guest post: how to be a bridesmaid.

by Janetha on May 23, 2013

in guest posts,tips

hey guys! as you may know, i am heading to st. george tomorrow morning for my best friend’s bachelorette party. kristen and i have been friends since the seventh grade. she was my maid of honor at my wedding in 2010.

 

she was SO helpful throughout my whole wedding planning process. i could not have asked for a more perfect maid of honor. she pays such close attention to detail and really made my wedding planning and wedding day the best!

kristen is a big inspiration to me! in case you missed it, make sure you check out her guest post on her experience with jamie eason’s livefit trainer. you can read that post to get to know her a bit more. she really is the bees knees.

it is a huge honor to be kristen’s maid of honor (haha) for her wedding this june. i have never ever been even a bridesmaid, let alone a maid of honor, and i have to say it’s been a big concern to do all my duties and make everything seamless and perfect for her big day as well as the weeks leading up to it. i am super excited for this weekend and to spend four days in the sun having fun with kristen and our girlfriends!

i have a guest post today on how to be a great bridesmaid. these tips have definitely helped me in remembering everything the position entails! i hope you enjoy reading it!

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Guidebook to Being a Bridesmaid

Many women excitedly accept the role of being a bridesmaid for their friend or family member’s wedding, without realizing the large responsibility that comes along with assuming the position. So, we’ve taken the liberty of laying out the facts for you potential or current bridesmaids in order for you to know what lies ahead, as well as tips to being a fabulous bridesmaid.

The tasks often assigned to bridesmaids can be quite extensive. Almost always, they can be expected to accompany the bride while wedding dress shopping and fittings; if not all of the bridesmaids, most likely the maid of honor at least! Preparing invitations is a large task that can be made rather enjoyable by making a night out of it. Gather the girls, a good bottle of wine (or two…) and play some music. Assign one or two with beautiful penmanship to writing the addresses if they aren’t being printed or written by a calligrapher. Another one or two girls should handle stuffing the envelopes, while others apply the stamps and separate into A- and B-list invitees. If the bride is creating gift baskets for out-of-town guests’ hotel rooms, bridesmaids will often be asked to help with their assembly—complete with a welcome letter, important contact information, snacks, brochures for local attractions, and maps of the area. Similarly, brides handling their own favors, whatever they may be, often ask their bridesmaids for assistance.

 

 

The larger planning responsibilities that bridesmaids assume include the bridal shower and bachelorette party. These events are essentially planned the same way a wedding is, just on a lesser scale, which is still no easy feat. Bridesmaids (if not done by the mother of the bride) will need to handle the guest list, invitations and RSVPs, design and décor of whichever venue, as well as coordination of the bridal shower. This is a major financial responsibility, as well as devotion of time, that bridesmaids must be aware of. The bachelorette party is very similar, yet even more extensive. Bachelorette parties are often destination events that span over at least one night, if not an entire weekend. That means the girls will not only need to coordinate, but also pay for airfare and hotel accommodations in the area in addition to the cost of activities, accessories (i.e. props or matching attire), food and drink, and ground transportation. Planning these related events could cause drama and tension amongst the bridesmaids, so be make sure you keep your ego and temper in check!

If bridesmaids are not from the area, they are usually responsible for the cost of travel and wedding weekend accommodations as well. As far as their attire, bridesmaids must also purchase their dresses, shoes, and jewelry—all out of pocket. Thankfully, brides offer monetary relief in the form of hair and makeup, if opting to have it all done professionally. Lastly, the bridesmaids also will need to buy a wedding gift, just like the other guests, which is another cost.

