Being an incredible bridesmaid doesn’t always come easily. Here are our top tips for navigating the stress and emotions and becoming the best special day sidekick, Miranda Luby writes
BE THE FRIENDLY ONE
You might not know all the other bridesmaids – they could be a cousin or an old school friend – so be the instigator of good times and reach out. Start an email chain with the their bridesmaids, introduce yourself and suggest a time to catch up and get to know each other. These women are some of the most important people in the bride’s life so they should be important to you, too. It will make the whole experience a lot more fun as well.
START PLANNING NOW
Anyone who has been one knows, being a bridesmaid can be a lot of work. From the bridal shower to the Hen’s and the big day, your to-do list will be a long as the French lace veil. The key to keeping it fun for you and the other bridesmaids is to start planning now. If you’re organised, everything will fall into place and all you’ll need to focus on is making sure your bride enjoys every moment of the celebrations.
TAKE CHARGE OR TAKE DIRECTION
If you’re the maid of honour, it’s your job to take charge of the other bridesmaids and be the chief organiser. This might mean having the final say on decisions and keeping the others in line if they’re slacking off a bit. This should be done with grace. And if you’re a bridesmaid, you need to know how to take direction. Of course, you can have your say but at the end of the day you’re not the boss so go with the flow and do what you’re told.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BRIDE
This is her big day and everything about the lead-up and the actual wedding should reflect that. When planning the shower or Hen’s, or when she presents her truly hideous bridesmaid dresses to you, or when she decides she wants a pink velvet carpet running up the aisle, take a breath and repeat the mantra. It’s her wedding and what she wants goes.
BE SUPER HELPFUL
Keep reminding the bride, in the lead-up to the wedding and on the day, that you’re there to help. From picking up the bonbonniere last minute to getting Aunt Daisy a glass of water at the reception – anything she needs, you’ve got it. Knowing she can go to you for anything will make her feel really relaxed and very grateful.
So the bride might plan her dress fitting on the weekend you were going to head down the coast, or her rehearsal on the night of the final episode of your favourite TV show. You’ll be a brilliant bridesmaid if you just bite your tongue and go along with a smile on your face. This is not the time or the place to be difficult.
BE A GREAT LISTENER
It’s your job to provide emotional and moral support to the bride and this starts with listening. Ask her how she’s feeling. The lead-up to a wedding is an emotional rollercoaster and she might want to talk about how stressed out, excited or nervous she is. Let her know you’re hearing her and ask if there’s anything you can do to help.
BE THE LIFE OF THE PARTY – RESPONSIBLY
This one is a bit of a contradiction but it’s really important. At the Hen’s or the wedding, be the first on the dance floor and last one off, but don’t be the loudest, the drunkest or the most outrageous. At the end of the day, the bride wants to have fun with her ladies but not feel responsible for them. So grab her hand, the occasional glass of water and dance!