It’s been a long time since I was last a bridesmaid – 6 years in fact – so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that I felt a little rusty in terms of performing my bridesmaidly duties. So, since we’ve been following Darren and Teagen’s Wedding Countdown journey, and now that the wedding has happened, I thought it appropriate to share some post-wedding golden rules for being a bridesmaid.
Golden Rule #1 – It’s not about you.
Let me repeat. It’s not about you. It’s not your big day, it’s hers… and theirs… and then maybe even their parents! So in the wedding pecking order, bridesmaids are a little down the line. Once you understand that the role of bridesmaid is a little more ‘personal assistant’ than ‘boss’, life is much simpler. If she wants you to be somewhere at 6am, then smile and nod and remember it’s what you’ve signed on for! She trusts you to not only be helpful but to make her feel special. After all, it is her big day.
Golden Rule #2 – Have a laugh.
What good are friends and bridesmaids if you can’t laugh together on their happiest day? Alcorn Images were preparing us for a photo when they noticed we were all doing a last-minute ‘cleavage check’… what a modest bunch!
Golden Rule #3 – Don’t stress her out.
My brother was running late. I announced this to the matching floral robe brigade followed by the instruction “don’t tell the bride”. Except the bride just so happened to be one of those in a floral robe. Rookie error. I chided myself as I watched her start to play out the flow-on effect of him running late throughout the rest of the day.
Moral of the story – sometimes it is a good thing to keep secrets from the bride, just make sure she’s not within earshot. Preventing unnecessary stress is one of the greatest gifts a bridesmaid can give to the bride. And if all else fails, grab a glass and drink with her.
Golden Rule #4 – Respect her wishes.
Every person is different and that is no exception when it comes to weddings. Each bride will have her own set of ideas about how the day is to turn out. The best thing you can do is find out what she wants, and then respect that. In this case, the bride wanted her mum to help her get ready out of sight of the bridesmaids so there would be a nice ‘reveal’ moment.
Teagen also wanted a private meeting (on either side of the hotel door) with her groom-to-be pre-ceremony. This was a little difficult for me as I really wanted to give him a hug (being my youngest brother), but respected her wishes for him to not see any of us dressed and ready. And yes, I got my bear hug post-ceremony – proud sister moment.
Golden Rule #5 – Smile her down the aisle.
This is an easy one. Smile as you head down the aisle before her… no-one wants to see an unhappy bridal party. And if you happen to get a little teary during the ceremony or reception that’s ok! In fact, it’s moving to see love and emotion expressed freely.
Golden Rule #6 – Know when to give her space.
Whilst you may be needed to fix her veil, do routine lipstick checks, or even help her get to the loo, there comes a time when a bride needs her space. Back off a little during these moments and use it as an opportunity to check on other things or simply enjoy some down time. She’ll love the rare chance to have a final moment with her Dad, or be alone with her new husband, and you’ll get to enjoy the festivities as well.
Golden Rule #7 – Go above and beyond.
Darren and Teagen’s invitations had asked guests to be there ‘with bells on’ so her younger sister (aka maid-of-honour) had arranged for bells to be hidden within the bouquets as a surprise. This was something sweet and meaningful and a great example of thinking outside the box.
Now go and be the best bridesmaid you can be!
Images by Alcorn Images