Being a great bridesmaid might seem pretty straightforward, however weddings often generate a lot of intense emotions and can test strong friendships to the limit. From helping her buy her wedding dress, to planning the Hen Party; Bridesmaid duties are varied and numerous! We’ve put together a brief guide on how to avoid the common pitfalls and make sure you remain firm friends with the bride by her big day!
Wedding Dress Shopping
Some bridesmaids find wedding dress shopping difficult, particularly if they haven't walked down the aisle themselves. It's best to go with a positive outlook and be honest but tactful. Some brides can be very sensitive about certain aspects of their figure and can feel very exposed in a wedding dress. It's best to resist telling them they look like a dog's dinner and use more diplomatic phrases such as "the colour really suits your complexion but I think another style could be even more wow". Encourage her to try on different dress silhouettes and maybe take the odd sneaky photo, as some bridal salons don't officially permit photographs until a purchase has been made.
Bridesmaid Dress Shopping
Don't presume your Bridesmaid dress will be covered by the happy couple, as this is not always the case. Some budgets simply don't stretch that far, especially when there a lot of bridesmaid to cater for. Respect their decision and be grateful for anything that is being covered. As for choices - no one wants to wear a dress they're not happy with, so if you're not feeling the chosen dress, perhaps suggest Bridesmaids all wear the same colour in different styles. If you are footing the bill, then you should get more of a say in the final dress, as you are paying for it; but the Bride must be happy too! Remember that wedding budgets have to stretch across many items, and things will often cost more than anticipated, so try to be gracious and non-demanding.
Wedding fairs can be a great opportunity for the bridal party to bond ahead of the wedding day. Your duties include snaffling as many free glasses of prosecco as possible and haggling for discounts - Oh and grabbing freebies! Travel whitening toothpaste, mini deodorant and an eyebrow stencil? Yes please! Another good tip to to enter as many competitions as possible - big wedding shows often have great prizes up for grabs in return for a simple email address.
Planning the Hen Party
One of your most important roles is to organise a fun and memorable hen party. Tailor the event to your bride-to-be's personality. If she has family members or younger girls attending, she may want a more civilised day time event before a more raucous evening. If she has strong feelings regarding what she does, and doesn't want (Champagne - yes; willy straws - no!), then respect her wishes - it's her night after all. There are plenty of ideas for stylish accessories
and family-friendly games. A favourite game we've played is asking the hens to write down a favourite memory of the bride, then she had to guess who had written each one! Why not give her a scrapbook so she can capture all the memories in a more physical memento than just on Facebook!
On the Day
When the big day arrives, be calm, continually tell the newlywed how amazing she looks and have a rescue kit on hand containing tissues, mints, blotting sheets, stain remover, concealer, painkillers, blister plasters, false eyelash glue etc to make sure any minor disasters are averted. Always ensure her veil and dress are optimally arranged, keep an eye on the timings to warn her when it's nearly time to cut the cake, ensure her glass is topped up and most importantly, don't forget to have fun on the dance floor! It’s also your job to bustle up her dress before the dancing commences - and of course, help her go to the loo!