Being a bridesmaid is one of the greatest honours; the bride-to-be has chosen you to be right by her side on her big day and every step of the way leading up to it. Obviously, this is a very exciting time for you all, but with expectations often high it can be stressful, time-consuming and potentially expensive, too - which is why we’ve put together a few helpful tips to set you on your way.
1. The Search for Bridal Wear
Whilst some brides prefer to go it alone, choosing the bridal wear is a big decision, so many appreciate a second opinion. If you’re asked to join in the wedding dress search, remember that while you may have different tastes, this is ultimately her dress - and what she chooses should be true to her style, not yours.
With that in mind, it is equally important to be as honest as you feel you can be. It’s not always easy but with a little sensitivity and diplomacy, you can help an unsure bride-to-be avoid making an unflattering mistake.
2. The Hen Do
This is a chance for the bride (and her nearest and dearest) to let off some steam…or relax and unwind!
Whilst your idea of the perfect hen do might be shots, strippers and ‘L’ plates, remember that the bride might have different ideas. Phallic headdresses might not go down too well with your shy and easily embarrassed friend - not to mention her new mother-in-law. Chances are, a bridesmaid will know the bride well enough to put together a memorable hen party that suits her down to a T!
It is also important to consider everyone’s budget and not just the brides. A long weekend in Vegas might not be affordable for all guests, and money should never be a reason to exclude someone from the celebrations. If the bride has invited someone, it’s because she wants them there, first and foremost, so choose a location and event that works for everyone.
3. The Bridesmaids Dresses
Don’t make a huge fuss about your dress…even if you hate it! It is but one day in a lifelong friendship so compromise is key.
Hopefully, your friend has good taste and will pick something that flatters each of the bridesmaids accordingly, but, this may not always be the case. Regardless, stand proudly in your cake topper number, confident in the knowledge that the guests will be focused on the bride herself!
4. Keep the Peace
Weddings are meant to bring everyone together - but with friends from all walks of the bride's life, there are bound to be some tensions! With the dresses, finances and, dare I mention - the friendship-rivalry (of course you are the bride's best friend)! The last thing the bride needs to add to her to-do list is counselling her maids.
Bite your tongue, all of these ladies are important to the bride and this is her day!
5. Bridesmaid Duties
A word of advice: be prepared for all eventualities.
It is wise to know the plan for the day and who’s who in the proceedings so that you can easily deflect any unnecessary questions from the bride and groom. Go easy on the alcohol, you have to be the first and last one standing on the day; if the dance floor empties out, guess who’s got to get everyone back on their feet! And don’t forget to be ready for that last minute dash for tissues before the emotional bride walks down the aisle!
Of course, there will be a lot more thrown your way in the course of being a bridesmaid – and it will be tough getting there – but the end result will be a day that you will all remember forever.
Whatever your thoughts are on the bridal wear, the wedding colours or the other guests, suck it up and smile! Remember to enjoy yourself and ensure the day is all about your friend, the bride.