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How to be a good bridesmaid, let me count the ways…

In the last year, I was in 3 weddings – two of which I was the Maid of Honor (MOH) and the other a bridesmaid who guided the MOH since she had never been one before. I just got a message from someone who is returning the favor as MOH in her best friend’s upcoming wedding. She said that the future bride was such a wonderful MOH that she wanted to make sure she did anything and everything to make her big day as special as her own. She asked me for tips and that got me thinking. So here are some tips for bridesmaids and MOHs to keep your brides happy:

1. Do unto others. You have all heard this before. Treat others as you want to be treated. This is not the easiest thing to do because you may not be the needy type or as laid back as your bride. The thing is that you are in the wedding because you are one of the closest friends she has. I would assume that you know her pretty well and know what she would want. So maybe I should say “do unto others as you think they would want.”

2. Have a sturdy shoulder. This is a very stressful time for brides. They want everything to be perfect. No doubt, something is bound to go wrong. But don’t tell her that! Your job is to reassure her that everything is going to be beautiful and flawless. If something does come up, take care of it – especially on the wedding day. If at all possible, make it so that she never knows anything ever happened. Sometimes things are out of your control and you may need to inform the bride. But if it is something simple like the photographer needing help rounding up the bridal party for photos, step up and help. When she is in the planning mode and is crying because the flowers aren’t the exact shade of pink that she wanted, be there for her. It may seem silly to you at the time, but to her it is a big deal. She has been envisioning how her wedding will be and when that is altered, it can be the straw that broke the camel’s back. It may not even be about the flowers. The point is, just be there for her. After all, you are one of her closest friends and that’s what friends are for.

3. Community Service. Offer to help with anything and everything – frequently. Even if you hate crafts, offer to help with the handmade favors. Even if you have only 1 free hour in an entire weekend and you could really use a nap, offer your help. If she hasn’t already, she will be in your wedding someday. You’d want the offer too. On the same page, ask how the planning is going. Make it a point to ask her when you talk to her. She’ll appreciate the fact that you are thinking about her even if you have to write it down to remind yourself.

4. Ask about dresses before you go shopping. Imagine going into a bridal shop to look for bridesmaids dresses and the bride pulling out a gown that is awful. Your immediate response might be to laugh and say, “Yeah, that would be a good one” in that sarcastic tone. But this is the very same dress she has had plastered all over her wedding binder for months because she absolutely loves it. This is why it is good to ask what she has in mind before beginning the search. If she wants a certain color that you know makes you look so pale you might as well have been hibernating in a cave for the last 3 years, suck it up. It is her wedding. You can always go to a tanning bed or get a spray tan if you are that concerned about it. Now, if she is not set on a specific color, you can politely suggest another color that may be more flattering to everyone. But be careful of wording because it isn’t about you.

5. Party!! Throw her the bridal shower and bachelorette party of her dreams. If you know she loves tea parties, throw a traditional tea party brunch for her shower. If she loves to dance, take her to a dance club to boogie down all night for her bachelorette party. Again, this is not about you and what you want. This is for her. Again, she’ll most likely do the same (if she hasn’t already) for you. I would definitely ask the bride what she has in mind for those two parties. While you are planning it, she may prefer something more casual to a fancy brunch for her shower. Don’t hire strippers without checking on the “policies” for the bachelorette and bachelor parties. If she has said no exotic dancers (I should probably use the PC term. After all I don’t discriminate, make that money!), then her future husband may be a little upset if she has men shaking their thingies in her face.

If you haven’t gotten the gist of this whole post, I will reiterate. Do what you think she wants you to do. If you are not sure, ask. And overall, just be a good friend. Don’t over think it. She’ll most likely ask for help if she needs it, but be there for her. The day is going to come and go just as fast for you as it does her. So enjoy it and be honored that they asked you to be there for them on their big day.


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