How to be a Fabulous Bridesmaid
Have an open and honest conversation up front about what the bride is hoping you will help her with. Obviously everyone is different so some brides will need you there every step of the way and others will want to do things themselves so make sure you know where she would like you to help.
Here are some things to think about during the wedding planning and on the big day.
Dress Shopping (for the bride)
The bride will probably ask you to accompany her when she starts looking for her dress. But don’t be offended if she decides to just go with her mum or sister. Not everyone likes an entourage.
If you do go to the dress shopping, be honest but be tactful. Don’t tell her she looks awful in a dress and that she really needs to lose weight. There are plenty of nicer ways to suggest they try a different style. (I would suggest you watch ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ to see how not to say you don’t like something! Some of the comments are there are brutal)
And be respectful of her budget, don’t persuade her to try on dresses that are outside her budget. It’ll only lead to tears when she falls in love with a dress she can’t afford.
Dress Shopping (For the bridesmaids)
Now who pays for the dresses is often a contentious subject. I would advise you to assume that you will be paying for your own outfit. Then if the bride can and does pay for some items, it’s a bonus.
Finding a dress that suits the different ages and shapes of all the bridesmaids can be a real challenge. And if you don’t all live near each other this can be even harder if you can’t arrange a shopping trip that you can all make.
So you need to have some flexibility here. No bride wants her maids to look a mess or feel uncomfortable in their dress. There are plenty of options such as all having the same colour but different styles. The multiway dresses are great for this.
The Hen Party
Traditionally, the bridesmaids will organise the hen party. You know the bride as well as anyone so make sure the party is something she will love and enjoy.
Don’t arrange something that she will hate – this is not the time to be pushing anyone out of their comfort zone!
You also need to be respectful of people’s budgets. Spend some time with the bride working out the guest list and make sure you take into account different age groups when thinking about the options.
The Last Few Weeks Before the Wedding
Your bride is likely to be getting a little bit stressed and anxious now. If she’s a DIY bride, offer to help her finish making things.
Offer to collect things and take them to the venue. Understand her plans for decorating her venue and make sure there’s enough people available to help make this happen.
On the Big Day
You need to help to keep the bride calm while you’re all getting ready. Have a schedule of timings for hair and make up. If things are running late, then always make sure there is plenty of time left for the bride. If this means you do your own hair or make up then so be it.
One of the bridesmaids should have an emergency kit for the bride with plasters, a sewing kit, pain killers, tissues and safety pins.
Help the bride into her dress and shoes and make sure everything is just perfect. When you get to the wedding venue, straighten her dress and wish her luck!
There’s no right or wrong order to walk down the aisle but often the bridesmaids go first. You will then sit to the left on the front row and when the bride arrives at the front, take her bouquet from her and look after it during the ceremony.
After the ceremony, congratulate the newly weds and help to organise people for the photographs.
At the reception venue, greet guests. Make sure they have a drink and know where to go.
Take the brides bouquet from her after the photos and make sure it is placed in water to keep it fresh.
Help the bride to go to the loo! It can be really tricky getting in and out of a cubicle with a big dress on.
Be the first on the dance floor and get that party started. Also try to make sure the happy couple have ten minutes on their own at some point in the day.
So you can see, there’s actually quite a lot to do as a bridesmaid. Remember it’s not all about you and just do your best to make sure your bride has the best day possible.
But you should also be able to enjoy the day. Have fun!!