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ASK CARLEY: Dealing with a problem bridesmaid

Q: I asked my soon-to-be sister-in-law to be one of my bridesmaids.She wasn't thrilled, but agreed to be a maid because it was importantto us. Ever since, though, she has been difficult. She called myfiance crying last week about how much she hates the bridesmaiddresses I picked. How can I deal with this?

A: A demanding bridesmaid is never fun, but when she's part of yourfamily -- ouch. You need to start by deciding what your priority is.You say you've chosen the dresses, but are they ordered? If you're notthat obsessed with having your maids match perfectly, you couldconsider allowing her and all the other bridesmaids to pick adifferent style.

If you really want this dress, you need to make your case -- tellher the reason you like the dress on her. You might also recruit yourfiance just to gently reinforce your POV.

Beyond the dress issue, the key here is to pick your battles. Ifshe's fighting you on everything, you can't expend all your time andenergy (especially when you're already bogged down in a millionwedding details) dealing with her. On top of that, she's family, soyou can't completely blow her off.

Yes, she's definitely being a pain, but don't let it bring youdown. Deal with issues as they come, and remember, you don't have tocome out of this as best friends. Focus on what you and your fiancewant, and remember that you're building this family together(including his sister).

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