Everyone is super excited when their best friend gets engaged. Immediately everyone starts to picture the big day. As the best friend, you have a pretty good idea of the style, theme, dress, colours your girl is going to go with. You are super excited when she asks you to be a bridesmaid (or Maid of Honour) and you couldn’t be happier to participate. But did you realize the amount of time, effort, work and stress it really involves? A lot of friendships get put to the test when weddings are being planned. Brides and bridesmaids get angry, jealous, resentful and many never recover.
I hate to see this. No one wants to be part of a wedding with hidden feelings bubbling under the surface. I have seen it and it’s never a good time. As a bridesmaid, there is a lot that needs to be taken into consideration, needs to be done and even more that needs to be remembered. Here are a few points to make sure you are the best bridesmaid for your friend. Because trust me, bridesmaiding like a champ will only help your friendship.
- Listen- the bride might be stressing out over the silliest of things, but chances are she just needs a sounding board. She needs you to listen regardless if it’s a deal breaker moment or something she will forget in an hour. Weddings are stressful and there is a lot of emotions, input and decisions being made by the bride. Now that being said, don’t be silent. Most brides have never planned an event as large scale as a wedding and she may not be able to put in to words exactly what she needs, so try and pick up on some cues, some struggles and offer some help. Is she complaining that she just wants a DJ that isn’t a complete creep? Do some research and send her a few suggestions from weddings you have been too that you liked to help her along.
- Keep your opinions to your self and your attitude in check- Helping is one thing, sharing y.our opinion on every detail of the wedding is another. Does the bride need to know that purple isn’t your colour and washes you out? This is not your wedding. It’s theirs. You are to be a part of it because they love you but you shouldn’t be adding to the stress of it. A wedding is suppose to reflect the couple and showcase their style and personality- not yours. When you get married (or if you already are), it will reflect you and your fiance.
- Play nice- Don’t gossip about the sister-in-law, groomsmen or anyone else for that matter. It might be easy to bond with the other wedding party members but it will only hurt both your reputation and the couple in the long run. Weddings always are full of high emotions. Don’t play into it and make matters worse.
- Be reliable- Sometimes the bride needs to call an emergency meeting and rallies the troops to finish DIYing the backdrop. Sometimes she needs a phone call late a night to help calm her down after a terrible day. Sometimes she needs a person to run an pick up all the yellow ribbon from all the Michael’s Craft Stores in the next three towns. Knowing she can turn to you for help and that you will be there for support helps put her to ease.
- Set ground rules- By being reliable, doesn’t mean being walked on. Set some ground rules. Let the bride know you are happy to chat, but not to call after 9pm unless it’s an absolute emergency and someone is going to a hospital. Or that you are taking a weekend/week vacation and will be back in a giffy to help out. Let her know that you are there and happy to help, but still make sure she knows that you have a life, it’s not your wedding and that you won’t be spending every waking second DIYing her wedding because she took on too much. Just know when you need to take a step back to protect your friendship and yourself.
- Be a friend- It’s easy to support a friend in most life decisions- a new job, house, pair of jeans, but something funny happens with weddings. Remember that your friendship is important. With that, sometimes tough love is needed. Sometimes brides can run away with their wants and forget the other most important person- their fiance. You may have to remind her that due to budget, venue restrictions or pure sanity, arriving on a horse that has been dyed to match the wedding colours is not realistic. There may be times when you will recognize the level stress is over any human’s capacity. Arrange for a day at the spa to kick back or a night out dancing to let loose. Brides are still people and they need their friends to take the lead and pull them out for fresh air every now and again.
- Keep cool under pressure- I think I have made it clear that weddings can be stressful. There is a lot of additional things that fall onto the wedding party to plan- showers, stag and does, bachelorette parties. Don’t let the stress eat you up. Recognize when you need help and recruit other party members, or your family, professionals, whatever the case. If you are stressing out and the bride is freaking out it’s not fun for anyone. This goes for the day of the wedding too. As a planner, a lot of unexpected things can happen- it rains, dresses rip, flowers welt, wind blows decor away, something spills on a dress- you name it, it can and has happened. Go with the flow, help find a quick solution while staying calm. If you freak out the day of, trust me the bride is going off the deep end.
- Have fun- Ultimately you are celebrating your friends love, commitment and future to the person she will spend the rest of her life with. Have fun, enjoy it. A wedding is truly something magical and the perfect end to months of planning and hard work. Kick back, let loose and celebrate!
Need help planning a shower or other additional events? Let’s chat on how I can help plan more than just weddings.