When one of your closest friends or beloved family members asks you to participate in the celebration of her marriage, your most immediate reaction will probably be gratitude and excitement, followed by a flurry of questions such as: Where will the wedding be? How much will your bridesmaid’s dress cost? Will you get along with the other bridesmaids? Will there be a bachelorette party? Will the date work out easily for your schedule?
Such questions are common, and the answers to them will undoubtedly affect you. However, because of the unique role bridesmaids play in the life of a bride as she prepares to get married, there’s really only one question you should be asking yourself in relation to being a bridesmaid, and that is: How can I do a really great job at this? From doing as you’re told to drinking responsibly, here are six keys to ensuring you make the best bridesmaid ever.
1. Offer Help and Give It
Weddings are stressful events that take a lot of money, planning, and effort to pull off, which is why the bride needs you to offer your help and — when she comes up with what you can do to assist her — she needs you to give it. From the time-consuming task of filling out invitations to calling around to event venues in Los Angeles to find out which ones are still available for her big day, if you can take something off her plate, then do so.
2. Do as You’re Asked
Keep in mind that some of what happens at a wedding is about compromise. So, maybe you aren’t crazy about wearing orange; if that’s the color she’s picked and she hasn’t asked your opinion, keep silent about your displeasure. Few people will be excited to learn a bridesmaids’ dance routine to the groom’s favorite song to perform upon entrance to the reception, but if that’s part of the bride’s gift to her spouse, it doesn’t matter.
This event is your friend’s big day, and one of your only jobs is to do everything asked of you in hopes that the whole endeavor lives up to her visions of what her wedding would be like.
3. Get Along With Others
Whether or not you know and like the other members of the wedding party is immaterial. Get over any nervousness, bad blood, or introversion — at least for the wedding weekend and bachelorette party — and embrace those around you for who they are: people who are known and loved by the bride.
Keep her worrying about social relationships to a minimum by making nice and having fun with those around you.
4. Have a Good Attitude
Does the hotel at the destination wedding lack hot water? Is your Ex still hitting on you after all these years? Did the catering company forget to bring a vegetarian option? Some things at the wedding will go wrong, but so long as you have a good attitude about them, they’ll impact the bride in a less negative way. Keep your chin up. Don’t complain, and maintain a positive outlook. It will help keep her, you, and everyone around you in better spirits.
5. Drink Responsibly
One easy way to be the worst bridesmaid is to drink too much at a wedding-related function. Sure, it can be tempting to let your hair down at the reception’s open bar, but the last thing you want is for someone to have to call you a cab before the sendoff. Pace yourself. Remember to eat, and keep track of how much you’re drinking so whenever anyone reminisces about the wedding, they won’t have to recall your embarrassing rendition of “Single Ladies” that you tried to force the string quartet to perform with you.
6. Save Money Ahead of Time
Weddings aren’t just expensive for the bride and groom and their families. They’re also expensive for the people attending. As soon as you hear of the bride’s impending nuptials and your role in them, start putting money away. From the dress and shoes to the wedding present and the travel costs, you may need to spend a significant chunk of change to properly celebrate this life’s event with your friend. Don’t let money come between you and her good time. Start saving and save in earnest. The worst thing that could happen is you end up with more money than you needed.
Being a great bridesmaid is easy, and by being one, you’ll not only ensure the bride has a better time at her wedding, but you’ll ensure that you have a better time, too.