It turns out there's more to being a good bridesmaid than just attending a few showers and standing besides the bride as she says her "I dos." It's about getting along with everyone, making sure the bride has a good time, and not losing your cool in the process. It may seem like a lot, and it is, but you can do it! Become an expert bridesmaid with some forethought, research, and guidance from seasoned pros.
Being a bridesmaid is an honour in and of itself, but there is more to it than just that. From the various financial (and emotional) expenses to the stress of planning the shower and bachelorette party, it's no secret that being in a bridal party can be tough. You can keep your sanity and the process can be much less stressful if you take these steps, though.
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Start planning as soon as possible
You were probably asked to be in the wedding party a year in advance. The wedding may be months away, but that doesn't mean you can't start planning now. Maintain as much order as possible by keeping a contact list of your bridesmaids, a wedding timeline, a planner/to-do list, a breakdown of wedding-related costs so you can set a realistic budget, etc. The earlier you get started, the less stressed you'll be and the more room you'll have for last-minute emergencies or changes.
Be a team player
Never confuse being invited to a wedding with responsibility for its smooth execution. It's inevitable that you and your bridesmaids will have a disagreement, especially if you spend a lot of time together. Don't turn it into a game of "Who's the Best Bridesmaid?" It's possible to cross the line from proactive to controlling. Help the bride out and make a good impression by getting along with everyone. It's a good idea to periodically check in with the bride and the maid of honour to see if there's anything else you can do.
Don't bitch about the dress
As a bridesmaid, the only real obligation you take on is to be there for her throughout the planning process and, of course, the wedding itself. You should put on the dress. You might not like the way it looks on you, the colour might be too harsh, or you might just prefer something else. Finding a dress that flatters five or more different body types is a daunting task. The only time in your (adult) life when you have to dress the way someone else tells you to is tonight. Just do it with a happy face.
Get party favours ahead of time
It is likely that you will be asked to assist in the preparation of a number of decorations and party favours for the bride's shower and bachelorette party. To be a good bridesmaid, however, you need not spend all of your money on the wedding. Please do yourself a favour and locate a source for personalised labels. The ability to quickly and affordably order custom labels and tags for everything from water bottles at the reception to cupcake toppers at the bridal shower to wine bottles at the bachelorette party and gift tags for party favours is invaluable. They are a wonderful and inexpensive way to show your guests and the wedding party how much you appreciate them by giving them something special. In addition, the ideal location will be able to personalise the labels to match the wedding's aesthetic.
Plan the bachelorette party accordingly
Don't just assume that a night out on the town is the best option for the bachelorette party (and perhaps a couple of male strippers). Think about the bride's personality type and tailor the event to her preferences. You certainly want the bridal party to have a good time, but you must always keep in mind that this celebration is not about you or any of the other bridesmaids. Don't be afraid to ask the bride; not everything has to be a surprise!
We have created the ultimate list of Hens Party Ideas for you and the girls to created a day and night she’ll never forget.
In more than just a Zen sense (though that is essential!). Be there for the bride every step of the way, physically and mentally. Invite yourself along to the wedding dress trials, venue visits, etc. When she needs a break from wedding planning, offer to be her wingwoman for other activities. Try to put yourself in her shoes if you think being a bridesmaid is stressful. Let her know you're there to listen if she needs to unload her worries, concerns, or anger on someone. Keep in mind why she chose you to share in this momentous occasion with her. She appreciates you as a person, and she could benefit from your unique blend of humour, understanding, and optimism on occasion.
Don't get wasted
It's a party, so you should totally let your hair down and enjoy yourself. Drink responsibly; this includes the bridal shower and bachelorette party. You can't give the bride your undivided attention and help if you're drunk. Keep in mind that one of your primary responsibilities as a bridesmaid will be to encourage other guests to get up and dance. You should avoid slurring your words when speaking to others. A bridesmaid's actions are seen as a reflection of the bride whether she likes it or not. To avoid embarrassing her, please.
Never bitch to the bride
A significant source of anxiety for the bride is the pressure to make everyone else have a good time. That includes you, by the way. Talk to someone else, preferably someone who doesn't know the bride, if you feel the need to complain about the wedding planning process as a whole, including the bridesmaids who are driving you crazy, the endless costs, and the amount of time it's taken. Your joy shouldn't be the bride's top priority; she has enough on her plate already.
