8 DOs and DON’Ts of being a bridesmaid

Being offered a place on a friend or sibling’s bridal party is such a great honour and at the outset, seems like a lot of fun. But while helping to plan a wedding can be an adventure, every adventure has bumps along the way – here are some tips to help you avoid being one of them.

DO – Plan a fabulous bachelorette party

Bridesmaids are expected to help the maid of honour in planning and paying for the bachelorette party.

This can be held anywhere from three to six weeks out, right up until the weekend before the big day.

Make sure you plan something that is fun and will suit the personality of the bride.

DON’T – Accept the role unless you are completely invested

Being a bridesmaid can mean several months of helping your friends or sibling through what can be a very stressful time.

There might be tears, there will be many triumphs, but when you say yes, you are agreeing to be there through all of it.

You might be expected to help out with dress shopping, fittings, invitation making or posting and other projects depending on how much DIY the bride is planning to do.

DO – Expect to fork out some cash

Being a bridesmaid often doesn’t come cheap.

On top of traditionally pooling funds with the other bridesmaids to fund the bachelorette party, you might also have to cover the cost of your dress, and/or hair and make up and maybe even a night or two of accommodation to be on hand to help the bride before her big day.

If you live interstate or overseas, you will have to add flights into the mix as well.

DON’T – Argue about dresses

The bride might have a very clear picture in her mind of what she would like you to wear and although it might not be something you would usually pick for yourself, you need to grin and bear it – especially if she is footing the bill.

Almost the only time you can object to a dress is if you are being expected to pay and simply cannot afford to buy the dress if the bride has chosen something ultra-expensive. In this case, simply politely ask if she would consider a less costly option.

Remember that at the end of the day, the wedding is supposed to be about the bride and what she wants – not your personal style preferences.

DO – Understand your duties

Different brides have different expectations.

It pays to understand early on what the bride would like you to help with and make a note of the dates you’ll need to be available.

It’s also a good idea to find out if the bride will want you to take an active role in assisting with planning, or simply to help out when she gets too busy to do things herself.

DON’T – Dramatically change your look

Thinking about dying your hair or getting a tattoo in a prominent place on your body?

Wait until after the wedding is over.

Even if the bride okays your new look, there is a chance she might just be agreeing with you so she’s not holding you back.

It wouldn’t hurt to wait another few months.

DO – Provide emotional support

Because there is so much excitement and anticipation surrounding a wedding, it can become an emotional roller coaster ride for all involved – especially the bride.

She might have moments of stress, great elation and possibly even cold feet – all of it rolled into a few short months.

It is important for her to know that she has you by her side to be a shoulder to lean on and someone she can vent to in order to alleviate the burden.

DON’T – Go overboard with advice

If she asks you along, go with the bride to help her pick out the perfect dress, flowers and decorations for the ceremony and reception, but don’t offer unsolicited advice, especially if it contradicts the style or items that the bride has chosen.

Not only will this be upsetting for her, but it has the potential to cause tension between you in the lead up to the wedding.

Find the right balance and you will all have a memorable time leading up to a day you will be proud to have been a part of.

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