Weddings can be chaotic. Between timing, locations, money, emotions, people and many unsolicited opinions, the entire event is nothing short of a whirlwind. And that’s just the wedding day! Whether you’re a first time bridesmaid or a seasoned bridal party member, the entire process can feel overwhelming. Not to mention, navigating a group of girls you may hardly know is tough. So what’s the proper protocall as the bride’s lady-in-waiting? We’ve rounded up some major do’s and don’ts to follow for your role as a bridesmaid.
Don’t: Say Yes if You Can’t Commit
Assess whether you can commit to being a bridesmaid in the first place. If the time or cost is just too tight, don’t be afraid to gently decline; you can always offer to take on a smaller role in her wedding, such as a reading during the ceremony or a toast during the reception. Out of respect, have this conversation in person if possible-never via text.
Do: Know Your Role
Generally, you should follow the vibe of the bride. Keep track of specific dates, times, and activities where you’ll be involved in a calendar and don’t forget them! Know what you need to do for each, such as which costs to contribute for the bridal shower or the exact itinerary for the bachelorette party. And always offer help to whoever’s in charge (and if it’s you, don’t hesitate to ask!) A second set of hands is always appreciated.
Don’t: Complain About Costs
No one likes a Debbie downer, so unless the bride gets totally out of line (i.e. makes you pay an outrageous sum for hair and makeup or negatively comments on your appearance) avoid confrontations about money-or anything for that matter. If you must let off some pre-wedding steam, talk to someone outside of the bridal party, like your mom or a friend. Causing friction with the bride or bridesmaids is a total no-no.
Repeat after us: Do. Not. Gossip. Keep in mind during the entire wedding process, and remember as needed.
Do: Give Honest Input
Within reason, of course. Kindly suggesting a more local bachelorette versus jetting off to Ibiza? Up for grabs. Telling the bride she’s gained some weight and should rethink her dress? Not appropriate.
Don’t: Make It About You
Remember: it’s the bride’s day, not yours. Whether you’re single, engaged, married, or divorced, as a bridesmaid, you’re there to complement the special day-not control it. Remember that you’re there to celebrate her and her fiancée, so stay mum on any input that wasn’t warranted (“Are you sure you want your flowers to be that color?”) On the flip side, if you’re bombarded with wedding emails on the daily, it’s A-OK to shut off your phone and take a breather; wedding plans are one thing, your own life is another. Don’t neglect it!
Do: Be There for the Bride
From bridesmaid fittings to witnessing her I do’s, you should be there for her every step of the way. If she calls, pick up. If she’s stressed out, listen. If she wants to meet for coffee to break from wedding planning, make an effort to show up. Being there for her is the most basic thing you can do.
Do: Have the Time of Your Life
Bridesmaids come with many duties, and having a blast is one of them! The bride chose you to be a part of her special day for a reason, so mingle with guests and tear up the dance floor to celebrate the new Mr. and Mrs.!
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