How To Deal With Bridesmaid Body Issues

When you are planning a wedding one of the hardest things to do, next to sticking to your budget, is walking the fine line between getting what you want and being considerate of others. Everyone wants to weigh in on your decisions, friends family, wedding planners, heck even strangers want to throw in their two cents from time to time. But ultimately, everyone will tell you it's about having the day you've always dreamt of.


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For most brides, we can't imagine that day being perfect without our favorite women standing beside us. Sisters, cousins, friends; the relationships vary, but one thing holds true, this is someone who means enough to you that you would ask them to play a major role in the biggest day of your life. Sometimes though, circumstances can create certain awkward situations with bridesmaids. Whether it's an expensive dress or a lot of travel when it comes time to have these discussions, things can get a little uncomfortable. However there is nothing that tries a friendship more than dealing highly personal, highly sensitive matters like body issues. Here are a few ways in which bridesmaid body issues may arise, and some ideas on how to deal with them

Over / Under Weight Bridesmaids

We don't pick our friends based on their body types. Nor should we pick our bridesmaids based on who will fit into the dresses we picked out. Sure, we've all seen Bridezilla shows where the bride insists on diets, or asks bridesmaids not to gain weight before the wedding but the fact is; if you call your friends fat, they probably won't be your friends for very long. Most of us would like our bridesmaids to continue speaking to us after the wedding so whether your Maid of honor looks like Olive Oil or Brutus the do's and don't are the same.

DO pick a dress that will flatter her body. Maybe it's not exactly what you wanted, but in the end you won't be looking at your bridesmaids anyway. It will be a much better day if your girl is happy and focused on you instead of being miserable and self conscious.

DON'T forget that color and martial choice can make a huge difference. Pastels are unkind to love handles and jutting hip bones alike. But darker shades are much more forgiving on everyone. The same is true of certain fabrics, chiffon is friendly to many a body type while satin is a chubby girl's worst enemy.

DO consider letting your girls choose their own dresses. Set guidelines on color, length, material and necklines of course. But if given freedom your bridesmaids are likely to find something that fits their body type and your look.

DON'T ask friends to lose or gain weight. It's just not fair. You love your friend for who she is and not for how she looks so don't risk making her feel bad by insinuating she is too skinny or obese. It's ok to invite your bridesmaids to join you in your pre-wedding exercise plan, but leave it up to them.

Bridesmaids With Varying Body Types

The best group of friends is a little diverse with each person bringing some new and unique to the table. A lot of times that means different lifestyles and different shapes and sizes. That means that when you're assembling your bridal party, you may have girls ranging for 5'3 to 6'2 or dresses sizes from 2-22. So how do you deal?

DO look at dresses by the same designer that come in different styles. No one says that bridesmaids need to be clones of one another. If you have a diverse array of body types, the same style won't look good on everyone.

DON'T pick a dress that only flatters the most difficult body type. It almost guarantees that someone will look awkward in it.

DO think about undergarments. Whether your girl has huge boobs or none at all, her rack will play a role in how she wears the dress and how she feels in it. Girls with a big chest, tend to favor supportive undergarments so think about bra options with the dress you are selecting. Also, keep the other under-cover in mind. If panty lines are a no-no, make sure everyone has considered the benefits of thongs or going commando. But only in long dresses please. In other cases, tall girls in short dresses may find themselves inadvertently flashing the ring bearer.

DON'T forget to take height and weight into account in your line-up and bridesmaid/groomsman pairings. For the procession and photos, symmetry is generally more aesthetically pleasing.

Piercings and Tattoos

You probably have at least one bridesmaid in mind who is slightly more "the rebellious type". Or perhaps all your ladies are, and that's why you love them. In any case you may have one or more bridesmaids with facial or body piercings and tattoos. Unfortunately, both can actually be a huge distraction during your ceremony and if you don't want your day to become about their body art, there are a few ways to handle that situation.

DO keep tattoos in mind when you are dress shopping. If back tattoos are popular among your friends, maybe backless isn't the way to go. In many cases the bridal party will have their backs facing the congregation for most of the ceremony, so just keep logistics in mind.

DON'T bring up tattoo removal. That's kind of a banshee bride move. Makeup will be effective enough. Even though a professional cosmetician may charge a lot for it, it's still cheaper than laser treatment. However, if she has been thinking of going for removal for her own reasons, then this could be the impetus she needs to make it happen. In that case, maybe you could help her out with the cost as her bridesmaid's gift.

DO think about dress style and accessories from the beginning. For tattoos that may mean incorporating wraps, and sleeves into the dress selection. And for piercings that can be choosing jewelry early enough for a girl to get a matching nose or eyebrow ring.

DON'T wait until the last minute to let a bridesmaid know that you want her to cover her tat or take out a piercing. They will probably oblige if you ask them nicely, but if you drop it on them with an "Oh by the way…" the day of the wedding, they will be irritated, and rightfully so.

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to dressing your bridesmaids no matter what their figures look like. The time of year will determine whether your bridesmaid is sweating like a pig or freezing her petticoats off. The cost of the dress and alterations will make a huge impact on every girl in your bridal party. There are numerous pitfalls in the dress selection process but if you remain sensitive, and anticipate problems ahead of time, then you can probably avoid most of them. Ultimately it will be your ability to balance your wants and their needs that will determine whether or not your friends hate you by the time you get home from your honeymoon.

About The Author

Janet is a freelance writer for a laser tattoo removal clinic based in Houston, Texas. She has been a bridesmaid 4 times in her life and next year she will finally be the bride. After more than one pastel, satin, bridesmaid's dress, she is very much looking forward to getting her revenge.

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