Prepare for the worst
Eliminating potential sources of failure is the surest way to guarantee success. Keep a kit with bobby pins, deodorant, fashion tape, mints, and anything else she might need on hand in case of an emergency. Plan ahead for last-minute jitters, lost items, unexpected weather, etc.
Proper Etiquette and Attitude of a Bridesmaid
Your excitement at being asked to be a bridesmaid may quickly fade as you begin to think about all that is expected of you. Usually, the bride didn't have that thought in mind when she asked you. Keep a cheerful disposition through all of the wedding's events, from the rehearsal dinner to the after-party.
To learn more about your bridesmaid, check out our post on What You Need To Know Before Proposing To Your Bridesmaids.
Do not forget that your first allegiance should be to the bride. You'll need to advise her on some of the most crucial choices she'll face in preparation for her big day. The bridesmaids' duty is to make the bride feel beautiful, regardless of whether or not they agree with everything she wants. Perhaps all she needs is someone to listen to a rant once in a while. Be as supportive and available to her as possible during this difficult time. She will inevitably make some blunders, and it will be up to you to help her recover from them.
Know Her Needs
Do some research to find out what your bride is looking for in her perfect wedding gift. Don't be afraid to ask her to clarify anything she says. She may not want you to do much more than show up to wedding-related events and be available if necessary, or she may want you to actively participate in the planning process.
Be a Team Player
There will probably be more than one bridesmaid, so even if you have disagreements with the other ladies, it's important to present a unified front. Everyone in the room is there for the same reason: to make the bride's big day perfect. If you and the other bridesmaids can't get along, it could really mess up the big day. Nothing, not even snippets about how you and she don't agree on things, should reach her ears. There may be aspects of their personality that make you uncomfortable, but don't say anything.
This Isn't About You
Keep in mind, as a bridesmaid, that the spotlight should be on the bride. You can politely disagree with her if she picks out that hideous dress for you to wear. However, you should comply with her wishes and put it on.
In case the bride asks you to do something challenging, like walking through the sand in high heels, try your best to comply. It's possible that her dream from when she was young formed the basis for her current vision. Please don't mess it up by refusing to help.
Throughout the course of the wedding preparations, the bride may seek your advice and input on a variety of issues. Being honest is always preferable, but if you notice that your response is upsetting her, take a step back and see what she has to say.
The bride and groom will likely talk about who will walk with whom in the wedding party. This is entirely up to them, so you should respect their choice. Even if you don't like the guy, you should still tell them your preference if they ask you, but it's their decision in the end.
The vast majority of brides will do the right thing by their maids of honour and not set them up with the guy who dumped them. Bear it if the bride is oblivious and reunites you with your ex. If it bothers you, try to look on the bright side and use the wedding reception as an opportunity to show him how far you've come and how you can still have a good time even though you and he are no longer together.
Here are some tips for minimising drama:
It's important that the bridesmaids all introduce themselves right away, explaining how people know the bride where they're from. If your bridesmaids are only names on to an email to you rather than real people you've gotten to know and care about, don't be surprised if you don't get the same level of teamwork from them on your wedding day. The price and the dress's aesthetic can be discussed more freely if the couple has a mutual understanding of each other's personalities and dress tastes.
Recognize that your leader is the maid of honour
Alternatively, maids of honour. Alternatively, the accolades were bestowed in a manner deemed fit. The bride has chosen a leader or leaders to oversee your group's activities (s). Do not send an email to the whole group containing your suggestions; instead, send it to her. After that, she'll be able to help the world at large through charitable donations. This seems like a no-brainer to me.
When thier well-intentioned email about the outfits you like ends up going to everyone and gives the impression that you wish to be in control, you might be surprised at how quickly the drama escalates and sides are taken. There are those who have a positive "can-do" attitude who aren't malicious. Due to the peculiar dynamics of bridesmaid squads, however, it falls just on maid of honour to take the reins. She will obey your orders if you treat her with respect.
Do it right away.
