I thought I was a good bridesmaid…

I was a bridesmaid twice before I was a bride, and to be honest, I thought I was an amazing bridesmaid!
I went to the appointments that the bride told me about, assisted with the pre-wedding events, and got myself ready with what they requested for their big day.

It was only until I was a bride myself, that I realised everything I did WRONG as a bridesmaid.
Yes, I did as I was told, but what about the behind the scenes work? The little things that help create a bubble of love leading up to the bride’s special day. 

Today I am going to be discussing a few vital points you need to consider before saying YES to your bestie’s bridesmaid proposal.
All images via Unsplash.

  • Let’s talk money…
    First off, let’s think about what this is going to cost you. You are going to have to contribute towards not only all wedding-related events, but also, possibly your dress, hair, and makeup on the wedding day. It is not a written rule that the bride has to pay for all these things, and these days, most bridesmaids are contributing to these wedding day costs.
    Speak to the bride ASAP about her budget and whether or not you will be expected to contribute towards these costs.As for the pre-wedding events + countdown gifts, be open and honest from the get-go with the other bridesmaids about your budget and what you can afford to pay towards these things. Everyone has different salaries and monthly budgets and just because Bridesmaid A can afford to pay R3000 towards them does not mean you have to put yourself in debt just to keep up appearances. It is best to budget from the start, that way it gives you time to prepare and save for when the need arises.
  • You will need to be at the bride’s “beck and call”
    She needs a confidante, a best friend, a stylist, a shoulder to cry on, someone to hype her up, or calm her down! And all this is needed even before the wedding day starts!
    You know there is going to be a WhatsApp group, Pinterest board, and a million phone calls – ensure you are carving out time to assist the bride as there is more to being a bridesmaid than just pitching up and looking pretty on the day.
    Being a bride can be a very stressful time, and even though it is meant to be the “best day ever”, the days and months leading up to it can be filled with ALL the emotions. You don’t want to be adding to her stress, you want to be assisting her to get rid of it – please, no Negative Nancy’s are needed in this time!
  • You will need to go to all the appointments
    Yes, that means dress shopping too! Which is more often than not the first thing on the bride’s to-do list with her bridesmaids. Make sure you make her feel special. This day will be part of her wedding planning memories and you don’t want it to be tainted with the thought that her bridesmaid couldn’t make it cause she “didn’t feel like it”. So when the bride creates her WhatsApp group and invites you to that first dress shopping experience, open up your diary and SAVE THE DATE! You will thank us later 😉
  • Don’t wait for her to tell you what to do
    You are not there to just do the surface work, dig deeper, and see what the bride really needs! Everybody has their own talents and if you are particularly good at something, then offer your services to the bride… but also don’t be offended if she says no 😉 Maybe you are creative and can assist with the stationery design, or perhaps you are an amazing shopper and will be able to find the perfect accessories and shoes for the bridal party… whatever you are great at, no matter how “big or small”, offer these services to the bride – she will be forever grateful.
  • Also, please LISTEN to the bride!
    When your Bride says she does not want to be dressed in a tutu with glowing penis pom-poms. Please DON’T dress her in a tutu with glowing penis pom-poms. The days of total embarrassment are over and although some fun and games are totally acceptable, we are seeing a more elegant take on Kitchen Teas and Hens nights. So rather than plan something she is going to have nightmares of for the rest of her life, ask her to write down a guideline with her top ten do’s and dont’s. You don’t have to follow it to the T, but this will help you get an idea of what she would really like and things to stay far away from.
  • Don’t put your needs in front of hers
    Speaking of listening to the bride, when organising the bachelorette party, please remember to keep HER in mind!
    You know her. You know what she likes, and what she dislikes. Don’t pretend you don’t. The worst thing is being at a bridal shower when a (happily) conservative bride is surprised with a sexy stripper, her eyes pleading for it to be over from the second it begins.
    Think about what makes her tick. If she’s outdoorsy, go on a camping or hiking adventure. If she’s a morning person go for an early morning yoga session or organise a champagne breakfast. If she’s active, organise a trail run, or take a group surfing lesson. If she’s a foodie go to an exotic cooking class or have a wine and chocolate pairing cocktail party. Gone are the days of kitsch decor and getting drunk at tiger – bachelorettes can be whatever you want them to be!
  • Be ready to PARTY!
    I can’t tell you how many weddings I have attended where the bridesmaids slink off to bed. This is not on. Yes, I know you have had a long day and the months of planning and preparation have taken their toll, but as long as the bride is on the dancefloor, then so are you! Kick-off your shoes if you must, grab a Redbull, and party the night away with your bestie. Do not succumb to the urge to slink off to bed. That is just not okay.

At the end of the day, this is a COMMITMENT!
Being a bridesmaid is a commitment, so when your bestie does a champagne breakfast and pops the question, think carefully before saying yes. You need to consider if you have enough time, funds, and mental health to commit to this for 6 months to a year or more… depending on how long your bestie plans to stay engaged for.
If you feel that you cannot commit to it, then rather just respectfully say no. You don’t want to be known as the bridesmaid who did “nothing”, or even worse, the bridesmaid who “added more stress to the situation”.

This is a fun time not only in your bestie’s life but in your life too, and the memories made will be cherished forever. If you haven’t already had your big day, think of how you would like to be treated by your bridesmaids when it is your turn… and if you have already said I do, remember all the things your bridesmaids did to make you feel special.
Being a bridesmaid is a great honour. Don’t make your bestie regret her decision but rather, be the best bridesmaid you possibly can be!

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