Have you been watching Say Yes to the Dress Bridesmaids on TLC? While it is sort of funny how crazy some of the women on the show act, I always seem to walking away feeling slightly agitated with them. I don’t even know them, and yet, they are making me angry. Watch the videos labeled “Female Overload” and “Dis-Honor”. No bridesmaid should ever take away from the Bride or make a Bride cry anything but happy tears during the planning of her wedding or on her wedding day. I was blessed with wonderful bridesmaids and the best maid of honor a girl could ask for, but sadly, there have been times that I wish I could have put some bridesmaids in time out (because they are acting like children).
Here are a few tips that I can give to the current and future bridesmaids of America:
1. Put on your big-girl
pants dress and act like the grown-up that you are. No one needs or wants to here you whining about anything. I know that your feet hurt and your bridesmaid dress is a strange fabric and your up-do cost you a million dollars, but this is what you signed up for. PS – My nick-name from my mom’s best friend was “Whitney Whiner” when I was a child. I hated it with all my heart and soul, but do you know what I would hate even more? If one of my dear friends referred to me as Whitney Whiner the bridesmaid.
2. Pay up. Before you ever sign on to be a bridesmaid, you need to ask the Bride what kind of budget she has in mind for your dress, shoes, hair, etc. If you can not afford it, tell her. Ask if she is willing to help you. If not, let her know that you will not be able to be in the wedding, but you are so flattered that she asked and you would love to help with programs or seating on her big day. I know, I know. I am a big mean-y, but it only make sense. Also, it will keep you from becoming a crazy whiner, from going broke, and from hurting the relationship that you have with the Bride. Once you sign on to be the perfect maid, it is time to shell out the money for the dress or shoes that you may never wear again. Sorry!
2. Like what the bride likes and hate what the bride hates. This may seem counter to your friendship or your personality, but you are going to have to bite the bullet if you want to be a good maid. It is not your day. It is not your wedding. When it is, you get to choose everything! If she asks for your opinion, give it her in a very kind and encouraging way.
3. Be sympathetic! Panning a wedding is a super crazy time of life. My brain is wired for events, but not everyone else’s brain is the same. Lend a listening ear (even if the discussion is about crazy in-laws or the type of paper for the invitations). Offer to go to appointments with the Bride (she needs someone to be there to support her in her decisions – refer to rule 2). In other words, be a wonderful friend! Play the bad guy with unruly maids, so she doesn’t have to.
4. Plan or help with planning a Bridal Shower, Lingerie Shower and/or Bachlorette Party. I know that not everyone has a giant piggy bank to pull from, but there are things that can be done that do not cost an arm and a leg. You can be in charge of games/activities or you can be in charge of invitations (find a creative friend and print them yourself) or you can be in charge of making all the desserts. Pick a duty that is needed that fits within your budget and do it to the best of your ability. Make sure to plan the dates around the brides schedule and plan it far enough in advance that invites can be sent out 1.5 months or more in advance.
5. Take time off for the Rehearsal and Wedding. You need to be available all day the day before and the day of the wedding. The bride might need you to run an errand, help with a family member, help set-up the church, or just give her a hug. I promise that you do not want to miss those moments.
6. Smile. It might be 105 degrees on the wedding day (and you are wearing a long dress) or you might be taking the 500th picture of the day, but you need to keep smiling. You do not want your sour/sad face to caught in pictures or worse yet, you do not want to hurt your friend’s feelings or mess up her big day. Just a reminder you signed up for all of this when you became a Bridesmaid.
7. Have fun! Seems silly that this is now a rule, but being a bridesmaid is fun!
In conclusion, please don’t act like the crazy women on that show, especially if you are the maid/matron of honor. Happy Tuesday!