Bridesmaid BS in Ruby Woo

Hey ESB,

I'm looking for some advice - and just a bit of rant time let's be honest - about my sister bridesmaid.

So I'm getting married in about 6 weeks, but I've been planning for about a year now.
I asked my little sister to be my only bridesmaid... The reasoning of which eludes me now but I think it was just that it would be a nice, sisterly thing to do. No other bridesmaid but her - I'm not into the giant pack of women in matching dresses thing.

So my sister is the baby of the family and has always been a bit spoilt. She's about 7 years younger than me and the only other girl in my family. We weren't super friendly as teenagers - she has a wicked temper and we would have screaming matches about dumb things. But we've started getting on pretty well since she became an adult -- she sort of settled down and became more normal. We even went on a trip together.

My sister is wedding crazy - she has Pinterest boards, she loves decorating. I could see her as a wedding planner. But it also means that I think she's getting a bit carried away.

So far, I've been shopping with her and bought the dress she chose for herself. Not the colour or length I had in mind but it's her dress and I want her to be happy. She likes to self-tan while I'm a pale girl - I've always felt she looks too dark but I hold my tongue. She feels free to tell me that my flowers are crap (I'm arranging the flowers myself and posting trial run pics on Instagram); I'm hurt but I keep it to myself. She turns her nose up at our casual planned reception in a local country hall but I forge on (and hire some waiters). She wants us both to wear a flower crowns -- kind of not my style but it might look nice and she's excited, so what the hell?

But now, icing on the cake now, she's at me to hire a professional make-up artist for the wedding. No, I say. That's not my style. I want my make-up natural and I'm doing it myself. I'd like you to do it with me too, I say. We'll help each other.

So shit hits the fan. (Did I bring this on myself by being too accommodating previously??).
We have a massive argument that involves me being a selfish bitch because I know how much she likes make-up and she really wants to look perfect for the photos. Arguments about how I'm not a proper bride because proper brides get their hair and make-up done by professionals. She literally says "I know it's your day but I don't care! I want to look good for the photos so I'm deciding what I do!"

Anyhow, where to from here ESB? Dropping her as BM has been mooted but I think that would damage our relationship irrevocably. I'm loathe to give in to her though. I ask for one thing! We always look weird enough together because she's super tanned and I'm not - add her wearing full make-up and me looking plain.

Or do I keep the peace, let her go to the make-up artist on her own?

Ok give it to me straight...

Not a proper bride.


  1. If you're going casual, can't she just have the face she wants? You certainly don't have to pay for her make-up job but unless you're expecting her to get really clowny make-up, it'll be fine. Why are you worrying about your *skin tone* matching if you don't care about matching dresses?

    I'd hold out on the flower crowns though. The whole "I'm deciding what I do" thing, you know?

  2. 1) You don't get to have 'rant time' unless you stand up for yourself. So start standing up for yourself and then you may rant all you want.

    2) Yes, you brought this onto yourself by being too accommodating. See 1.

    3) Reemphasize that you want to do makeup together as a sisterly experience. If that doesn't change her mind, let her go to a make-up artist and get on with the rest of the wedding planning.

    4) Don't wear a flower crown.

  3. Do not do flower crowns just because she wants to.

    You shouldn't make her do her own makeup if she doesn't want to. You're not controlling her dress, so don't try to control her look. Let her pay for a professional if she wants one.

  4. Echoing what others have said about flower crowns (just don't), make-up artists (if she wants one that badly she'll have to pay), and yes you have been far too accommodating.

    But I'm really curious about your obsession with her skintone.

  5. I will just leave this here....

    If you REALLY want to do makeup together, and she is insisting on a professional makeup artist...maybe you should use the artist too. Trust me, they can do a "natural" look on you. If you don't care, then let her do as she pleases, and you do as you please.

    (But I get it. My (little) sister is getting married and we have had more of these insane, blow-up fights now than we ever did growing up. Not sure why.)

  6. It's one thing to let her pick her bridesmaid dress-- which, honestly, she's lucky she gets to do that. But YOU are the bride, and she doesn't get to decide how you look.

  7. Let her have a make-up artist if she wants one. Do your own make up if you want to. It is likely that she will look like a plastic doll and you will look like a human woman in the photos. Which is fine.

  8. Tell her fine but she pays for it and you get to pick. Then find the most natural coolist makeup artist out there......I can be