Have you just been asked to be a bridesmaid? Congratulations to you and your friend who is getting married. If you’ve landed on this blog post I’m assuming you are looking for a little guidance on how to be a great bridesmaid. Well done you!
My experience comes from being a bridesmaid three times and a bride just once. However, from working within the bridal industry as a wedding dress illustrator I have lots of conversations about what makes a great wedding, fashion, etiquette, hen party stories and more. Lots of my customers are bridesmaids too so I feel obliged to write this blog post! Sharing their advice and some of my own.
Listen to the Bride
The best bit of advice for a bridesmaid is to listen, listen and hmm listen some more. There are SO many decisions to make when planning a wedding and the bride needs to share with her family and friends. Try and show some interest in her social media wedding boards and inspirations. Weddings are often stressful, with the guest list usually hitting the high note. If she needs to vent please try be available to listen.
A wonderful excuse to gather the girls for a party. It’s best to get your guidance from the bride, there’s no point planning a hen party she won’t enjoy. So whether it’s a tasteful dinner with cocktails or full whack feather boas, sashes, custom t-shirts and a leather-clad stripper it’s best to know your audience. Before the night gets going too well, why not invite everyone to gather for a group photo, a memory the bride will always treasure.
Bridal Gift Ideas
Does a bridesmaid need to give a wedding gift? There’s no rule here. Being a bridesmaid can be quite costly already so it’s ok not give a gift. Sometimes the bridal couple will insist on the wedding party not giving a gift, stating that their love and support is more than enough. Often times bridesmaids will chip in together to get a gift, something their friend will like.
* If your budget is tight, why not consider a beautiful picture frame for around €25 from Brown Thomas
and put a group picture into it from the hen party.
* If the budget can stretch a little further you can consider a thoughtful yet sentimental gift, a hand-drawn wedding dress illustration from Wedding Dress Ink, €150. It incapsulates your friendship, the fun wedding dress shopping and your friend’s most romantic day ever, all in one.
Be Ready to Help
On the wedding day itself, have an emergency kit ready, full of little helpful things like clear nail varnish, tissues, hair spray, safety pins, paracetamol, deodorant, a mini sewing kit and plasters etc. Keep an eye on the bride’s lipstick, especially on her teeth for photos. Gather the required people for photos, if the photographer needs help. Keep an eye on your alcohol intake, at least until after the first dance, after that I believe you are off the clock and free to party.
Wedding Dress Shopping
Shopping for the perfect wedding dress can be a wonderful experience. Personally, I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I thought I would and was relieved to find my wedding dress in the third shop. Some brides need to try on lots of dresses and some know instantly when they’ve found the right one. The bridal shop owners will always advise a bride to bring one trusted voice, either her mother, an aunt or bridesmaid. Someone who they trust will tell them the truth… kindly. Want to to know more, I’ve a whole blog post on wedding dress shopping here.
Wedding Day Etiquette
During the ceremony you might be asked to hold the bride’s flowers, fix her train or adjust a twisted veil on the alter. The Maid of Honour is normally invited to serve as a witness in the signing of the marriage licence. You might be asked to propose a toast, a short one will do, just make sure you practice it in advance. You will probably need to dance with one of the groomsmen after or halfway through the 1st dance. If the bride is wearing a full skirt, you may be required to help her with bathroom duties, so be prepared!
Finally, encourage the bride be the star of her big day and try to be her backroom support. She will never forget your kindness.
Thank you for reading,
Wedding Dress Ink