Five Things to Consider Before Being a Bridesmaid

This article was guest written by the very talented Theresa Bailey all the way from West Virginia, America. Theresa specialises is all things bridesmaids, please find links at the bottom of the page to see more from Theresa.

Your friend is getting married and you’re overjoyed by the happy news. You know that any day now she’ll find a cheeky way to say, “will you be my bridesmaid?” And of course you’ll gleeful accept. But you’ve never been a bridesmaid before and in the back of your mind, you’re a little nervous. You can’t help but think of some of the horror stories you’ve heard involving bridesmaid drama.
Never fear. We’ve got you covered! As a blogger at www.bridesmaidsconfession.com we’re here to prepare you for bridesmaid life, shall you accept it. Before you say yes, consider these five things:

 

1) How close are you to the bride?
There may come a time in your life when someone asks you to be a bridesmaid and it will come as a total shock. The bride-to-be is someone you never thought of as being a very close friend and you’re unsure what to do.

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One bridesmaid confessed to us that she felt “stuck” when her current roommate of a year asked her to be a bridesmaid. The issue was they had met through mutual friends, and although they lived together and got along, they never hung out with each other outside their apartment. Plus, they only saw each other a few hours a week due to crazy schedules.
The roommate said yes, trying to spare the bride-to-be hurt feelings, and the entire thing was a disaster. Their schedules never lined up, the bridesmaid was unable to help with a lot of the things the bride requested, and of course this caused tension in their apartment. They got through the wedding day, smiles and all, but after the bride moved out they stopped talking. This is a sad lesson worth learning, because it happens more often than you think!

 

2) Are you in a position of financial stability?
Being a bridesmaid is expensive! According to Priceonomics, the average a U.S. bridesmaid spends between $1,324 (£1039). You might be thinking; how can that be? Check out our list of common expenses:

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Personally we feel this is a conservative number as bridal showers and bachelorette parties in the U.S. have become more elaborate in the last 5 years. We’ve talked to bridesmaids that have spent closer to $2,000.
Does this mean you have to go into credit card debt just to be a bridesmaid? Hopefully not, but you should be honest with the other bridesmaids about your situation. Sometimes one bridesmaid, say the sister of the bride or maid of honor, is willing to pay for a larger portion of the expenses. In return the may ask that you help with some hands on things like creating bridal shower décor, planning bachelorette party games, assembling gift bags, etc.

 

3) Are you comfortable being in front of large groups of people?
Obviously the bride will be the center of attention on the wedding day, but you will still have quite a few eyes focused on you. The professional photographer will pose the bridal party and take lots of pictures. Guests may ask to take pictures of you, or with you, during the cocktail hour or the reception. If you’ve been asked to serve as Maid of Honor, you’ll most likely have to give a speech, and for someone who’s uncomfortable speaking in front of others this can be stressful.
Just remember there is no shame in letting the bride know that you love her, and want to stand by her side, but your anxiety sometimes gets the better of you. Be honest and let her know early on you want your role as bridesmaid to be less front and center.

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4) Are you willing to be a hands on bridesmaid? Does your time allow for it?
As a bridesmaid, there is a chance that you will be asked to help with the wedding planning duties: before, during, and after. This may not be the case if the bride is a Type A personality, has a larger family willing to help, or if they have hired a wedding planning professional. But just in case none of the above applies we’ve created a list below to help you know what kind of duties to expect.

  • Before the Wedding: Going with the bride to meet wedding vendors, going dress shopping with the bride and bridesmaids, helping plan the bridal shower, helping plan the bachelorette (hen) party, making centerpieces and wedding day decor, making wedding favors, creating bridal shower and/or bachelorette (hen) party games, making sure the bride has an ear to vent, helping to get everything to the wedding venue, setting up centerpieces and décor at the wedding venue, and anything else the bride requests.
  • Day of the Wedding: Helping the bride keep track of the bridal party, helping make sure everyone is on time for hair, makeup, and pictures, keeping the bride calm, making sure the bridal party has food leading up to the wedding, getting the bride to the ceremony on time, helping the bride in and out of her dress when she needs to pee, carrying stuff for the bride, answering questions and handling situations that arise so nobody stresses out the bride, participating in a bridal party entrance and speeches, and drinking and dancing the night away! (at this point you truly deserve it)
  • After the Wedding: Helping clean up the venue, helping transport centerpieces back to the bride’s house, helping out of town wedding guests get to the airport, and anything else the bride requests.

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5) Are you willing and able to play nice with all the other bridesmaids?
Let’s face it. Just because the bride is your best friend, sister, or cousin doesn’t mean you know or like any of the other bridesmaids in the wedding. So if you say yes to being a bridesmaid, make sure you’re ready to put any petty differences aside to assure you’re not stressing the bride out.
Remember that everyone communicates differently and certain personality types naturally clash. The best thing to do is to make sure that you have a “bridesmaid meeting” as soon as possible. During this meeting you can talk about the tasks at hand for the bridal shower and bachelorette (hen) party, as well as assign duties. Make sure everyone is open and honest about the level of planning they want to be involved in, and what they can financially handle when it comes to a budget.

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As you can see a lot goes into being a bridesmaid! If telling you all this hasn’t scared you off than congratulations, you’re going to be an amazing bridesmaid. If you’re still feeling a little timid, check out more articles on our website at the Bridesmaids Confession – Advice section.

Theresa Bailey is the blogger behind www.bridesmaidsconfession.com, a site that gives bridesmaids tips and tricks on everything from bridal shower planning, bachelorette fun, and what to do if there is bridal party drama. Ever since her teen years, Theresa has acted as the “planner” for most family functions and assisted in organizing lots of fundraising events, so it was no surprise when she ended up loving every second of planning her wedding in 2014. Her love of “all things wedding” remains, as her Instagram feed shows, and she’s obsessed with details and décor.

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