She asked. You said yes! Congratulations, you’re going to be a bridesmaid! So, other than wearing a (hopefully) pretty dress and carrying flowers, what does that actually mean? We asked several bridesmaid veterans what you need to know about the art of bridesmaiding, so you can do your duty and emerge (relatively) unscathed.
1 Know that things can get expensive
The dress, the shoes, the jewellery, the hen’s night/day/weekend… Unless the bride is picking up the tab, it’s all gonna cost some serious cash. If you think money will be a problem, it’s fine to say no. Don’t wait until the last minute when the funds have run out to tell the bride you can't afford to be in the wedding party.
2 Agree with the bride
“Yes I LOVE these poofy sleeves you chose for me”, “Yes, the fruit cake with slightly chemically tasting marzipan icing is a delicious choice”, “Yes lime green and zebra print are great colours for a wedding!” If you feel like the bride has her heart set on something, the only words you need to know are “I love it!” because chances are she’s already put down the deposit. If you’re asked for a serious opinion, give it gingerly; bluntness could start World War III.
3 Don’t bitch about the dress
When two people get married, they agree to richer or poorer. When you say yes to bridesmaids duty, you agree to wear whatever the bride decides; you're saying "I Do" to the dress. Maybe you think the colour makes you look sick. Maybe you think the cut makes your ass look big. Maybe you can't even deal with strapless gowns. Save it. If it’s what the bride wants, suck it up with a smile.
4 Sweat the small stuff
Yes you heard right. Weddings are all about the details, and part of being the best bridesmaid ever is being on top of things so the bride doesn't freak the hell out. Plan ahead, think ahead and be details-focussed to help the bride as much as possible. Weddings are high-stress occasions so even the smallest oversight can cause major drama. Tread carefully.
5 Plan an appropriate hens night
Appropriate is the key word here. Don’t book a stripper and have penis straw party favours if your girl is more of a high-tea type. Similarly if the bride likes to get wild, a kitchen tea makes no sense. Play to the audience.
6 Prepare for the worst
You need to be ready when that pesky Murphy’s Law rears in his ugly, meddling head. Pack an emergency kit that includes bobby pins, paracetemol, a sewing kit, band-aids, snacks and even some mini alcohol bottles in case someone gets the jitters. Be creative and try to think of every eventuality before it happens.
7 Pick up the phone
So much drama results from passive-aggressive emails going back and forth, ratcheting up the tension until the "xoxo" at the end is practically a bitch slap in the face. Pick. Up. The. Phone. Talking it out will save a lot of stress.
8 Be there
This means figuratively (moral support) and literally (as in being on time and attending all wedding-related functions). Planning a wedding is a mental nightmare, so making sure you are where you’re supposed to be and lending an ear can make all the difference. If you’re a bridesmaid who lives far away, your job is moral support. Get on the phone and get your bride excited.
9 Have fun!
Being a bridesmaid is an important job but it doesn’t have to be a chore. Remember to kick your heels up on the day. It's a celebration after all... even if all you're celebrating is that your wedding duties are over and you survived.