How to Say NO to a Pushy Bridesmaid…

Have you ever wondered if your friends are spouting their opinion just to hear themselves talk?

Have you ever tried to tell one of them “no” and felt like you were talking to thin air?

Think about it.

You might have that one friend… the opinionated one, the one who dismisses anything other than their own opinion. The one who says “trust me.” or the dreaded “I’m just being honest.” 

Well guess what. It’s not about trusting them.

They are undeniably the most fun on the dance floor. They are hands down the reason as to why you had one too many at that one bar.. They are probably even the reason you met your fiancé in the first placeand they are most likely the best person to take a selfie with.


…take a long dramatic pause please…

…they might not be the best to go dress/suit shopping with.

I’ll pause again dramatically for the gasp of shock.

They actually might not be the best to have on any of those wedding planning trips– picking a florist, hiring a planner,  tasting your menu, etc… even though they will plead otherwise since they’ve already told you that you can’t live without their stamp of approval.

And I have seen it all too many times. “Oh so and so says they need to come with me to give me an honest opinion.” But more often than not? That person spends the majority of the time cutting down every little detail that the bride or groom has chosen under the cloak of an “honest opinion.

The reason I know who it is? That same person usually wants to follow the bride and groom to portrait time during the wedding as well. And I have to sit by and listen.

“Ooh, no girl, your train is so messed up.” (then I say it’s not even in the shot, please stop perfecting it, you’re now just wasting time) “Ooh girl, that lip gloss needs touching up, you’ll thank me later” (um, we’ll be here all night if you keep this up, I’m having them at an angle where the lip gloss will not be featured, thanks) and so on and so forth.

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Finally, about ten years ago, I formed a rule: NO ONE COMES TO PORTRAIT TIME!

Whether it’s your maid of honor… your mom, your sister… you need one little break where it is just you and your spouse, plus me and my stalker lens. Because guess what? You have to learn how to be with just your significant other at some point.

This article is not to say this type of friend isn’t helpful.

We just need to make sure they are being used for their strengths. You know when they are VERY helpful? Standing by your side while you get married. Going on your bachelorette trip and making sure each everyone has a great time. Being the first one on the dance floor at your wedding reception to get the party started. Oh yeah, and leaning out to try to punch a stranger on that bachelorette trip if they speak to you with anything less than the utmost respect. And many, many other helpful scenarios.

Let me dilute the already tense situation by saying I’m one of the opinionated girls myself.

My advice column is getting longer and longer because of it.

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But just because someone is loud and opinionated, doesn’t make them an expert!

My 15 years around weddings and hair is what makes me share an expert opinion on both in the wedding scene.

So this is my empowering message to you:

Do YOU feel good in your dress?

Do YOU like the idea of spending a set time alone with your significant other to smile with them for photos and forget about the stress of every perfect detail?

Then speak your heart. Explain the why just loud enough for them to understand. You can thank them for their opinion, and slowly but surely express your own opinion and stick to your guns. Make sure you are heard. If they can hear the reason behind why you are choosing a different way, they might just back down.

Now, if you really are not sure how to go about this, here are a few ideas of texts or words to help you guide a forceful friend or family member!

Thank you for fighting fiercely to make sure I’m happy… I just want to make sure you check with me first before saying something is not my style.”

“I want to explore a few options for my big day that might be outside the box, so can you forget what I typically like and give everything a chance?”

“You know how much I love your opinion, it’s why we’re friends! For the wedding would you mind easing up on the hard passes on things I want to try? There are so many things to choose  and some are for my fiancé’s taste, too”

“We hired a crazy photographer who will be sure I look great- go enjoy cocktail hour and I promise I’ll be fine!”

If they can’t? Double think having them in your wedding. Don’t stress about the numbers being uneven. If it’s stressing you out that much, take a breath and sit them down for coffee to explain. I can handle photos with an uneven wedding party. 😉



10 thoughts on “How to Say NO to a Pushy Bridesmaid…

  1. As a planner, I second so much of this. I work with a lot of these opinionated folks, and while I don’t usually butt heads, there are some times that I’m brought into appointments where my opinion isn’t important, but defending my client’s opinion is. This is a great opportunity though- it sounds like your friend needs to be gently checked, and it might improve your relationship in the long run!


  2. I can relate to this on so many levels! As a wedding photographer, I am the person who has all of the ideas and knows all of the things, but I know when to keep my mouth shut (hopefully). Your description of a pushy bridesmaid reminds me of those friends on Say Yes to the Dress that just shoot down every gown, even when the bride’s eyes are lit up with joy. Sometimes it’s best to just have some peace and quiet, and I love that you wrote this article to remind the wedding couple that it’s about them.


  3. I love so much of this post. You really hit the nail on the head. It’s so important to bring people you love with you to these monumental parts of the planning process but it’s more important to be comfortable in your own skin and making your own decisions. This is a must read guide for any brides who have that pushy friend who might make, or more likely break, their wedding day. Great work.


  4. Such a true article. You totally described what often happens. I love when a bride or groom steps in and says “Hey let our photographer do their job lol”


  5. YES!!! I have to say, the over enthusiastic dress fluffing is a pet peeve of mine too. This is always such a great blog for honest, trustworthy advice from a woman you want to have by your side on your wedding day. Amy of Elizabeth Birdsong Photography will always give brutally honest wedding day advice, that you really need to listen to.


  6. I love it! What an honest point of view from a photographer to the brides that are trying to figure out how to plan their wedding with their pushy bridesmaid (friend). I just love the part – “I can handle photos with an uneven bridal party 🙂 ” so true! I might have to adapt the rule that no one comes to portrait time, I find that the portraits are easier and the couple are more relaxed without the friend/sister/cousin/etc.


  7. Oh Amy your blog posts are always so on point. There always is one member of the bridal party that thinks its her wedding and tries to dictate how to day goes. Thank you for sharing your years of experience as a wedding photographer, these are great tips for brides.


  8. This is a blog that EVERYONE should read. It’s brutal honesty is a very good eyeopener, especially for anyone that might potentially be a pushy bridesmaid themselves. Your point of view over this advice is refreshing, and your tips will indefinitely assist any bride!


  9. Pingback: Jennifer & Kelly | Epic DC Engagement Session | Not your average wedding blog.

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