Be prompt in replying to the bride and maid of honor's text or email with advice and reminders about when the dress deposit is due. Getting the tasks assigned to you done quickly and ideally ahead of the deadline is a gift to the bride and a demonstration of how much you care about her wedding. The smoothest bridesmaid groups function in this way, because any delay in payment or other action causes frustration for everyone and may even result in late charges if the group's dress order is delayed.
Let the games end.
Avoid making a small issue out of a sour bridesmaid's complaining or tattling. She should be reminded that she is to the other bridesmaids what being a bridesmaid is to the bride.
Make the bride's day enjoyable.
To keep her sane and happy as the wedding day draws near, you should take her out on girls' nights on a regular basis (or in). There is no need to break the bank in order to enjoy an evening on the town. You have a wide range of options, from staying in with pizza to going out with friends to play tennis. Remind the bride how fortunate she is that she has you as her sisters as well as friends to keep her cool and collected while you have a good time with the gals.
Make the bride laugh by joking about the situation when she calls to vent about her husband or mother-in-law. Having reached a new age, she finds that everything is more dramatic. Do not say that, but also do not suggest that she is making things up. Instead, be sympathetic, hear her out, and find a way to make things better for her. If you end up saving the wedding, the bride would be eternally grateful to you.
There's no doubt that your friend is overjoyed about her wedding day and would love to share her excitement with you. The bride has gotten a bad rap in recent years thanks to all the talk of "bridezillas" (we hate that word!). Couples often avoid discussing the finer details of their wedding, such as the menu and the flowers, for fear of coming across as self-absorbed or dull.
You should your friend to talk about the wedding, ask her questions, and show genuine interest. She can finally put into words her internal struggle over which stationery fonts she prefers and feel a sense of relief.
But Talk About Other Things Too
You should ask your friend about her wedding, but you should also ask about her job/family/new shoes and talk about what's going on in your own life.
She might feel as if her entire life is centred on her upcoming wedding due to the barrage of inquiries she might receive. Make sure to divert the conversation away from the wedding every once in a while.
The Perfect Shopping Buddy
You need to find a way to be helpful without discouraging your best friend from purchasing the dress of her dreams while acting in the role of shopping confidant for her wedding gown.
If you want to avoid saying something like "Ugh, beading," or "Strapless dresses are so boring," while dress shopping with a friend, it's a good idea to check out her dress board on Pinterest or ask her about what she has in mind.
However, do suggest other styles she might like that she hasn't thought of yet, and if she tries on a dress and you don't like it, unless you think she's in love with it, tell her gently that another one was more flattering/gorgeous/suited to her.
Keep in mind that in the end, it is her taste and sense of style that matters, not yours.
Throw Her Hen Party, Not Yours
So, for your ideal bachelorette party, you plan to down shots and hit the dance floor while wearing flashing L plates and waiting for your (fake) fireman stripper to arrive.
It's possible that the bride you know prefers a more low-key celebration.
Think about what would make your friend's ideal day, night, or weekend, be it a weekend on a farm, a spa break, or a karaoke slumber party, and incorporate those elements into a unique hen party she won't soon forget.
To The Bitter End
Even though you're usually the last one standing at a party, as a bridesmaid you have to stay as long as the bride does.
If the dance floor is deserted following a dud, it's time to get your groove on. Before heading out, though, make sure your friend has eaten and is well hydrated. Although you should kick back and have a good time, keep in mind that your friend may need assistance unbuttoning the forty-seven buttons down the back of her dress before she can leave the party.
Being asked to be a bridesmaid is an honour, but it also requires a significant time and financial investment, and can put you in potentially stressful social and financial situations. Remembering the reason for the celebration and the happiness it brings is the best thing you can do for the bride and yourself throughout the entire process.
There is more to the honour of being a bridesmaid than just showing up to the wedding and holding a bouquet. Participating in a bridal party can be taxing on both the wallet and the heart, what with all the costs associated with attending the wedding and the shower and bachelorette party, as well as the pressures of organising them. The only real responsibility you take on as a bridesmaid is to be there for her on her special day. Assist her with everything relating to the wedding, including the planning process.
