To be a good bridesmaid is more than just hosting a shower, trying on dresses, and looking lovely next to the bride when she says, "I do." It's getting along with everyone, keeping the bride as stress-free as possible, and maintaining your sanity and patience in the process. With preparation and sound advice from some experienced bridesmaids, you will be bridesmaid-ing like it's your job because it is!
Be honest from the Beginning
If you have anxiety about affording the dress, the shoes, the parties, tell the bride know right away. Have a frank discussion before committing to being in the wedding to circumvent any bitterness on both ends later.
You were asked to be a bridesmaid for a reason. In that sense, do your best always to be supportive of the bride. Remember that wedding planning can be stressful and overwhelming, so if she appears withdrawn, irritable, or even a little demanding, try to be understanding. If you see something is a little off, lend your ear, some of your time, or a helping hand.
Stay in Communication
Communication is possibly the golden rule of the wedding party. You never want to be the hard-to-reach bridesmaid. By being communicative and relatively accessible, you're sure to be able to enjoy the process more and keep things organized for you and the bride.
Try to reply to all texts and emails promptly, and be clear and reasonable about your availability. Communication is essential.
Buy the dress As Soon As Possible
It may not appear to be a huge deal to you, but putting off ordering your bridesmaid dress until the last minute gives the bride just another thing to stress over. She already has plenty of that! Make her life a little touch easier. Don't be the bridesmaid that she has to email several times to check in on the state of your dress order. Do it when she asks and keep her updated.
Be a Mediator
There's invariably that one bridesmaid who makes everything much harder than it has to be. She dislikes the dress, whines about the bachelorette party destination, is never on time, doesn't pitch in with hosting the shower, etc. You must keep harmony no matter how appalling she is. Take charge and do your best to settle any circumstances, so the bride doesn't have to get involved. If the bride wants to vent, listen, and sympathize, but be cautious not to bash her friend.
All the events leading up to the big day as a bridesmaid can feel overwhelming at times. They tend to be on top of your already full and at times, hectic and stressful schedule. Remember that for your friend, the bride, these events are extraordinary moments in her life. Keep that idea in mind whenever you feel a little stressed or overwhelmed. Do your best to be present and engaging while sharing in her joy.
There will be moments when you're tired, and you don't want to help the bride pick out her shoes, for example, but if it's not an inconvenience, go on and help out. The bride will be so grateful to have a second opinion. This tip goes for additional things, too, like the bridesmaid dress even if it's not your style or color, keep smiling!
Be Mindful of Everyone's Budget
If the bride places you in charge of organizing the bachelorette party or hosting the shower, don't expect everyone can contribute the same amount. Inquire about their budgets confidentially so as not to cause anyone to feel uncomfortable.
Odds are, you'll have the honor of being a bridesmaid a handful of times. Do your best to appreciate every moment. Pop the Champagne, rock your bridesmaid dress, revel in the day-of pampering, and recognize how blessed you are to have a friend that couldn't say "I do" without you!