Arguably understandably, she may become a little stressed or demanding or obsessed with planning her wedding. As may the groom.
But actually, they’re not the only ones. And we don’t mean their parents. No, often the bridesmaids and groomsmen can be more of a handful than the betrothed. Bridesmaidzillas (or groomsmanzillas), if you will.
And when you’re the one planning a wedding, that’s the last thing you want.
According to exclusive research carried out by Bridebook for The Independent, the average British bride has 3.47 bridesmaids, and although most people consider being asked to be one an honour, nearly one in ten (nine per cent) have resented being a bridesmaid.
Typical bridesmaidzilla behaviour includes but isn’t limited to:
- Insisting the bride and groom pay for everything
- Kicking up a fuss about the hair or makeup the bride chooses (and probably pays for)
- Not pulling their weight when it comes to helping out and organising
- Making it all about him- or herself
- Trying to make the bride and groom invite people they don't know to the wedding
- Undermining their decisions
- Insisting on an expensive hen or stag do that others won’t be able to afford
And hens and stags are two of the most contentious events in the run-up to a wedding. With the added pressure of the eyes of the world watching your celebration unfold on social media, bridesmaids and groomsmen are going to ever more elaborate lengths to make their hen and stag dos spectacular - usually for a price.
It’s not uncommon to hear complaints of how expensive they are - attendees are frequently expected not only to pay for travel (often abroad), accommodation and everything else, but also to use their precious holiday allowance.
This is something 23-year-old wedding attendee Clare* from Hemel Hempstead is currently struggling with: “When I agreed to go on the hen do I had no idea how much we would be expected to spend.
“It's seems like every time I'm contacted by the bridesmaids it's for more money, often without direct explanation of what it is for - looking at the planned activities I really don't think it can be costing as much as they've budgeted,” she explained to The Independent.
“On top of this we are being told we have to buy specific items of clothes and props to take which is making the cost even higher.”
According to Bridebook, 36 per cent of brides have more than one hen do and a mere 6.7 per cent have ones that are daytime only, and some bridemaids treat these as military organisations, huge extravaganzas or the opportunity to plan holidays of a lifetime.
And stag dos are much the same, with 15 per cent of grooms having more than one and over a fifth going abroad.
“There are some amazing nights out to be had around the UK - I love Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow - that'll set you back a £50 train fare and a couple of hundred quid in alcohol,” 31-year-old Phil* explained to The Independent.
“But, without fail, every best man now tees up a European jaunt that'll eat up the best part of £2,000.
“It's not just booze - it's go-karting, paintballing, jet-skiing, and more. For a close friend it's an honour, but when the lads on the periphery of your friendship circle do the same it can appear like a snub if you're skint and you sheepishly drop out.”
It’s a difficult situation to manoeuvre.
And what do you do if your selected bridesmaids or groomsmen - often a mix of family-members and friends from different times in your life - don’t get on?
“Two of them also told me they felt they were being managed by my sister, but I just had to explain to them that they were, because my sister is maid of honour.”
And when Sarah herself was a bridesmaid, she had to try and get along with various difficult characters: “The bride kindly paid for us to have our hair and makeup done,” she explained.
“Her friend from home, another bridesmaid, declared that she hated it and wouldn't be walking down the aisle in it, so went upstairs, took her hair out and her make-up off, and did it herself.”
Wanting to help make a bride or groom’s engagement and wedding special is undoubtedly a good thing, but it’s when bridesmaids and groomsmen go too far and get too wrapped up in it all that they run the risk of adding extra stress for the couple.
Don’t be that person.
*Names have been changed