The big day.
The day a woman dreams of since she was little. The day she can truly call herself a princess. How glamorous, beautiful, and magical the bride is. Everyone talks about her, how amazing she looked, how wonderful her day was.
No one talks about the dark side of weddings. I had to learn the hard way what the life of a bridesmaid would entail.
These are the Dos and Don’ts for bridesmaids on that magical, special, and memorable day as told and seen by me, The Professional Bridesmaid (I have been a bridesmaid ELEVEN times, so I think I have earned that title).
DO: Take one for the team. This may come in the form of wiping down the brides ass with a towel because she chose to wear a petticoat, in the middle of July, in 117° weather, in an outside wedding. Believe me, she will thank you someday.
DON’T: Show up and the rehearsal late and/or drunk. These habits are not helpful when trying to figure out where you are supposed to stand, and vomiting on the shoes of a groomsman is not the best way to say, “Hi, I’m the girl who will be walking down the aisle with you tomorrow. It’s nice to meet you.”
DO: Encourage the bride to get the dress she falls in love with. Even if that means that she flies to Ohio from California to see a dress she saw online because that is the only place they carry it. It may seem a bit certifiable to you, but to her, what’s a few miles to stand in her way of looking like a princess.
DON’T: Try to save the bride money by making her cake for her. I mean, sure, you’ve seen those cake shows where the cake designers make those amazing cakes in, like, 8 hours. Heck, you’ve made a cake or two in your life, how hard could it possibly be? For me, three batches of Rice Krispie treats, two jars of jet puff marshmallow, an entire box of fondant, a bottle of red food coloring, and a bottle of purple food coloring later… we figured out just how hard it could be. With purple stained hands we put the prototype that we worked on for about three hours in front of her fiancé. As you can imagine, he decided to up the budget and get a real cake.
DO: Remember that this is the bride’s day, and her happiness is the number one priority (not yours). This is not the day that you insist that she throw and after party, after the reception, and that she hire a mariachi band. Isn’t the reception the after party?
DON’T: Hire a cheap limo for the Bachelorette party. Once the steering went out and the limo driver had us all get out again in the middle of the street to push the limo off to the side of the road. Yes, we were pushing the limo. “Cheap” limo company; lesson learned.
DO: Try your bridesmaid dress on before the day of the wedding. The day of the wedding is not the day you need to find out (since you had to order the dress 6 months in advance) that you should have laid off the cream cheese puffs and the cake at the bridal shower. There is nothing worse than trying to safety-pin someone into their dress 20 minutes before we are supposed to walk down the aisle. If the dress doesn’t fit anymore, have a professional seamstress let it out a bit.
DON’T: Recommend that the bride use mouth wash 2 minutes before she is about to walk down the aisle, and then offer to pour it in her mouth. I once spilled green mouth wash all down the front of the bride’s white wedding dress. Pro Tip: Tide to Go stain sticks actually perform small miracles.
DO: Wear what she asks you to wear. If she wants you all to have matching shoes and pink hair-bows, just wear them, and do not complain. If she wants everyone in a different pastel color, and you all look like Easter eggs, just wear the Easter egg dresses, and do not complain. She is the one paying for the very expensive photographer to make these images into lasting memories.
DON’T: Argue with the other bridesmaids. Nothing stresses a bride out more than girl drama. Save the drama for after the wedding.
DO: Make a checklist of things that may be helpful on the big day, and bring those things with you. Safety pins? Check. Deodorant? Check. Needle and white thread? Check.
DON’T: Stress her out at the last minute. The groom is running late? Don’t even tell her. Just handle it with the other girls (or go find his mother!). Quietly.
Asking you to be a bridesmaid is a very special request that a bride makes. And while she may become a hair pulling, stark raving mad monster leading up to her big event, at the end of the day, it is her day and as a friend you should be there through every insane moment knowing full well that one day, you will most certainly return the favor.
What advice do you have for bridesmaids this wedding season?
Danielle B. is a mother of one beautiful baby girl, married to her high school sweetheart, has two dogs, and is is a woman navigating the corporate world. She is sometimes sarcastic, always kind, always giving, and is loyal to a fault. She’s a bit odd and boarders on OCD; however it’s selective. Follow Danielle on Twitter.