What I’ve Learnt From Being A Bridesmaid Once

While most girls were dreaming of their own wedding day, I was dreaming of the day I would be asked to be a bridesmaid. This is weird, I know, I’m not like anti-love or romance or anything, and have a vague idea of what I would want if I ever made the great vow, but there was something honourable about someone wanting you, out of all the people in their life, to be beside them on their wedding day.  

Last week, I was bridesmaid for the first time, for my sister, who is literally the best person that I know, and it involved a lot of dress fitting, money, fake smiles and occasional stress. It ended up being an amazing day though, I genuinely enjoyed myself, my sister genuinely enjoyed herself, and I experienced all the warm and fuzzy feelings that I expected to feel when she pledged her love for her husband. And I felt the same enjoyment when my brother and his wife tied the knot just five days later.

Four more days and you’ll be my sister for realsies. Fun times at #waynessa278216 wedding with the fam.

A photo posted by Caryn Welby-Solomon (@carrieanne07) on

And now, I’m preparing to be bridesmaid yet again for my friend in November, I no longer feel as naive or as starry-eyed as I did before, I’m windswept, I’m tainted by the world. So as the one bridesmaid duty down, this is my experienced tips about what you should know:

 

  • 1. You have to really love the bride
    • She is going to want you to do things that you would not necessarily want, wear what you don’t like, monopolize on your time and your cash and cause you copious amounts of stress, so make sure your foundation is solid if you agree to be someone’s bridesmaid. No amount of pride is worth doing all this for someone that you barely tolerate. What I also experienced that is that if the bride loves you too, there is a fair bit of compromise, they don’t make you wear dresses that are unflattering, they don’t expect too much of you etc.
  1. 2. The dress is important
    1. Yes, yes the day is all about the bride (and groom) but if you look uncomfortable, tacky or untidy it won’t reflect well on the bride and the day as a whole. The bride will look beautiful no matter what, the day is all about her, it is tailored to her, and she will be radiating because she will be marrying the person that she loves, that doesn’t mean you have to look like a hoodrat in order to make her look good. I’m not saying you should upstage the bride, because you shouldn’t, but you should at least look presentable, wearing a dress that fits well and doesn’t draw attention to the fact that you don’t look good.

  1. 3. The bridal shower/bachelorette is about her, not you
    1. This is something that I was not warned about, or perhaps it was something that just I experienced. But sometimes we get so caught up in being the *best* bridesmaid/throwing the perfect party and wanting to be acknowledged for what we did that we don’t take into consideration what the bride really wants and have a party that will show ourselves off a bit. But remember this is the one day to celebrate her, and her alone, as a single human being, and use the opportunity to make the day all about her and what she wants above all else.
  1. 4. Don’t go out of your budget
    1. This is something I really wish I knew before I bridesmaid upped the first time, I went overboard with wanting to do everything perfectly that I didn’t think about the fact that I would need to survive the rest of the month. You see, I’m not a trust fund kid, and my one man salary can only take me so far, so this time I’m very careful not to live outside of my means and keep track of all my spending. You can be a great bridesmaid without being over the top.
  1. 5. Just be there for her
    1. I’ve said this (in different ways) a copious amount of times in this post but truly this is the most important piece of advice. It’s her day and she chose you because she holds you dear to her and you are probably one of the first people she will call if she’s stuck in a ditch so show her that she chose right and be supportive of her through everything – hold her train, fix her makeup, carry her belongings. You are her assistant for the day.

It seems tedious, it seems like a lot of hard work, but harking back to point one, if you care about the bride it’s seamless as long as you are helping her have the wedding experience of her dreams. You can destress later.

More about Caryn

Journalist, Reader, Dreamer, Fangirl, Defender of the Weak (and that's just my formal titles). I hope to one day take over the world or marry Tom Hiddleston.

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