So you’re going to be a bridesmaid! How’s that for exciting? And, um, other than wearing a fancy dress and carrying a bouquet, what does that mean, exactly? First, congratulations on being asked to be a Bridesmaid. The Bride, whether she is your friend, sister, soon to be sister in law, or cousin, chose YOU. And choosing bridesmaids can be one of the most difficult (and emotional) decisions for a bride. They put a lot of thought and heart in making their decisions on who will be part of their Bridal Party. However, do not mistake being selected to be a part of the wedding for running the wedding. This is one of the first tips to follow to being the best Bridesmaid.
There are lists of “duties” of how to be a bridesmaid available but instead we want to dive a little deeper into the overall etiquette on how to be the best Bridesmaid. So lets get started. First, be a good friend and listen to the bride. Let her talk about her wedding day wants, desires, and visions. Make sure throughout the entire process you’re both physically and emotionally present for the bride. Offer to be there for her when she goes dress shopping and/or venue searching. And one of the most important rules to follow is to respect her choice in venue, catering, and other wedding vendors (even if you don’t like or agree with her choices). Don’t be a reason for her doubt her choices or second guess herself and her decisions. In todays world, there are endless options for Brides to choose from. Brides search and research wedding venues for weeks, sometimes months. All the vendors they select they have likely researched, vetted, and put a lot of time (and money) into each decision. Planning a wedding is not only a financial investment but a very emotional investment for a bride. Thus, support and respect the Brides venue, vendor selections, and all other wedding related decision.
Happily (YES happily even if you personally do not like the color or style) agree to wear the dress she picks out for her bridesmaids. Remember you only have to wear the dress for one day and that day is all about your friend/sister/cousin who is going to be getting married. Ultimately it comes down to putting aside your own pride, style, and wants for the Bride.
A GREAT Bridesmaid should be a calming source for the bride leading up to her wedding which includes her bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal, and on the big day. For example, if on her rehearsal, plans change for location of the ceremony due to inclement weather (like pouring down rain), be there to reassure the bride everything will be ok. Reassure her that its a small obstacle that will be easy to overcome. And then help be a source of possible solutions. Most brides will have a Day Of Event Director that will be taking the lead and they will already have a Plan A, Plan B, and even a Plan C in place. Have trust in the Brides Venue and Event Director and if you still have concerns, address them privately away from the Bride and Groom.We cannot stress enough that the Bride already has a million different thoughts and scenarios playing in her mind, half of them, if not more may be negative ones. Its natural for a bride to have a little anxiety over things that may or may not happen. DON’T feed into any of these thoughts or feelings, but be there to comfort her and reassure her. A lot of the stress brides experience stems from making sure other people are happy and enjoying themselves. And that includes you! Thus, we cannot stress enough how important it is for you not to vent to the Bride about your own frustrations and stress in regards to the wedding. Put the Brides feelings and wants first, PERIOD!
Finally, on the day of the wedding, remind yourself that its not about you but about the Bride and Groom. Of course you should let loose and have fun—it’s a celebration, after all! But don’t drink to the point of being sloppy. Like it or not, being a bridesmaid means your behavior is a reflection of the bride. Don’t embarrass her! Part of your “duty” to the Bride is be a hostess at the wedding, which may include greeting guests, dancing, and taking care of the bride.
Agreeing to be a bridesmaid is a great honor, but with it comes a lot of responsibility. As well as time commitments, financial expenses, and stressful situations. But throughout the process remember the best thing you can do, for yourself and for the bride, is remember what and why you are celebrating in the first place (A Love Story!). We hope this helps you be the Best Bridesmaid you can be!
By Christy Wilson