I love weddings. All things weddings. I’ve been stalking Wedding Bee since well before I was engaged (oh, haven’t we all), I run home on Fridays to catch TLC’s Bride Day and on Sundays for WE Wedding Sunday. I’ve been daydreaming of my own wedding for years and years and it makes my heart soar that it’s finally happening, but before it happened, I had to get my thrills from other people.
I’ve been a bridesmaid 9 times. Not quite Katherine Heigl, but that’s a pretty decent amount. I know that there’s been sort of a stigma surrounding bridesmaids – I think the old-timey thoughts are that bridesmaids are just girls to line up next to the bride to make her look better. Well not me. I’ve taken my jobs seriously.
I’ve worn short dresses, long dresses, cute dresses, horrible dresses and everything in between.
I’ve danced up a storm, changed into flip-flops, caught bouquets, wobbled, cupid shuffled, and electric slide-d all up and down the east coast.
I’ve carried trains, held up dresses while my friend pees, ran to get a last-minute bottle of wine to help with nerves, and given words of encouragement when the wine didn’t do the trick.
In short, I’ve loved my duties as bridesmaid.
All the while, I’ve been slowly gathering information. Diligently doing recon. I’ve made mental lists of what I will and won’t do to my bridesmaids. Then, I made actual lists. Here’s what I’ve learned in my travels:
*Note: this doesn’t mean these things necessarily happened to me, it’s just what I’ve learned
1. Don’t make your bridesmaids purchase a dress that they can’t afford. I’ve had 2 weddings where the dress was $275 and up. Before alterations. When MOH JJ and I went shopping, we were very careful not to look at dresses with more than 3-4 $’s. Our’s was $$$. I explained that to Cam and he had no idea how to interpret it, but I know the hive gets it.
2. Don’t treat your bridesmaids like slaves. They’re your best friends, and often times your family. You have to see these people for the rest of the foreseeable future, and you need to be on good terms with them. Don’t bark orders at them. Ask them nicely and they’ll do it – they want to. After all, they signed up to be your maid.
3. Do let them know early on what type of shoes you want them to wear, if you want a specific type of shoes. Similarly, let them know if you prefer they provide their own jewelry. Often times, I haven’t known until the last minute if someone would be giving me jewelry as a gift, and I struggled with what to bring that would compliment my dress.
4. Do keep your bridesmaids in the loop. I’ve been in a couple situations where I wasn’t the MOH, so I wasn’t directly involved in planning showers, bachelorette parties etc. But take it from someone who knows, the other bridesmaids want to know the plan, too. It’s no fun to not know what’s going on until the last minute.
5. Don’t forget that while it’s your day, they’re just as excited as you are. Let them celebrate with you.
6. Do thank your bridesmaids for everything they’ve done for you. It goes a long, long way to have a sincere hug from a best friend.
I’ve tried to stay within these guidelines planning my own wedding, and when the big day comes, I plan to continue it. I’ve already told several of my bridesmaids that should I stray from my normal, calm, cool, collected self, I need to be kept in line, and they are free to metaphorically slap some sense into me. Or actually slap should the occasion call for it.
When it comes down to it, through all the time, money and energy I’ve spent as a bridesmaid, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s all culminated in an even higher level of excitement for my own wedding, and I absolutely cannot wait. It’s less than 2 months away. YIKES.
How many times have you been a bridesmaid? Any additions to my list of do’s and don’ts?