Everything You Need to Know to Nail the Part of Perfect Bridesmaid
By: Kristen Page
Whether it’s your sister, your childhood friend, or your college roommate, these five little words actually mean a lot. Brides give a lot of thought as to who they want to be part of their special day – not to mention the months of planning leading up to it. Before saying yes, make sure you’re up for the challenging task ahead!
Being a bridesmaid is no easy – or cheap – feat. It’s a role that has the potential to require a fair amount of planning, to cause a serious strain on your bank account, and to tie up at least a few of your precious weekends – not to mention that you might have to wear a hideous pairing of dyed satin shoes and an awkward gown…all with a big smile on your face. With that said, it can also be one of the most special, rewarding, and memorable roles that you can play in any girl’s life. Weddings are important celebrations, and the role of a bridesmaid should not be taken lightly!
But don’t fret; I’ve got all the tips on what TO DO and what NOT to do, once you take on the “bridesmaid” title.
Celebrate the Engagement
Whether you knew it was coming, or it’s a complete surprise, the bride wants you to be as happy for her as she is about her brand new “engaged” status and the new bling on her finger. Ask about all the details (she’ll be dying to spill), send her a gift (see the list of suggestions below), throw her a party, or at least send a card of congratulations. Even though getting engaged / married might be really far down on your priority list (or not on your list at all), it’s something that only happens once, so suck it up and let the celebration begin. This is an incredibly special time in her life so let her shine… it’s her time!
So the bride is inevitably going to be stressed. She’s planning an event for hundreds of people that is supposed to be “the best night of her life,” the most amazing party, and a rare family reunion – all in one. She’s dealing with a thousand little details, trying to make everyone happy and feel included, and juggling two very different family dynamics… not to mention she probably still has her full-time job. You’d go crazy too. As a bridesmaid, your job is to keep her from losing her mind! Make her laugh. Take her out for lunch or for drinks, and just listen. Act interested. Ask if you can help with anything. In most cases, there won’t be anything for you to do but that simple gesture of asking how things are going and how you can help makes all the difference. Help her delegate responsibilities, be her shoulder to cry on when she’s had enough of her future mother-in-law, and be there to get her mind off of it all.
Don’t be an Extra Burden
We know she’s got enough going on – so just sit back and do what you are told. Don’t make a fuss that the dress is the wrong shade of green for your complexion or that there is a lack of cute, available groomsmen at your disposal. Remember, you signed up for this job, and that includes the not-so fun stuff too. Put on a happy face and be supportive of anything that will make her dream day come true.
Plan a Bangin’ Bachelorette
One of the best parts of being a bridesmaid is getting to attend (and plan) the bachelorette party. Throw the ultimate party – the best girls night out on the town, a get-away weekend to the beach, or a relaxing spa day of pampering. This is the time to really live it up and make those lasting memories with all of her best girls. Get creative and crafty, use Pinterest to find some fun games and decorations, and don’t worry… It doesn’t need to cost you a million bucks. Just the uninterrupted girl time will be more than enough.
Split It Up
Besides the bachelorette party, there is a shower to plan and an engagement soiree to throw. Luckily, you don’t have to do it all yourself. There is a reason there are multiple bridesmaids, or in some cases a whole circus of ladies, to support the bride. Split up the tasks – and cost – so everyone can be involved, and so everything doesn’t fall on the token ‘Type A” bridesmaid of the bunch. Set up a group email, Facebook message, or Skype session so everyone knows what is going on. Share documents via Google docs or a public Dropbox folder. Lean on each other to complain, laugh, and collaborate – I promise you they are sharing your same sentiment.
In this day and age, chances are the bride’s hometown and/or wedding is in one place and her permanent address lives is in another — neither of which are which you call home. Flights are expensive, weekends are precious, and all the wedding necessities (dress, gift, shoes, etc.) add up quickly! Let’s say you can’t make it to her Vegas bachelorette shindig, her family shower, or the invitation stuffing party. It’s okay. Just be honest with her that money is tight, you can’t get off work, or whatever the case may be. She will understand. Instead, send a gift or short note to let her know that you are thinking of her during that special time and wish you could be there. It can be small – a “bride” sash with a dare for her crazy night out, something from her registry for her shower, or a bottle of wine to help the invite-stuffing go more quickly. It’s the small touches that mean the most, so as much as she would love to have you there, just knowing that you are thinking of her means the world.
The special day is finally here… And it should be all about the BRIDE. Your job is to do anything and everything to make sure she is calm, happy, and smiling from the minute the sun rises. If you are told to be somewhere at a certain time, to make a Starbucks run on the way, and to bring that playlist that you had dance parties to in your sorority house, you better not forget! This day is not, I repeat, IS NOT about you. So you better make sure you don’t oversleep, go missing when it’s time to take pictures, complain about how hot it is outside, or get too drunk at the reception. Make sure she’s the star, and she will surely return the favor when the roles are reversed.
As a bridesmaid, the wedding process can often be a frustrating ordeal, but it is also your chance to create precious memories you will look back on for decades to come. Enjoy the process, and especially the day. Be excited – you get to get all dolled up, indulge in great food and drinks, and dance until your feet hurt. Be thankful that you get to be part of her special love story as you stand by her side with nothing but support and well wishes.
Kristen’s Top 5 Engagement Gift Picks for Any Budget:
1. Somewhere to Keep the New Rock
…Like this ring holder from Etsy (PromisePottery) ($29). Trust me – she needs a designated place to set it when she takes it off at night, so she always knows exactly where it is.
2. Something She Can Use on Her Special Day
….Like these Kate Spade Grace Avenue champagne flutes ($65) that she and her husband will toast to at the reception.
3. Some Inspiration and Planning Help
…Such as bridal magazines and the ONLY planning book she will ever need: The Knot Complete Guide to Weddings ($17 + $5 – $10 per magazine) .
4. A Scrapbook
…Like this one from PaperSource ($20), for all the wonderful cards she will get to congratulate her on her engagement, notes of well wishes she will receive at her shower, and any other little thing she wants to remember from this special time in her life.
5. A Personalized Hanger
….Like this one from Etsy (haomaihanger) ($7) that you can customize with the bride’s future last name.
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