Following from our top tips on how to be the perfect wedding guest, we bring you how to be the perfect bridesmaid! This is probably far more important to get right, so follow our top tips carefully…!
By this we of course mean the bride’s dress. This is the first on the list because it is frigging important. Hopefully you live close so can help wedding dress shopping. If not make sure she has someone who can physically go and help. Be warned, it is NOTHING like the films. The first time I went wedding dress shopping I was thinking, errrr, why is Cindi Lauper’s Girls Just Want to Have Fun not playing? Where is the flamboyant sales woman? And where the chuffing hell is my bubbly?! So to manage expectations, plan in a booze and snack break. One of my friends brought us pick ‘n’ mix which was perfect as it turns out it’s exhausting telling someone how amazing they look in various ways.
Some wedding dress shops are great, but some are poncey and even charge for appointments. As with all customer service, some shops excel and you’ll leave wondering is it too much if you invite Olivia from sales to the hen do. And some you’ll wonder if part of the staff training is watching ‘The Devil wears Prada’. So, you need to be chirpy as hell and Team ‘It’s-Gonna-Be-OK’. Buying a wedding dress can be a massive deal and a LOT of money. I heard myself recently saying to a soon-to-be-bride “Ooo a grand for a dress is a bargain!” For a dress. You wear ONCE. If someone said they’d dropped a k for a dress in any other scenario I’d expect she was meeting the cast of Magic Mike.
Whatever her budget is, it’s kinda none of your business. You just need to be there to support her. Some brides know exactly what they want, some aren’t sure. So you need to be strategic with your advice. Whilst it’s not advisable to tell your mate she looks crap, it’s OK to say that’s not as flattering, or I don’t think that style/shape brings out their best features. It is the perfect scenario to gush and say how wonderful a dress is, but remember it might not be to her taste so don’t push it if she’s not comfortable. Whilst you want her to look amazing, she needs to feel like herself.
Lastly make sure you stress no dress is ‘the one’. If she gets emosh about a dress, that’s lovely. But if not, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t found the right one. Remind her ‘the one’ is her partner and it’s OK if you don’t break down sobbing at a dress or you don’t get ‘that feeling’, because um, it’s a dress. If we all did that there’d be a flood in Topshop.
The Bridesmaid Dress
Ok, now this is where it can get messy. Bridesmaid dresses are the weirdest thing ever. If you’re at any other event and someone turns up in the same dress as you, let’s face it, you’d die. But at a wedding, no no, let’s dress three, four, five people who are completely different shapes/sizes/skin tones in the same dress. And when was the last time someone told you what to wear? You were probably two or three. It’s every level of awkward. Bear this in mind and think what the bride is faced with. An enormously difficult task of finding a dress she likes that all her bridesmaids also like and are comfortable with. Mission: Impossible.
Brides can approach this in all sorts of ways, but ask if she can send photos of the dresses first and ask if you can try it on before she buys. Or if it’s online check there’s a good return policy. When it comes to choosing a dress focus on if it fits and do you feel comfortable in it. And remember it’s better to buy a dress that’s slightly big than too small and have the pressure of losing weight for it. