Bridesmaid Or Bride's Slave?

Getty iStock / Coffee and Milk

Getty iStock / Coffee and Milk

When loved-up women are finally asked THE QUESTION, their first point of call is, of course, their bestie – mainly to enlist their services for bridesmaid’s duties. Most friends are so blubberingly excited they scream “yes!” before thinking long and hard about it. From being excited, to ending up spiteful, how do women go from a bridesmaid to a bride-slave?

Bridesmaids' duties are meant to be sweet and simple; you show up on the day, get dressed and celebrate by drinking and dancing the night away. You do those little “jobs” like dressing the bride and posing for pictures – all very pleasant. This is what many believe will happen when they agree to be a part of their girlfriend’s big day, and for some lucky few, it actually works out this way. As for the unlucky ones, they go from best buds to bride-slaves.

So what does this mean? It means becoming a wedding planner, psychologist and personal assistant, all for the love of the bride. It is physically, mentally and sometimes financially challenging. From buying expensive dresses and attending countless fittings, to hen's weekends, spa days and high tea at five-star hotels, being a bride-slave can take you to credit card hell.

It doesn’t stop there either. You must be there at all times to comfort the bride-to-be, and tell her “it will all be okay”, and “he will love you even if you are psychotic sometimes”. Keeping your cool will become one of the biggest tests for any bride-slave.

Take my girlfriend for instance, who spent a whopping $5,000 just for her bestie's wedding prep. She walked away from it with a maxed-out credit card, a hangover and wardrobe full of clothes she will never wear again.

Here are a few wise words from some women who have been on the not-so-nice end of a controlling bride, and how they managed to save the friendship and the day.

"I was fired from being a bridesmaids because I she felt like she wasn't supporting her, and while I look back now and part of me cringes at her bitchiness in doing that, I also think that in a round about way it saved our friendship. I didn't have my heart in the job and I she let me out of the obligation. We ended up talking about it after the wedding." - Jess
"My sister-in-law was the worst. Oredering us to do everything and not once saying thank you. Had it not been family, I would have quit (or had it been one of my siblings I would have told her to her face to calm the eff down). In the end, for the sake of my husband, I sucked it up and kept reminding myself that there was an edn date." - Sally
"For me, some of the demands weren't just about her being bossy but also about asking me to spend money I didn't have. In the end, I picked a good moment (which I think was the crucial factor to success) and had a heart to heart with her about why I didn't have that kind of money to spend. We came to a compromise and everything got back on track." - Kylie
"I had been a bride myself when I had a situation of being a bridesmaid for someone who became totally unrealistic about how much time I should be spending planning her wedding. With a fulltime job, and kids, my participation was never going to happen the way she wanted it to. It got pretty heated and we didn't speak for a week or so, but she ended up coming around. I think honesty about your situation and explaining your feelings and problems is the best way to deal." - Ness

So, a little tip for those who have found themselves as bride-slaves: remember that she is still your girl, she just wants the day (and every day leading up to it) to be perfect. It's important to set boundaries of what you will and won't do, and talk to her if you feel like it’s getting out of hand. Most of all, know that while it feels as though you will never be rid of your duties, you can return the favour when it's your turn.

And brides reading this who are cringing a little as they seem some of their new traits commented on in this story, remember that it's not too late to turn things around and stop treating your friends like employees (who you don't pay). Pick up the phone, give them a call and talk it out. You should never let a wedding day come between you and your mates.