So, you're wondering how to be a good bridesmaid. You’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid to someone close to you, and we're here to give you our eight top tips on being there for the bride. Even if you have experience working in weddings or helping out with the organisation process, nothing really compares to the responsibilities of a bridesmaid. No matter how many times you may be a bridesmaid, every experience can be different depending on your relationship with the bride. Whether she's a best friend, a work colleague, or a family member, going through these significant moments together will highlight the best (and sometimes the worst) parts of your relationship. This might also be a handy guide you can leave out for any of the girls who don’t seem to be pulling their weight, because let’s face it, there’s usually one...
How to be a good bridesmaid?
Know her needs
Some brides need a lot of help while others would prefer to plan with their partner. It’s important to have a chat in the beginning about what their expectation is of your level of involvement and also be prepared for that to change as the big day gets closer. If the bride isn’t great at delegating, then step up and offer to take on specific tasks. Understand what she wants, not what you’d like if you were in her shoes. You could build Pinterest boards together or ask her to share hers with you so you can get an idea of the wedding day she’s aiming to create. Get involved in the inspiration stage and follow us on Instagram, tagging her into any of the posts you think would float her boat.
Be a team player
It is important to work as a team with the other bridesmaids. Whether you know them well or not, make an effort to get familiar and make sure you all have one mission in mind, which is to give the bride a hassle-free wedding planning experience and an incredible day.
It’s all about the dress
As a bridesmaid, you may be part of picking the wedding dress but also logistics can make this a tricky affair. Some brides prefer to do this without a huge entourage, so chat with the bride to find out her expectations. It might not be possible to get all the girls together to get your dresses, so try to be as accommodating as possible. Have a discussion with the bride about who is paying too – just because you’re a bridesmaid, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a free frock.
Give your opinion tactfully
Being a good bridesmaid doesn’t mean you have to be mute, in fact, you've likely been asked to be a bridesmaid because the bride feels she can trust you. It’s helpful to share an opinion if you can do it tactfully and constructively. If you've seen ’Say Yes To The Dress’, then that's a good example that shows how opinions can be constructive or way too harsh.
The hen do
The hen do is a big milestone. If the bride has a maid of honour, they'll be the one doing all the main planning for this with some contributions from the bride, you, and the other girls. But, if the bride chooses not to elect a maid of honour the planning falls into the hands of the bridesmaids. You'll know the bride the best and what she wants. Whether that's a fun night out, a cosy night in or something in between.
The wedding gift
When it comes to getting a wedding gift there are a few ways you can go about it. Often, bridesmaids will all chip in and get gift/s on behalf of everyone. That way you can get something a little more expensive that the bride has had on her wishlist for a while. Or you might decide to all get something special and meaningful individually. Either way, this can sometimes be a little difficult to manage. People will have different budgets and might try to turn it into a competition with who can get the most expensive gift. The best thing to do when organising the wedding gift/s is to set a fair budget that everyone has to stick to or all put in the same amount towards a larger gift.
On the day
How to be a good bridesmaid on the day? It goes without saying that when the wedding day rolls around you’ve got duties to do. However, it can often be the case that a bridesmaid feels like their duty is complete as soon as they've walked up the aisle. It may be beneficial for you to have a running schedule for the day and slot in everyone for their hair and make-up accordingly. You can also give a nudge to any ushers who seemed to be enjoying their mojitos a little too much. Being warm and welcoming to all the guests and being the first one on the dance floor make you a stand-out bridesmaid.
There’s no doubt about it, wedding planning is stressful. As a bridesmaid, you need to be on hand to help the bride through any stresses and do what you can to alleviate them. Whether that's as simple as topping up her powder so she isn't shiny in pictures or making sure Uncle Bob doesn't get too drunk. Just be there for her and enjoy yourself too! Seeing a smile on your face will ease any of her worries.
The bridesmaid dress is a badge of honour! Wear it with pride!
Hopefully, after reading this you feel prepared on how to be a good bridesmaid. Although we have plenty more advice and inspiration waiting for you. Like this Mr & Mrs Question Game, which is a fab hen night game idea! If you're looking for bridesmaid dress inspiration we have green, pink, blue, orange and gold roundups...