Congratulations! You've been asked to be a bridesmaid! So... now what? There is more to being a great bridesmaid than simply wearing any dress you're asked to. Here are a few tips to make sure that you rock your title as bridesmaid as much that gorgeous dress the bride picked out for you ;)
1. Embrace the chaos. There is a lot of planning that bridesmaids need to do. You have the bridal shower, bachelorette party, meals after fittings and dress shopping, and of course planning the wedding day. Yes, you will be involved in the actual planning of the wedding. You are now officially added on to emails, group texts, video chats and anything else the bride will need to tell you about. Your phone notifications will likely being ringing often.
2. There will be a lot of outfit changes and the bride will likely need help getting into her gown. I've seen some brides just drop their robes, 100% comfortable being undressed in front of the group and I've seen some want privacy and ask everyone to turn around or leave the room as they get into their gown. Just go with the flow and roll with whatever she needs from you in that moment. It could be an awkward moment for her and our sensitivity to it will make it so much easier.
3. Plan a wedding day emergency pack. It's a good idea to include the following items: bobby pins, plain white or nude underwear in her size ( I have seen a need for this more times than you would believe ), hair spray, safety pins, feminine hygiene products, makeup remover wipes, tylenol, aspirin, or motrin, allergy meds, deodorant, a sewing kit, breath mints, band-aids, and anything else she could possibly need during the day. Make sure you bring it to the reception as well!
4. Your dress. Ladies, just follow the rules you're given and when in doubt, contact the bride. As long as you follow that simple rule and wear whatever is chosen for you proudly you will have a happy bride and a happy bride means a happy bridesmaid. I have seen a bridesmaid arrive on a wedding day with a dress she wasn't supposed to wear.... Yikes.
5. Weddings often equal late nights crafting. Find your inner DIYer and be there with hot glue gun in hand whenever needed. If ever you're in doubt about your ability just head to Pinterest and she will walk you through, (Pinterest can be a lady, right!?)
6. During the ceremony try to always look up. Maybe not during the entire ceremony but for sure while you're walking down the aisle. When you get nervous and look down at your feet it will look as though your eyes are closed in photos.
7. Here are a couple more photography related tips while since we're on that subject. Obviously this advice is the most important to me but it goes a LONG way. Ladies, trust your bride's photographer and be kind to them. Can I say that twice? I have set up dress shots only to turn around and find that a bridesmaid had moved everything because she didn't like where I chose. The new place she chose had horrible lighting and didn't allow me to get a full length shot of the bride's dress. Because of the extra time spent rearranging it, I didn't have time to move it back to the original spot. That bride received less than perfect photos of her gown as a result of her bridesmaid's actions. Also, please always be willing to follow her photographer's posing directions without making faces or expressing your doubts. You could set a negative tone that way and really make things a lot harder than they need to be. Just remember that she chose us for a reason and the best thing you can do is happily roll with it. I promise we have her back too ;)
8. Your work doesn't end after the ceremony! At least not yet. You still have duties during the reception but it's almost time to relax and enjoy the rest of your evening! You may have to give a speech. You will likely have to be on hand to help with the bustle. If the dance floor is empty, grab the other ladies and get the dance party started. From this point on you can pretty much relax, just remember to keep an eye on your girl as she dances the night away.
Being a bridesmaid maybe isn't the easiest job in the world, but it's always worth it. You have been chosen to be a part of the bride's most important day. Enjoy the honor the title brings :)