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How to Handle a Bridesmaid Who Wants to Steal Your Spotlight

How do you tactfully handle a diva bridesmaid? Here’s our best advice.

bridesmaids singing speech toast reception

bridesmaids singing speech toast reception

Photo: Marianne Wiest Photography

We all have a friend or family member who craves attention. The one who hogs the microphone at karaoke night. The one who has to wear the most look-at-me outfit for every occasion. You love her dearly, so of course you’ve asked her to be a bridesmaid in your wedding. However, as the planning process continues, you start to realize that she’s trying to add her two-cents and upstage you at every turn.

How do you tactfully handle a diva bridesmaid? Here’s our best advice!

Don’t overshare
Your bridesmaid may feel the need to criticize every wedding-related decision you make, which may cause you to second-guess yourself. Try to avoid asking for her opinion about every little detail. Be confident in your decision-making and don’t change your wedding vision just because one person disagrees with you. Your wedding vendors are the experts here, so use them as sounding boards if you’re having doubts.

Let her choose her attire—within reason
A bridesmaid who loves the spotlight may complain if she has to wear the exact same dress as everyone else—but if she’s left to completely choose her own attire, might select something that stands out a bit too much. To avoid these scenarios, give your bridesmaids a choice of a few specific dresses in complementary hues and styles. That way, your diva bridesmaid can wear something “unique” but won’t upstage you.

Keep her busy
The good thing about a bridesmaid who loves the limelight is that she’ll likely be willing to help out with wedding-related tasks—so let her! She can plan the wedding shower and/or bachelorette party, create welcome baskets for out-of-town guests, assemble favors, and more. Be sure to heap praise upon her as tasks are completed—she’ll love that.

Give her a (specific) speaking assignment
The last thing you want is your bridesmaid putting on a ten-minute musical performance during your reception, so you might want to assign her a different venue to show off her talents. Perhaps she can give a short speech during the rehearsal dinner (give her a time limit!) or perform a reading during the ceremony. Just be sure to give her very specific and detailed instructions so that things don’t get out of control.

Assign a “bridesmaid buddy”
If you’re really concerned about your diva bridesmaid’s behavior, ask one of your fellow bridesmaids (preferably one who knows her well) to keep her in check. This “bridesmaid buddy” can be a source of positivity if your troublesome bridesmaid is being too critical of your wedding-related decisions. The two of them can also work together on speeches or other tasks to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Avoid “firing” her
We get this question all the time: “Can I fire a bridesmaid?” The answer is technically yes, it’s your wedding, you can do whatever you want. Be we don’t recommend it. When you “fire” a bridesmaid, you’re effectively ending your relationship with that person. Remember the reasons why you asked this person to stand beside you in the first place—her sense of humor, her fun personality, whatever it is—and focus on those good qualities rather than the not-so-great ones.

Remember what matters
At the heart of it, your wedding is about celebrating the relationship between you and your future spouse. Yes, it’s a bonus to have an amazing bridesmaid squad, but it’s not the most important part of your wedding day. Maintain a positive attitude and put your energy on the tasks you need to get done rather than wasting your time worrying about bridesmaid drama. Hopefully your good attitude will be contagious and your ‘maids will follow suit!