How to be a fabulous bridesmaid
Posted: Monday, Sep. 10, 2012
Ive been in my share of weddings.So many, in fact, that my boyfriend calls me 27 Dresses, a reference to the 2008 flick starring Katherine Heigl, whose character personifies the cliché always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Gee thanks, sweetie.But all that experience has taught me a thing or two about being a helpful bridesmaid. As one of the right-hand gals, your duty is to offer your assistance when and where its needed -- whether that means planning bridal showers or listening to your bride rant about the wrong-shade-of-lavender napkins. But its not all about duty and obligation. Youre allowed to have fun, too!Brides, pass these tips to your ladies-in-waiting. Theyll appreciate knowing how to help you prepare for -- and survive -- your special day.Before the wedding:--Make yourself available. Stay in touch with the bride and offer to help with plans and/or preparations. She may need an extra hand even with simple tasks. Can you imagine licking hundreds of envelopes on your own?
--Don't whine about the bridesmaid dress the bride picks out. About nine times out of 10, you'll never be able to wear the thing again anyway. If the bride solicits your thoughts about a poofy monstrosity, be tactful and suggest other options. If you can't afford what she picks, have a candid conversation with her about your budget.
--On a related note, order your dress on time. Many bridal shops order all the bridesmaids dresses at once so that the dresses are made using the same dye lot (the same colored fabric). The dresses often take months to arrive, so if theres any delay on your part, you could hold up things up for everyone.
--Help plan a fabulous bachelorette throw-down. Take a trip, go to a concert, visit a spa or just go out on the town. Make it memorable and make it fun.On the big day:--Offer to help set up. At one spring wedding, I arrived early at the outdoor reception site to help arrange everything from lanterns to place settings. The brides mother, aunts and grandmother are still thanking me.
--Bring an emergency kit. The bride should probably have her own, but you need to be prepared, too. You never know when a stain remover or a needle and thread will come in handy.
--When things go wrong, stay calm and keep the bride calm. I worked at a country club for a summer, and just before an afternoon wedding, some bridesmaids summoned me for a bottle of wine. It had started to rain on the guests as they were being seated outdoors, but the girls kept the bride in a back room with no windows. The storm passed quickly, and the bride didnt find out until later that the wedding party barely missed a drenching.
--Remember, its not about you. Of course you want to look your best, but dont spend too much time fussing over yourself. Trust me, the bride doesnt want to hear about your hair or your chipped nail.
--Socialize! The bride and groom will be busy greeting all their guests, so be sure to introduce yourself to their families and friends. Then, relax and enjoy!
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