So, when agreeing to be a bridesmaid, it’s important to understand your role. Though much time and money will be invested, it is an honorary position that also has its perks. In order to make the most of your “bridesmaidship” and be the most awesome bridesmaid ever, follow these secrets for success:

  • Make it a point to get to know your fellow bridesmaids!
  • Deem the maid of honor the group “leader” and subsequently, the main point of contact and source of all information.
  • If drama starts brewing, nip it in the bud. Maintain a transparent, respectful, and collaborative environment amongst the bridal party.
  • Be responsive and proactive–get things done as soon as they’re brought to your attention. For example, when the bride gives you a date for the dress deposit, get the money to the maid of honor or bride directly before that date. Being on top of tasks helps to avoid setbacks and unnecessary stress, which ultimately leads to Bridezillas.
  • Another way to avoid stress and anxiety on the part of the bride is to often derail her attention from the wedding planning by doing things completely fun and unrelated—grab drinks, go out!
  • Be on top of post-party tasks like collecting the cake topper, toasting flutes, and any décor that was left behind.
  • Pack the couple a bag of essentials for the honeymoon, just in case they forget!
  • Before the couple returns from their trip, stock their fridge at home—there’s nothing worse than returning to a food-free fridge

Brides, don’t forget to show your friends gratitude for all their hard work and devotion – being flexible about their budgets and time restraints will undoubtedly be appreciated, as will a cute bridesmaid gift for your ladies.

Qs~

1. Have you ever been a bridesmaid? Any tips or stories to share?

2. Married ladies: what was one of the best, most appreciated things your bridesmaid(s) did for you for your own wedding experience?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jan @ Sprouts n Squats May 23, 2013 at 9:59 pm

I can’t say I’ve ever been a bridesmaid but I’ve had married friends tell some horror stories about theirs. The worst was a bridesmaid didn’t like the groom and would bitch about him to other mutual friends, so not cool!

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Jessica Eickmier May 23, 2013 at 11:28 pm

I have to say that I have been in 7 weddings! yes 7. My mom said when the movie came out called 27 Dresses they made it about me ha ha. Anyways, I am married now, but I think the most important thing you can do as a maid of honor is to stay calm, it will help Kristen stay calm as well! She chose you because she knew you were the one she needed by her through out this wonderful journey and thats all you need to do! Enjoy it all and congrats to Kristen!

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Shady May 24, 2013 at 7:35 am

The hullabaloo that surrounds most weddings is exactly why I will never be in another one or get married myself. It seems so impractical and wasteful. On top of that there always seems so much thought and planning goes into one day and so little that goes into the idea that two people are now committed to each other forever and how will they make that work.

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Nicole C May 24, 2013 at 8:39 am

I agree!

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Nicole C May 24, 2013 at 8:39 am

I have been in 3 weddings that I can remember and was the maid of honor in one. None of the other bridesmaids wanted/could afford to go to Disneyland for the bachelorette “party” (chose by the bride). So, I made it as amazing as I could and got us into the secretive Club 33. Taking the stress out of as much as you can is the way to go.

My best bud, Heather that you met :) said that if she had to do it again she wouldn’t have had a wedding like she did, they spent a ton of money. Her husband agress, it could have gone toward a down payment on a house.

Reading the blog post alone causes me anxiety, I’m a ‘run off to Europe and get married’ sort of girl. It sounds good in my mind at least.

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Amalia May 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I’ve been a bridesmaid four times and a maid of honour twice. I can’t believe those numbers as I throw them out there. I was also a flower girl twice when I was little, so maybe I was destined to be all about weddings.

I think a lot about my own wedding which will be happening in the next few years and try to remember the things I like/disliked about all the other weddings I was in.

Brides can help by recognizing the fact that the maid of honour and/or bridesmaids are not superwomen! They have jobs and lives as well. One wedding the bride wanted me to be her maid of honour, show up three days early to help her setup, and bake all the cupcakes for 150 guests. We had a talk about that and I ended up helping other people do all that so I could still be there for her.

The most important thing you can do is small personal touches for the bride. I give each bride a “wedding survival kit” the day before her wedding as a little gift from me — and I make sure that before I accept being a bridesmaid or maid of honour the bride knows my limitations (the one I’m currently in I live 4000km away) and I then honour my commitments!

(Sorry this turned into a novel) Have fun!

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