As your wedding day approaches, it’s sometimes difficult to think about anything but your wedding plans. However, while your wedding is clearly about you and your groom, your friends and family certainly play an integral part in the process – especially your bridesmaids. Keep reading for some tips to avoid conflict with your bridesmaids and to ensure you keep them all as friends after the big day.

Forgetting their gifts, or picking gifts according to YOUR taste

It goes without saying that bridesmaids’ gifts are a tradition that should probably not be ignored. Lets face it. They’ve listened to you talk about the wedding for the past year, ponied up money for dresses they probably don’t like very much, and pampered you all day. Saying thank you with a small token of appreciation should never be something you overlook.

While it’s obviously important to select bridesmaids gifts relevant to both who you are and your wedding, it is also important to keep in mind that these gifts are for your bridesmaids, and not for you. Try to think about each individual girls specific tastes, and cater to those.  If you are thinking about getting the same gift but in different variations, personalization is key. Engraved or monogrammed gifts, or even colors specific to likes and dislikes of your bridesmaids shows added effort and appreciation on your end.

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Forcing them all to wear lime green & tulle

It’s understandable to want to incorporate your favorite color into your wedding, but forcing your bridesmaids to wear outlandish colors and unflattering styles are common mistakes brides make when selecting bridesmaids fashion. Not every girl looks great in lime green, or in big, puffy dresses. Try selecting one color, and putting your girls in flattering variations of that color. When it comes to dress shape, stick with universal shapes that will compliment all body types. This keeps with your theme without forcing your friends to feel uncomfortable.

Not being upfront with costs

If you won’t be footing the bill for dresses, hair, makeup, nails, and travel, it is extremely important to be upfront about costs with your bridesmaids. Inform them of these things as soon as you know, because for some, this may be a costly endeavor. While it is unlikely that you will be able to foot the bill for all of these things, allocating at least one of these areas into your budget should be something to consider. Maybe you can’t afford to fly your bridesmaids in from all across the country, but paying for their hair and makeup would be a relatively inexpensive courtesy to help your bridesmaids out. Whatever the scenario may be, be upfront- the more upfront you are, the more likely all of your bridesmaids can participate.

Not saying Thank you

While this is your big day, your girls definitely deserve a bit of appreciation from you for all that they have done. Being a bridesmaid is no easy, or cheap task, so be sure to really take the time to thank each one individually. Since your day will be so hectic, and lets face it, you’re really only thinking about you and your groom to be, a great idea would be to write out hand written cards to go with their bridesmaids gifts. Use personalized stationary or thank you cards, and be sure to write more than just “Thanks”.

Being a Bride-zilla

It’s okay to know exactly what you want for your big day, but bossing around your bridesmaids or being upset if something goes wrong won’t leave positive memories for you or your bridal party. Feeling stressed out? Try enjoying some bonding time with your bridesmaids the day before. Get a massage, watch a chick flick, or do at home mani’s and pedi’s with your friends. Thinking about something other than the wedding will be a relief for both you and your bridesmaids, and a nice way to unwind before the big day.

Don’t forget that your bridesmaids are your friends and family first, bridesmaids second.

While a bridesmaids’ main job is to make the bride feel comfortable and to support her on her big day, do your best to make the day about them a little bit too. Giving gifts, saying thank you, and being courteous about costs and fashion are great places to start, and a sure fire way to ensure that after the big day, they’ll still want you around.