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You Asked: How Do I Tell My Bridesmaid to Back Down?

Dear Sugar,

I recently got engaged, and as you can imagine, this is an extremely exciting time for me. I am beginning to plan and consider ideas for the wedding, but one thing I've already gotten out of the way is the bridal party. I have a very close family and was having a difficult time choosing between my two cousins as bridesmaids. I was very close with one as a child, but I'm closer to the other cousin as an adult. In the end, we put both my cousins in the wedding and added a groomsman to my fiance's side.

My cousin from childhood was incredibly excited and wants to play a major role in my day. Unfortunately, her enthusiasm was much more than I had ever anticipated. She signed me up for several wedding websites and my email and phone number has now been solicited everywhere. She insisted that her daughter be my flower girl and even went as far as to tell me what colors I should avoid and which colors I should choose. I need help! I have tried confronting her and she will back down, but then do something else pushy. How else can I deal with this situation? — Bugged Bride

To see DearSugar's answer


Dear Bugged Bride,

Your wedding day should be about you and your husband — not about your bridesmaid. While I'm sure she's just trying to be helpful, she's overstepping her boundaries and you need to explain that to her. Being in someone's wedding is a huge honor, and I'm sure she's simply trying to take as much off your plate as possible. But it sounds like you want to be a hands-on bride so assigning her tasks might be the way to go.

Planning a wedding is a very stressful time and it's not uncommon for relationships to be strained during the process, so be as open and honest with her as possible so your friendship doesn't suffer the consequences. Let her feel needed, but not at the expense of your own feelings. Good luck and congratulations!


Join The Conversation
tinyspark tinyspark 8 years
Tell her to back the f**k off! And make sure she gets some unsolicited junk too!
frieddumpling frieddumpling 8 years
It's your day and you should have your way period! :) If she is a friend and is a reasonable person, she would understand. Tell her that while you appreciate her help and her suggestions on colours and other things, tell her that you have already had an idea in mine long ago or already had arranged something else, but thank her for her thoughtfulness. That way, hopefully, she doesn't take it the wrong way and your friendship with her is not strained especially during this hectic time for you. Also, tell her that you have everything under control and remind her that you are very busy during this time, but you will definitely let her know if you require her assistance. I hope that at least this way, she will back off a bit!
hope2be hope2be 8 years
Hire a wedding planner, and tell your overwhelming cuz' that everything's taken care of. Then mainly tell the planner what you want happened and ask her to kind of fend off your overstepping cuz' I guess.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
it's definitely hard when you feel like you have to include certain people and then it gets out of hand because everyone feels like they can add in their 2 cents. my fiance and i ran into that problem early on with people giving us advice and although it's nice in theory - it's just too much and as a bride, we have to be able to say no. i think that the best thing to do is nip it in the bud RIGHT NOW and let her know that you're thrilled that she's agreed to participate on your big day in the role of a bridesmaid and that you'll certainly look to her for advice on things, but otherwise, the unsolicited comments are more confusing than helpful. either she deals with it or she doesn't - what can ya do right?
refinedharmony refinedharmony 8 years
I wonder if she has ever been a bridesmaid before? I've only been a bridesmaid once, and I was so not sure of what to do, how to act, how involved I would be, etc. I also lived about 4 hours from the bride so I did somewhat assume I would be a little hands-off. Lucky for me the maid-of-honor took care of everything. So.... maybe have your MOH shoot an e-mail to everyone explaining what you'll be taking care of and what they will be in charge of? Maybe she can have some say in your bachelorette dinner/party or wedding shower instead? I agree with candace, I think it's very forward of her to assume her daughter will be your flower girl. That's totally YOUR decision?! Just because she's a bridesmaid doesn't mean it's all of a sudden her wedding to make! Take everyone else's advice about a firm (really firm) discussion. If I were in your position (as type A as I am) I would flat out say "I know I picked you as a bridesmaid, but I'm really starting to feel like you're the bride here. I know you're trying to help, but I would really appreciate it if you would contribute less and support MY decisions and choices more... you know I will come to you if I need help deciding on something!"
kia kia 8 years
So do you want her to back down and still be in your bridal party? Or do you want her to back down and not be in your bridal party? Or just not be in your bridal party? These are all different questions. It sounds like she is really excited and doesn't get how this is your process. And she may be super naive... I mean who gives out their information to websites and expos, etc.?? That is why you create a wedding related e-mail account.
candace87 candace87 8 years
I missed the part where you had already confronted her.. well if she is really really pushy then I would have to be honest with her and say very firmly, step off now or don't bother showing up to the wedding. Very rude of her to assume her daughter could be a flower girl also. Everyone wants their child to be involved.. ugh
candace87 candace87 8 years
Tell her that you appreciate the help but you and your maid of honor have taken care of everything, and you will let her know if you want her input. As for signing you up for things, I would just tell her straight up that it was awful and she needs to stop and get your number removed from those lists.
dm8bri dm8bri 8 years
This is why I'm eloping! :)
graylen graylen 8 years
Man, I feel like I should call my bridesmaids today and tell them I love them! They've been fantastically supportive and haven't overstepped a single thing! The oddest thing to me was giving out the bride's email and phone number- who does that without asking? I think a frank sitdown talk is going to be required. She's not the one marrying and shouldn't be putting this much pressure on you. I think you just need to be firm ("Thanks for your opinion on colors. I hope whatever I choose you'll be happy with...") and consistent. Is she close with the other cousin? Maybe that cousin could help as well?
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
Is it possible to just smile and nod, and then ignore her? Or if she calls, say you're busy? I'm curious - is she married? Or wanting to get married soon? That may help you figure out how to deal with it. Ie, if she's married remind her how hard it was to please everyone and while you know she's trying to be helpful, it's become distracting and stressful. Or if she WANTS to get married soon, tell her with a smile that she should save her energy and suggestions for when SHE wants to get married. She may have regrets about her own wedding and is trying to relive it through you. Or she just has no life.... But tell her directly not to sign you up for anything more - giving out your info is a privacy violation.
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