With the start of spring, wedding season is upon us once again! While I don't have any official bridesmaid duties coming up this year, I've had plenty of experience as a bridesmaid for some wonderful ladies and have really loved being part of the entire process. Last year, I shared some of my favorite ways to be a superstar bridesmaid at the wedding but what about those many exciting months leading up to the big day? Here are some tips on how to enjoy the bridesmaid ride and be there for your gal as she prepares to say "I do!"
Pop that champagne!
Don't pass up a chance to celebrate this awesome news! If you've made it into the Bride Tribe, you've already been there for her through many highs and lows, so show her how much you care by taking her out for a glass of champagne (or two). Relive the engagement story through her eyes, discuss her initial thoughts on colors and bridesmaid dresses, make a fuss over the ring, and toast to this awesome milestone in your wonderful friendship!
Tag along on dress shopping...
If the bride invites you to join her on her search for THE dress, it shows that she values your opinion and would appreciate your feedback on the many beautiful options out there. If you can make it work with your schedule, try your best to be there for her (plus, there's usually free champagne involved which is also a bonus!).
...and other errands, when you can.
While it may not be as fun as dress shopping, every bride would appreciate a helping hand with stuffing invitations, picking up boxes of votive candles for the centerpieces, and all of those other little tasks that just keep piling up. Offer to spend a Saturday afternoon helping her tackle her wedding to-do list.
It's important for all of the bridesmaids to pitch in to help with some aspect of planning the pre-wedding activities so that the Maid of Honor doesn't get totally overwhelmed. If you're crafty, offer to help create centerpieces for the bridal shower; if you're an organized list-maker, you can be the RSVP contact and track the party responses; if you're a talented chef, give the bride a sweet treat and create a special cake for her bachelorette party.
Stick to an agreed-upon budget.
We all know that weddings can be expensive for everyone involved and that each bridesmaid's financial situation is different, which is why it's so important to agree to a budget that everyone is comfortable with...and stick to it! There's nothing worse than setting aside a certain amount of money for your share of a bridal shower and then having your tally creep up just because the bridesmaid in charge of the favors unilaterally decided to buy everyone a full-size bottle of champagne instead of the splits that fit into the budget.
Embrace the bridal shower theme and games.
An afternoon tea may not be your cup of tea but getting into the spirit of the theme will make the bride very happy. Same goes for the party games - be an active participant (and who knows, maybe you'll win and score an awesome prize!).
Help the Maid of Honor out by weighing in!
We've all received those group emails started by the Maid of Honor where she offers some preliminary ideas of where to host the bridal shower, closes it by saying, "What do you think?", and...crickets. Generally, the MOH is trying to get the ball rolling on the planning but it makes it difficult when no one contributes an opinion on the different options that she is presenting (or worse, chimes in after the restaurant has been booked to say that maybe it would be nicer to host it at someone's home instead). Offer a quick, clear response so that she can begin moving forward with the arrangements.
Tailor the pre-wedding events to the bride's tastes.
Since you're close enough to the bride to be a bridesmaid, you know that she would rather spend her bachelorette party at a quiet cabin in the mountains even though you'd love to lounge poolside in Vegas. Let her call the shots on this one (and try to find a mountain cabin with a jacuzzi!).
Attend as many of the pre-wedding events as possible.
With an engagement party, a bridal shower, and a bachelorette party being par for the course in many weddings, your calendar fills up pretty quickly with bridesmaid obligations. Plan ahead and mark these dates down as early as possible so that you can prioritize these events as other things come up.
Just wear the dress!
You knew that one was coming, right? Yes, it's probably overpriced and no, you will NEVER wear it again...but just wear it anyway (with a smile!).
What have you learned during previous bridesmaid stints? Any top tips to share?
Linking up with Meg!