The Sweet Christian Bride

Letting a Bridesmaid Go: Part III

by admin on September 19, 2011 in Bridal Party, Communication with No Comments


“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:12-17).

Because a rift between bride and bridesmaid is often a matter of poor communication or poor demonstrations of love, a bride can proactively create an environment for her bridesmaids that would mitigate opportunity for misunderstanding or ill will by practicing a handful of intentional measures:

1) Pray consistently that God’s hand would tenderly care for the hearts of each of these women as He sorts through the transition of your friendships from pre-marriage to post. They will undoubtedly change when you get married, but God can make that change a truly magnificent process. He knows your bridesmaids’ fears and needs, and He knows yours. Petition Him for His blessing on your bridesmaids, for eyes to anticipate their perspective, and for compassion to care for their concerns.

2) Maintain healthy communication. If your bridesmaids think your wedding is all about you with no regard for them, then it’s easier for them to think that your life is becoming all about you and that your fiancé is the impetus for their neglect.

Taking time to communicate with them about how your planning is going can help to make them feel included, especially if you welcome their advice. Even more warming is asking them about their lives in the midst of your wedding planning.  This can help tip the scale back to a balanced prioritization of persons in the friendship if they were feeling disregarded by you.

Also, addressing specific relationship concerns as you observe them can go a long way in demonstrating thoughtful love.  Maybe your friend is always a bridesmaid, never a bride, or maybe she is going through some other tough stuff. Talk with her about whatever emotions she is having.  Unpack them with her to show her that you are sensitive to her feelings.  Develop a plan of care for your friendship so that it can endure (and hopefully thrive) through the season.

3) Turn the tables. Most people let bridezilla behavior slide because they understand that this is an important one-time event that “needs” to be perfect. They expect the bride to be a little selfish, but it still hurts to be a victim of that. It serves as a reminder (or as an introduction to the fact) that she is expendable when the bride chooses that something (her wedding now, but what later?) is worth more than her own humility, grace, patience, and love—aka more important than the bridesmaid who gets the brunt of the bride’s stress.

Reaching out specifically to your bridesmaids rather than focusing on yourself can disarm and hopefully prevent much backlash from wedding stress. Honor their strengths. Rather than having all bridesmaids attend all planning functions, take your stylish friend dress shopping with you, take your culinary friend cake searching, ask your travel friend for honeymoon destination advice.  Give them permission to be who they are.  Remind them why your friendships with them make you a better bride.

And reach out to them beyond your wedding arena. Be at their important events. Compliment and encourage them. Have hang out nights that aren’t wedding related. Thank them for being your friends.

If you are exhibiting bridezilla behavior, listen to the brave, loving friend who brings that to your attention.

4) Let them experience the love of your life. Often the scariest things are those unknown. If your friend is unsure about your fiancé or is beginning to hold him responsible for her fading friendship with you, you might consider creating low-pressure opportunities for her to get to know him. If she can experience the qualities about him that swept you off your feet, she can hopefully better understand why you find separation from her worth it in order to draw near to him.

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity….

By Lindsay

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