I received a message this week which really got me thinking about the role, responsibilities and risks of being a bridesmaid… here’re a few excerpts I’ve had permission to repost:
- “I noticed behaviours in her I didn’t like… Demanding and ‘my way or the highway.’
- I told her ‘no kids at the wedding’to which she responded ‘well mine will be there’;
- I don’t know how to put it delicately ‘I don’t want you in my bridal party’ (I was her MOH);
- My friend’s bridesmaid cornered her to say “why is my partner not invited? Do you think our relationship is not as serious as so and so (who is married)”;
It appears that having (or being) a bridesmaid can potentially lead to no end of problems, which is exactly the opposite of what we all want, so how can we avoid this?
Personally, being only three months in, and having bridesmaids strewn worldwide, mine haven’t been involved yet. So it’s the perfect time to think about how best to manage relationships and expectations while maintaining friendships. The following is a “How to” to picking the Perfect Bridal Party, and keep all friendships intact!
The first step in ensuring your party is there to support you on your wedding day, and at all critical stages in the lead-up to is to choose the perfect team.
Who to ask?
When considering who to ask, keep in mind what role they’ll have to help with:
- Organizing an Engagement Party (are they organised, helpful and responsible?)
- Choosing the dress (are they going to be honest and help you look the best you can on your Wedding Day?)
- Making invitations/place-cards/favours (are they going to have the time and inclination to do so?)
- Plan your Hen’s do (and make sure you get home in one piece)
- Getting on with one another, and possibly following instructions from the MOH (If they’re not going to get on well with the other Bridesmaids, The Groomsmen or the Groom, rethink your team!)
- Keeping you company the night before your Wedding Day (and easing any last-minute jitters)
- Getting ready for your Wedding Day (will they calm you down or stress you out?)
- Making a speech about you (can they speak publicly and refrain from embarrassing you?)
- On-the-day roles including encouraging guests to sign the guest book; ordering family into photos; and tending to stray children and groomsmen!
- Appearing in your Wedding Photos (and therefore possibly appear on your living-room wall for the next 60 years – will you still be friends?).
It might sound harsh, but being a bridesmaid comes with responsibilities. If your friend is swamped with work and can barely come out at the weekend for brunch, they probably won’t have time to help with your wedding – which is, after all, the point!
Of my 5 Bridesmaids, 2 live overseas, so I had to accept from the get-go that they wouldn’t be able to help much in the months leading up to the wedding. But I know they’ll be there for me in the immediate lead-up, and keep me sane on the day.
The absolute must-haves of your Bridesmaids though:
Girls who you can lean on, that you can cry to when planning’s not going perfectly. That will tell you to put down the hot-glue gun while pouring you a glass of wine (and that will hopefully finish off your centerpieces). Make you laugh and snap you back to reality; have a fun night out on your Hen. Tidy your veil for the ceremony and fix your lippy for photos. And take you aside for 10 minutes on your Wedding Day and tell you how beautiful you look and how happy she is to be there for you. I hope you’re as lucky as I am to have girls like this in your life!