FAQ Friday; How to be a Bridesmaid

{The Question} As a bridesmaid what are my expectations?


If one of my dear friends asked me to don a long-sleeved gown as part of my bridesmaid duties, I think I'd probably open my big mouth and tell her I was penciled in to be sick on her big day (Au contraire, if the frock with sleeves looks like the sassy gray number above then yes, please I'll wear long sleeves while promising not to make any references to Little House on the Prairie). In wedding world these days where anything goes, what expectations do you need to fulfill when you did get asked to stand up beside your best gal pal on the biggest day of her life? Besides the traditional expectations of wearing a special dress, joining in on the bridal festivities and maybe even preparing a speech here's my coles notes version on how to be the best bridesmaid possible; stemming from personal experiences as a planner, bride, bridesmaid and maid of honour (I really have filled all of those positions). Read on bloggettes!

{Communicate} I like to think that being a bride-to-be is sort of like being an expectant mother. Both roles require enduring months of planning with the built up anticipation of this life changing experience as the grand finale to your experience. When you're a bride, you'd like nothing to get in the way of 'your' day and that includes any strife between girls you've selected as your attendants. As a bridesmaid your role isn't just to make the bride happy and to be there for her, but it's to play nice with the other bridesmaids regardless of if you like em or not. The easy way to avoid any tiffs with anyone is to  communicate. I can't stress this enough but much like how communication is the key to a successful romantic relationship, it's also an important component of being a member of a bridal party. Swap numbers with the other girls as soon as the bride has selected all of her bridesmaids and don't let petty little girl tiffs become the bride's problem or the demise of the entire experience. Talk it out. Work it out. You're an adult. And the bride is your friend. Treat her like one.

{Just Ask, Just Do} Some chicks (ahem, me) are a bit of a control freak and convince everyone else that they really don't need any help planning their wedding. Those 300 programs that need cutting? Nah, super bride can do em. The floral arrangements, set up of candy bar and last minute check in with vendors? No biggie. See that girl in the white gown, she'll figure it out. Woman are always so hesitant to ask for help and inconveniencing people by asking them for a hand is sometimes the last thing we want to do. I mean after all, as a bride we've already asked these people to fork over cash for everything else, why would we burden them any further asking for help with small wedding details. News flash; if you're a bridesmaid just ask. Ask if the bride if she needs some help and be sensitive to her emotions that especially on her wedding day, are an inconceivable mix of nerves, anticipation, excitement and happiness. Better yet, just do. If something needs to be done or looks like it need a good fixing, don't be afraid to step up and pull a Nike.

{Grin and Bear It} Your fashion-disaster, stuck in the 1990s bestie is getting married and you're convinced you'll be walking down that aisle looking like a wad of cotton candy. Your first instinct is to beg and plea for a prettier rose-hued gown, without the endless layers of tulle under the skirt and a sequined bodice. But then you remember the time she consoled you over you first big break up, the time she held your hand when you grieved over losing your grandma, and the time you two promised to be friends forever and that tacky dress that costs half your rent check doesn't seem so bad. You could always go as Cyndi Lauper for next year's Halloween right? Although the above given example is slightly over the top, you get my point. Sometimes you just gotta, grin and bear it.

What were your experiences as a bridesmaid?

21 Lovely Comments:

Rachel said...

Love this. Thanks for posting...my best friend is getting married in April, I'm the MOH, so I need all the tips I can get :)

Melanie said...

That photo, for one, is gorgeous. I'm not yet in the wedding loop, but I appreciate being able to read these tips!

Melanie@Unravelled Threads
Follow @UnraveldThreads on twitter!

April a.k.a. "A. Liz" said...

Nice tips! As a bride-to-be in May and a bridesmaid in August, it's nice being able to experience it from both sides. I'd love to hear some ideas you have about honoring your bridesmaids during the wedding weekend (gifts, luncheon, spa party, etc).

Stephanie said...

I've been a bridesmaid a few times, but in both experiences, including my sister-in-law, there were a few times that bridezilla was on a rampage.

One thing I hate is asking people for help, then they end up doing it themselves, while not telling you or not even taking what you did into consideration. It's like it's not "good enough" to their standards.

I hope and pray I am not a bridezilla on my big day. When that day comes...

Wild and Precious said...

i LOVE how you wrote this! the examples and little quips (just pull a nike!)

you are brilliant!

love you girl!

Leah said...

I have been a bridesmaid numerous times and the experience was always different depending on the bride. One thing I noticed was to offer your help whenever you see necessary. My best friend was too overwhelmed and started cutting things out of her wedding for lack of time and creativity. I convinced her that if it was important to her, I would take on the whole project so she wasn't missing out on anything she wanted.
Thanks for this post! Love that picture.
xo L

Meg said...

love love love... YOU! ;)

you're amazing, my dear!

xx

Lindsay said...

This is perfect. I was a bridesmaid for the first time in December and realized how little I knew about what it meant to be a good and helpful bridesmaid.

Debbie said...

I was a bridesmaid in one wedding where I wore a gorgeous silk dress that came from some regular shop and I've actually worn it numerous times since. Smart bride:)

Alisha said...

LOVE this!! I've been a MOH once in my sister's wedding, but that was five years ago. Now a friend of mine has asked me to be one of her bridesmaid, so thanks for the refresher course! <3

Caroline said...

HA this is great!!!!! How are you my friend??? Hugs and Love! xo

Nikki said...

Ha! I love it. I think you're right. Ss a bridesmaid you have to grin and bear it, or step down. Of course sometimes things may be so out of line you have to open your mouth, but otherwise.

Whenever I hear people complaining about the dresses I tell them...you don't have to be a bridesmaid, you agreed to. She's never going to pick what you want and you'll probably never wear it again anyway so suck it up little lady!

Anonymous said...

great post! and I like that you change the header on the blog :) the font looks great now

Brooke said...

this is so nice! I'm definitely the bride that just thinks she can do it all by herself! ha

Tamara Nicole said...

What good advice! Seriously each time I'm a bridesmaid I just remember whose day it is . . . not mine! Also, I had the best 7 bridesmaids for my wedding, they were fabulous!

Pssst pretty lady I have a blog award awaiting you . . .

withoutadornment said...

I was a super clueless bridesmaid. I seriously had not idea what to do and what needs to go into a wedding. (I guess I had a good excuse because it was the second wedding I had ever been to!) Looking back, I feel really badly - I would have liked to have helped and been more of an emotional support for the Bride. It's funny what you learn about weddings after you've been a bride!
If/when I am a bridesmaid in the future, I will definitely try to do these and other helpful things.

Ashley said...

i seriously love this post!!! i just found your blog! its sooooooooooo fantastic i love love love it....

Michaela said...

Wonderful post, girlfriend. Definitely needed as I will be my best friend's MOH next summer! I will more than likely have to hold my tongue in some situations because I would prefer something a different way, but it's HER wedding and she's the boss (: It should be so fun!

Anonymous said...

This is awesome! Many bridesmaids are unaware that their title comes with duties.

I am a bride to be and I have a hard time asking for help too -- I hope they will offer....

Marcie said...

I wish every bridesmaid to be could read this! These are essential elements and are so easy if people were just aware.

xo Marcie

Liesl @ FabulousFashions4SensibleStyle said...

Wonderful advice, as always!

Liesl :)