Being asked to be a bridesmaid is something I think we all look forward to when our besties get engaged. We wonder how we’ll be asked, what we can do to make our friend feel special, and how to make the most of this precious time with her. There are the obvious duties we have as right-hand-women, like attending showers, getting our dress, and helping with the bachelorette party. On the wedding day, we’re there to fluff her dress, keep stresses at bay, and make sure our busy bride sits down and eats a meal or two. Before you know it, your dear friend is a married woman, and this once-in-a-lifetime season of planning and celebrating the bride-to-be has come to a close. In the hopes of truly going above and beyond for your best gal, let’s talk about how you can be a loving, intentional friend and bridesmaid to her during this season!
1) SET EXPECTATIONS
When we think about how a wedding should go, we all have our own expectations and preferences that come to mind, but it’s important to not automatically assume how hers will go and what your duties will be. Keep in mind that your friend’s wedding could be very different from how you would or did plan your own wedding. Ask the bride what her plans are and how you can help bring her vision to life. Prompt her to communicate with you what your role is as a bridesmaid and see to it that you excel at it.
2) GET SOME FACE TIME
Distance between friends can be hard enough as it is, and can for sure be a struggle when planning and attending the bridal festivities. Make every effort you can to see the bride before the wedding, whether it’s the bachelorette party, a shower, or just a visit to help her dress shop or DIY some decor. If you can’t, communicate that gently and try to make up for it with periodic FaceTime sessions. She’s asked you to be part of her wedding day because she wants you around for this special time in general. That quality time with her will mean so much and will create lasting memories.
3) BE EMOTIONALLY PRESENT
Being available emotionally to your bestie is something she will really need. She’s planning an entire event (maybe without the help of a planner) and there are so many decisions she is facing. There could be a strain on the budget, not enough time to get things done, or a ton of vendor research she’s working through. In addition, life hasn’t stopped, so there could be other things she’s dealing with at work or at home. Having a trusted girlfriend to talk things out with is so helpful. You may be one of the only people who can truly relate and empathize with what she is dealing with. Offer advice when it’s needed and encouragement all the time. Most of the time we just want to feel understood, instead of the problem to be fixed for us. Show her that you care about her well being, listen to understand and be all there.
4) KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
No matter how exciting it is to be a part of your friends big day, it can come with some not-as-exciting expenses. Find out what you’ll be responsible for purchasing and crunch the numbers to figure out what all that will cost you. If there are ways to lower costs, get creative and problem solve. Instead of buying new shoes, borrow some from a friend that are the right color and style. Book a hotel room with another bridesmaid to split the price. Part of being a bridesmaid comes with showing your support financially whether it’s chipping in for the bachelorette party or buying new ear rings. Your gal doesn’t want to be the reason you go broke, so be open with where you’re at while maintaining a positive attitude.
5) SERVE IN PRACTICAL WAYS
Some traditions may be weird, and some bridesmaid duties may feel like hard work. But remember, her wedding is not about you, so show up with a heart of service. There were hiccups that happened on my own wedding day, that at the time I had no clue about because my bridesmaids completely took care of it. Yes, you may have to take on more stress yourself in order to keep it off of the bride, but consider it a joy to be a reason that her wedding is so wonderful for her and her groom. You get to play a vital part in making that happen. Your friend will feel cared for in a way that will impact her for the rest of her life. And maybe someday she’ll get to return the favor!
6) KEEP HER MAIN THING HER MAIN THING
Be careful not to dismiss or undermine the one million decisions your friend is facing or the thoughtful details she cares so much about, but help her to not get stuck in them. Being a voice that can cut through the noise and offer motivation and support will be much appreciated. Remind her of why she is having a wedding in the first place and the love you are so thankful she has found. Don’t let her forget the incredible gift of marriage she is receiving – what all the planning and celebrating is for! At the end of her wedding day, she will be married and that’s the most important thing.
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I hope this is a reminder of how special the role of being a bridesmaid is. The bride has chosen you specifically to spend these months celebrating with and to stand beside her on her wedding day. Take advantage of these fleeting moments to celebrate her and this new chapter in her life. Your friendship will grow because of it and her wedding will be better because you were part of it.
Have you been a bridesmaid before? What special things did you do for your bridal bestie? What does having bridesmaids mean to you?
Comment below and let me know!