The love of your life has asked you to marry him. The first thing you do (right after you post a photo to Instagram #heputaringonit) is call your best girlfriends and tell them the fab news!
These ‘best girlfriends’ usually end up in your bridal party, donning the honourable title of, ‘Bridesmaid’.
I have had countless clients tell me that they have fallen out with their Bridesmaids following the wedding, and some even right before the big day (cut to me removing Sally’s name from the Run Sheet 3 days before the wedding. Extremely awkward!) So, I thought it my duty to write a little guide on How Not To Lose Your Bridesmaids As Friends (or you can take it as a “How To” should you feel like you want to make new friends and ditch the old ones).
Now, the waters surrounding Bridesmaids duties are a little murky. Some Brides just want their besties by their side on their wedding day. Apart from attending a fitting for the Bridesmaids dresses and showing up come wedding day, there are no other wedding related tasks involved. But some Brides must have read a book somewhere along the line that says it’s a Bridesmaids duty to dedicate their entire lives to planning the Brides big day. Um, no! It’s 2014 people! Ain’t nobody got time to even watch new eps of Sons of Anarchy let alone tie 50,000 tags to little jars.
1. You decided to have a DIY wedding so you are decorating yourself and a lot of the items are being handmade (good on you BTW, I love DIY weddings) You decided to DIY, not your Bridesmaids.
Which means, unless they offer, don’t arrange little production line/sweat shop evenings disguised as ‘Cheese and Wine Night’ (unless you are going to provide some seriously great Brie. Actually, not even, it will need to be the greatest Brie there ever was). I guarantee you that your Bridesmaids are not going home to their partners saying things like “I just had the best night making jam and spooning it into little mason jars. So. Much. Fun!”
Or maybe they are saying that, in which case, way to go on having lovely and awesome friends (I was never that lucky when I got married. Did I mention my Sister made the hairdresser re-do her hair, twice?)
If you absolutely need help then make it clear from the beginning, that way there are no little jobs sprung on them two weeks before the wedding. My motto – an organised Bride is a happy Bride (trust me, it’s very true).
2. You are super pumped for your wedding, but don’t make it the only topic of conversation whenever you’re all together. I know your Bridesmaids are excited too but after 12months of only talking about YOU they may need a really long break after the wedding (and may never return). Mix up the convo with general chit chat, like, how amazing Kimmy K looked in her shiny bum photo shoot.
3. The Bridesmaid Dress. This is a big one. I am always going to side with the Bride on this. If you want your Bridesmaids to wear bright fuscia dresses made completely of tulle and encrusted with thousands of tiny diamonds, then they should wear that dress and they should wear it happily. All snickering and jokes should be said behind (very far behind) the Bride’s back. To any Bridesmaids reading this: It’s one day guys, just put on the dress and smile! Your turn for revenge will come (unless you are already married, in which case try to refrain from statements like “I never made you wear an ugly dress at my wedding!”)
4. Opinions. Everyone has one, especially when it comes to weddings. If you have an idea and your heart is set on it then don’t ask your BM’s for their opinion. They may not agree and when you go ahead and do it anyway you’ll be a bit pissed, knowing they never liked the idea. It’s also nice to have little elements of surprise for everyone. So, keep that in mind when you think you want to ask your Maid of Honour what she thinks of you arriving at the wedding on the back of a Giraffe.
5. Money. Weddings are expensive, and being a Bridesmaid can also be expensive. There is no rule when it comes to who pays for what these days but traditionally a Bride would pay for the dresses and accessories. If you plan on asking your BM’s to pay for their own dresses then try not to choose a dress that costs $800 (unless your BM is Beyonce or someone equally as rich). I think asking them to buy their own dress is totally OK. But if you do this then I think your BM’s should get to chime in on what they wear. If you are choosing the bright fuscia tulle number encrusted with thousands of diamonds then maybe don’t ask them to pay for it 😉
Going halves may be another option to consider if your budget is already stretched (hiring a Giraffe to arrive at your Ceremony on can be way expensive!)
6. Choosing a Maid of Honour. If you are equally as close with all of your friends then don’t have a Maid of Honour. Lots of my couples seem to be doing this lately. They simply choose a friend or family member to witness the signing of the registry and the Bridal Party members are left equal
7. And last of all on my list of 7 (I don’t like even numbers) is try not to treat your Bridesmaid’s like PA’s. They have lives too and as much as planning a wedding can be tough, it’s your day and you should try and take on all responsibilities. Except the Hens, that’s on them, and by golly if they get out of licking invite envelopes and tying twine around your mason jars then they should be throwing you one helluva Hens Party! If they don’t then feel free to return their “Thank You’ gifts 😉
So there it is! Let’s hope that once the bouquets wilt and your dress is all boxed up that you have all of your Bridesmaids joining you in line at the premier of Fifty Shades of Grey (Oh, c’mon! Stop pretending like you aren’t a little bit excited to see the film!)