Friday, January 15, 2016

7 Things to Know About Being a Bridesmaid

I was recently asked to be a bridesmaid in my girlfriends wedding which I'm very excited about and we have already begun some of the best parts like saying yes to her (amazing!) dress. While I was out with some of the bridesmaids the other day, the maid of honor shared that she had never been in that role before, nor been a bridesmaid so she was doing a little research on what the duties entail. I'm sure some people just assume all we do is stand there, look pretty (hopefully) and drink champagne (lots...again, hopefully). But alas, this is not the case -- If you are asked to stand by your friends side on the biggest day of her life, it obviously means you have a special relationship, so it's important to commemorate that and do your part to make it the best experience for her.

This will be my 8th time as a bridesmaid so I wanted to share a few things I've learned that may be helpful to anyone who is getting ready to "PARTY!

Celebrate the moment: 
Anyone who has gotten engaged knows what a big moment it is...whether it's a big surprise or a plan from the beginning, it's a scenario we dream about for years. Soon after you get engaged (like minutes), the questions begin...When is the wedding? What venue are you thinking? Do you have colors picked out? And while those are all fun things to think about, the best part is just relishing in being engaged. Spending your life with your favorite person. Finding your other half. So even if it's something small, like a toast at home with the couple's closest friends, do be sure to recognize this great time in your friends life.

Be honest:
You will most likely be asked for your advice on one matter or another, especially if you've already gotten married -- Who was your photographer and how did you decide on them? How much do you tip vendors? Is it important to have an "A" and "B" list?  Do you like this style of dress? -- These are all situations where honesty is the best policy because your friend is asking for genuine feedback in making some important decisions. Even if she doesn't take your advice or utilize your suggestions, at least she knows she can count on you to be straight with her.

Help her with the dress(es): 
You don't have to be present for every dress appointment, especially (and most likely) since there will be other people who want to witness this experience but if the bride asks you to narrow down styles both for her dress AND the bridesmaid dresses, you should be of some assistance. Let's be honest, this is one of the most fun parts of the process...I'd rarely turn down a chance to play dress up in gorgeous gowns and cocktail dresses! We recently spent a few hours in David's Bridal for an upcoming wedding and while we ended up picking our some great looks, we had a few laughs in between...mainly a two piece style that's a bit more Quinceanera than Wedding ;)

Get to know her other girls:
Bridal parties are often a mix of many different, friends, way-back friends, co-workers, etc. so it's likely there will be a few girls left out of inside jokes in one way or another. This is a group that will likely be spending a lot of time together (shower, bachelorette, rehearsal, wedding) so it's up to each bridesmaid to make sure the others feel included. The bride probably already feels a little awkward about all of her worlds colliding in one place so you can make it easier on her by keeping everyone involved and on good terms. 

Plan an unforgettable Bash:
The Bachelorette party is can be one of the most fun parts of the process! It's important to be mindful of the bride's taste and what she wants...Remember, you're planning her ultimate weekend, not yours. Whether the itinerary includes a girls day at the spa or a wild weekend in Miami, this is the ultimate time for girl bonding without any Fantasy Football talk getting in the way ;) For planning made easy, try out The Bach which recommends venues, build an itinerary, send out invitations, etc. I also think it's important to add a few special touches like personalized tattoos (seen below) or monogrammed cups (perfect for day drinking). 

 Offer your services: 
There are so many details to consider...centerpieces, table numbers, save the dates, invitations, favors, and so on. The bride is only one person (and most likely, the fiance isn't all that interested in bedazzling) and if you're like me, a DIY session can be so much fun (if it includes wine, of course!) Let the bride to be know that you are available to assist with some of the more tedious tasks...she may not always take you up on it but just the offer can be helpful so they know who to call if they're drowning in tulle.

Remember the little things:
It truly is the little things in life and that applies to being a great bridesmaid as well. If you've experienced the big day already (or many others), you have a good idea of what makes a lasting impression and it's not always the most expensive gifts. I love the idea of a book filled with date night ideas or some of your go-to recipes the new couple can make a part of their meal plan at home. Right after my girlfriend got married, I picked up a tiny ring dish for her with an image that was close to her heart so she would have a pretty place to keep her literally is the little things :)

How many weddings have you stood up in? Do you have any tips to share?