Being a bridesmaid means much more than posing for pictures, wearing a beautiful dress, and walking down the aisle. As a former bridesmaid myself, I can tell you that the role comes with a lot of responsibilities. If you’ve been awarded this honor, take a few moments to go over these do’s and don’ts to be the best bridesmaid you can be.
DO collaborate with the bridal party.
Getting everyone on board is one of the most daunting tasks of all for a bride-to-be. To relieve some of the pressure, make sure you and the girls begin working as a team from the start without the bride having to ask you to. Come up with a game plan for the months leading up to the wedding. And if the bride hasn’t delegated tasks to anyone, decide amongst yourselves what each girl can do to contribute to the wedding planning process.
DON’T put your opinions ahead of the bride’s.
This is the bride’s wedding, not yours, and her wedding should reflect her own personal taste and style. You’re welcome to having an opinion but you shouldn’t be inappropriately critical. Also, pick your battles wisely. For example, you may not like the color of your dress but a color is not going to hurt you. However, if you’re being asked to wear something too revealing and you’re not comfortable doing so, it’s perfectly acceptable to speak up. The bride should be respectful of your personal values and let you wear something more modest.
DO keep the peace.
Not everyone in the bridal party may get along, especially if it’s a large one. Refrain from being a participant in any catty drama. Instead, be the one who strives to unite all the bridesmaids. The last thing the bride wants or needs is her bridal party bickering over petty things while she’s preparing for the biggest day of her life.
DON’T expect the bride to pay for your wedding attire.
It’s common for bridesmaids to pay for their own dress, shoes, jewelry, and even hair and makeup. However, if the cost is starting to exceed what you can afford, ask the bride-to-be if there are any corners you can cut, such as opting out of having your makeup done professionally or buying a more inexpensive pair of heels.
DO attend all pre-wedding appointments and events.
If you’re asked to go dress shopping, go. If you have a scheduled dress fitting, be there. It is also imperative that you attend the bridal shower, bachelorette party, and rehearsal dinner. You are a very important part of the wedding and the bride-to-be is counting on you to be there every step of the way.
DON’T leave everything to the maid of honor.
You may feel a little insulted that you weren’t given this special title, but be grateful you don’t have the additional responsibility that comes with it. That doesn’t mean, though, that you shouldn’t offer the maid of honor a helping hand. You both have the same goal in mind and that’s to make sure the bride-to-be is stress-free and able to enjoy her big day. So, be there to help the maid of honor and you’ll be simultaneously helping the bride.
DO participate in putting together the bridal shower and bachelorette party.
These two pre-wedding events are not solely the responsibility of the maid of honor. Pitch in on planning, decorating, and paying for the two parties. It’s hard work but the memories made are more than worth the effort.
DON’T wait for the bride-to-be to ask for your help.
Not every bride is comfortable requesting your help, especially if it’s a time-consuming task or involves you spending any money. So, step up and offer a hand. Does she need you to make calls to vendors? Do invitations need to be addressed and mailed out? There’s a good chance that if you ask, the bride will gladly accept your offer and she’ll appreciate it more than you can imagine.
DO give the newlyweds a gift.
You may have spent quite a bit on pre-wedding celebrations, your dress, shoes, jewelry, and other expenses for the wedding, but that doesn’t mean your exempt from giving a gift. You can buy the newlyweds something small but meaningful or you and the other bridesmaids can pool your money to give the couple a larger gift.
DON’T run for the hills when the bride has a meltdown.
It’s common for the bride-to-be to lose her cool but one of the reasons she made you a bridesmaid is because she believes she can count on you to console her. Always keep in mind that planning a wedding is stressful and truly takes an army. Be a trooper. Let her vent, hand her a glass of wine, tell her she’s beautiful. Do whatever you can to get that smile back on her face.
DO continue to help during the wedding ceremony and reception.
While most of your duties as a bridesmaid involve wedding preparations, you also have a big hand in the wedding itself. On the big day, be punctual and supportive. Offer to run small errands if you can, be prepared to take pictures when the photographer is ready, and keep the bride happy and relaxed.
DON’T only be a bridesmaid; be a fun wedding guest.
You worked hard to get to this point and it’s time to celebrate. Plus, the bride is counting on you and her wedding party to get the party started. Round up the guests, get on the dance floor, and dance your butt off, make a heartfelt speech if asked to, and generally be enthusiastic for the newly-married couple. Just be sure not to embarrass the newlyweds by drinking too heavily or acting foolishly.