I’m a Bridesmaid & I’ve Been Asked to Dye My Hair & Lose Weight For the Wedding…

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Rainbow country fete wedding

Hi Kat
My best friend is getting married really soon and I’m a bridesmaid. She has asked me to dye my hair dark brown or black, and to lose 10kgs for the wedding. 

Now I know that may not seem like a big deal but since leaving high school I have always channelled my personality into my hair. I’ve had pink hair for the last five years and switch it up occasionally with purple, blue, or green. I really don’t want to have my hair coloured darker as its such a pain in the ass to go through the whole bleaching process again. Am I being over-sensitive? Or is the bride’s word the law?

As for the weight loss I understand she wants me to look thin in the pictures, but I like the weight and body shape I have now. I feel like if she knew me and loved me she’d accept the way I look and the way I am. This is seriously stressing me out and making me quite depressed. Any advice?

If you’ve ever walked down the street and felt a million pairs of eyes on you, looking you up and down, wondering what would posses you to look and dress the way you do. then welcome to the club! It seems bonkers to me that in 2015 having unnaturally coloured hair still seems to shock so many people, but it does. In my (blue) head, those narrow minded people are the weirdos!

But I have never, ever felt judged by my friends for the way I present myself. Not only are most of them just as colourful and weird (by the way I say ‘weird’ as a massive compliment) as me, but even the ones that aren’t appreciate my differences and enjoy asking me about what colour I might dye my hair next and if I’ll get any more tattoos. I can’t for one second imagine being best friends with someone who didn’t think like that.

You’ll have to excuse me because it’s taking all my strength to not simply reply “WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS THIS BITCH’S PROBLEM?” and leave it at that. But asking someone to fundamentally change who they are for your wedding is not OK! Requesting that you to wear a dress you don’t necessarily love is one thing, but she’s expecting you to permanently strip the very things that define you and make you the beautiful, glorious individual that you are. That is just unacceptable. You are not being over-sensitive or unreasonable. I’m sorry, but your ‘friend’ sounds like a right royal bridezilla.

As for the weight loss thing… I mean, I can’t even fathom why someone would say that to another human being, least of all their best friend. We all know how strongly I feel about this issue anyway. Its bad enough when it comes from strangers, but from your best friend? Unforgivable.

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Now I understand that not everyone is going to appreciate our penchant for rainbow tresses, lord knows why they’d find it so offensive but as I said, people are weird. Everyone on this planet (regardless of how conventional or unique they look) passes and experiences judgement from others and if you choose to stand our from the masses with your hair, clothing, body shape, WHATEVER, then its only going to come more frequently.

But (and this is a big but) I simply can not wrap my head around how your BEST FRIEND would feel OK about being so rotten to you. Yes, it’s her “big day” but that doesn’t give her a free pass to forget her manners. She knows what you look like, why would she even ask you to be in her wedding if she found it so offensive?

Regarding the hair colour issue only, I guess you have four options:

1. Dye your hair
2. Offer to wear a wig
3. Tell her you’d still love to be a bridesmaid but she has to take you as you are
4. Tell her to shove her invite to be a bridesmaid and find a new best friend

I know which option I’d be going for…

As for the weight loss thing, to me there is no question about it. If you are happy and healthy then never, ever, ever, under any circumstances should you feel the need to lose weight to keep someone else happy. FUCK. THAT.

And that’s all I have to say on the matter.

In all seriousness, if I was you I’d respectfully step away from my role as a bridesmaid. It’s a shitty and emotional situation, but being ‘fired’ or quitting a bridal party doesn’t always have to end the friendship. Although you might be raging (or is that just me?) and feeling rejected, if you maturely explain to her that this is you, you’re not going to change who you are for her wedding, but you’d still love to come along as a guest and have a great time with her, then the relationship might just be saved.

