Hi Rene:

Janine is my best friend. We met in elementary school, so I’d like to think I really know who she is, but my current experience with her says otherwise. She’s getting married in August to a wonderful man. I’m happy for her. I’m not happy that she has turned into Bridezilla!

I’m serving as one of six bridesmaids. I’m dealing with the stereotypical bridesmaid horrors; the expensive, awful-colored dress, the request that we all style our hair in a French roll, and the impractical, stripper-style, $150 shoes. But the worst thing is that Janine told me I had to lose 10 or 15 pounds before the wedding. She says that she’s going to look her best and that her bridesmaids should, too.

I’m very upset about this. Rene, please give me some advice before I drop out altogether.

Sign me: Baffled Bridesmaid-To-Be (Maybe)



I get this whole bride thing; heck, I’ve been a bride myself, though many, MANY years ago. I remember the feeling of wanting my special day to go just right.  But I also knew that trying to control certain elements would be a waste of time and energy, not to mention placing the focus where it ought not be. I think that is where we find Janine. So if I were you, I’d take my life-long friend out for a cocktail and here’s what I would do.

TELL HER YOU UNDERSTAND: Bottom line, it’s the day she’s been dreaming of since she first time stood in front of the mirror with a terrycloth towel on her head clutching a bouquet of dandelions. You get that. But it appears sampling wedding cake and Champagne for six months might have has some impact on her blood sugar levels, making her light-headed. Tell her you love her, you understand and then continue.

TELL HER HOW THE REQUEST MADE YOU FEEL: Here’s where this gets dicey. You can tell her how the request made you feel, what’s on your heart but it’s possible that she won’t hear a single world. As I said at the top, this is about her and her day and some people, in trying to make their day perfect, forget about everyone else. But this is one of the few times in a woman’s life when it IS all about her and to an extent, it should be.  She and her husband-to-be (or father/family) are paying a lot of money for this. Janine has a clear vision of what she wants her wedding day to be like, and probably has it all laid out, right down to the matchbook covers, on her Pinterst board. So make sure, in trying to make yourself heard, you don’t pour sour milk on her cornflakes. I would don kid gloves, then gently tell her that, while you want her to be happy, you are hurt by her request. It would be one thing if she came to you as a friend, genuinely concerned for your health, but that’s not the case. This is all about everyone having flat tummies for the photos.

MAKE YOUR DECISION: It’s poop-or-get-off-the-pot time. You can either honor her request (along with the bad dress and shoes) and just grin and bear it, or you can drop out. It’s really that simple. If you decide to drop out, be prepared for the friendship be collateral damage. As I said, Janine is myopic in her thinking right now so she might get pissed and decide she’s better off without you. Hopefully that doesn’t happen but if it does, pray she takes off the Bridezilla goggles and gets back to some semblance of the person she once was and the two of you can go back to being friends. If she does not, wish her well, be thankful for the time you shared and move on, knowing that people change, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. Then find friends who’ll take you (and your 10 or 15 pounds) as you are.

Good luck to you!

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