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!
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.
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.
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.