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93 comments

  1. Argh this frustrates me so much! My 4 bridesmaids were all different shapes and sizes, and I know 2 of them are really self conscious about their weight (which makes me quite sad). In the end I decided to get them different style dresses in the same colour so they felt comfortable. My mum was worried it wouldn’t look good but in the end they all looked beautiful! People should celebrate who they are, not try to change to fit someone else’s views. It didn’t even cross my mind to ask my bridesmaids to change who they are. I wish more people could think that way!

  2. My sister didn’t ask me to dye my hair but she wanted me to grow it so all of her bridesmaids could have the same hairstyle and I was annoyed enough about that to cut my hair short on purpose. So I can even begin to understand how a ‘friend’ could make this request of you. She should be happy to have you in her bridal party in all your glory of not at all.

  3. Nadine G

    I’d say “thanks for the opportunity to be a big part of your special day, but I’m not going to do either of those things” – She doesn’t have to feel guilty about not putting it out there, you don’t have to feel shit about your weight or your choice of hair colour and you can both breathe a big sigh of relief. With regards to the friendship after that – I’d sack it off and tell her to go f*ck herself.

  4. SL

    I was asked to have my hair tied up once. I never tie my hair up, so I asked if I could cut it short. I felt horrible and my hair wasn’t done the way the bride wanted it on the day and I felt like it was my fault.

    When I got married I asked my best friends to be my bridesmaids. This included a range in heights from 5ft to 6ft, a bridesmale, short purple hair, long blonde hair and so on. What does it matter?! Yes the pictures look like a groomsman got lost but there was no way I was not having the people I love in my wedding because of that! It just makes for more interesting photos.

    As for the weight thing, having been a variety of sizes myself, how can you possibly expect someone to lose weight?! It’s her day, the focus is on her anyway. She certainly doesn’t sound like a true friend. I hope you manage to do what feels right for you.

  5. Louise McBride

    I’ve worked “in weddings” in various capacities for the last 15 years. The ONLY reason to ever ask someone to change something about their appearance is – forgive me – if they are going to pull forcus from the bride and groom. I can see the point of asking someone to TEMPORARILY tone down a particularly striking hair colour, because nobody wants a bridesmaid who looks hotter than them at their wedding.

    But as for the weight loss? She can fuck right off, then fuck off a wee bit more, just for luck.

  6. Rea

    Omg!! I can’t believe this!! This girl is not your friend! I would Defo sit her down and have a serious chat about the whole thing!! I’m a bride to be myself, my MOH has blue hair and would never dream of asking her to dye it! She’s my something blue 😉 xx

  7. Anna

    No bride or otherwise has the right to ask any of this of you or anyone else. If she was a true friend, she would mind you looking like you. I’d tell her not no but HELL NO!!!

  8. hannah griffiths

    Erm, if she’s your friend then she should behave like a friend! This is horrible behaviour. I’ve been a bridesmaid four times and got married last year. Every wedding was different and every wedding was beautiful because the only thing that’s important is having as many people you love, and who love you, all together to celebrate love and life. End of.

  9. What she is asking is ridiculous and wildly inappropriate. Why would anyone even think that’s OK to do?

    I was asked to be a bridesmaid with pink hair too, but got the opposite request. She asked if I could dye it again just before the wedding so it would be super bright, understanding that it was part of who I am and wanted me there, not some form that she wanted of “me”.

    I personally would bow out of being one, distance myself from her, and not attend their wedding. As there’s some extreme levels of selfishness and disregard for others going on. That’s a toxic person I wouldn’t want in my life.

  10. Amanda

    Option 3 is my answer. You are there as her friend and if she understands you and loves you like a true friend should, she should take you as you are and be grateful that she can have her friends around her on her special day. Stay as you are and be happy. Don’t let people dictate to you how you should be or look. People can be dicks.

