How to Handle Difficult Bridesmaids

Wanda the whiner. Katie the critic. Lucy the loner. Meet the women you've asked to stand up for you — and learn how to turn them back into the women you love.


The Critic

She's most likely a newlywed, so she's full of advice—usually unsolicited. She'll make a lot of "should" and "can't" statements such as, "You should write your own vows" and "You can't have a chocolate-covered wedding cake!" Or, if you tell her about a wedding detail you've picked out, she'll smile politely, raise her eyebrows and say something like, "When I had my wedding, I did this…" in a not-so-subtle attempt to get you to change your mind. This know-it-all bridesmaid may be well-meaning, but she's driving you crazy with her constant opinions!

What's going on: Believe it or not, this kind of behavior indicates that she has regrets about her own wedding, whether about a style detail or because she simply can't accept the fact that her big day is over, says Nissinen. "It's similar to a bride's mother saying to her daughter 30 years after her own wedding, ‘we should do this' because that's something she didn't get to do for her own event," she says.

How to deal: While at times it may be great to have an expert around (after all, she did offer you that helpful tip about giving your DJ a "do not play" list), you don't have to let The Critic turn your wedding into a "take-two" of her own. When she offers a suggestion you don't like, thank her, but stand firm in your decisions. McDermott advises making statements that give her no room to go further, like, "I know you would choose white roses, but I've had my heart set on freesia since I was five," or "Gosh, your wedding was so great, but I want to do this my own way." If The Critic doesn't get the message and persists, just ignore her—she'll go away once she realizes her comments are falling on deaf ears.

Your bridesmaid is...
 The Diva
► The Rookie
► The Loner
► The Whiner
► The Had-to-Ask-Her
► The Gem