Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ask a Planner: How to be a Good Bridesmaid

(image courtesy of A Stylish Soiree)
This is, of course, a loaded topic. For the most part, I think friends of the bride agree wholeheartedly to being a bridesmaid with the best of intentions. They love their friend, want to be a part of her wedding, and who doesn't like to dress up pretty and be a part of the show? :)
The thing is, when you agree to be a bridesmaid, you agree to more than just wearing a nice dress and smiling for photos. Bridesmaids have a duty to be there for the bride throughout the planning process, to assist when needed, and to (within reason) do as they are told by the bride. The Knot has some great resources for bridesmaids, detailing what their duties are and how to deal with various wedding situations. I particularly like this quote from the list of bridesmaid duties: "Be a trooper, no matter how stressful the ordeal becomes. Try not to complain about the bridesmaid dress -- even if the color is horrendous. Be gracious and tactful."
I've been a bridesmaid/maid of honor three times, and I'll be doing it a fourth time this July. Also, as a wedding planner, I have worked with countless wedding parties, both large and small, with all sorts of bridesmaids. The bottom line for bridesmaids is- you do what makes the bride happy. If she wants you to attend all four of her bridal showers, you do your very best to attend them all. If she wants you to throw one of them, you throw her a shower. If she asks that you wear an olive green gown, you wear it. And if she wants everyone to dye a pair of shoes the perfect shade of pink- you DO IT! If you're not up to following instructions from your friend the bride, then you shouldn't have said yes. 95% of the time, what she's asking of you isn't unreasonable. It's her day, it ought to go her way. When you get married, you can tell her what color shoes to buy.
P.S. For bridesmaids dealing with the 5% of brides who turn into bridezillas and make numerous unreasonable requests- check out this helpful article, again from the Knot.
P.P.S. Got any crazy bridesmaid-related stories?? Please share in the comments!

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