When you are a bride, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed and lean on your ladies for help, support and a shoulder to cry on. But remember that these girls are your friends and favorite people in the world and you need to treat them as such. Even the most un-bridezilla of brides can not realize the stress they are putting on their bridesmaids. So here are some things to consider when you are a bride with bridesmaids.
First, being a bridesmaid is hard work. Lots of late night calls, plenty of envelopes to stuff, and a few parties to host. Try not to expect the world of these girls. They most likely have things going in their lives too, so if they can’t make it to every wedding related thing- try not to sweat it. Now- if they are flaking on every single duty, ask yourself whether or not you already knew she was the flaky type before you get on her case. If she frequently skips coffee dates, or is always rescheduling- you knew her nature before you asked her to be in your wedding. Either way, always sleep on it before deciding to talk to a bridesmaid about these things- you don’t want to hurt a lifelong friendship just because they had to work while the rest of the girls could go wedding dress shopping with you.
Try to make any wedding related events as fun as possible. Invitation assembling night? Order some pizzas and pick up some wine. Play fun music and make it a girls night (although, it would probably be a good idea to keep the wine and pizza far and away from the invitations!) Bridesmaid dress shopping? Go to lunch afterwards. You want your ladies to remember their time as your bridesmaid as an enjoyable one.
Being a bridesmaid is expensive. Think of all the time they are going to take off for festivities. Think of all the parties they will need to attend and buy food and decor for. And of course the dress, shoes, hair and makeup. Let’s not even add to that that they will feel compelled to get you a gift. Before you even let yourself look at dresses and accessories, ask your bridesmaids each individually what their budget for everything is. Respect this budget as much as humanly possible. If you really want your girls to love you, shoot to go under their budget and save them some bucks. If you really, REALLY want your girls to love you forever and ever, give them some requirements and let them choose their own dress. This is especially appreciated if all of your girls have different body types. What looks good on skinny as a stick Sally is bound to not look good on busty Beth. Take their bodies into account, and make sure all of your girls feel comfortable in whatever dress you decide to go with. They will have to stand in front of a bunch of people at the ceremony, give speeches at dinner and dance in it during the reception. You want your girls to feel like partying, and no one wants to party when they are self conscious about how they look.
Also take into account what types of shoes your girls are comfortable wearing before demanding they wear heels of any type, let alone six inch stilettos. The last thing you need on your wedding day is a bridesmaid falling flat on her face on her way down the aisle. That’s embarrassing for her and you’ll want all eyes on you that day. So ask your bridesmaids how comfortable they are in heels and if you don’t get an overly enthusiastic reaction, consider a flatter heel for them. Their feet will be thankful.
Try to be open minded and not let yourself have expectations regarding your showers and bachelorette parties. These duties are 100% theirs and like it or not- you have no say in the matter. You picked these girls trusting their tastes and that they know you well enough to plan these festivities for you. Don’t try to dictate any more than the date and the guest list. Your job is just to show up and get presents! And remember to thank your girls for all their hard work. A bottle of wine, mani-pedis or a nice brunch are all great ideas on ways to thank them. Remember to include a heartfelt thank you card or note.
And lastly and most importantly- remember to be a friend! It’s so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind that is wedding planning and not think about what’s going on in their lives. Get together with your girls regularly and do not talk about wedding stuff unless you are asked. No one likes that girl who can’t stop gushing over every detail of her wedding planning, or can’t bring herself to stop showing everyone and their mother pictures of her in her wedding dress at her latest fitting. Ask them what is going on in their life instead.
Follow these tips and ensure that your friendship stays intact even after the big day! Remember, one day you’ll be doing this for all of them!