Contributed by Wendy Dessler
Photographs + Copy Editing by Angela Cappetta
How to Own the Title the Bridesmaid of the Year
Bridesmaid Duties. Every bridal party has them. This sorority of women is in charge of dealing with the financial and emotional expenses (let’s not forget all the fat stacks you’re going to spend) that come with planning a wedding. In addition, the bridesmaids are in charge of organizing a memorable bachelorette party and bridal shower. Here is a reference. However, there are certain strategies you can employ to make the whole process less overwhelming. Below are a few tips that may help you become the undisputed bridesmaid champion of the year.
Start Planning ASAP
It is likely you are asked to be part of the wedding party about a year ahead of the actual event. Don’t let the seemingly long period between being asked and the event fool you into a comfort zone. In fact, start organizing the minute you agree. Make a spreadsheet to record contact information of the bridesmaids, events timelines, a to-do list, a shower budget and other pertinent data. Suggest the bride look into a good wedding planner to take the load off Team Bridesmaid. This can actually help save money, time and stress.
Jules Miller, founder of event venue management and consulting firm,
The Revelry Cooperative wisely advises: “Much like we recommend couples get quotes from all vendors involved with their big day before signing any contracts so they have a realistic idea of what their wedding will cost, the same applies to being part of the wedding party. Are you required to attend and/or host an engagement party, shower (sometimes multiple!) or a bachelorette party? Is the bachelorette party local or is it a weekend getaway? Will the wedding weekend itself require travel and hotel stays? The average cost of being in the wedding party is over $1000 – it’s much better to be aware of your costs and commitments before agreeing than feeling resentful towards your friend on their wedding day.”
Be Part of the Team
As part of a team, it’s critical you realize the role of bridesmaid does not involve taking over the entire wedding. Before the wedding date, disagreements are bound to come up among bridesmaids. However, do not let this turn into a competition. You are all on the same team. Remember, there is no hierarchy. The line between overbearing and proactive is often a fine one, lightweight and invisible. The best thing you can do for the bride is nourish relationships with your fellow team members. Check on the bride and the maid of honor occasionally to determine if there’s anything you can do to pitch in. If not, don’t take offense. Your talents may be called upon at another time.
Don’t Complain About the Dress
In addition to standing up with the bride during the ceremony, the bridesmaid has another obligatory duty: she is expected to wear the dress, no matter what it looks like. Feel free to lovingly suggest a designer or a shop the bride may like, and offer to go with her. For example, there are dresses like these or classic OG wrap styles or these cool designs are flattering on many different figures. Moreover, if the bride chooses an unflattering dress, remember this is just one day. Consider it a symbolic gesture of friendship. Wear it with a smile, not with a resentment. But please, speak up if it’s out of your price range. She’s asking you to be a bridesmaid, not to go broke in the process. Resentments are the fastest way to ruin a relationship.
Organize Favors Early
While organizing the shower and bachelorette parties, you’ll likely be called upon to offer your talents by sourcing party necessities. However, this does not mean that you should run your bank account to zero. Instead, consider an online service that can create lovely printables: custom labels for wine bottles, pretty gift tags, napkins, tea towels, eco friendly balloons and other sweet party favors. A little goes a long way for not a lot of money. Custom touches offer a unique and cost-effective means of adding a gracious flair. Furthermore, it will make recipients feel appreciated. The right vendor will be able to customize your printing job according to the party’s theme. You may also want to coordinate a cleaning person for the person who is hosting the bridal shower. Weather you need cleaners for Chicago, LA or Seattle, or NYC, offering to arrange a home cleaning service after a shower is a nice way to thank the host, as well as common courtesy to which we can all relate.
Throughout the wedding planning process make sure that you are present emotionally and physically. This includes accompanying the gang to planning meetings, venue visits, dress fittings etc. Be the best wing woman you know you can be. Offer suggestions diplomatically, even if you don’t agree with what the hive mind thinks. It’s ok to go against the majority, but do so with an attitude of gratitude. Furthermore, sometimes planning a surprise non-wedding activity can be a loving gesture. A mani pedi day, a studio visit to an artist’s space, a walk in a park with coffee after, or a facial party. You all must remember to take a needed break from time to time during the planning process.
If you think being a bridesmaid is stressful, imagine the stress your girl is going through. In order to be a dutiful bridesmaid, make sure that you are there as your ride or die shares about her frustrations, stress, and fears. Remind her it’s all good, that this is a joyful process, and everything will work out. At the same time, keep in mind that this is supposed to be the most superlative day in this couple’s life she is supported by you. She has your back, too. Because that’s what friends do. Relax, enjoy and remember to have a great time, you deserve it!