weddings 101

7 Things Every Bridesmaid Should Know

Your best friend asked you to stand in her bridal party. Congrats! It’s a sign that your friendship means the world to her. But, bridal-party virgins might find the experience overwhelming, unsure exactly what’s expected of them in this special role. Here are seven things every bridesmaid, or maid of honor, should know before they say yes.

1. Plan or host the bridal shower or bachelorette party. Work together with the bridal party and divvy up the tasks, from booking a venue, gathering invitee (email) addresses, selecting and managing invitations and RSVPs, designing a menu, planning the decorations and ordering party favors.

2. Whether you offer to source bridesmaids dresses or stuff Save-the-Date envelopes, let the bride know that you’re available to help. Just remember that your time is valuable and that you don’t need to fulfill ridiculous demands if it doesn’t fit into your schedule or budget. It will go a long way if you do what you can, and be genuine in your offer to help.

3. Ideally, members of the bridal party should attend any pre-wedding festivities. We all have busy lives, though, and you might not be able to attend each one. Don’t kill yourself trying to attend to two engagement parties, three wedding showers, a lingerie party and a bachelorette bash. The one event you definitely don’t want to miss is the rehearsal dinner, where you’ll learn important info about your role during the ceremony the next day.

4. Weddings rarely pass without a hiccup: there’s a torrential downpour; the bride hates her makeup; the florist used geraniums instead of ranunculus. Your job as a member of the bridal party is to diffuse the situation and to keep the bride calm. Give her a hug, reassure her that everything will be fine, and, if there’s something you can do about the situation, let her know that you’re working to fix it. It might be helpful to remind her that the most important part of the day is that she and her partner say “I do” — everything else is just icing on the cake.

5. Make sure the bride has something to eat throughout the day. Nerves and excitement might distract her from eating, and nobody wants to see a bride to faint at the altar because she skipped lunch — and breakfast.

6. As part of the bridal party, you might be asked to do a speech or toast at the wedding. Plan ahead and give yourself time to write a heartfelt speech that isn’t too long. Avoid the cookie-cutter bridesmaid speech templates that you find online and write something sincere. It doesn’t have to be Oscar-worthy. Everyone appreciates a wedding speech that is short and sweet.

7. Have fun! The bride chose you to be in her bridal party because she loves you. This is a very special day for her and she wants to her bridal party to enjoy the day, too. Laugh, take pictures, have mushy talks about how this is such an exciting day. Try to put any personal stresses or frustrations on hold, rather than sulking through someone else’s happy day.

Image: Simply Rosie Photography

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