Many of us can't wait for the day that our boyfriend proposes to us, and the next best thing just might be our best friend asking us to be a bridesmaid. When she tells us the good news that she's engaged, we're happy for her... and also wondering if she's going to ask us to be in her wedding party.
Being a bridesmaid is a really big deal. Some brides are chill and don't want their bridesmaids to do too much, but many brides definitely want the whole experience and that involves a bridal shower, a bachelorette party (or week away at a tropical destination as seems to be the trend these days), and many discussions and get-togethers in between.
If we've been a bridesmaid before, then we know the lay of the land and the things that we should and shouldn't do. If we haven't been, we might wonder what this whole thing is about. Whether we've done this a few times before or we just got asked to be a bridesmaid for the very first time, there are some things to know. Here are 10 things we should always do when we're a bridesmaid and 10 that we should never do.
20 Always: Ask The Bride What She Expects Of Us (And Actually Do That)
Weddings can bring a lot of stress into people's lives. Some brides will want things to be stress-free and will plan a peaceful ceremony and reception along with deciding to forgo a bridal shower and bachelorette party. Other brides want the whole traditional experience.
When we're asked to be a bridesmaid, we should always ask the bride what she expects of us. Does she want us to help plan the bridal shower (and chip in money-wise)? What about the bachelorette? Once we know what we have to do (or not do), we should actually follow her wishes and make sure that we're the best bridesmaid that we can be.
19 Never: Complain Throughout The Entire Process
Sure, we might not agree with the way that our friend is planning her wedding. We might wonder why she wants to talk to her bridesmaids once a week or why she's having us go to three different stores to try on bridesmaid dressings.
We're allowed to be a bit frustrated with the process (we're only human, after all) but it's not that cool to complain, whether to her or the other bridesmaids. We should just accept that this is the way that it is. When it's our turn to plan our own big day, we would want her to respect our wishes and not whine or complain.
18 Always: Stay Calm, Smile, And Compliment The Bride On Different Aspects Of The Wedding Planning Process
If we're married or currently engaged, we know that weddings aren't easy. We want to do what makes us feel good and what our fiance agrees with, we might have two sets of parents making their own wishes known, and there are a lot of details and choices to figure out.
Our job as a bridesmaid is to be super pleasant throughout the entire wedding planning process and the bride will absolutely appreciate that. We should stay calm and always have a big smile on our face. Most of all, we should say nice things when the bride asks us what we think of the florist that she's just hired or the menu that she's thinking of. Staying positive will help her realize that things are going to work out just fine.
17 Never: Show Up To Events Late Or Cancel
We've all thrown a birthday party or hosted an event where people were late or, even worse, canceled an hour before they were supposed to show up. It's stressful and it doesn't feel good.
Imagine how we would feel if we were getting married and one bridesmaid was always late for any event associated with the wedding, from dress shopping to drinks where we were planning to chat about what will go down on the big day. It would be pretty awful. We should aim to be on time for events and we should never, ever cancel. We don't want to bring extra stress to the experience (and we don't want to start any drama).
16 Always: Respond To Text Messages And Emails In A Reasonable Amount Of Time
There are a lot of people to contact when planning a wedding: the florist, the bakery making the cake, the DJ, the coordinator at the venue, the photographer. Our friend is going to be sending tons of emails and making phone calls, and the last thing that we should do is ignore her emails when she asks us something.
One of the best things that we can do as a bridesmaid is answer emails and text messages in a timely manner. Yes, we have a life outside of our friend's wedding, and she totally gets that. But she's right to think that it's only fair that we answer her questions within a reasonable amount of time and don't just ignore her or wait a few days.
15 Never: Say That We Don't Like The Bridesmaid Dresses (Yikes)
Do we think that bridesmaid dresses are pretty? Maybe not... because, honestly, a lot of the time, they're not that great. They come in a weird style or color that most people wouldn't want to wear.
The thing is that it doesn't really matter what we think of the dress that our friend wants us to wear. She picked them out and she loves them. We agreed to play this part in her wedding and that means smiling and saying "These are so great!" even if we don't actually believe that. We would want her to do the same for us, right? It would seriously hurt her feelings if we admitted that we didn't love the dresses and would be another thing for her to worry about.
14 Always: Think About Keeping Costs Down If We're Helping/In Charge Of Planning An Event
We love being asked to be a bridesmaid in our friend's wedding. Do we love being asked to spend $500 on the bridal shower or thousands on the bachelorette party because it's out of town? Probably not.
Another thing that we should always do if we're a bridesmaid is help keep costs down for some of the events. The other girls will appreciate this and even thank us, and it's possible that they'll bring it up before we do and everyone will be on the same page. Since there are so many events that are part of a wedding, it makes sense to not break the bank.
13 Never: Act Jealous That We're Not The Ones Getting Hitched
It's totally normal to be jealous when our best friend gets engaged and we're still single... or when we're waiting for our boyfriend to ask us to marry him and we've been together longer than they have. It's normal but it's still not the best idea to act envious or, worse, tell our friend that we can't believe that she's getting married before us.
We should never act jealous that we're not the one walking down the aisle. Even if we are, we can't let our friend know. It's so much better to be happy for her and invite all of that good karma.
12 Always: Go Along With What The MOH Is Planning (Because That's Her Job And That's Our Job, Too)
The Maid of Honor will most likely be in charge of planning any event, which means that our job is to be pleasant and go along with what she's got in mind. It makes sense to be agreeable and say yes when we're asked if we would mind helping with something.
We might have different ideas or opinions but at the end of the day, she wants the best for our mutual friend, the bride, and she wants everyone to have a great time. We can remember that we all have a common goal and that we want everyone to get along and be on the same page.
