying to get her hands on my invitation address system.

The “I want to get married so badly I’m going to hijack your wedding!” Bridesmaid

This bridesmaid wants to plan a wedding. Whether she’s jealous of your newly engaged status or simply envious of the “fun” you’re having, she wants to live vicariously through you. She’ll want to join you on every cake tasting and stalk your wedding ring shop. There’s some stuff that only you and your fiance need to decide, and she wants to be a part of it.

How to Deal

If you want her to back off, use your guy as an excuse. “He really feels like picking out wedding rings is a couples thing. I want to respect that, so just the two of us will be going.” Keep her updated on decisions you’ve already made, and spend some time with her doing wedding things she can help with. Make sure you’ve outlined all the things you’ll need her help and opinion on: dress shopping, flowers, crafting DIY centerpieces, etc. But don’t be afraid to set boundaries. “It’s cool that you’re keeping track of the bridesmaids dresses, but please let me know before you call the shop. I might have just talked to them and it gets confusing when two people are asking for the same information.”

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