You've got to choose your Bridesmaids and Maid of Honour for your wedding day. The shit just got real! Have you had this list of girls in your head for many years! Is it an obvious and automatic choice so relatively easy? Or are you going small wedding so reduced numbers on all sides, therefore just one or two in the bridal party only. Heck...it's a choice and a half isn't it. But it's important, and they will have a role to play. Say what? Yeah, they have an official role to play in the wedding. Lets have a look at this. In Part 1 we'll outline duties and responsibilities a bridesmaid should have before the big day.
As well as looking beautiful in photos standing next to the bride, holding their bouquets and enjoying the flow of fizzy bubbles throughout the day, there is an official role for them to play. Lots of things are very much traditional. Many things you won't probably dream of asking any of your bridal party to be involved in. But the point is, their help, support and guidance is vital to you as a bride on your wedding day.
Before the wedding itself, your chosen bridal party, bridesmaids and maid of honour, should be chomping at the bit to get things going with you. Their help and support in planning your wedding is vital. It can be a stressful process and most couples will seek help from some source. A bridesmaid will offer support and give advice and honest opinions throughout. Colour schemes, supplier recommendations, who your local wedding photographer should be, what shops you should go and visit and attending wedding fairs with you. Of course, every bride has a unique vision to her wedding day. As a bridesmaid, see what specifics you can help with and keep in contact with all other members of the bridal party. Set up a WhatsApp group, or Facebook group to keep in close contact bouncing off ideas, photos, and findings immediately with each other.
One of the most enjoyable, productive, fun and vital aspects of being a bridesmaid is to go dress shopping with your bride. After all the bridesmaids will need to be there when the bride decides how her bridesmaids will dress on the wedding day. The bride will want to make sure they all look great in whatever is chosen. Mostly (but certainly not always) the dresses that the bridesmaids will wear are selected and paid for by the bride. Even if this is the case, as bridesmaids, your opinion, feedback is very important if the bride requests it. At this point of the wedding planning journey it is the bridesmaids job to model dresses, and be sure that the bride is having an positive experience and fun time. As a bridesmaid, you'll probably need to take ownership of your own dress process which might include arranging any alterations with the shop or outlet, and collecting when ready. The icing on the cake at this stage is to be there when the bride chooses her own dress. Again opinions, feedback and ideas can flow, but be respectful to other family members and their feelings and ideals that will likely be present.
Once this stage has been completed, some brides will be happy that the bridesmaids can accessorise themselves and wear their preferred style of footwear, make up and hair. But as a bridesmaids team, it would always be a good idea to chat with each other and ascertain whether you will all compliment each other in looks on the day. Will you all be wearing hair up or down? Will heels be of similar height? Will any jewellery or other accessories clash or not be photo friendly. Will your wedding photographer asked for items to be hidden, or removed. (This will be very dependant on the type of wedding photographer you have, a relaxed and more informal wedding photographer will probably not get too involved with the level of detail)
The Hen night! This can be a biggie. It's the maid of honours job to decide what where and when, but the bridesmaids are also responsible for organising things to make it happen. As a tradition, the bride doesn't plan her own hen night, but consideration should be given to any concerns and worries, or even the preferred type of night she's hoping for. Jobs may include booking a venue, arranging entertainment. Maybe buying or even making refreshments and food. Don't forget to invite other important members of the brides circle. That might be family, work colleagues, old school friends and the like. Again, bridesmaids keep in close contact and have a set party number and stick to it. The bride shouldn't be paying for anything if you're out on a hen night, so make sure you've all got plenty of cash between you to keep the bride happy and smiling, worry and stress free on her hen night.
If a church rehearsal or similar takes place, it's important, respectful and very useful to be in attendance. You will get to know where you will need to be at a specific time during the ceremony, how you will enter and exit the ceremony arena and any extras that may take place. Who will hold the bouquet when the bride isn't. Who will be holding the dress train as the bride walks.
It may seem that the bridesmaids get a free ticket to look beautiful, enjoy lots of free fizzy bubbles and food on the wedding day. But, respectfully, it should be a day of assisting, monitoring and problem solving to a certain degree. There are some jobs that a bridesmaid can do to really show they care for their bride on her wedding day.
Have a small bag of things ready that you can whip out in the case of a small emergency. Think of a useful tool bag on the day that contains such things as wet wipes, a packet of tissues, some needle and thread and some nice smellies. You can assign a bridesmaid to be an emergency contact for suppliers and other vendors on the day. Another bridesmaid can be the one that goes to collect anything on the morning. Cake, flowers, bubbly or even breakfast. As a team, being at the venue to help set up the day before is essential. All the ribbons, chair covers, table decorations all need to be in place somehow. Don't let your bride be stressing at how this is going to be done by the next day. She's got team bridesmaid with her. who's job is to keep her calm, relaxed and genuinely looking forward to her wedding day.
In part 2 we'll see the role a bridesmaid plays on the actual wedding day.
Part 2 coming soon.