11 Never: Say Something Mean About The Other Bridesmaids Or MOH
Movies always make wedding planning look chaotic and stressful, and many brides have fights with their family or future mother-in-law. They also have fights with their bridesmaids because these things tend to get exaggerated in movies.
The last thing that we want to do is bring some negative energy to the bridal party. We should never say mean things about the other girls who have been chosen to be bridesmaids or the Maid of Honor. The bride definitely won't like this and she wants everyone to get along so things can go as smoothly as possible. We can always be friendly.
10 Always: Ask Before Making Assumptions
Another thing that we should always do as a bridesmaid is asking the bride any questions that we have. Instead of making assumptions, we should make sure to check with her.
We might want to bring our boyfriend to the wedding but maybe our friend is planning a really small event and there isn't room in the budget for plus-ones. Maybe she agrees that he can come but we want him to sit at the head table with us since we'll be there as a bridesmaid and she says there isn't room. It's so much better to ask and know what's going on instead of making assumptions and then getting upset.
9 Never: Insult The Groom And Say She Deserves Better
We should never tell the bride that she should break up with the groom and date someone else. She wants our support and she wants to hear that we think that this is a great decision and that they're going to be so happy.
Even if we're not the biggest fan of the guy who is going to be her husband, it's best to keep that to ourselves. And even if she has told us some things that made us wonder if the relationship was happy after all, it's really not our place to say anything. She's happy and she's planning a wedding, and it's our job as the bridesmaid to be happy for her, too.
8 Always: Make Suggestions When We Can (Without Being Annoying)
We might not want to suggest that the bride hire another florist when she's already picked one and made a deposit, but there's nothing wrong with making some suggestions if it feels appropriate.
There are so many decisions to make and she might be worried about picking the right bakery to make the wedding cake. If she seems a bit stressed, that's the right time for us to step in and see if we can help her come to the right decision. She won't mind and might even really appreciate the help. We might be able to make things less stressful.
7 Never: Act Like Everything We're Asked To Do Is A Huge Deal
Meeting the bride and the other members of the bridal party at a bridal shop to try on dresses. Having brunch or dinner to talk about what is expected of everyone. Emailing invites to the bridal shower or looking up cheap weekend getaway spots for the bachelorette.
These are all logical things that we would be asked to do as a bridesmaid. We should never complain or say that we shouldn't have to do these things and generally act like everyone is being unreasonable. After all, we did say yes to being a bridesmaid. This is part of it and we can definitely get these things done.
6 Always: Make An Effort To Get Along With The Other Girls And The Bride's Family If We're Around Them
No bride wants people to feel left out or ignored at any event associated with the wedding. Every bride wants people to have fun and get along and smile. A wedding is a happy event and it makes things easier if everyone feels that way and acts that way, too.
It's our job as a bridesmaid to be nice to everyone, from the other girls in the bridal party to the bride's family. We can answer emails in a friendly tone, try to get to know the bride's mom and sister and aunt whenever we are around them, and generally be a pleasant bridesmaid.
5 Never: Steal The Show And Make It About Us/Bring The Drama
The bride is super happy because she just booked the florist and photographer and found the perfect bridesmaids dresses. We steal the show by complaining about our dating life or talking about another friend who is getting hitched and all of the decisions that she's just made.
We can probably tell that this isn't the way that we want to behave. When we're asked to be a bridesmaid, we should never make things all about us. It's about the bride for sure. No one likes a Bridezilla so hopefully she's nothing like that, but for the most part, it's a special time in her life and it's okay for her to enjoy that.
4 Always: Thank The Bride For Choosing Us And Having Us Be Involved
For some brides, choosing bridesmaids is the easiest thing about the whole wedding. They've had the same good friends since childhood or college and it's a no-brainer. For others, they have a large social circle and don't want to offend anyone so it can be a tougher decision.
We should always thank our friend for choosing us to be a bridesmaid. It's sweet that she wanted us to be involved this closely in her big day and that she considers us such a good, close friend. She'll love hearing that we appreciate it so much and it'll make the whole process so much smoother and more positive.
3 Never: Say We Would Do Things Differently If We Were The One Getting Married
Weddings are a way to show off personality and taste levels, and they can bring out a lot of negative comments. We go to weddings and wonder why they chose the menu that they did or why the DJ had a smoke show or any number of things.
Maybe the bride is planning an extravagant wedding where she is in charge of every last detail and our vision for our own wedding day is a barbeque in a field. Maybe she's having both the ceremony and reception at a restaurant and we would have chosen something else. One thing that we should never do as a bridesmaid is telling the bride, the other bridesmaids, or anyone that we would have done things differently. It's not what she wants to hear and it's just not that nice.
2 Always: Tell The Bride It Was An Amazing Wedding
A wedding is a party (big or small, depending on what the couple is going for) and it's nice to know that guests have really enjoyed themselves. When we're a bridesmaid, one thing that we should always do is tell our friend that it was a totally amazing wedding.
This is true even if there were a few things that didn't work out as planned or a few stressful moments (which is bound to happen). She doesn't want to hear that we noticed that the cake was served an hour later than planned or that someone was talking through the speeches. She wants to hear that it was awesome, and we can be the one to tell her (along with the other guests, of course).
1 Never: Stress The Bride Out On The Big Day
Brides feel a lot of different emotions on their wedding day. They're emotional, they feel like things are a bit surreal, they're wondering if all of the details that they planned are going to go off without a hitch.
The last thing that a bride wants is their bridesmaid stressing them out on the big day. We should never text the bride and ask her a question because she probably won't even be looking at her phone. We shouldn't show up late or do anything except being pleasant and enjoying the day. If the situation was reversed, we would want her to help us have fun on our wedding day, right?