Some traditions evolve with the times, although they are as old as time itself. When it comes to weddings, however, tradition reigns supreme. While modernizing your wedding is nothing out of the ordinary, many brides still adhere to basic traditions like having bridesmaids. Just like collecting something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue, having bridesmaids with you on your big day can provide you with all the luck and support you will need to ensure that your wedding goes off without a hitch; except, of course, that you’re getting hitched!
Being a bridesmaid is a big job. Though it may look like all you have to do is wear a matching dress and smile, belonging to the bridal party involves work that starts weeks before the wedding. Your girls will be there planning your bachelorette party, helping you select last minute decorations, and even being the last ones to leave the reception and making sure that your cake toppers are collected. Really, planning a wedding is huge, and you wouldn’t be able to do it without a little elbow grease from your closest friends. Therefore, make sure that you are in tune with their needs and keep them as happy as they are working to keep you.
Manage Your Expectations
Make it clear who is responsible for which tasks as soon as you have gathered your bridal party. Being a bridesmaid is a wonderful experience, but it also requires your friends to shell out quite a bit of time and cash for everything, from coordinating dresses, to travel expenses, to bachelorette gifts.
Take this into consideration when you ask them to do little things to help you out. Requesting help on your big day is all fine and good — it’s a stressful time—but remember that your girls will be feeling the stress, too. Remember, they are doing their best to make your big day as smooth and carefree as possible, so perhaps you should put a little extra thought into how you can thank them for all the time, patience, and money they poured into making your wedding such a memorable day.
Respect Bridesmaids’ Limitations
Just as you should make your expectations clear, make sure you respect the responsibilities that you’ve set, and do your best not to demand too much. Plus, consider taking some pressure off your bridesmaids by having a mental lists of other friends and family who can pitch in during crunch time. Perhaps your crafty cousin is dying to help you decorate, or your aunt would love to help prepare guest favors. This would not only make your life simpler, but your bridesmaids will appreciate not having yet another last- minute to-do piled onto their extensive lists.
Dress Bridesmaids Well
Don’t punish your bridesmaids for all their hard work with ill-conceived matching dresses. The days of matching one-style-fits-all dresses are a thing of the past for most brides (can you hear bridesmaids’ collective sigh of relief?), and coordinating color and style is the new normal.
No one will look good in every dress, so stuffing your bridesmaids into matching dresses will not only make them uncomfortable, but make for less natural wedding photos. Besides, they’ll never wear that dress again. Instead pick some guidelines – like color and length—and let your girls choose a dress that suits them best. Varying necklines, color tones, textures, and sashes will give your bridal party some flair and prevent your wedding from feeling like a stuffy affair.
Even if your bridesmaids are not going to look identical as you walk down the aisle, you can still channel group vibes from start to finish on your wedding day. Matching shawls for before and after the ceremony are a far better idea, and bridesmaids’ robes are a wonderful way to pamper your ladies and define your group. While your girls are being done up or hanging around, why not give them a nice lounging robe that will be perfect for photo ops as well as a great gift for them to take home
Say “Thank You”
When all is said and done, make sure you let your bridal party know how much you appreciated all their help. You don’t have to spend a fortune on your bridesmaids’ gifts to show how grateful you are. Consider purchasing bridesmaid gifts ahead of time so that you have time to consider what each bridesmaid would like. If you love the idea of your bridal party wearing your gifts to the wedding, consider purchasing something that will be loved and worn again and again, like statement jewelry or lounging robes. That way, your girls will remember what a wonderful time they had at your wedding and how much they mean to you every time they wear their gifts.
What are your secret tips for having happy bridesmaids?