Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Advice for a first time bridesmaid

The other weekend I had the honor of being in my first wedding. My sorority little sister, who I actually went to high school with, married her high school sweet heart. After the day started with a minor crisis involving a missing necklace, high/drunk makeup artist, and gloomy cold sideways rain, it turned into a beautiful ceremony made even more special because I've seen the couple from the very beginning of their relationship to now.
a little too much cleavage for Insta

Hopefully this won't be my last time being in a wedding party. As a 23 year old I'm right at the beginning of the "all your friends are getting engaged and married" years. One of my best friends from Ole Miss got engaged last month and is planning her July wedding and as you may have seen from my twitter I had another friend announce her engagement on Facebook yesterday. As Allison, of Because I said so, pointed out the other day, it's engagement season.

Today I'm sharing my advice for a first time bridesmaid. These are things I wish someone had told me when I first agreed to being in the wedding party because no matter how many times I've watched 27 Dresses or the Wedding Planner they weren't realistic preparation for this experience.

  • Being in the wedding party comes with a much larger cost than just attending a wedding. When I was first asked the only real expenses I was thinking about were for my dress and a gift. I didn't consider needing outfits for each shower, bridesmaid luncheon, and the rehearsal. I also didn't realize as part of the bridal party I would be invited to so many showers where I'd need to bring a gift each time. I got lucky in that the wedding and the bachelorette weekend were local so I didn't have to travel, but for most bridesmaids that's a cost you'll have to consider. And don't forget to factor in the cost of getting your nails, hair, or makeup done for the big day. When everything was over I ended up spending substantially more than I had originally thought, luckily I have a steady income with very few expenses so it was a cost I was able to handle without having to worry about how I was going to pay for groceries one week.
  • Being in the wedding party also comes with a time cost. I work weekends which meant I had to save up all my vacation days for a year to have enough PTO for the bachelorette weekend and the wedding. This wedding fell during our most busy time at work, luckily I put in my time off request super early and my supervisor likes me so I was able to get the days off I needed. You need to consider the time the wedding falls during. If you're still in school does it fall during finals or sorority recruitment? These aren't necessarily reasons to say no to being a bridesmaid, but they are things you'll need to plan for early.
  • My bride had 7 bridesmaids: 2 cousins, 2 childhood friends, and 3 sorority sisters. Luckily we all mashed well together and I look forward to a reunion at her first babyshower down the road. But I feel like every wedding party isn't going to be so lucky. Even if you hate the other girls, you must make an effort to be friendly. If they're important to your bride they can't be all bad. If nothing else they've probably got some funny stories about the bride that you've never heard.
  • Not being asked to be a bridesmaid doesn't mean the bride doesn't value your friendship. Picking bridesmaids is a stressful process not that I'd know from experience. Maybe she wants a small wedding party. Maybe she wants only family members. Maybe she wants only people both she and the groom know well. Maybe she wants everyone to live in the same town to make dress appointments easier. I've had weekly wedding planning conversations with my friend planning her July wedding and was starting to feel a little hurt that she hadn't yet asked me to be a bridesmaid. Then yesterday she mentioned that they'd decided to not have any bridesmaids or groomsmen because they're doing a destination wedding and didn't want to add anymore stress for anyone. Bottom line is there are a million and one reasons why your bride did not ask you that don't include not valuing your friendship. The same goes for being asked to be maid of honor. 
  • Know that being a bridesmaid at times will be stressful and not that fun. You might find yourself thinking it's a lot of effort for a day that's not even about you. Just trust that the bride isn't asking anything of you that she won't be willing to do in return when it's your turn.

When it's all over make sure to grab a glass of champs and cheers!

What advice do you have for future bridesmaids? I'd love to hear about your experiences being a bridesmaid.


  1. I love these tips and (of course) all things weddings! I wrote about when "good bridesmaids go bad" when there was and still is drama in our little bridesmaid group. UGH But if she had read your tips she would've known what she was getting into BEFORE she said yes! :)

  2. THANK YOU for this post! I am going to need this soon!

  3. You definitely brought up some great points!! Being in the wedding party is a HUGE responsibility and a lot of people don't understand what it entails. You just have to keep your head up and be nice - anything you have to do for the bride! So happy to see your little's wedding went so well, y'all look great!

    Pick Your Beau


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