How To: Manage Your Bridesmaids

Cliques, bickering, money troubles, and complaints about their dresses: Here’s how to make sure your best girls still love you—and each other—when all’s said and done



Beyond lording your choice of dress over your ’maids, you are allowed to ask for help with some of your planning tasks — to an extent. Kingsdorf’s advice: “Reasonable expectations.” If it’s something you’d be willing to do for any of them — helping plan the rehearsal dinner, stuffing welcome bags, grabbing breakfast for you the day of, bringing an iPod with a great mix to rock out to during primp time — you’re clear of Bridezilla territory. Some other assignments — Stella Bebos of Upper Darby says that when she was M.O.H. for her cousin, she had to try on all 12 dresses the bride was considering for herself, so she could see them on someone else — and you’re inching a little close.

And don’t forget to be grateful, both along the way and once everything’s drawing to a close, for all they’ve done for the most important day of your life — and for being your pillars and positive energy in whatever roles they play in your life. Celebrate them by hand-penning thank-yous when they accept, or holding a dinner or spa day in their honor. At the least, savor your time with them the day of. “It’s one of the best memories,” Brown says of the pre-ceremony room environment. “It’s a rite of passage.”