Bridesmaids Under Pressure to Lose Weight

Yesterday I stumbled upon an article in the New York Post about bridesmaids and the title caught my eye: “Bridesmaids under pressure to get fit for ‘picture-perfect’ wedding day.” Before I even clicked the link, I knew I was in store for some total bull shit, and boy was I right!

Diva Bride Behavior: When Bridesmaids are Put Under Pressure to Lose Weight.

The article has me livid because, spoiler alert, the brides interviewed want a perfect wedding day. That perfect day includes perfect pictures, with perfectly “fit” bridesmaids. Which means these brides see no harm in “encouraging” (yes that’s the word they use) their bridesmaids to lose weight.

Oh no she didn’t ask her to lose weight!?

I am not even kidding when I say the article contains the sentence, “even one bridesmaid who just gave birth could stand to lose a few pounds.”

Excuse our language but; you’ve got to be fucking kidding me?

Hold onto your seats though, because there is also this gem of advice from that same bride to her guests:

“I need everyone on board,” says Barton, a 30-year-old p.r. executive who lives in downtown Brooklyn. “I want my guests to invest in their appearances, feel pretty, go buy the dress of their dreams and feel confident in themselves. I want everyone to feel and look beautiful.”


So yes, some brides even think they can control what their guests look like on their special day. Extending the pressure to lose weight to anyone that attends their wedding. News flash darling, you can only control yourself.

Let’s put things in perspective for you. You’re having a wedding and celebrating the union of your marriage, not putting on a full scale blockbuster movie. You don’t get a say in what your guests look like dear. You can suggest, but that doesn’t mean they’ll listen.

Reality Check

Just because you ask your friends to be your bridesmaid, and they say yes, doesn’t mean you should go total diva. What happened to wanting your girls by your side through thick and thin? Oh wait, you only wanted them there through thin?

Reality Check: you ask your bridesmaids to stand by your side because you love them. Because you value you them. Because you couldn’t imagine anyone else there with you on your wedding day. Yes, it’s your day, but it doesn’t give you the right to be a jerk to everyone around you.

Sadly the pressure to lose weight isn’t the only issue at hand. Physical appearance in general is under attack, with brides wanting the bridal party to look cohesive. This often leads to brides asking for hair to be grown out or dyed, tattoos to be covered, and piercings to be taken out.

Mandy says her sister has demanded she get a spray tan before her wedding, grow her hair out, and avoid dyeing it anything other than blonde.

Reality Check: you can have a conversation with your bridesmaids about the overall look and feel of the wedding. However, this does NOT give you the right to demand changes to their appearance. And seriously, if you don’t love them for who they are in the first place, what kind of friend are you really?

When In Doubt

It’s not always so cut and dry. Bridal party etiquette is a tough road to navigate. I put together a list of easy to follow rules for making sure you’re not a bridezilla. Sure it’s not all inclusive, but it’s definitely a good place to start.

Bride Don't: Ask Your Bridesmaids to Lose Weight

Parting Advice

So what is actually a requirement for bridesmaids? Honestly only one thing. To stand by her bride and witness the marriage of her friend. That is it, plain and simple.

Brides remember, you ask your closest girlfriends to be your bridesmaids to share in all the excitement and joy a wedding brings. Yes wedding planning can be stressful, but you might be doing it to yourself by trying to keep up with the latest wedding trends. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, tell your bridesmaids. They can help you keep your expectations in check.

Your wedding is one day of your life, but (hopefully) your bridesmaids are your friends for a lifetime.

20 thoughts on “Bridesmaids Under Pressure to Lose Weight

  1. I honestly never knew it was a thing. I got married last year. I’m not sure if I’m struggling to lose weight myself but it never dawned on me to even think to ask my bridesmaids to lose weight. It’s really their honor to help you on their day. Things just get even more crazy sometimes.

    • So glad to hear you were a reasonable bride. One thing I didn’t mention in the post is that, as a bridesmaid I tried to lose weight for my sister’s wedding. This was something I wanted to do. It had nothing to do with her. I think it’s natural that everyone wants to look their best in pictures! The line is drawn, in my opinion, when the request is coming directly from the bride herself.

  2. I’m the MOH in my sister’s wedding. Her wedding is June 10th and my baby is due July 14th! I had to buy the dress wayyy in advance when I was only about 10 weeks pregnant (and to top that, I’ve had 6 miscarriages and have never carried to term so it was a complete gamble on if I would actually be pregnant and if so what size dress I needed!). I had to buy a different style than what she wanted and bought 2 sizes bigger. So long story short, I know she probably has struggles with her expectations of how all her bridesmaids are going to look versus the reality, but at the end of the day, she is the bride and the most important part of the wedding is the marriage. The wedding industry can quickly make you forget that!

    • Thank you for sharing your story! I think you make a good point that the bride is allowed to be disappointed. The issue at times is when the bride (not in your case) is so vocal about it that she forgets to consider her bridesmaids feelings. At the end of the day you are still sisters and you want to keep that relationship intact! Glad to know it’s all working out for you and your sister.

  3. What an interesting take on things. As Mother of the Bride I would have to step in and say something to my B2B if she was carrying on like the brides you mention.

    • Bless your heart, I’m so glad to know as a MOB you would jump in and say something! I would advise my daughter to drop out of that wedding party stat. Life’s too short to deal with all that drama.

  4. I would die if someone told me to do these things. I would be like BYE! That is a form of bullying. They are not good enough for you all of a sudden.

    I hope none of my friends do this. I love them, but that would be too much!

  5. When I started reading this I thought it was completely ludicrous and that I’d for sure never experienced these types of demands being made by the Bride to the Bridesmaids, but as I read through your post, things started to come flooding back to me, and I realised how scarily common place inappropriate demands can be.

    A friend of mine was told she had to remove her lip piercing and was told she had to have a spray tan applied for being a Bridesmaid for her cousin.

    I’d say demands are often made on men to change their appearance when being an Usher or the Best Man too. A male friend of mine refused to be an usher at his friends wedding after the Bride told him he had to be clean shaven for the wedding day (he’d be sporting a lovely beard for over 10 years!).

  6. I had two totally different bridesmaids at my wedding…different weights, different heights, different hair colour, different skin tones. There was no way I could dress the two the same so we picked different dress styles but in the same shade. The colour, the jewellery, the hair accessories and the wraps were identical, and they both looked beautiful because I allowed them to follow their own style and be comfortable. I’d have deserved a good slap if I’d behaved any differently!

  7. I can’t believe some people! That’s crazy. I’m bridesmaid to my best friend in December, and she wouldn’t dream of telling me that!

    It’s shocking how diva some brides can get!

    • Can I blame it all on the Kardashians? There’s just this unbelievable push for everyone to go for perfection. Thankfully it seems that there are a lot of brides that would never behave this way, including your best friend.

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