A few weekends ago, I had the absolute honor and pleasure of being in my little’s wedding. I had never been in a wedding before, with the exception of being a flower girl in my aunt’s second wedding and a junior bridesmaid in my mom’s second wedding a few weeks later. While I would not have traded the experience for anything, it was definitely a learning experience! Here are some things I wish someone would have told me about being a bridesmaid.
1. Start saving up immediately. I had no idea how much it was going to cost to be in a wedding. Because other bridesmaids were coming from out of town, all of the wedding festivities happened in a week – a regular shower, lingerie shower, bachelorette party, bridal luncheon, rehearsal dinner, and actual wedding. Looking back, I wish I would have set aside $10 from each paycheck between the time that I was asked and the week of the wedding. Having saved $260 over the course of a year is a lot more pleasant than pulling it all out of your checking account at one time!
2. Expect unexpected costs. Things are going to happen. My bridesmaid dress came in without beading on it, and the shop we ordered from in China refused to do anything about it. My hair ended up being $20 more expensive than I was quoted (which also raised the tip.) I decided three hours before the rehearsal dinner that I needed a strapless bra for the wedding. So pack a little bit more cash than you had planned on for minor emergencies.
3. Suck it up, and keep smiling. It’s hard to get along with a group of girls, especially when you all come from different backgrounds and know the bride in different ways. I was surprised to experience the treatment that I did from adult females. The best thing to do is ignore it, pray for that person (and also pray that you don’t snap on them if you’re anything like me), have a glass of wine, and move on.
4. The day belongs to the BRIDE. Okay, so this one sounds like common sense, but some people don’t actually understand this. Unless you are the one saying “I Do,” put your agendas aside. Creating unnecessary drama to receive personal attention on a day that is already dramatic enough is just really uncouth and uncalled for. You were chosen as a member of the wedding party because there was some quality about you that the bride wanted there with her through everything, whether it’s your calm nature or the way that you would fiercely protect her wishes. Do everything in your power to make her big day as easy as possible for her! And be grateful that you were chosen to be a part of something so special!
5. Be careful who you trust with your hair. This one sounds silly, but I’m still brushing out knots from all of the teasing that went down on my hair… ten days ago. (P.S. – Leave in conditioner is amazing… just in case your experience is anything like mine.)
6. Tissues are a must. I may or may not have sobbed profusely as my little walked down the aisle. Quite honestly, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the barn. In hindsight, I wish I would have kept a small hanky in my hand to have wiped my running nose. (That much crying…)
7. Ask questions. It was my first wedding, so I didn’t know all of the things that other members of the bridal party knew, as most of them had been in a wedding before. It’s better to ask questions and be confident in what you will be doing than to stand silently and screw up the day of the wedding.
8. Fib if you must. I’m not encouraging you to lie, I’m just encouraging you to polish up the truth a little in case of an emergency. When the wedding venue wasn’t set up completely in time for the wedding (yikes!) the majority of the bridesmaids snuck over to help. And when the cake melted, we all acted like we didn’t know, even though we knew for a good fifteen minutes before the bride did. (Fun fact – I also learned that it’s actually quite common for cakes to melt during an outdoor wedding at the end of June. Another little head’s up 😉 )
9. Your duties don’t end after the ceremony. As the bride, groom, and their parents head off, things will be discovered. Like there’s not enough room in the car to bring something home because the bride and groom unexpectedly received a bunch of massive presents. (Good problem to have!) I currently have the top tier of the wedding cake in my freezer because no one else had room for it in their cars. Go out of your way to help after the reception, because in my opinion, it can be even more stressful than the walking down the aisle part.
10. HAVE FUN! Being part of such a special day was one of the biggest honors of my life! Make the time to take photos and collect memories. It truly is a once in a life time opportunity!
Hopefully these ten tips will help your next wedding experience be a total breeze!
And congratulations again to my sweet little bride & her adoring husband! Cheers to forever! 🙂