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So You're Going to be a Bridesmaid

By Ashleigh White

Posted: Friday, Apr. 04, 2014

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Ashleigh has been living in Charlotte since 2008 with her oversized yellow lab. She is a communications professional, grad student, runner, and lover of all things wedding! After attending 13 weddings in three years, it's now Ashleigh's turn to be at the altar. Join her as she blogs about her adventures in step-by-step wedding planning and tips for other brides-to-be!

So your best friend of 15 years just asked you to be a bridesmaid in her wedding and you couldn’t be more excited, right? You should be excited! It’s an honor. But it’s also a financial commitment and a time commitment that you’ll have to make.

If there are only five things that you have to do as a bridesmaid, they are:

1. Communicate and be responsive: this goes for conversations with the bride, maid of honor, or any other bridesmaids – and also RSVPing to any showers/events to which you are invited. You’re not expected to attend everything, and you’re not expected to be “on call” – but not communicating will stress out the bride, and likely the other bridesmaids, too.

2. Buy the dress and the shoes in a timely manner: You might hate them, and if we’re being honest, you’ll probably never wear them again, but it is what she wants, and it’s her day and you’re doing this FOR her. You’ll have your turn (if you haven’t already) and you’ll want that same courtesy.

3. Reserve the wedding weekend well in advance and be on time: The bride-to-be doesn’t want to hear that you can’t get off work for the rehearsal, or have to be stressed on the day-of the wedding about your whereabouts. It’s one weekend and if a timeline has been laid out for you – you should adhere to it as closely as possible.

4. Throw a bridal shower for the bride: this is traditional that bridesmaids throw a shower for the brides (and the bride/bride’s mother does a “bridal luncheon” during the wedding weekend). If you can’t be there for the shower, at least chip in and offer to help with planning/invites or whatever you can in advance.

5. Be present: The bride and groom don’t have time to dote on everyone at the wedding but trust me, they are thankful that you’re there and for how much time/money/effort you put into their big day. Smiling in pictures, leading folks onto the dance floor, and being “present” are very much appreciated. Disappearing into the bathroom during pictures, talking/texting on your phone or leaving extremely early are rude and inconsiderate.

You’ll likely be invited to showers, the bachelorette party and perhaps even a day-after-the-wedding event. Time is definitely what is most needed from the wedding party, but showers and parties get expensive. It is okay to bow out politely from these events if you don’t have the funds (or time) but making sure to let the rest of the group or the bride know is essential. Many of these things are planned well in advance so last minute changes can cause costs to inflate for the others. Also, gifts? You might get invited to five or more showers/parties, but gifts aren’t necessary at all of them. An engagement gift and a wedding gift are sufficient, unless you’re able and dying to shower the couple with gifts.

What’s your best tip for bridesmaids? Or tips for brides on how to not be demanding of their wedding party?

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