What to Avoid as a Bridesmaid
Let the celebrations begin! A lucky someone you know will soon tie the knot, you’ve been chosen to be their bridesmaid and you are determined to be the best there ever was. Letting the bride down is not a part of your plan, and suddenly wedding dresses, cakes, and flowers are all part of your daily vocabulary. You may know what it takes to be a good bridesmaid, but to be the best, here’s what you should try to avoid.
- Not listening to the bride
The special day you’re planning for is about a union between two individuals, neither of which are you. Remember that the bride has her own cultural, personal, and spiritual views and she is going to want things a certain way. Respect her wishes and don’t defy what she has asked for.
Pro Tip: Help her plan the wedding she’s always dreamed of not the one you want for her.
- Acting Like the Maid of Honor
The bridal party is such an important group of people to the bride. You all matter to her and are vital elements to making her wedding day special. But there is only one maid of honor, and they were selected personally and specifically by the bride. If that is not your role, it is okay because you still have responsibilities that contribute to the wedding in ways that are just as important. Rather than acting like the maid of honour, offer your help where it may be needed. You can offer to help look for food vendors or entertainment, but unless instructed to, try not to make big decisions without hers or the bride’s approval.
Pro Tip: Stick to your role and be the best at it, the bride will thank you.
- Budgeting Poorly
The worst thing you can do to yourself and the bride is budget incorrectly. As soon as you take on the role of a bridesmaid understand what it involves, and more importantly the toll it will take on your bank. From beginning to end, both you and your Benjamins will be put to work, and you’re going to want to make sure there’s still something left to finish the job. For instance, near the end of it all, you don’t want to be the guest that didn’t bring a gift to the wedding, as a bridesmaid your gift matters!
Pro Tip: Put together a group gift with the rest of the bridal party and save everyone a pretty penny.
- Being Unprepared
One thing we know is that when being a bridesmaid you will be wearing many different hats. Some of those hats will range from dress fabrics and cake flavours to mending tears and deciphering family relationships. Familiarize yourself with as much wedding etiquette and terminology as humanly possible and be ready for whatever comes your way. Research every individual event, every tradition, and every role just to be safe.
Pro Tip: Responsibility for keeping things afloat is on you, remember flats, Tylenol, Gatorade, and Band-Aids.
- Making Alcohol a Key Component
Alcohol can sometimes be found at weddings and pre-wedding events. Alcohol can be free and served, unlimited at an open bar, or it may be just one glass person. Whatever the scenario you find yourself in, you should not take advantage; not as a bridesmaid, and definitely not to serve the bride. Recognize that the ceremony or event can easily get out of hand when too much alcohol is being consumed.
Pro Tip: Don’t be a buzzkill, but know your limits and keep an eye on your bride as well as other guests to avoid possible disasters
- Being Unreliable
Think of the months leading up to a wedding as a job where you are overworked and underpaid. This is the hard truth in taking on the role of the bridesmaid. Where you will be rewarded is in the beauty of the finished result, in this case, the happily married couple on their wedding day. Understand what you’ve signed up for and be reliable which means you should do your best to be available for pre-wedding events, and not flop last minute. Respond within a reasonable time to group chats where planning takes place and decisions are made. Don’t be late! You can easily miss appointments and put everything off track. Use your strengths to be helpful wherever you can, the bride is counting on you!
Pro Tip: Ask for input to get things right the first time, plan accurately, and remember the details
- Being Honest with Yourself First
A bridesmaid can only be successful in their role when they are being honest. If you have obligations that aren’t going to make you the most committed, tell the bride. If you have some money concerns, address them and see if the bride has any solutions. If you’re not 100 percent sure you will be a certain size on the actual day of the wedding, don’t mess with your dress sizing. The most important thing to remember is to be there for the bride and that means being honest with yourself first.
Pro Tip: Have a conversation with yourself before giving any definite answers to anyone else
- Forgetting You’re Part of a Team
Bridesmaids. The bridal party. The bride squad. Team bride. Whatever name you identify with, you will always remain one group with one common goal: to get the bride to the altar in one piece. It is important that each member of the team is included and contributes to planning and preparing for the wedding. Don’t be the person that takes on too much, because chances are there is someone else that can help. Also, don’t try to one-up each other because you’re all bridesmaids; this means you’ve all made the cut, and each of you are equally important to the bride.
Pro Tip: Remember this mantra – we are one team, with one goal
- You’re Forgetting Who You’re Doing This For
Remember who you’re doing all of this hard work for, that this time is super stressful for the couple, and that this wedding is to celebrate a momentous union between two loving individuals. The last thing you want to do is complain to the bride about something you’re unhappy about. Whether your complaint is about the seating arrangement, your bridesmaid dress, or who you walk down the aisle with, you don’t want to be the person to add stress to this planning process. Try not to make the wedding about you. Never utter the words “at my wedding” or “when I was a bride”, because the statement that follows most likely won’t be helpful to the bride. Be the reason the bride shines bright at every event and give her a reason to remember it for years to come.
Pro Tip: Be there for the bride every step of the way; that’s why they chose you!
- Obvious Faux Pas
Wearing white to a wedding that isn’t yours, when you’re not asked to
Being stingy – as a bridesmaid your gift is just as important
Mixing business with pleasure – hands to yourself while you’re on duty.
Remembering you can be honest without being mean
Pro Tip: Always keep these in mind and share them with the rest of the bridesmaids!
At the end of the day, remember that there’s a special someone that you’re doing all of this for, they want to be happy and spend their life with their chosen partner. As a bridesmaid, you are there for them and to make the experience a memorable success.
You can pat yourself on the back if you avoid the items listed above, but to truly understand what’s expected of you as a bridesmaid, check out the Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Bridesmaid.
Photo by Sincerely Media
Photo by Omar Lopez