I have had the honor of being a bridesmaid three times. That’s three long bridesmaids dresses that I only wore once. Three glam hairstyles and three times walking down the aisle (when I wasn’t a bride myself). And, of course, I have a lifetime of memories and a lot of beautiful photos. Through my experiences as a wedding attendant, I picked up some very important do’s and don’ts for a bridesmaid. Here are some tips from a former bridesmaid.
Do Wear What the Bride Wants (Within Reason)
I haven’t always been a fan of the colors and styles of the bridesmaid dresses the bride picked. For instance, once I wore a celery ensemble that looked horrible with my skin. In addition, I’m not a fan of cutesy updos. In another wedding, the hairstylist did my hair like a little girl. However, when you are the bridesmaid, it’s not your choice. This doesn’t mean you can’t have any input but don’t be a bridesmaid-zilla. If you’re lucky, the bride might give her bridesmaids a color and then they are allowed to pick out their own dress and shoes. Other brides like everyone to look identical and may have a professional hairstylist to do your hair in a certain fashion. While I think it’s polite for a bride to ask her bridesmaids if they like the dress, I also think you should respect the bride’s fashion choices. If the bride has her heart set on yellow for her dresses, don’t whine and complain that you hate the sunny color. On the other hand, if the bride wants you to wear and pay for a $500 dress, it may be time to speak up.
Do Make the Bride Feel Special
There’s nothing worse to have bridesmaids who act as if “your day” is not a big deal. Thus, make sure you show up on time to the rehearsal dinner and ceremony. Help plan a fun bachelorette party and/or wedding shower. Also, make sure to ask if the bride needs anything. Does she need any water or a mint? Even better, you might want to give her a wedding day emergency kit with things like water, mints, pain relievers, antacids, eye drops and a mini lint roller. Be there to listen, not judge. Make sure her train doesn’t drag in the mud. Of course, don’t forget to tell her she looks beautiful.
Don’t Make It About You
I have seen plenty of bridesmaids monopolize the makeup artist’s time (making sure they looked perfect). Meanwhile, the bride hardly had time to get her own makeup done. I have seen bridesmaids complain about the hotel room and act standoffish to other members of the bridal party. Those bridesmaids were selfish. In a wedding, the bride and groom are the ones everyone will be watching. Thus, don’t make everything about you. Don’t complain that your eyeliner is too dark or your hotel room didn’t have a good view. Your job is to be there to support the bride. Also, respect her opinions and wedding vision. If your bride is more conservative, don’t bring a flask with alcohol, get drunk and dance dirty with the groomsmen.
This simple advice will help you be a great bridesmaid.
More from Melissa:
Wedding Etiquette for Brides
How to Be a Good Wedding Guest
Wedding Favors for Spring