Sometimes the best thing you can do is not accept the bride’s invitation to be a bridesmaid, says Thomas P. Farley, known as Mister Manners. ‘Just because your friend says yes to being a bride doesn’t mean you must say yes to being a bridesmaid,’ he says.
Consider this if you don’t feel close to the bride or don’t want the financial obligations. Of course, handle your turn down, with great delicacy, so she doesn’t get offended, Farley says.
Pay for your own bridesmaid dress
Unless the bride offers to pay, be prepared to pay for your own dress. But Kellee Khalil, founder of Loverly, a virtual wedding planning site, shares that if your bride knows it’s a struggle, she can—and should—offer to help.
Help plan the bridal shower
While Khalil says planning the entire bridal shower falls under the maid-of-honor’s duties, you should be prepared to help and be an active participant.
Try to attend all bridal events
Attending all bridal events is a must for a bridesmaid, Khalil says, except, of course, if you live out of town or have another family obligation. ‘Never say you’re too busy to participate in any pre-wedding event,’ shares Cristen Flaherty, event planner and founder of Cristen & Co. Event Coordination & Design. ‘Everyone is busy and that is a poor excuse and you will simply upset the bride for not being a part of all the festivities.’
Be ready and on call the day of the wedding
From helping a flower girl down the aisle to making sure the bride’s train is bustled, a bridesmaid should be ready to help out, no matter what, on the day of the wedding. ‘A bridesmaid should also act as a resource with information for any guests who may have questions about wedding logistics, bridal registries, directions to the ceremony or to the reception,’ Farley says.
Do not complain to the bride. Ever
This may seem like a given, but if you are used to sharing your every thought with the bride on a regular basis, you may forget that this is her big day and she doesn’t want to hear your thoughts. Not about the dress, not about the shoes, and not about the jewelry, no matter what.
Leave the drama at home
‘This day is not about you. You are there to support the bride,’ shares Flaherty. ‘Yes, you have been chosen for a special role however, it is all about the couple getting married. Don’t be a diva!’ That also means don’t get drunk and don’t make a scene, say, if your ex turns up with his new girlfriend.