A reader who asked to be identified as CTR (for good reason) is desperate to know how she should deal with belligerent bridesmaids:
I selected my bridal party nine months ago and the wedding is coming up fast. My best friend will be my MOH and my fiancťís sister will stand as my only other attendant. At eight months prior to my wedding, I sourced the bridesmaid dresses and told my BF and my future SIL that they could choose any dress made by the company, as long as they ordered something tea length in periwinkle silk. This should have been easy, as all of the dress styles offered can be ordered in that length and fabric. As of a month ago, my BF had not ordered a dress. When I asked why, she told me she didnít like anything from the company I chose and that she wanted to order from a local seamstress. The rush order deadline from said company is coming up fast, so I told her to do what she had to do. She has since ordered a dress.
My future SIL, however, still has not ordered a dress even though, at this point, there is a good chance a rush order will be impossible. First she said that she wanted to gain some weight. Then she wanted to see what my BF was ordering. I donít want to kick her out of my already tiny bridal party, but I do want her to dress the part of a bridesmaid. When Mr. CRT tried to stress how important this is to both of us, his sister blew up at him. I canít understand why she waited this long to order her dress. If she didnít want to be a bridesmaid, she could have told me that months ago and I would have understood. If she was too busy, I would have understood that, too. Now Iím just plain hurt and very, very angry. Is there anything at all I can do to fix this?
The image of Bridezilla is one that has been burned into the cultural consciousness by TV shows and books about brides-to-be who alienate family, friends, and shopkeepers in the quest for the perfect wedding. We seldom hear about Bridesmaidzillas. They are the sisters, cousins, and girlfriends who just canít be arsed to get involved…even when all that is asked of them is that they buy a dress and show up.
It happens more than you might think and not only to brides who make outrageous demands, like asking their maids to learn calligraphy so they can address 500 invitations or telling their MOH to organize multiple themed showers. There will, sadly, always be those poor, innocent brides-to-be who try to do their maids a favor and still get burned. To go with CTRís example, giving your bridesmaids the freedom to pick a dress they like often means dealing with indecisive or overly picky people who take their time.
Iím glad to hear that one of CTRís attendants ordered a dress and that it will more than likely get there in time for the wedding. But she isnít out of the woods just yet. The fact that the second attendant is Mr. CRTís sister makes the situation pretty dang complicated. I donít know what sort of relationship they have, but it sounds like the sister either doesnít care much about the wedding in general or just doesnít want to be a part of it. If CTR is okay with standing at the altar with a shrunken bridal party, she should consider giving the sister an out by letting her know that she can step down if she tells her NOW. She may respond by taking CTR up on her offer…in which case, problem solved.
She may, however, become offended at the suggestion or even offended that CTR feels sheís been slacking. Which, as more than half a year has gone by, she obviously has. But people will react however people want to react to the perfectly valid concerns of others. If the sister does get offended, CTR shouldnít apologize, as she has done nothing wrong. Heck, seeing that she was so kind as to allow her attendants to choose their own dresses, Iíd say she did everything right.
If CTRís future SIL still does want to be a part of the bridal party, I suggest that she give the slacking sister a very short deadline in which to fulfill her end of the deal, i.e. get a dress. If the sister doesnít meet the deadline, sheís out. It wonít be pretty, but it will prevent any ugly day-of wedding mishaps.
In conclusion, CTR, don’t let your anger get the best of you, but don’t let anyone walk all over you, either.