The women you chose to be your bridesmaids are your best pals and therefore the perfect posse to help you plan your wedding -- theoretically. But in the months leading up to your big day, there are bound to be a few bratty moments, like a meltdown over the dress (not yours -- hers) or a week where she doesn't call or email you back. The upside: Bridesmaid mishaps don't have to ruin your wedding day -- as long as you're prepared for them.
Bridesmaid Horror #1: She wants to be your MOH
The Drama: You've always imagined your sister as your maid of honor, but your college roomie wants the title. She's even been dropping hints since your engagement about how great she is at dress shopping -- and licking envelopes.
The Deal: Sit down with your friend and explain how happy you are to have her as a part of your wedding day, but also that you only have one sister. If she's still grumpy, ask her to help with the wedding by doing something she enjoys.
The Dish: "It took several months of awkward conversations with one bridesmaid before I was able to get through to her that it wasn't an option. The funny thing is, after one wedding-related outing with my sister, she understood why she couldn't have that title." -- Queenie
Bridesmaid Horror #2: She's a cheapskate when it comes to your wedding
The Drama: She complains about the price of the bridesmaid dress and is stingy with the singles at your bachelorette party. She even has the nerve to say you don't "need" a shower since you already own a vacuum. Um, right.
The Deal: Delicately ask your bridesmaid if the wedding is becoming a drain on her budget. For all you know, she's struggling to pay off debt or has had hours cut at work. If you really want her by your side, offer to cover some of the dress cost and arrange for her to carpool.
The Dish: "I had been a bridesmaid for a close friend and spent $400 on the dress. So I got beyond frustrated when I asked her to spend $150 for mine and she threw a fit. It turned out that her husband had just been laid off. I bought the dress for her as a gift." -- Nathalie
Bridesmaid Horror #3: She's suddenly MIA
The Drama: Your über-connected maid's got a BlackBerry and a pager and is always strapped to her laptop -- but you haven't heard from her in weeks. The weirdest part: You know she's updated her Facebook page. So what gives?
The Deal: Schedule some face time -- even if that means posting on her wall or leaving her voicemails (and not scary ones where you threaten to make her walk down the aisle in her prom dress). Remember that she has a life outside of your wedding, and maybe a recent breakup or other sudden change has thrown her off. If that's the case, offer your help. She's your friend first -- then your bridesmaid.
The Dish: "I completely lashed out at one of my closest friends because she wasn't answering my phone calls about going dress shopping with me. Of course I felt like a complete idiot when she got back from a two-week vacation in Italy with her parents -- where she didn't have cell phone reception." -- Kristen
Bridesmaid Horror #4: She's on the prowl
The Drama: You want your bridal party to get along -- just not that well. So the fact that she constantly flirts with the best man -- and you swear you just overheard her telling him her hotel room number -- is so not cool.
The Deal: Wedding party hookups can cause tension, but it's not your place to lay down the law. Instead, casually ask your ladies to save the flirting for after the ceremony.
The Dish: "We ended up being so busy the day before and the day of the wedding that there was barely any time for my flirty friend to get to know the guys. Of course, she did get her groove on with one of the groomsmen at the reception, but by then I didn't care!" -- Erika
Bridesmaid Horror #5: She's a control freak
The Drama: Your bridesmaid's taking her bossiness to a whole new level by dictating every aspect of your big day. She's pressuring you to order a cake you don't love and already bought a bridesmaid dress in a different cut than the one you chose because it makes her waist look smaller.
The Deal: Delegate duties to your bossy maid, but know where to draw the line. Give her one or two wedding tasks to handle, with the caveat that you still get final say. If she gets cranky, kindly remind her that it's your wedding -- and while she may be excited to help, you've been planning it in your head since you were five.
The Dish: "My type-A friend would say, 'The dresses have to be champagne!' 'Wear your hair up!' It was nuts! I finally told her that I wanted to do things my way, but she didn't take it well. It showed me that our friendship wasn't all I had cracked it up to be." -- Kathy
Bridesmaid Horror #6: She just got engaged -- and is obviously way more into being a bride than a maid
The Drama: Okay, so she practically burst your eardrum screaming, "Of course I'll be your bridesmaid!" when you called to ask, but that was before the diamond. Now she's in her own world, even though her wedding is in a year.
The Deal: You might be tempted, but resist the urge to blurt out, "So will you still have time for my wedding?" If she's still into being your bridesmaid, ask her to focus in the weeks just before your big day. But also be understanding if she'd rather just be a guest.
The Dish: "When my friend got engaged, I was worried she wouldn't be there for my wedding. But it ended up being a win-win. We went on errands together -- and it was even more fun because we were both the bride!" -- Anamika
Bridesmaid Horror #7: You want a PG-13 shower -- and she's planning an R-rated event
The Drama: By now, you know that these events can get kind of, uh, racy. If your family is more conservative, it's understandable that you'd rather not have penis straws at your party.
The Deal: Schedule a more family-friendly affair for your in-laws and aunts, and then opt for a lingerie shower with your friends. Hey, you'll get twice the loot! Remember, they may be planning the party -- but you're the guest of honor, so don't be afraid to set the tone. Other options: a spa day, an old-school slumber party or even going to see your favorite band play.
The Dish: "I was sure there'd be no lingerie at my bridal shower. Was I wrong! Two of my bridesmaids got me lace teddies. My mom just giggled about it, but I was mortified." -- Sandra
Bridesmaid Horror #8: Her baby bump is stealing your thunder
The Drama: The girls just put down their deposits on strapless gowns with a cinched waist, when one of them announces she's got a baby on board.
The Deal: Let her know it's okay for her to bow out but that you'd love for her to be a part of your wedding. If she's still game, let her choose a belly-friendly dress and supportive shoes.
The Dish: "At first I couldn't help but think, You really couldn't wait? But then I realized that was selfish, and I was excited for her." -- Brie