Congratulations, you’re a bridesmaid! If it’s your first time being a bridesmaid, then you may not know what’s involved in being part of the wedding party – here’s our handy first time bridesmaid advice to keep you informed…
Be prepared for the expense…
From the hen party to the hair and makeup and gifts, being a bridesmaid can sometimes be expensive, so be sure you can take on the cost before you get too far into the process. In the UK, it’s traditional for the couple to buy the bridesmaids’ dresses, but you may find that you end up making a contribution depending on the budget. Aside from the dresses, other areas that you may end up paying for include your hair, makeup and nails on the day, any gifts for the bride, and the hen party travel, activities and decor. If you’re on a tight budget, bring it up with the bride or maid of honour straight away – it’s better to be open than to struggle and have to pull out later down the line.
…and the amount of time involved.
Depending on your bride, you might just be expected to go to the hen do and show up on the big day, but it’s more likely that you’ll have to attend a few wedding appointments. Think engagement parties, bridal boutique appointments, bridesmaid dress shopping, DIY or craft sessions, fittings and alterations, wedding fairs and hen party planning meetings. If you’re at a very busy point in your life (such as completing a degree or planning a family), you’ll have to bear in mind that bridesmaid duties can take up weekends and evenings, and be honest with the bride about your limitations.
Offer your support to the bride…
As a bridesmaid, your main job is to help and support the bride! Whether it’s helping her find the best local suppliers, sitting down to help her write 100 invitation envelopes, putting together Pinterest boards or just taking her out for a drink when the wedding stress gets too much, always offer a hand to your bride when you can. It may be that your bride doesn’t need much practical help, but as long as you let her know you’re here for her, she’ll love you for it.
…and the maid of honour.
As chief bridesmaid and planner of the hen do, the maid of honour often has a large to-do list. Ask if she needs help doing any research or planning, and we guarantee that she’ll appreciate the offer! What you shouldn’t do is step on her toes by telling her what she should have planned by now – if you feel she’s overwhelmed or behind, just ask if there’s anything you can do to help!
Be nice to the other bridesmaids
There’s nothing worse for a bride than her bridesmaids fighting amongst themselves – especially if she has to hear about it. It may be that you don’t know all (or any) of the other bridesmaids, and they may not be your cup of tea, but the bride has chosen them for a reason. Do your best to get along with the rest of the bridal party, and don’t talk about anyone behind their backs. If you don’t agree with a bridesmaid, just let it go and remember that you only have to deal with her until the big day!
One of the things we hear most often from bridesmaids is that they got hungry on the big day – and that the bride did, too. Make yourself invaluable by ensuring that everyone has breakfast in the morning, and bring snacks and fresh fruit along to the morning preparations. On the day, keep an eye on the couple when you can, and take them canapes, drinks and cake if their hands are empty. Often, the bride and groom are so busy talking to everyone that they don’t get time to eat their own food!
Embrace it and have fun
The most important way to be the best bridesmaid ever is to go with the flow. The bride might have picked a dress you hate, and that one bridesmaid might be driving you crazy, but remember that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for your bride – so embrace it! Enjoy the planning together, and the time will fly by.