Dealing With Difficult Bridal Party Members

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Dear Readers:

Bridal Market is here, and I could not be more excited! There’s something amazing that happens in the industry around this time, and it’s not just about the gorgeous designs and fantastic parties. Bridal Market is about the brides and it’s a wonderful time for planners as we get to experience those wonderful moments where we see the faces of our clients light up at all of the wonderful possibilities available to them for their big day.

As planners,  we have a responsibility to our clients to not only help them to plan their wedding, but also to help them enjoy it. You wouldn’t think this would be an issue, but weddings involve a plethora of personalities, and even the best intentions can lead to less-than-joyful moments. Today, I would like to discuss what happens when a bridesmaid decides to appoint herself a planner.

Now, I’m sure you’ve all had to manage a series of personalities when it comes to the brides, grooms, and even family members. However, when it comes to managing the personality of a difficult bridesmaid the rules might change just a little.

I think we’ve all had our share of bridesmaids who have self-appointed the title of “planner”. The reality is that while it’s quite a pill to swallow we have to treat the bridal party with the same kid gloves that we treat our couples. Our goal as planners is to provide an unforgettable experience. At times, this might mean we need to go out of our way to make everyone happy, including those who are not that easy to be around.

The best thing to do under these circumstances is to remember why you are there. Ultimately the couple has hired you for your professional experience and to make their dream wedding come true. Try not to allow the insecurity of someone else make you second- guess yourself. Look beyond this and try the best in people by exercising your deepest form of optimism. The following tips help me tremendously when it comes to these situations:

Remember that while the chemistry might have gone awry with some of the bridesmaids in the bridal party, they are very special to the bride and groom. Try to avoid complaining about them to the couple.

Try not to take anything personal. As planners we are always trying to get everyone’s approval, and when this doesn’t happen we feel horrible and try to make up for it.

When asked to do something different than what has been accorded with the couple be sure to always check-in with your client first. Don’t assume that the directive is coming from the bride/groom. Sometimes bridesmaids make suggestions without the consent of the couple and tend to take matters into their own hands.

Don’t go out of your way to be the “white knight” when it comes to bridal party issues. If any of your plans are not well received by someone in the bridal party, ask questions instead of getting offended. Turn the tables and ask them what they would do instead.

If the bridesmaid or groomsman is beyond obnoxious and rude don’t feel that you have to accept any type of abusive language or behavior. Practice setting boundaries and speak with assertiveness when needed. We cannot control or change people, but we can control the way in which we receive and process information and ultimately the impact of how the situation effects us–and the event itself.

Have you ever had a difficult experience with a bridal party member? How did you handle it and what did you learn from it?

With a Happy Heart,

Kathy

Kathy Romero is the Vice President and Global Wedding & Event Planner for Preston Bailey Designs. She shares her thoughts and advice on Preston’s Blog every Thursday.

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