WeddingPartyThe bridal party is representative of the peers who are most important to the bride- family, friends, and partners who have helped them make it to the joyous day. It’s a wonderful tradition to gather such loved ones to help support the happy couple and share in the occasion.

However, sometimes the people that you as the bride love won’t necessarily love each other. Personalities can clash as emotions run high in the bridal party, which can lead to stress and rifts. To avoid any conflicts escalating into full-blown fights, you might have to take matters into your own hands. Here are some ideas for keeping the bridal party harmonious.

Team Organization

Often members of the bridal party have the duty of supporting the bride through the planning as well as the execution of the wedding. Rally your bridesmaids together under the banner of teamwork by giving them common goals and common tasks. One friend can double check your seating chart and confirm the caterer while another can pick up the bride’s shoes. As things get done smoothly, praise your team for working together so well. Also, make sure you’re the one assigning duties so that no one has the opportunity to bicker- you’re the boss, and they need to respect your decisions.

Customized Team Swag

To encourage the feeling that all of your bridal party is working together, consider putting together a care package for each team member. Place some or all of the following into a personalized tote printed with each party member’s name:

-personal note to each of your cherished team members, thanking them for their help and love

-customized wedding pen and planning notebook with schedule and list of each other’s contact information inside

-good mood emergency kit, including ibuprofen and sweets

-a custom shirt designating them part of the crew

-nail polish, mud mask packets, and other goodies you’ll need for your bonding activities

Such an offering unifies the party onto a team while making each person feel acknowledged.

Activities

Speaking of bonding activities, you should plan a couple of events during which your party can get to know each other better. Perhaps one or two members got off on the wrong foot early or perhaps your maid of honor is a bit shy- whatever the case, you need these people to function as a unit. To help them get to know each other, set aside some time in which you can chat about wedding plans and catch up in a relaxed setting. An evening watching movies and doing at-home spa treatments is a great way to put everyone at ease. A group brunch, wherein you can bribe your team with food, can also set the stage for bonding. And, of course, the bachelorette party can encourage everyone to have fun together and break down walls between them.

Periodic Check-Ins

The most important thing you can do to ensure contentment among your party is to make sure they know that you’re glad that they’re there. While group activities are crucial to a successful bridal party, you should plan to spend a little one-on-one time with each member. Most fights break out in bridal parties because the members forget why they’ve been assembled (which is of course to support the bride)or that people feel that their individual relationship with you is being compared to your relationships with others.

Address both of these issues in one fell swoop by showing that you appreciate them as an individual while reminding them that they’ve been asked to help you get to the altar. Running out for a simple cup of coffee or even chatting on an errand will suffice. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll have the opportunity to decompress and enjoy yourself.

Eyes on the Prize

The number one thing for brides to remember is that they can’t be everywhere at once. Sometimes bridal party members will make snide remarks to one another and sometimes there will be fits of unhappiness. You, as the bride, won’t have time to manage other people’s relationships as the date of the ceremony approaches. Take these steps early if you’re anticipating issues so you can focus on your happiness when things get hectic.

Alice is an event planner and artist. She has first-hand experience with all kinds of bridal parties, small and large, and has seen bridesmaid rivalries get out of hand. Such being the case, she believes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


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