So you were asked to be a in a wedding? We're so excited for you! This experience is going to be beyond fun, but keep in mind that you're also taking on some seriously important bridesmaid duties. Although it's fun to think otherwise, there's more to your role than just throwing back drinks at the bachelorette party and standing beside the altar looking fabulous (although we highly encourage both!) From helping with the wedding planning checklist to purchasing your bridal party attire, we have 7 tips that will turn you into a kick-butt 'maid, and gain you some major brownie points with the bride-to-be.
1. Know your role.
Smile, agree, smile, nod, throw in an opinion, and if it's shot down, move on. As opinionated as you may or may not be, you are there to play the supportive, open-to-the-bride's-crazy-ideas, role. If she chose some questionable bridal party attire or picked a venue that's totally astray from your style, just go along with it! She loves it and that's all that matters. Remember what you learned as a kid? If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
2. Offer to help with the wedding planning. Too much on any one plate is the main cause of a really scary Bridezilla.
Don't wait for the bride to ask for your help, offer it! Does she need help stuffing invitations? Finding accessories? Planning the seating arrangement and keeping track of gifts? Ask her what needs to be done and let her know you're more than willing to help out. Many brides now-a-days are sending out newsletters to their 'maids stating the roles and responsibilities of each girl. If your group is having trouble establishing and/or fairly dividing projects, this might be something to consider.
3. Stay on top of your responsibilities and attend ALL events.
Don't be the girl who orders her dress too late or doesn't show up for the rehearsal on time. Whether you need to buy an agenda, put alerts in your phone, or have someone nag you with constant reminders, make sure that are you're prompt and understand deadlines. Take time off, get a babysitter, or do what you need to do to make yourself available.
4. Plan, host, and pay for the bridal shower and bachelorette parties.
I know it sounds like we're asking a lot, but when split across the whole bridal party, everything can be quite feasible! And ladies, please keep in mind the interests of the bride. Some girls may prefer an intimate brunch and wine tasting, while others go all out with a flashy night downtown. If you aren't sure what she'd prefer, ask!
5. Don't expect it to be cheap -- being a bridesmaid is never cheap.
Part of accepting your role is understanding that there is going to be a decent amount of money involved. From your entire ensemble and alterations, to gifts and hosting parties, it's not uncommon for bridesmaids to spend $600+ for any one wedding. Be aware of your financial limits and don't be afraid to express any concerns with the bride from the get-go. It's no ones fault that money is tight, and, if anything, you're being responsible.
6. Oh yes, you still need to purchase a wedding gift.
We know. You're putting your blood, sweat, and tears into being the perfect bridesmaid, but guess what? You're still expected to give a gift. Whether you do it alone, with your significant other, or as a group (which will definitely be the more reasonable option), there better be a gift on that table with your name on it!
7. Don't be afraid of the grunt work -- because there will be grunt work.
There's a ton to be checked off of a wedding planning checklist and we'll tell you first hand, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. Who else is going to hand-write addresses on all 200 envelopes? And let's not forget day-of crisis control! If personal attendants or ushers aren't available, you might have to step in when the venue realizes that they're short a table or Uncle Earl is clearly in need of a taxi ride home. Remember: the less the bride and groom have to worry on their day, the better!
Photo by: Rebekah Hoyt Photography
No bride can do it all, so be willing to help a girl out! You were chosen because you're someone that the bride loves and can count on to lend a hand. While this all might sound like a lot of work, keep in mind that you're not the ONLY person expected to help with every single task. While you should be willing to help, this opportunity is about having fun and being a part of something truly special! Don't let it stress you out.
Discussion: Do you have advice from your own personal experience? Let us know what types of expectations you had for your girls or what expectations were held for you. Leave your comments below!
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Taking Your Measurements
For the most accurate measurements, do not measure over your clothing. Your measurements should be taken while wearing undergarments similar to the ones you will wear with your dress. The measuring tape shouldn't be pulled too tight or have too much slack, and should always be parallel with the floor.
**Wedding apparel is typically sized differently than retail clothing, so keep in mind that it's not uncommon to find yourself requiring alterations.
Bust size: Wrap the tape around your back and under your arms at the fullest part of your bust (not underneath the bust).
Waist size: While standing up straight, bend at the waist to one side. Take the measurement where the natural crease happens in your side. This should be a few inches above your belly button.
Hip size: Standing with your feet together, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and butt to get this measurement.
Choosing your correct size
Compare these three measurements to the Kennedy Blue size chart above. It is very important that you order the largest size that corresponds to your measurements. For example, if your bust measures 40.5" (size 12), your waist measures 31" (size 10) and your hips measure 41.5" (size 8), we advise that you order a size 12, and get your dress altered down to custom fit your body. Ordering anything smaller than a size 12 would not fit in the bust area. Please note: Our bridal gown size chart is different than the bridesmaids sizing and is listed below.