It is indeed an honor to be chosen as a bridesmaid. But talk to veteran bridesmaids and they’ll probably tell you that bride tribe duties can wear you down too. It’s not because they did not want to be their friend. Wedding planning is undoubtedly stressful and as a bridesmaid, you are bound to experience some of the stress along the way. Remember, being a bridesmaid requires more than just putting on a dress and posing for photos.
1. Be on the same page as the bride.
Not all brides think of bridesmaids the same way. Once you say yes to the bride, ask her right away what she expects of you and how much help she needs. Maybe she’s one of those bride-chillas who only expect you to show up on the big day. Good for you.
At the same time, be upfront with your own limitations. If she wants a destination bridal shower but you are tightening your belt, let her know and offer to help in other areas. Give her your support but don’t promise her the world.
2. Play nice with other bridesmaids
Chances are, you’ll be bridesmaids with other girls who don’t belong to your circle. In the event that you find yourself embroiled in a disagreement with a bridesmaid over the wedding, always remember that the last thing the bride should be doing is to play referee for squabbling friends.
Try to create an atmosphere of cooperation among the girls. For instance, scout for a hair and makeup artist who’s willing to offer a good deal for a large group like yours. The bride will thank you for it.
More importantly, work with the other bridesmaids in ensuring that the wedding planning goes on top of things. This goes for weddings with brides who like to involve her wedding party in the planning. Discuss among yourselves who will do which tasks.
3. Be an independent woman.
You don’t have to be the bride’s shadow when she runs her wedding errands, but if you’re caught up in bridesmaid problems that you can deal with on your own, don’t bother the bride by all means. Is your dress a tad too tight? Go have the repairs done yourself. Not sure if you should match your shoes with the other bridesmaids? Ask one of them first.
4. Know when to speak up
Yes, the bride is your priority but that doesn’t mean you should keep your mouth shut all the time. If you think that the bride can do better with her choice of invitation supplier, speak up and suggest an alternative. That’s still part of helping the couple in making the wedding of their dreams come true.
You can also suggest better alternatives to the bride if she’s choosing an unflattering hue for the bridesmaids’ dresses, especially if other bridesmaids think similarly. It is her big day, too, but she’ll want a happy tribe behind her as well.
5. Be on crisis mode.
Expect all kinds of things to happen on the big day, so come in your most pro-active self. Keep a checklist and schedule of to-dos months weeks before the big day and make sure everything is on track. Think of all the possible things that will unravel on the big day and the key people who can help you out. Basically, be a few steps ahead of the bride.
The best bridesmaids also protect the bride from unnecessary drama on her most special day. Erring supplier? Deal with the problem before it reaches her. Additional requests from the mother-in-law? See if you can deal with her before she approaches the bride. Her bridesmaids should act as a protective circle around her while diffusing problems before she finds out about them.
6. Keep her happy and sane all throughout
Expect the bride to go through an emotional rollercoaster during the wedding planning because it's not just the wedding she’s thinking about. She’s about to start a new chapter!
Photo via Ella Celebration
Her first line of emotional support should be her bridesmaids. Take her out of the wedding planning frenzy if it’s getting too much for her. That’s what bridal showers are for! No matter what theme you pick or what kind of bridal shower you plan for her, the important thing is to let her know that she’s got a girl squad behind her in this very important stage of her life.