I was incredibly honored to stand-up as a bridesmaid in my dear friend Kristen’s wedding this past weekend. Not unlike my other roles in life, I take being a bridesmaid very seriously. It was important to me that I not let Kristen down in any way. I wanted to do all that I could to help make her feel special during her shower, to enjoy her bachelorette party and fully experience the extreme joy that a wedding day can bring.
I’ve been a bridesmaid a time or two over the past 9 years and now that I’ve been a bride, I feel I’m even more aware of what makes a good bridesmaid – and those qualities that are better put aside for a friend’s wedding day.
For all you inexperienced, not-so-awesome bridesmaids out there, please read on. Everyone else, you can read on too! 🙂
DO – remember, like all wedding related events, the bridal shower and bachelorette party are not about you.
DON’T – I understand weddings can be a real expense, especially if you are in the wedding. But don’t complain about how much you’ve spent on their wedding – and certainly don’t make them feel badly about it. You knew there would be expenses when you agreed to be a part of the wedding party.
DO – as a bridesmaid you are responsible for being photo-ready on the big day – that does not mean showing up with extreme spring break tan lines to go with your strapless dress.
DON’T – it’s great to let loose and enjoy the reception, but don’t get so intoxicated that you start making out with random wedding guests. Stay classy, ladies.
DO – when the bride comes across a little short or has a brief ‘bridezilla-esque’ moment – cut her some slack. Wedding planning can be extremely stressful and you might not fully understand what she currently has on her plate.
DON’T – it’s the day of the wedding and your hair comes out looking like it belongs to Martha Washington and you feel like you might cry – don’t freak out and make it about you. I know this is easier said than done. I’ve been there. Either figure out a way to fix it yourself or calmly work with the stylist to fix it without stressing out the bride.
DO – keep in mind that you are not just here to wear a dress on the wedding day – you should be able to provide emotional support, advice, listen to bitch sessions, etc.
DON’T – under no circumstances should you wear anything that might make the bride feel like you are trying to upstage her at any of the wedding-related events (duh) –apparently there are bridesmaids out there with something to prove… Just stop, she is your friend and this is her time.
DO – plan ahead for your hair and makeup. If your bride is arranging someone to do it for you, don’t go in unprepared with no idea of what you want. You’ll waste the stylists’ time and put everyone behind schedule.
DON’T – DO NOT BE LATE FOR ANYTHING. That is all.
DO – get yourself together. Be organized, be on time, get your dress altered in advance and don’t affect things from running smoothly. You are supposed to be helping the bride de-stress, not creating stress.
DON’T – when it comes to details, every bride is different. If the bride has asked you to paint your nails nude, don’t be a biatch and paint them red… that ain’t cool. In other words, regardless of how silly and detailed you think her requests are, listen to them. That is your duty as a bridesmaid.
DO – remind the beautiful bride that she is beautiful. Sounds like an obvious one, but sometimes as bridesmaids we feel pressure to also look perfect for the wedding photos and the big day. But remember to tell her how incredibly spectacular she looks.
DON’T – get overzealous on the dance floor and sprain your ankle, forcing you to trapdoor the reception before the final song. Whoops, yeah, I did that last weekend. Sorry, Kris!
DO – and last but not least, enjoy the celebration! Your friend will be pulled in so many directions on her wedding day. When she gets pulled to a corner by her second cousin once removed, help redirect her to the dance floor so she can actually dance and enjoy her and her mister’s big day!