10 Tips I Learned About Being A Good Bridesmaid
I’ve been a bride and I’ve been a bridesmaid. I was blessed to have an awesome group of ladies standing by my side on the big day. On both sides, I’ve experienced the highs and the lows including my own personal moments where I let the stress of it all get the best of me.
As a bridesmaid, it is our responsibility to be there for the bride, help her in whatever way we can and make sure she has an enjoyable experience throughout the entire process. So, before she says “I do” and before you say “I will” to being a bridesmaid, make sure you take note of these 10 tips.
Remember, it’s not about you.
Yes, you will slay and look beautiful on that day. Your face will be beat (great make-up) and you, too, may walk down the very aisle the bride will walk down, but don’t forget…it’s not about you. It’s her day and her time to shine. Keep this in mind in everything you do and you’ll remember to put her bridal needs before your bridesmaid needs.
Don’t forget your title – “bride’s maid” – so lend a helping hand.
Try to be proactive and ask the bride if there’s anything you can do to help. Even if you live in another state, there are things you can do as it relates to helping plan the bachelorette party, the bridal shower or even the wedding. When one of my friends was getting married and I lived in another state, I still helped research decorative items and pricing for her online. If you can’t do as much leading up to the wedding, at least commit to doing what what you can the day of the wedding like offering to get food for the other bridesmaids, running last minute errands or helping with the setup or clean-up for the wedding.
Don’t try to take over or force your opinions on the bride.
For those of us who are married or for those of us who just might be a little bossy, it’s easy for us to try and tell future brides what they should or shouldn’t do, but our opinions should only be offered when solicited. Maybe you prefer a more intimate wedding, a larger wedding or even a destination wedding. That’s totally fine and you can do all of that when it’s your turn, but for now, let the bride do what she wants to do. Remember, she’s planning the wedding of her dreams, not yours.
Don’t overwhelm the bride with too many questions.
“Where is the wedding? What time is the rehearsal? What kind of shoes should I wear? What time is the wedding?” Unless you’ve been a bride, one can only imagine the number of questions that come up from all sides – parents, family, friends, wedding planners, etc. So, try to remember that before you start bombarding her with tons of questions. One less question for her could mean one less thing she has to worry about. Side note for the bride: Create a website or send friendly email reminders and include commonly asked questions/answers. Then, as the wedding draws closer, consider empowering someone like your maid/matron of honor or wedding coordinator with information, and direct people with questions to the person you’ve chosen or to your website.
Shield the bride from unnecessary personal and behind the scenes drama.
There will be enough small fires the bride will have to put out or deal with before and during the actual day. The last thing she’ll want to worry about is which bridesmaid is arguing with another, who doesn’t like their dress or who has arrived to the wedding late.
Don’t be that girl.
Don’t be that girl who is always late, always complaining, always showing up with an attitude or always causing trouble for everyone around them. Yes, you may have to interact with people who you aren’t as cool or close with, but that doesn’t mean it’s the time to confront them and deal with your issues. At the end of the day, you don’t want to be the one who makes it hard for the bride and everyone else.
Be honest from the beginning if you’re not certain you can fulfill your obligations.
One thing I know for certain is no matter the role (bride or bridesmaid), each one requires a unique set of sacrifices as it relates to time, resources and especially finances. Whether it’s due to financial or timing issues, be honest upfront even if that means you may have to decline the request (depending on the length or closeness of the friendship/sisterhood of course). Besides, you don’t want to end up a bitter bridesmaid.I had someone tell me they couldn’t be a bridesmaid for some of the same reasons and even for circumstances beyond her control. Ultimately, my husband and I had to make some changes but it was early enough that it didn’t really affect anything. Plus, I understand life happens, but it didn’t make me feel any differently about them as my friends.
Don’t wait until the last minute to order your dress.
This is one of the best ways you can stay on the bride’s good side and eliminate unnecessary stress. It’s likely she will be checking online or calling the store anyway to check and see who has or hasn’t ordered their dress. Always take into account the length of time it may take for alterations. So, be sure to plan ahead.
If you’re going to give a toast at the reception, try and prepare your speech beforehand.
Unless you’re totally awesome at speaking from memory, off the cuff or in front of large crowds, save yourself the embarrassment of stumbling over words or saying things that could be totally inappropriate or humiliating for everyone including yourself.
Be patient with the bride.
Managing life can be tough enough and planning a wedding on top of everything else just adds more stress to the plate. I can own up and say that even though I wasn’t a “bridezilla” per se, I definitely had stressful moments where unfortunately I took my frustrations out on others. So, there may be times where you might have to put up with a bridezilla and utilize a little more patience than usual but keep in mind it will only be