How many people struggle with choosing the most important entourage?
You might know who you’d want but have you thought about the detail?
Many people don’t, going feet first into asking their best girls with no thought about what this means and then those girls jump in with an overwhelming ‘yes’ without a care in the world.
I personally didn’t jump in as a bride, I knew I wanted my sister & sister-in-law; they are my bestest girls in the world and my 4 nieces are by far the most beautiful so that was a definite decision made but I decided much later down the line that I wanted to add my friends to the line up. I just had a knot in my stomach not having them part of it and knew if I didn’t I would regret it. Dan had gone with his heart and asked loads of his friends so I joined his club. Some do it the other way, ask friends and during the process end up falling out or realising they can’t afford them - this is so common and so many end in tears.
Being a bride is a massive deal & if you are asked to be a bridesmaid it’s a huge honour! However be sure you’re up to the task.
Some thoughts I’ve picked up along the way that I think are handy shared...
On average each bridesmaid can cost around £150 when you talk about dress, hair, make up, gifts... let alone anything else. How many can you afford? Who’s paying for what? Be clear from the start about what it entails. A big reason for falling out is brides getting frustrated at the lack of appreciation for what you are spending or the lack of understanding on the work put in or bridesmaids being asked to pay for things. If you are a bride don’t ask someone if you are on a tight budget as you could get bitter. If you are a bridesmaid appreciate the time & money that is going into you on a day that is not about you. When being asked to be a bridesmaid ask what does that mean to the bride, know what’s expected before you commit. It’s getting common for bridesmaids to pay their way now - can you do it?
How many people hate their dress! Or it doesn’t fit!
If you are a bride you have got to understand that not all people look good in the same thing and if something looks awful be truthful to yourself! No one will upstage you as the bride so help your bridesmaids look fabulous. I went for a mix of dresses in the end as the ones I originally chose didn’t look the same on all and I would not have my favourite girls feeling uncomfortable all day. If you are a bridesmaid be honest but tactful and offer to help resolve the situation. Don’t throw your toys out of the pram and add to the stresses, it’s not about you remember that. Luckily my bridesmaids were brilliant and we overcame the hurdle easily and stress free but it involved a hunt for 2 new dresses, 2 lots of alterations and a few tears but ended in laughter.
Everyone has busy lives and there is no point telling a bride this on the run up to her wedding. She is the most important person in the whole world at that point so I’m not even going to give brides a tip here, you carry on. Bridesmaids approach with caution! If you can’t help and give your life and soul to the bride then don’t be a bridesmaid. Even if she doesn’t want it, offer. Above all else, whatever you do, don’t moan! It’s an easy one to forget! I’ve done it myself and moaned about situations and had to tell myself off. Your job is to help the bride have the best of times. If it’s going wrong help fix it with a smile even if you’re dying inside!
I often see brides give gifts of thanks to their bridesmaids and run around making sure everyone else is ok. My tip for brides is it is your day! Definitely a day to be selfish, so stop worrying. Brides often buy the gowns, pjs, slippers - this isn’t cheap and with such an expense already it’s just mounting. It’s getting less common nowadays for bridesmaids to think outside the box but some do and I witnessed a group of girls who created a ‘morning of the wedding’ box which was full of goodies for everyone and special memories such as photographs and music - amazing!
Bridesmaids think about buying a gift or card for the bride, my sister got me a bunch of balloons 💕 which I loved. It’s the little things.
Work together to make something special. She’s asked you because she loves you, show some love back.
Have you helped make the morning as special as can be? Decorations, food, drinks, organise props or wedding attire.
Early on in the planning make it your job to plan the Wedding morning. Agree with the bride and take complete control. If you do nothing else do this!
Oh and whatever you do remember no one moan on the wedding day, again even if you’re dying inside about something, pull yourself together. It’s a massive day for the bride, she needs you.
Some brides organise their own, some know nothing about it. Me being a control freak I organised with my maid of honour. We planned all the things that are my favourite, with a hectic run up to the wedding I just needed a break because we planned so much ourselves having a wedding business. Often I think this isn’t understood and if you are a DIY bride you probably just want a bit of rest & relaxation. Last night of freedom is a thing of the past, I’ve had years of sleazy nightclubs when I was ‘young’ haha, I didn’t want to revisit that thank you very much!
My only advice for this to everyone involved is just have a good time and embrace life. Everyone is different so what the bride chooses whether it’s a stripper or an afternoon tea just go with it or don’t go.
Everyone has different opinions of a good time. I think my main advice to brides and bridesmaids is just go with the flow of it and just keep your mind aware of why you are there. You are there for the bride so just do what they want and make damn sure you are doing all you can to help them enjoy themselves, don’t be a nuisance. If it’s not your cup of tea then keep it to yourself, if you don’t like something then try resolve sensibly thinking of the bigger picture. Above all remember why you’re there and don’t try to deviate from plans. I’ll say it one more time ladies, it’s not about you it’s about the bride! You’ll be surprised how many dramas I’ve witnessed and life is far too short.
Since writing this blog Ive been honoured to be asked to be a bridesmaid in June this year so I’ll let you know how that goes 😍
Happy National Bridesmaid Day!