A while back I wrote a post about how a bride can keep her bridesmaids happy. After all by ensuring your retinue is happy and content you ensure that you will get the best out of them.
But what should the bridesmaids do to ensure they keep the bride happy?
When I started putting my ideas together for the post, I thought about my wedding day and what I would have wanted from my bridal retinue and what I wished I had to said to them. So this post targets the bridal party. Not the bride, but the bridesmaids and the flower girl guardians. The ones whose actions and input not only make the life of the bride (and the groom) easier in the days leading up to the wedding but are integral to the success or failure of the big day.
As we all know, the wedding that you have been invited to be part of is going to be one of most important days for the bride and groom, and whether you have had your special day or not, it’s your time to pay it forward. Weddings are expensive and difficult to organize and you, as part of the bridal retinue, can make the whole experience a breeze by remembering the following:
1. It is an Honour
Always remember that the bride and groom put a lot of consideration into who they wanted as part of the bridal retinue and chose you because you are important to them. Having a bridal party adds an extra expense to the already strained budget. The bride could have decided on a smaller bridal party, no bridal party at all or eloped. But she didn’t, she asked you to stand by her on this enormously important day. Appreciate it.
This important title comes with important tasks which mean responsibility. This means always being available, answering her late night calls, reading her messages, giving input, doing research on her behalf, organizing and attending get-togethers, attending dress fittings and dealing with any conflicts that may happen. This also means being honest, saying “Yes, that dress does make you look fat!” or “Should the cake be luminous pink?” but doing so in the most supportive and loving way (of course). During this time, the bride will be distracted and stressed and you will need to be the helping hand that steers her in the right direction, gently guiding her to creating the best day for her. If you don’t feel you are able to meet these responsibilities, rather chat to the bride as soon as possible. There is nothing worse than having someone in your bridal retinue that isn’t helpful or available.
3. Honesty is the best policy
Due to stress, excitement or lack of experience, your friend’s taste can fail them. Gentleness is key. If you can’t afford the bridesmaid dress she wants you to wear, research the style and look for more affordable options that you can approach her with, or save! Her big day only comes once and remember you have been chosen to be a part of HER day. If the dress she has fallen in love with, really makes her look fat or doesn’t suit her, the bridal retinue need to be honest and gently guide her to finding our one true fit. Don’t just agree with everything, this is not helping her. When you sit at the wedding and see a luminous pink cake, horrendous bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen in leopard print suits, it will partially be your fault for not gently guiding her through this. But always remember, it is, ultimately, her wedding day, so if your gentle guidance isn’t getting through to her and you just know your friend will have her way, accept it, make the best of it and move on.
4. It’s her big day
Remember that it’s all about the bride and groom and not about you. Time and time again, I have seen this happen, bridesmaids that take over. As I’ve said above, it’s an honor and privilege to be a part of your friend’s big day. It is not an opportunity to hijack the day or make it about you. If only this one time, become selfless and try your utmost to make it the best day ever. The more people have the same goal in mind, the goal of making her big day as amazing at it can be, the better the chances of it being a success. It’s not about what color you like more, it’s not about which photographer you prefer, it’s not about which date works best for you, it’s about her and her big day.
I hope the above will help you in approaching your role in the bridal retinue. I always recommend printing out the points (if you are the maid of honor, perhaps print it out for the entire party) and putting somewhere to remind you what is expected of you when things get difficult. By remembering the above not only on the wedding day, but on the days and months leading up to the wedding day, you can ensure you friend has the best wedding experience ever.