Being a bridesmaid is more than just a formality. The role of bridesmaid requires constant emotional and physical support for the bride. It is the responsibility of the bridesmaids to make the bride feel beautiful, regardless of whether or not they personally approve of the bride's preferences. The bride should always come first when it comes to your loyalties as her attendant. Maintain a high level of availability and support for her as she goes through this challenging time.
Some helpful hints for the bridesmaid who wants to avoid any unnecessary drama at her best friend's wedding. Please introduce yourselves and honour the bride and groom's wishes regarding the order of the wedding procession. Ignore the urge to cc everyone in the group on your email suggesting solutions to her problems. In a bridesmaid squad, the maid of honour is the one who naturally assumes leadership. Provide timely responses to the bride and maid of honor's text messages and emails with helpful suggestions and reminders.
Ultimately, the bride will be eternally grateful to you if you are the one who saves the wedding. In light of recent "bridezilla" headlines, the bride has come to be seen in a negative light. Many engaged couples avoid talking about the smaller aspects of their wedding. It would be nice if you could spend some time with your friend before the wedding talking about it and asking her questions. Though a privilege, being a bridesmaid is a major commitment in terms of both time and money.
Create a memorable hen party by incorporating elements that would make your friend's ideal day, night, or weekend. The best gift you can give the bride and yourself is to reflect on why you're celebrating.
- It's about getting along with everyone, making sure the bride has a good time, and not losing your cool in the process.
- Start planning as soon as possibleYou were probably asked to be in the wedding party a year in advance.
- Help the bride out and make a good impression by getting along with everyone.
- Get party favours ahead of timeIt is likely that you will be asked to assist in the preparation of a number of decorations and party favours for the bride's shower and bachelorette party.
- To be a good bridesmaid, however, you need not spend all of your money on the wedding.
- Think about the bride's personality type and tailor the event to her preferences.
- Be present
- Be there for the bride every step of the way, physically and mentally.
- Please don't mess it up by refusing to help.
- The bride has chosen a leader or leaders to oversee your group's activities (s).
- She will obey your orders if you treat her with respect.
- Be prompt in replying to the bride and maid of honor's text or email with advice and reminders about when the dress deposit is due.
- Make the bride's day enjoyable.
- You should your friend to talk about the wedding, ask her questions, and show genuine interest.
- You should ask your friend about her wedding, but you should also ask about her job/family/new shoes and talk about what's going on in your own life.
- However, do suggest other styles she might like that she hasn't thought of yet, and if she tries on a dress and you don't like it, unless you think she's in love with it, tell her gently that another one was more flattering/gorgeous/suited to her.
- Keep in mind that in the end, it is her taste and sense of style that matters, not yours.
- It's possible that the bride you know prefers a more low-key celebration.
- Think about what would make your friend's ideal day, night, or weekend, be it a weekend on a farm, a spa break, or a karaoke slumber party, and incorporate those elements into a unique hen party she won't soon forget.
- Even though you're usually the last one standing at a party, as a bridesmaid you have to stay as long as the bride does.
- Although you should kick back and have a good time, keep in mind that your friend may need assistance unbuttoning the forty-seven buttons down the back of her dress before she can leave the party.
- Remembering the reason for the celebration and the happiness it brings is the best thing you can do for the bride and yourself throughout the entire process.
FAQs About Bridesmaid
The Maid of Honour (or Man of Honour, where applicable) serves as the chief bridesmaid. She acts as the bride's critical personal attendant both during the engagement and on the big day, intending to reduce stress wherever possible and lend a hand or opinion whenever needed.
Be the bride's confidante, let her vent if she needs to, talk about non-wedding things if that's what she needs, and help her see the fun side of planning if she's starting to get overwhelmed.
Bridesmaids often cover the cost of their dress and undergarments, shoes, accessories, and hair and makeup for the wedding day. The bride may opt to cover any of the costs if she deems it appropriate.
Being asked to be a bridesmaid is a big deal. It's exciting to have a role in someone's wedding and be there for the whole ride! But having this role comes with a lot of preparation, organization, and responsibility.
Yes, absolutely! The idea that unmarried women must surround a bride is ancient history, and unless all your closest friends happen to be unwed, it might as well stay that way. There's no reason you can't ask a married friend to be a maid.