Being asked to be a bridesmaid or a groomsman is one of the highest honors given to a friend. Yes, it is a lot of work and sometimes it isn't fun but when your friend asks you to stand with them while they take this huge step in their lives, you do it... and you do it without any complaints. Unfortunately, that isn't always the way things go.
As a wedding planner, I am constantly observing people. It is my job to not only put out fires but to also anticipate the next move of the couple, guests, bridal party and vendors. There aren't a lot of things that are more annoying than a bridesmaid running to the bride about a problem at the wedding. From their feet hurting to not liking the menu, I've seen it all. Here are some tips to guide you down the road to being the best bridal party:
1. If you see a problem, don't go to the bride about it. I had a wedding recently where the florist was all over the place. Despite adding an extra hour to their arrival time, they were still late. I had already been on the phone with them checking their estimated arrival time while contacting another florist just in case. Two of the bridesmaids wandered into the ballroom and noticed that there weren't any flowers out. Soon after they left, I got a frantic call from the bride, worried about her flowers. All that did was freak the bride out for no reason. As her wedding planner, it is my job to extinguish any and all fires. Let your friend live in wedded oblivion for the day, please.
2. Be as self-sufficient as possible. If you are meeting the bride in her hotel room to get your hair and makeup done, it shouldn't be her job to figure out your parking and transportation situation. Parking at a hotel can be a bit costly. After paying for your dress, shoes, earrings, showers, parties, etc., the last thing you want to do is have to pay to park your car so that you can pay to get your makeup done. I get it but the bride and groom shouldn't have to be concerned with your logistics on the day.
3. Grin and bear it. When asked to be a member of a bridal party, be prepared to perform tasks that you don't necessarily want to. You might be asked to tie tiny ribbons onto 400 mini champagne bottles or help the groom transport random items to the venue. Whatever you're asked, no matter how absurd or tedious the task may seem, just do it and do it with a smile.
I can go on and on about ugly bridesmaid dresses and uncomfortable groomsmen shoes that you'll never wear again. It just comes with the bridal party territory. Unless you plan on not being in the wedding, do what the couple asks you to do. Remember, they asked you to stand with them for a reason.
4. Follow instructions. Can we talk wedding rehearsals for a second? The whole point of a rehearsal is to make everyone comfortable with how they'll be walking down the aisle, who they'll be walking with and where they'll be standing during the ceremony. Often times, the rehearsal is like a mini reunion. Maybe you haven't seen each other in years, maybe you have. Give each other a hug and get in line. Not only is it frustrating when people are talking while the planner is giving instructions, it's also rude. The faster you listen, the faster you can finish the rehearsal and get to the real party.
5. Be honest. It's expensive being in a wedding. The purchase of the dress, the rental of the tux, things add up quickly. If you can't afford to be in the wedding, be honest with the bride and groom and bow out gracefully. You shouldn't have to decide whether to pay your rent or buy your dress.