  11. Emily

    Consider just dying it a light color, if you are the only one with bright hair it can take the focus off of her in the wedding photos and at the wedding. I wouldn’t dye it a dark color though. Maybe just bleach it and then you have the ability to make it bright as fuck the next day 🙂

  12. Rebecca K

    The aptly named Louise McBride has a great point. If she’s still being a cow then when I get married, you can be my MOH and have whichever colour of hair you choose, wear an awesome dress which accentuates your best features and look and feel damn awesome too. Weddings are awesome celebration of love and commitment in front of family and friends, not just for photos. I once went to a fairy wedding where the bride wore purple and doc martens and so did the bridesmaids. Everyone wore the makeup and hair how they wanted. It was a lovely and relaxed day for bride and groom. Tell that nippy bride to get to fuck!

  13. carly

    I was a bridesmaid for my sister and my naturally blonde hair was black and I had a lot of piercings and implants (body piercer). I normally wear black a lot of the time. She chose lilac dresses that I hated but I sucked it up and wore it for her. My mum was stressing about my facial and neck piercings but thankfully my sister wasn’t bothered about them as that’s just me. Take me or leave me. I would suggest that uou are happy as you are looks,weight and hair wise and if she really has a problem then she should really think about what is more important yo her- having her beat friend as a bridesmaid or not. I don’t think anyone has the right to ask uou to change for their benefit. Good luck.xxx

  14. Abi FG

    I’m happy for my girls to look the way they want to look on my wedding day. I’ve asked them to grow their hair so that they can have pretty hair styles to go with their dresses. I’d never ask them to lose weight. I’ve had one bridesmaid tell me she was going to lose weight, and then moan at me that 10 months wasn’t enough time! Alrighty then. Is it not enough to wear a pretty dress and smile in photos nowadays?

  15. Sara

    …and she’s supposed to be your best friend. I’d tell her where to go if I were you.

    I’m due to be a bridesmaid next year for my best friend of 20+ years…and any suggestions for how I should look on the day have all been from myself…and as she is my best friend, she has understood and accepted my suggestions.
    For myself, I’d like to lose weight for her big day…she’s told me that I shouldn’t but I insisted, I need to get my weight down anyway so I might as well have a goal to aim for.

    As for hairstyles, compared to the other bridesmaids, my hair is completely different and much more difficult to work with (I have afro-style extremely curly hair) so we’ve agreed that I can go with whatever style works best for me, even if it is different to the other bridesmaids.

    It’s all about compromise, and a true best friend would accept that.
    If I was you, I’d begin to question your friendship with her. If she can’t accept you for who you are, it’s her loss not yours.

  16. Amanda

    A true best friend wouldn’t ask you to change any part of you. No if’s or buts. There are no excuses for wanting anyone to change their physical appearance just so they “look thin” in photographs. If you’re happy with you the I’d lose 10 kilos by dumping my so called best friend. Xx

  17. Shocked at this only time I can see any one altering anything is using a bolero for bride/bridesmaids in a church for modesty. If you ask someone then ultimately all you could ask is for them not to change their look. But to be honest as long as your friends are their on the day that’s all that matters

  18. Sarah

    This is 100% not ok and is out of order. I’m personally relaxed about my hair. Ive been a lot of colours too and my moto is always, it grows back or it grows out. But I think if someone asked me to change I might have the same reaction. What what’s wrong with my hair? I completely agree of you are healthy and happy with your weight what business is it if anyone else. Having a positive body image in this day and age is hard enough without a so called best friend putting pressure on you. If she was my friend she would have got an answer straight away, which would have been “get ta fuck mate. I’m not doing that for anyone.”

  19. Fee

    If she wants you to be anything less than your beautiful self, she’s no friend. Respectfully decline and see if you want to maintain the friendship.
    She sounds like a bridezilla. Or a complete bitch.
    Good luck xx

  20. Lauren

    The idea of ever asking someone I loved to change what they look like (especially when they are happy with themselves) just so they will look ‘better’ in photos is incomprehensible to me.

    I don’t care if it is her wedding – your friend is a bitch and you should run for the hills. No one treats someone they care about that way.

