What does being a bridesmaid mean to you? Being supportive?Helping with the wedding planning? Standing by her side on her big day? Yes – these are all important. But there are some unspoken rules of being a bridesmaid that you may not be aware of. Here are eight of them.
Don’t say ‘yes’ if you’re not going to be able to do the job
This really should go without saying. Being a bridesmaid is about more than just dressing up in a pretty gown. It’s about the preparation before the wedding day. It’s about helping the bride with any tasks she needs completed and organising things like the hen’s night. If you’re not going to have time to help out with these things then don’t say ‘yes’ no matter how flattered or excited you are to be asked.
Being a bridesmaid requires being available at all hours. Yes, it’s not entirely reasonable but it’s the truth. You’re one of the bride’s most trusted friends and family members and she will call on you, sometimes at odd hours or when you’re busy doing something that isn’t related to the wedding so if she calls you or texts you or emails you or WhatsApps you, respond! Don’t make her wait days for a response to her text about whether you can pick up Uncle Bob from the airport two days before the wedding. If you can’t do it, say no but tell her asap.
Don’t do the social media thing (without her permission)
You may be the queen of Insta but showing behind the scenes of her wedding just isn’t on. Yes that picture of you trying on bridesmaids dresses may be like worthy but the bride may not want anyone knowing anything about her big day including what the bridesmaids dresses may look like. Don’t post anything wedding related without checking with your boss bride.
Be prepared to spend some of your money
Who pays for the bridesmaids dresses is a contentious topic and every couple has their own view on it but no matter who is paying for wedding related items, you are going to end up spending money to be a bridesmaid. You may have to pick up bits and pieces for the bride’s pet DIY project or pay for the pizzas at the hen’s night and, realistically, are you going to ask the bride for her credit card to cover these costs? Most brides are wonderful when it comes to expenses but us bridesmaids also want to help out but only if we can’t afford to.
Be a shoulder to lean on
Wedding planning is stressful and it sometimes doesn’t bring out the best in your bride so, unless she’s acting axe-wielding crazy, support her when she goes a little nuts. It’s ok. Just listen and offer her a hand, a tissue or an ear.
Don’t change your look too much
Yes, we know it’s not fair and not terribly reasonable but if you’re chosen to be a bridesmaid don’t go doing anything too drastic with your looks. Of course it’s your body but if you’re wearing a strapless, sleeveless bridesmaid dress, two full-length tattoo sleeves are going to change the look of the bridal party. Admittedly it will look way cooler but it may not be the look the bride is going for. Similarly if you have long hair and the bride is counting on it, don’t chop it off to a No.2 without at least discussing it with her.
Keep calm and carry on
No matter what happens, don’t lose your cool. Don’t snipe about the other bridesmaids, don’t panic if something goes wrong and, most importantly, on the big day, no matter who else freaks out, don’t let it be you. You’re supposed to be the bride’s rock, not someone who adds to her worries or gives her any stress. She should be able to turn to you in her time of crisis.
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Be positive about the wedding
No matter how much you hate your bridesmaids dress or the groom, be positive about everything. That doesn’t mean lie it, just means support the bride in her decisions and look for the good side of everything. Your bride needs your support and even though true friends speak their mind and tell the truth a true friend also knows when the time is right to zip it, nod and smile.
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