Hi everyone, it’s lovely to be back over here chatting bridesmaids as normally you’ll find me over on our lifestyle site, Rock My Style.
My friend Caroline recently got engaged to her fiancé Bradley and asked me to be one of her best girls. With this in mind Fern and I thought a series of posts from a bridesmaid’s perspective might be helpful. I’ll go into a lot of detail about the hen do planning in the next few posts but for now I thought we should get serious and talk about the responsibilities…
Due to my job (working on many editorial shoots for RMW) I’ve been asked to help style and organise countless friend’s big days but I’ve usually been backstage making sure their days go smoothly, tweaking their signage and setting up dessert bars.
I’ve only been a bridesmaid once and that was to my sister. We’re very close so we both always knew that if we ever got hitched we had an automatic choice as each others wing woman.
Caroline and I met at uni and while most people spend three years at university running away from the people they meet in their first days, this is not the case for us. I’ve know her my whole adult life and she’s been there for me through some pretty significant peaks and troughs.
Without getting overly sentimental I can’t tell you how honoured I am to be Caroline’s bridesmaid. I don’t begrudge anyone who decides to forego a bridal party but I feel honoured to be recognised as one of her squad – to be one of the trusted ladies who’ll be by her side on the biggest day of her life and I’ll wear that frock like a badge of honour.
I did a bit of research for this post, about what’s generally expected of a BM and to be honest it makes it seem like a bit of a chore, however I think it’s worth mentioning and hopefully might be a handy guide you can leave out for any of your girls who don’t seem to be pulling their weight, because let’s face it, there’s usually one (though definitely not at this wedding!)
- Know her needs
- Understand what she wants, not what you’d like if you were in her shoes
- Be a team player
- It’s all about the dress
- Give your opinion tactfully
- On the day
- Morale support
- Hen party planning
Some brides need a lot of help while others would prefer to plan with their partner. I think 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 do step up and offer to take on specific tasks.
Either 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 social media, tagging her in to any of the posts you think would float her boat.
In my case, I don’t know the other three bridesmaids. However we’ve all swapped numbers through WhatsApp and have been in touch hatching hen related plans. Even though we don’t know each other, we’ve all got one mission in mind and it’s to give our girl a hassle-free wedding planning experience and an incredible day.
As a BM you may be part of the wedding dress process but also logistics can make this a tricky affair. Some brides prefer to do without a huge entourage too so again chat with the bride to find out her expectations. It also might not be possible to get all the girls together to get your frocks too so try to be as accommodating as possible. Have a discussion with the bride about who is paying too – just because you’re a BM it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a free frock.
Being a good bridesmaid doesn’t mean you have to be mute, in fact it’s likely you’ll have 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 in a tactful and constructive way. Does anyone watch ’Say Yes To The Dress?’ I’m addicted to it! Some of the women on there are so mean though! There are far more diplomatic ways to tell someone they look like a toilet roll holder.
It goes without saying that when the wedding day rolls around you’ve got duties to do however I’ve been at far too many weddings where I’ve seen the BMs saunter off after they’ve walked up the aisle!
When I was a bridesmaid to my sister I had a running schedule for the day and slotting in everyone for their hair and make-up accordingly and gave a nudge to any ushers who seemed to be enjoying their mojitos a little too much.
Last summer I was at a wedding where the maids were impeccable. They were so warm and welcoming to all the guests and were the first ones on the dance floor too.
There’s no doubt about it, wedding planning is stressful. As a bridesmaid you need to be on hand to help the bride though any stresses and do what you can to alleviate them.
We’ll save that one for next time!
What do you think makes a good bridesmaid? Any other tips or comments you’d like to add?