  21. Kirsten

    This is horrific! There is no reason for her to ask you to change yourself and in all honesty, if she’s doing that, I don’t think she’s very much of a ‘best friend’. When my best friend got married she asked me to be her bridesmaid. I was already thinking about getting streaks of a bright colour in my hair so I asked if I could dye it purple to match our bridesmaid dresses, I also asked if I could wear my Converse at the reception (she knows I don’t do well in heels all day) and she said to me “you could dye your hair bright orange and I wouldn’t care. What’s important to me is that you’ll be there with me, regardless of what you look like.” That’s still the best thing anyone has ever said to me. The important thing should be that you’re there, no matter how you look – and especially what you weigh!!!! Sit her down and explain how you feel, and if she still insists, I suggest you tell her to go f**ck herself!

  22. Lily

    You love your haircolour and body/weight. If your ‘friend’ cannot accept you for you, quit the bridal party, decline to be a bridesmaid. Every bride has imagined her perfect wedding, your friends doesn’t involve a colourful bridesmaid, and that’s fine. But that doesn’t mean you have to change who you are. So before the wedding: colour your hair, buy a lovely dress. The day of the wedding: celebrate with your friend, look gorgeous and have a great time!

  23. Meredith

    I’ve honestly never wanted to punch a screen so hard. I can’t even fathom asking anyone to do ANYTHING of the sort. I’ve been both a bride and a bridesmaid (I am both plus-size and tattooed), and not in either scenario would this have been OK. Yikes. If she had such an issue with your appearance, she shouldn’t have asked you to be a bridesmaid. Period. Jeez. Bridezilla to the max.

  24. If the Bride was truly your friend she would know you and love you as you are.

    To ask someone to change their appearance and to lose weight (I had to read that bit a few times!!) is totally unacceptable.

    All Bridesmaids go through the ‘dress’ thing but this is way beyond that. Your ‘friend’ sounds very controlling and ‘bridezilla’ does come to mind.

    I know Brides do get very stressed and can act in odd ways.. but I really think you need to say ‘pardon?’ to both of these things and blink sweetly at her as you say that word.. the next time you talk… and if she doesn’t get the message say quite firmly and sweetly that you were so happy to be asked to be part of her big day and, as friends, you know she’d always want you to be yourself and if she’s not happy with the way you look then it’s best that you just go as a guest, if she wishes.. the balls in her court..

    Like I say Brides can get stressed, if she’s really your friend support her but don’t be a walk-over.. firmly & politely stand your ground and see what happens…

    Good Luck!

  25. I can *almost* understand the hair colour issue (I’ve had pink and blue hair) sometimes issues with relatives take over “but Nana wouldn’t like it” etc (although you ought to tell Nana to do one) but the weight loss is unforgivable and disgusting. It sounds as though she’s embarrassed about her friend, which shows she’s not tally such a good friend at all 😞 I hope she makes the right decision for her but I know what I’d do!

  26. Marissa Walden

    Wowzers!! This is just wrong. Dont people become friends because they love one another’s true selves? You’ve,walked by each other through life as you are so why change to walk down the aisle? The bride needs a reality check and a lesson in sensitivity. Love your friends for who they are or be prepared to lose them.

  27. Lorna

    ‘I want you to be my bridesmaid but I dont want you to be you’. I’d have to decline or your friend should adapt her wedding ideas to suit her friends! Good luck!

  28. Royda Jacobs

    She would only ask you to do those things if she felt very close to you. Maybe because you are such besties she had guts to ask you in the first place. If it was your wedding, would she do the same for you? No one knows what your relationship with your friend is like, so it’s easy for us to just tell you to ask her to eff off. It’s in your judgement to decide if you want to honor her wishes and make these sacrifices in order to create the perfect day that your friend envisioned. I wouldn’t do it unless she would have done the same for you. That’s what friends are for. They don’t need to watch their words because at the end of the day, you knowplace each others hearts, and you can trust/forgive them and love each other no matter what. If she has truly hurt your feelings by this, it is now your duty to tell her how you feel. If she is insensitive to your feelings, then perhaps it’s time to let her go.

