Part 1: The Bridesmaids’ Guide to Brides
1. Just Say YES: Being asked to be part of someone’s special day is a huge honor. This isn’t the equivalent of an elementary school birthday party invitation to Chuck E. Cheese. The bride is asking you to wipe away her tears as she embarks on this new journey with her significant other. Some suggestions on how to support the bride as an awesome bridesmaid:
• Be there for the bride both emotionally and physically by attending all the events and actively participating. Avoid complaining.
• If you hate your bridesmaid’s dress, don’t say it. Suppress the urge. The day will come when you can even the scores ahem pick your set of bridesmaids dresses.
• Instead of asking the bride if she needs any help, just do it! If you’re unsure, a better question to ask the bride is “what tasks do you have left to do?” Your good deeds will not go unnoticed.
• Listen to the bride, be attentive to her needs, support her decisions, and calm her fears. Being a great bridesmaid is really a testament of great friendship.
2. Not MAID of Money: One of the primary concerns of new and veteran bridesmaids is the exorbitant membership fees for the bridal party club. How do you afford the travel expenses, dresses, shoes, beauty services, and gifts without going bankrupt? Here are some tips to deal with the bridesmaid price tag:
• Predetermine the costs and set a budget for what’s expected. Are the relatives throwing the bridal shower or is it the bridesmaids’ burden?
• Book your flights in advance and split a hotel room with other friends/bridesmaids for the bachelorette party and the wedding.
• Turn your trips for weddings into mini vacations by rewarding yourself with a few more days to lounge and explore the area.
• It’s worth it. To be there and make new memories and new friends = reward in itself.
Free Zone: We’ve seen the movie and have heeded the advice of bridesmaids past. We know it isn’t even your wedding, but be prepared for some non-stop drama. Mixing a room full of relatives, friends, frenemies, work colleagues, and possibly alcohol can be a recipe for disaster. Try to mitigate any preliminary conflicts before they turn into bigger issues! Some helpful hints:
• If you can’t attend or serve as bridesmaid, tell the bride early. It’s an awkward situation, but it’s best to salvage the friendship by telling her months prior to the big day and avoiding any bridezilla moments down the line.
• In the event of a serious mishap, stand by the bride’s side and help keep her calm. If possible, try to resolve the issue among the bridesmaids before the bride gets wind of it!
• Desi weddings often have a villain at play in the form of an ostentatious aunty or evil mother-in-law. Distract the villains with excessive compliments and discussions on Bollywood so the wedding can go on without a hitch!
• Bridal jitters are a sensitive topic to address. The best thing to do is be there for the bride and hear her concerns and provide whatever insight you think is best for her.
And our final, but possibly most important tip…
4. Be Prepared: Weddings require a great deal of planning from both the bride and her bridesmaids. Start the process of dress-fitting, bachelorette party planning, choreographing dances, writing speeches, etc. early. Another important means of preparation is packing emergency supplies for every event- not just for the bride, but for other bridesmaids as well. Staples like aspirin, bobby pins, safety pins, and anti-nausea medication can go a long way. One of the best things to pack in your bag for those long wedding ceremonies= A SNACK. Sneak some candy or nuts in your bag to bide the time without your stomach rumbling.
Being a bridesmaid is an honor. You were chosen among the bride’s friends to share her special day in the most intimate of ways. It might be stressful at times, but it will be worth it to shed tears of joy for your beautiful bestie as she walks down the aisle.