How to Make Everyone Behave

Meddling moms, diva bridesmaids, outlaw in-laws: learn how to manage everyone without losing your cool.

Diva Bridesmaids

funny bridal party
Photo Credit: Maria Vincenio

“One of my bridesmaids showed up at my shower with a severe hangover,” says Sara, 30. “On the wedding day she was hours late to the hair and makeup session, but still expected full service when she sauntered in.” When a bridesmaid behaves badly, there may be more going on than meets the eye.

Analyze yourself first. Although you’re probably not making extreme demands, perhaps you’ve gotten a little carried away. “I loved the idea of my 'maids all having the same hairdo, so I suggested that one of them cut her bangs to match the others,” says Sue, 28. “Later, I realized how ridiculous it was and why she seemed so miffed.” What you can (and can't) ask bridesmaids to do ►

Pick a point person. Choose a go-to gal to be in charge of the wedding plans of the bridesmaids. “This way you can have her corral them and tell them what to do,” Schact says. “Since she’s neutral it may be easier for her to organize them to plan the shower, for example.” 

Have some girl talk. “Your bridesmaid may say that she’s ‘busy,’ but busy may hide her jealousy of you for getting married or even disapproval of your groom,” says Schact. She also may be worried that your friendship is going to change once you walk down the aisle, which may cast a pall on her feelings about your marriage. Lastly, “old conflicts in your friendship may surface,” says Paul. “Be up front. Try: ‘It seems to be hard for you to be a part of things. I’d like to talk about what’s going on.’ ” If she’s a true friend, she’ll be open to making changes. How to handle difficult bridesmaids 

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