  29. Charlie

    Sadly, I never reconciled my freindship after my ex-best freinds’s wedding. We tried to stay freinds after the wedding but eventually just accepted that it had come to a natural end. There are a few things I will take from my experience of being her maid of hounor though:
    I want my bridesmaids to be comfertable and confident and appreciated – they are meant be your closest female friends, why would you put them in shoes that are too small ‘because they match the others’, dress them in a dress that they neither like nor feel comfertable in ‘because they match the other bridesmaids’, fall out over a hair clip (thank you dear God for Kelly the hair dresser who managed to find a way to clip it into my a-symetric bob!), and shout at them the night before the wedding whislt they are tryong to fix the dodgy flowers from the dodgy florist?
    I will also be mindfull that shit will go wrong and it isn’t going to be perfect on the day. I will also be thankful when people come to the rescue when stuff does go wrong

  30. I wish I could say that this infuriates me but I’m just so so sad for our dear bridesmaid. Here she’s been asked by one of her very best friends to change things about herself that make her feel like herself. I can’t even imagine how hurt I would feel if my best friends asked me to dye my hair back to something ‘normal’ or lose weight for their event. Big hugs to you love.

  31. Sonia

    Honestly, I’m scared for your friend. I think you pink haired, happy lady will be fine because you’re clearly thinking and caring. But the bride-woman, ooh, she’s gonna have such a shit day. Nothing but nothing is going to be perfect enough for her. If she’s having a wedding to have great photos, oh lady. It’s all about love ain’t it? Blogs love photos, but life isn’t about creating memories it’s about living. One day even the photos won’t help you remember a damn thing. Do whatever you think you can do, including trying to warn your crazy bride mate that she needs to chill ‘cos it’s just a day and the only thing that can last is love.

  32. Sarah Jane

    What kind of ‘friend’ asks you to loose weight for their wedding?!?!?! I am absolutely astounded that someone you call a friend wants to physically change your appearance to suit them. I could not be friends with someone who wanted that as they wouldn’t be someone I’d be acquaintances with let allow call a friend!!
    Asking you to change your hair colour is bad enough, but to alter your physical form!!?!?! Jesus wept that is no friend in my books!!!!

  33. Biscuit

    I wore a dress I hated that made me extremely, EXTREMELY self-conscious about my body (I refuse to look at the wedding photos or allow myself to be tagged in them) and I dyed my hair from pink to auburn for my best friend’s wedding.

    This, after she was a piss-poor maid-of-honor in my wedding, which I allowed all of my bridesmaids to pick their dresses as long as they were below/at the knee and black.

    I still love her dearly, and I was an excellent, supportive bridesmaid for her even though she dropped the ball for me, but it did make me very bitter. She got the wedding of her dreams while I scrambled and scraped and lost days of sleep because I had zero support and was forced to do everything myself. *sigh*

  34. maria

    you are her best friend because she likes you for who you are. im sure she hasn’t even thought it through what she is asking of you. don’t change I agree with others comments that you could make compromises (wig) but just tell her you really do want to be part of her day but as you as you are and if she still wants you to change then decline the offer and go as yourself. but under no circumstances should you risk your friendship over this life is too short xx

  35. Doublecoire

    You could go through with it all and then if you get married (if not already) tell her you’re making it a skittles sweets theme so she must dye her hair green and gain 15kg as you want all your bridesmaids to be as round as a skittle candy piece. This is if you’re willing to play the long game.

    I’d tell her to shove it up her foof

  36. Angela Boyd

    As as bride to be my bridesmaid could turn up like she was just outta her bed for all I care or anyone else thought, why,because she’s my best mate & she’s got my back! Kick this person to the kerb, she’s not worth it!

