The Perfect Bridesmaid

How to be the perfect “wing girl” for the bride

From 27 Dresses to the catfights in the movies, bridesmaids sometimes get a bad rap– starting out with the best of intentions, only to end up in if not actual hand-to-hand combat than enough hurt feelings to go around. Here’s some advice for every bride who is choosing her posse and for every friend who might be called into action.

Being asked to be a bridesmaid for a friend on one of her most important days is quite an honor. By accepting the role of bridesmaid you need to understand that you have agreed to fulfill certain responsibilities. It’s important to understand this upfront, as some of the responsibilities may be time consuming and/or out of your budget. Ask the questions upfront and have a detailed discussion about what the expectations are. Is the wedding a destination wedding? What is expected of me? While it might seem uncomfortable, it will lessen any tensions by talking about it in advance and clearing up any concerns from both parties. The goal is to be better friends than when you started!

Now to the fun stuff!

For the Bride

The good news is that you have several options for selecting your maid/matron of honor and your bridesmaids.

Idea 1: You don’t have to choose! One bride was the only daughter in the family. Her dad called her six best friends, “the sisters”. The friends were listed as “Laurie’s Sisters” in the ceremony program with a little note.

Idea 2: “A Circle of Friends” allowed each member of the wedding party to wear an outfit that they loved and join the couple at the front of the ceremony.

For the Friends

Here are a few notes to help you be the best ‘wing girl” you can be. You and other bridesmaids can divvy up the tasks.

  1. Meet and Greet.  Introduce yourself to the other bridesmaids, and make sure everyone has each other’s contact information including email address and phone numbers.
  2. Keep a calendar of the major dates (fittings, tastings, etc…) that the bride and groom have. This way, you will be on the same page, and can ask how you can help for each milestone.
  3. Become the designated picture taker. It’s very easy to get caught up in the planning and even easier to forget to stop and enjoy the moment. By remembering to take pictures and even better yet, create a digital or photo scrapbook, will be a precious keepsake after the wedding.
  4. Bridal Shower, Bachelorette Weekends?  Don’t be afraid to delegate. Even the support staff can use a little support every now and then and most likely, the other bridesmaids or friends will be happy to lend a hand with logistics, planning or any other detail that you can delegate.
  5. Check in with the groom and his groomsmen to see how their side is doing. Wouldn’t it be great to meet the other side before the rehearsal?  Virtually or in real time getting together would be fun for all. It’s a great idea to have the groomsmen’s emails and mobile numbers on hand in case you need to get in touch with them.
  6. Keep multiple “JLo” bags on hand.  We don’t like to refer to these handy kits as “emergency” kits, but lovingly refer to the movie The Wedding Planner where Jennifer Lopez  kept every possible thing anyone might need on their wedding day.  Along with the requisite band-aids, lip gloss, tissues, mints, needle and thread, tampons, nylons, fabric tape, spot remover, floss sticks, bobby pins, etc…Don’t forget bottles of water, unsalted nuts, and a couple of granola bars for a grab and go energy boost.
  7. Another thoughtful idea is to pack a mini picnic for the bride and groom for after the wedding. Many couples completely forget to eat, as they are so busy visiting with guests, dancing and taking photographs, they are usually starving by the end of the evening. See if the caterer can wrap up a great snack or you could even pack a nice baguette, cheese, olives, sliced hard salami, dried fruit, a great bar of chocolate, and a bottle of champagne in a reusable grocery bag with paper plates, cups and napkins, so they don’t have to lug around a picnic basket once they’ve finished eating.
  8. Keep her calm. Play her favorite music, keep Kleenex on hand, be a good listener and make sure she is able to be present and in the moment.

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