Have you got what it takes?
So your bestie recently got engaged....and you've noticed she's been liking Bridal Blogs and commenting on pictures of dresses...and you've been waiting for that moment.....
And then finally - she pops the question....
"Will you be my Bridesmaid/Maid of Honour"?
For many THIS will be a pivitol moment in your relationship. Because being a Bridesmaid or a part of someones Bridal Party is a HUGE honour - it's a special feeling - you're one of a select few - the chosen one! But BEFORE you get excited, and squeal, and jump up and down and start a private Bridal Party Facebook Group and a Pinterest Board.....take some time to figure out whats involved and what's expected of you and what you expect - before you make the commitment.
To make life a little easier - we've compiled a little list of all the things that are generally expected of Bridesmaids and more specifically - the Maid of Honour:-
- Assisting with Pre-Wedding Tasks - as an integral part of the Bridal Party - there's more than likely going to be an expectation on you to assist with a certain amount of pre-wedding planning and creating - especially if the Bride and Groom-to-be are going down the DIY Track. This could be anything from cake-tasting and helping choose flowers to actually assisting to bake cakes, make invites and wedding favours and even assisting with decorating the venue. So make sure you know how much time you'll be expected to commit to this before you jump on board.
- Shopping with the Bride - remember that she'll need more than just a dress - there's shoes, veil, accessories and chances are she's going to want to visit more than one shop to try on gowns and may even want to travel out of town. So make sure you're willing to give up a couple of Saturdays at least for this. Then there's also shopping for Bridesmaids outfits - with more than one person to please this CAN be an even more ardous task than shopping for the Wedding Gown - and be prepared - MANY Brides now ask that their attendants either contribute to or pay for their own gowns/outfits. So make sure you have a discussion about this before you agree.
- Plan/Co-host Bridal Shower and Hens Party - as a Bridesmaid/Maid of Honour, it's your duty to play a part in planning at least one pre-wedding shindig - and possibly contributing to the cost as well. This might just be the cost of your own food and drinks and perhaps games and accessories - but additionally you may also be expected to share the cost of the Brides drinks and food etc with the other Bridesmaids. Take these costs into consideration when planning because ultimately - the bigger the event - the more you may have to pay.
- Running Errands - as the BIG DAY draws near - chances are, the Bride-to-be might be feeling the stress and pressure of her impending wedding and so will need a little extra support from her girl squad. It might be up to you to shuffle around picking things up, doing airport runs, dropping decorations at the venue. So it pays to be prepared and maybe consider take a few extra days off.
- Attend the Rehearsal - these days LOTS of couples don't want to leave anything to chance and so like to have a Wedding Rehearsal the day/week before the wedding. If you're coming from out of town for the big-day - you'll need to know this in advance so that you can prepare to be off work etc.
- Buy a Gift - YEP - even though you've given up HUGE amounts of time on the run up AND you've paid for a Hens Party AND you've maybe even paid for a dress - you probably should still buy a gift for the happy couple. HOWEVER - it is TOTALLY acceptable to club in with the rest of the Bridal Party and buy a gift from all of you. The overall responsibility for organising this usually falls on the Maid of Honour.
ON THE DAY TASKS
- Assist the Bride - it's safe to say that on the BIG DAY - you need to be prepared to be at the Brides beckon call. She may, or may not, be a bit on the stressed or emotional side - so be prepared with a good emergency kit and a whole lot of patience. Help her get dressed, make sure she eats and stays hydrated. Carry her train, fluff it for photos and bustle it when the time comes. Help with trips to the bathroom, make-up touch ups, hair fix-ups etc. Be prepared to answer any questions that might be asked - so the bride doesn't have to. Essentially be her wing-woman from the minute she gets out of bed till the moment she goes off with her hubby at the end of the night.
- Be a problem solver - in the event of any on-the-day hiccups or issues - be the first point-of-call and divert any issues or stress away from the bride to make sure she stays as calm and relaxed as possible.
- Gifts and Guestbook - point guests in the direction of the guest book - reminding them to sign it. Take gifts from guests and put in the appropriate place - and make sure that they're put in a safe place at the end of the night.
- Dance, dance, DANCE - be a part of all the official dances but also encourage others to join in. Keep your eyes open for guests who might be tapping a foot or swaying at the tables and invite them to join you on the dance floor.
- Speech - sometimes BUT NOT ALWAYS - the Maid of Honour MIGHT be expected to make a speech - make sure you know in advance and be prepared. Keep it light, no inappropriate jokes, a touch of sentiment and a hearty congratulations is just about right.
- Keep an eye out - keep a watchful eye on younger wedding guests or potentially unruly guests. Be prepared to step in to resolve any "messy" situations so the Bride and Groom don't have to.
- Stay in control - don't, whatever you do, get more drunk than the bride. Stay reasonably clear-headed and ready to face any potential disasters head on. There's nothing worse than an AWOL Bridesmaid who's passed out in the bathroom.
- HAVE FUN - this is one of the most important things of all! Yes - you're there to be the Brides Wing-woman - but you're also there to enjoy this very special day. Toast the bride and groom - dance, smile and love every minute!
- Take Care of the Dress - if the Bride is heading off on Honeymoon straight after the big day - take responsibility for the Wedding Dress and get it to the Dry Cleaners.
- Clean-ups and Drop offs - whether it's packing up the venue, returning hire items, dropping relatives at the airport or delivering wedding presents to the happy couple - be prepared to help out for just a few more hours/days.
Being a Bridesmaids or a Maid of Honour for a special friend or family member can be an expensive or emotionally taxing experience but it can also be one of the most rewarding, most enjoyable and more cherished experiences in life. It's a huge honour and after you've survived a wedding together - your friendship can survive just about anything.
And remember - it might be you turn next!!!
Thanks for Reading x
(Photo Cred - Amanda Ritchie Photography)