  37. Anna

    If she’s usually a good friend who’s having an unespected bridezilla episode, I’d go with 3 and hope that she will soon come to her senses and apologize. If she doesn’t, she’s an unreasonable, selfish and cruel person and she will eventually loose you, or you will loose yourself (please don’t).
    I can almost understand the hair thing, although it’s still an unreasonable request, since there are a number of alternative solutions that would probably me more comfortable to you (wig, updo with something like a bandana partially covering your hair, …), but asking someone to loose weight is absolutely out if this world, completely unacceptable. PLEASE don’t do this, it’s not healthy and it’s really not worth it: if she’s a good friend she’ll understand in the end, if she’s not there’s n reason to do it.

  38. RB

    I’m sorry but if some of you where my bridesmaid id revoke the offer… cutting your hair short just to spite the bride matching hairstyle plan? 😮

    I have had dyed hair from age 12 so I get that, I dont even know my natural colour anymore but some of these responses are really self involved and rediculous

    why should anyone be outshined by an attention stealing bridesmaid, its 1 single day for someone you claim is a friend who has asked you to be part of a very select few honored to take part in one of the biggest commitments of their life and something they only get to do once… if you really care then is sticking a wash in wash out colour on for 1 day so tramatic really?

    the ‘dye it black’ thing is unfair as like was mentioned lightening takes ages and can damage hair but toning it down doesnt mean losing your ‘alt’ identity, what about a nice rubine, black cherry, cosmic blue or dark plum if your dying it much more reserved but still alt or just stripped back to blonde or the very fashionable gray

    or just colouring it with gel or mousse that will not do any damage at all, I use to gel colour mine BRIGHT titian every day when pregnant and it would wash out completely in the shower, Ive done it with brown and black too with NO damage at all… a time consuming pain in the ass if your doing it every day but for 1 day its an extra 20 minits or so so not really hard work

  39. Katla

    I have to really disagree with you all about the hair color. I am getting married in April and my niece has bright pink hair and I am asking she return it to her normal color for the wedding. It has nothing to do with not approving of her style. It’s just that I don’t want the focus of the wedding to be my nieces pink hair. It should be about my fiance and I. And if you have a bridesmaid that has such statement in hair color the focus will be on that and not us.

    If she were to choose to have a wedding and wanted all her bridesmaids to have bright colored hair, I would happily turn mine blue or pink or whatever would make her day.

  40. Steph

    T-10 weeks away! I’ve not seen either of my bridesmaids (except via Skype) for at least a year or so, and I have no real idea how they are looking lately. And I don’t care. They will look like two of my closest friends on the day and that is that. They’re sourcing their own outfits and the only stipulations I have are that they are comfy and wearing something that makes them feel beautiful. One is in Perth and the other in London (I’m in NZ) and I’ve put them in touch on FB if they fancy coordinating, but I’, not worried if they don’t. I know it is a departure from the traditional matchy-matchy bridesmaid look, but I’ve thought about it a bit and I really find it odd to have several individual adult women dressed in exactly the same way. So that’s not happening at my party. It may be mostly about me, but I’d not be happy corralling my ladies into a miserable day just for my sake
    Option 3 as a first attempt, followed by Option 4 if that fails is my pick. The wedding’s supposed to be about the LOVE, between two people and those close to them, including you.

  41. jessika harder

    My sister is getting married in august and i’m 1 of her bridesmaids. there are 4 of us including me, and we all have dark hair. the wedding is months away. I mentioned to her that i was thinking of dying my hair a different color like a grey blue color. And she’s like absolutely not, u are not to change ur hair color until after my wedding. But the thing is i’ve been planning this for sometime now, and wanted a different color for the summer. Do u think that she is being unreasonable or should i wait until after her wedding? would like some opinions!!!

  42. I was so upset reading this article. How dare the bride ask you to change! To me, she is not your friend. I had a friend who told me to wear makeup, dye my hair and lose weight. We had been friends for over 50 years. She is no longer my friend. I say good bye old person, hello new potential friends. Life is too short to have people in your life who make you feel badly about who you are. If you don’t like me, piss off.

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