It’s your bride’s big day. Everything has been leading up to this day: the countless hours planning, scheduling, and researching, the late nights finishing DIY projects, the multiple breakdowns. Today is her day, and you’re ready to stand by her side. Things have been messy and not everything has gone precisely how she planned, but you have been with her though it all. When she asked you to be her bridesmaid, you didn’t know what you were signing up for. You didn’t know that you would have to deal with her overbearing mother- in-law or manage conflict between other bridesmaids. You didn’t know that you would have to organize people, purchase a dress you despise, and communicate with 12 different girls in 6 different cities. Nevertheless, the wedding day has come, and there is no place you would rather be. By her side is where you belong. No one trained you for this job, but you have succeeded. Victory is yours.
Maybe this isn’t you. Maybe you are a bridesmaid expert. Maybe you could teach a class on proper bridesmaid etiquette. Perhaps you wrote a book on how to diffuse bridal party conflict. I applaud you. But know that you are the exception. The vast majority of women will be a bridesmaid at some point in their life, and most of us go in blind. There is a plethora of articles available to help direct and guide brides, but the articles for bridesmaids? They are far and few between. If you are a bridesmaid, or will someday become one, you are in luck. Here at Brazos Valley Bride, we have put together 10 key ways to be the ultimate bridesmaid. From general bridesmaid duties, to helpful conflict solutions, we are here to help you with all your bridesmaid needs. Let’s get started:
- The number one duty of a bridesmaid: You must be willing to help the bride in whatever way possible when it comes to wedding planning. She chose you for a reason, and it wasn’t so that you could sit on a couch during the most stressful months of her life. She is counting on you to be a helper, a confidant, and a friend. If you don’t live near your bride, find some creative ways to get involved. For example, you can help her collect wedding ideas by creating a joint Pinterest board. Assist her by researching local vendors and prices. Although there is distance between you, you are still a vital part of the bridal party. She needs all the help she can get.
- Help the bride select bridesmaids’ attire. Listen to the concerns of fellow bridesmaids and help communicate them to the bride. Give her ideas about what you like and what you don’t like. But remember, once she makes her decision, that is it. You need to get on board and back her up. It is her day. If the other bridesmaids hate the dress, no matter what your personal opinion may be, always side with the bride. Take initiative and help the bride keep track of who has ordered their dress and who has yet to do so.
- Make sure the bridal shower and bachelorette party are addressed. There is a good chance that your bride wants to participate in both of these wedding traditions. It is also good to assume that she does not want to plan them herself. No bride wants to have to ask for a bridal shower. Assign someone the job of taking care of these celebrations and assure your bride that she doesn’t have to worry about or plan either of them.
- Diffuse conflict within the bridal party. Sometimes the trickiest conflicts that a bride will run into are with her bridesmaids. If someone isn’t stepping up to the plate or if a bridesmaid is planning on showing up the day of the wedding and contributing nothing else, someone other than the bride needs to address it. Oftentimes this duty will fall on the shoulders of the maid of honor.
- All bridesmaids should be over prepared for the wedding day. So many little details will be coming together and it can be overwhelming if you don’t know what’s going on. You should know the timeline of the day backwards and forwards. You need to know where to be and when to be there at all times.
- Take control of the bride’s cell phone on the morning of the wedding (talk to her about this first). She will be getting a million calls from vendors, guests, and family. Everyone will be looking to her for direction. This can be super stressful, especially if she is informed of every tiny problem. Have someone in the bridal party tasked with phone duty and only give the bride her phone if there is a question that she alone can answer.
- As bridesmaids, it is your job to speak up for the bride. Between the bride, the mother-in-law, the mother, and the other bridesmaids, there are a lot of emotions in play on the day of the wedding. It is your job to be an advocate for the bride. Be willing to support her decisions no matter what your opinion is. As the wedding day approaches, everyone will have suggestions and opinions, but hers decisions are the important ones. If you see her in a situation where someone is challenging what she wants, don’t be afraid to jump in and support her.
- Someone should be in charge of bustling the bride’s gown post-ceremony. This can be a tricky task if you’ve never done it before. Be sure and practice a few times before the wedding day. Every dress is different and knowing where the hooks are and how the bustling process works for your bride’s dress is important.
- Help your bride change into her going away clothes. It is very likely that your bride will not be wearing her wedding dress for the next few weeks. Make sure someone is responsible for taking care of the bride’s wedding dress and accessories after the reception. Know where she would like it to be kept and if she wants it to be dry-cleaned.
- Be the best wedding guest that you can be. Be the first one on the dance floor and set the tone for the rest of the guests. If the bridal party isn’t dancing, the guests probably won’t be dancing either.