Girl Talk: If you’ve been selected to be a bridesmaid this season, here are some things you should know
Wedding season will soon be upon us. Every weekend from May until October is normally filled with wedded bliss and excessive amounts of cake. We will celebrate the choices our friends and loved ones have made for life partners. If they are someone very close to you, they may do you the great honor of choosing you as a bridesmaid. Right now, it’s bridesmaid season and for those of you taking your first turn doing this, you may not know what it all entails. No worries, I am here to help.
Being a bridesmaid has come a long way from wearing an ugly dress and spending an entire day of indentured servitude to your friend. You are a very important part of the bride’s day. You are her support group, errand runner and entourage.
In addition to emotional support you are expected to provide for the blushing bride, there is also a lot of financial responsibility involved. Not only will you need to budget in your dress (which the bride will swear that you can wear again!) you will need to budget for the rest of the ensemble such as jewelry, shoes, hair and possibly professionally done make up. Additionally, a bridesmaid generally always contributes financially to the bridal shower and bachelorette party. If your bride is having an out of town or destination wedding, you will also be footing your own travel bill and hotel expenses.
At the shower, help her by recording the gifts and who they are from. Help her fill out thank you cards and get everything home and organized. The day is supposed to be a celebration of her love, not a stressful event.
When dress shopping, give her honest, but not insensitive, critiques. She brought you along because she values your opinion. Be careful with your words if you don’t like the way something looks on her.
Bridesmaids make the ideal therapists for the undoubtedly stressed and overwhelmed bride. You need to be a good listener and be compassionate when she has her bridezilla moments. She has likely been planning this day her whole life and when a dream detail goes astray, she will need someone to bring her back down to earth and assure her that everything will be OK.
You will have to help your bride, and her gown, go to the bathroom and squeeze in tight spaces. Hopefully, if you are close enough to be a bridesmaid then you are close enough to help her hold her dress up to pee. You will also be the one to make sure that throughout the night she is taking time to eat and drink because she will be too busy to take the time to do that herself.
Be prepared for things that may potentially come up. Bring a notebook and pen to any bridal shows you attend together. Suggest ideas to help her, but remember she ultimately calls the shots and just needs someone to help her keep organized.
The morning of the wedding, arrive in a timely fashion so that no one is stressing about last minute hair and dress details. The morning needs to go smoothly. Remind her to eat breakfast; it’s going to be a long day. Have an emergency kit on hand including tissues, back up mascara and hairspray. You never know when one of these could save the day.
At the ceremony, make any necessary adjustments to the bride’s veil and dress so that she looks absolutely perfect for her big entrance. Bridesmaids also have very specific duties here. You set the stage for the wedding procession. Make sure you know where to go, who to go with and when to get there. At the reception, help her greet her guests and collect cards and monetary gifts. Make sure she is having fun and help her create life long memories.
Ultimately, be a good friend. If drama comes up between you and the other bridesmaids, try to resolve it on your own. Make sure she has a perfect day and keep her grounded and happy. You should be honored that she asked you to stand with her and be an important part of her happily ever after.
Girl Talk began in 2012 as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and has evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa also has a weekly Girl Talk TV segment on PA Live, WBRE, and a radio segment every Wednesday on 98.5 KRZ.