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How to Handle a "Maidzilla"

My sister is my matron of honor and she is a lot of help, but she has already staked out several “non-negotiables.” How do I keep her under control in a loving way?

maid of honor

maid of honor

Including family members and close friends in your wedding party is a great way to show someone how important they are to you, but it can come with its fair share of personalities. Who knew brides and grooms weren’t the only ones who could have “-zilla” moments? If one of your bridesmaids is turning into a “maidzilla”—making their opinions heard in a way that is totally counterproductive (and doing a number on your pre-wedding Zen!), it can be tricky to figure out how to handle it without causing more problems - or worse, damaging an important and cherished relationship.

These wedding pros are here to help you navigate rough waters with a maidzilla as smoothly as possible.

Communication is key. 

“Sisters and family in general are great. They love us, they want to help us, but sometimes they take it just a step (or two) too far, usually without even realizing it,” says Danielle Pasternak of DPNAK Weddings in Scranton, Pennsylvania. “In my experience, the clearest way through this type of situation is communication. As humans, we tend to put our guard up when we feel we’re being attacked, and both people involved in a confrontation wind up feeling this way. Instead, try letting your guard down and genuinely listening to what the bridesmaid in question (or maidzilla) has to say.” The requests could be coming from a good place, and might actually be helpful suggestions disguised as demands. Either way, let her know you’re grateful for her insight and that you appreciate her eagerness to help. Adds Pasternak, “Open communication is key and sometimes little changes in words (make anything negative, positive instead) or tone can make a big difference!”

Understand the "why". 

In addition to seeking out the good advice hidden in the non-negotiables, try to inform and educate the bridesmaid in question to help her understand where you’re coming from and why. “When there is someone who is overstepping or becoming a ‘maidzilla,’ my first response would be to talk with them and figure out why they feel unsafe or out of control,” says Becky Thomas of Mostly Becky Weddings & Events in Badger, Iowa. “Usually if someone is ‘freaking out,’ it is because there is some piece of information that seems to be missing.” Communicate clearly to make sure you’re all on the same page. “Take the time to identify the issue, find a solution, clearly discuss how it will be executed, and then follow up when it’s done. After the task has been completed, get back in touch to make sure you and your bridesmaid both understand the result. This open communication will start to build more trust between the two of you, and once there is trust, there is no need for the maidzilla to come out! Be a person of your word, follow up, and communicate kindly and efficiently. And whenever possible, do so before anyone has to ask!”

Step out of "bride" mode. 

Finally, don’t be afraid to let your BFF or sister instincts kick in. Weddings are such emotional events, and planning a wedding can bring out a lot of feelings that might have been lingering on the back burner. Take the time to be a sister or friend - not just the bride-to-be - and see if there is an underlying issue that’s turned your bridesmaid into a “maidzilla.” She might just be in need of a friend, and feel like she’s lost you to dresses and flowers and cake tastings. Push pause on wedding planning and make plans for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and some time for a real conversation. A little reset to your friendship might be all it takes to eliminate all those “-zilla” moments!