Bridal Party Q&As

Guidelines about the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved, from maid of honor on down.

Q: I am so upset. My wedding is only four months away and my matron of honor and my bridesmaid are being uncooperative about scheduling dress fittings, even though I've asked them several times. They are not showing any interest in my wedding and I find myself wishing I could ask other friends to be my attendants instead. What should I do?

A: Unfortunately, your dilemma is much more common than you may realize. Brides are often faced with difficult attendants who show little or no interest in assisting with the wedding planning or, as in your case, are uncooperative with the dress selection and fittings (even after the bride has taken color, style and budget into consideration). And, just like you, many brides soon regret having asked them to be a part of the wedding party.

But this doesn't mean that you should allow your attendants to make you miserable. After all, you have asked those closest to you to share in your happiness, not to negate it. Besides, with all of the details involved in planning a wedding, you certainly do not need added stress. Perhaps these women regret having agreed to be in your wedding and are looking to get out of it.

You can ask them to step down - provided you are tactful. Simply state the following: "I am sorry that you cannot seem to find the time to attend a dress fitting. Although I will miss having you in the wedding party, I understand if you want to back out. Is that what you have I mind?"

If they are truly unhappy about being in your wedding party, then you have given them a gracious "out." (And definitely ask your other friends to take their places.) If not, they will realize that their behavior is unacceptable and shape up. Either way, you are bound to be better off and can look forward to less stress and happier attendants.

<< More Bridal Party Advice



Wedding etiquette is a popular subject because they are so many horror stories. It's expensive to be in a bridal party, and it's expensive and stressful to have a large one. One budget line item that often gets overlooked by the future Mr. and Mrs. is the THANK YOU gift for each bridal party member. You should plan to spend at least half the amount of the cost of the bridesmaid dress/suit rental for each person. So if the dress they bought is $300, then be prepared to thank each one with ~$150 worth of gratitude. Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, flights/hotels, hair/shoes/makeup/hair styling -- all these things add up, and some bridesmaids spend over $1000 just to be in your wedding party. These are your most important witnesses to your wedding. And chances are they supported you before, during, and after the big day. Thank you gifts are not the area to skimp. Good luck! Lisa |

I've selected my matron of honor (and asked her) who is engaged and was supposed to get married before me but then had to postpone her wedding. Can she still be my matron of honor??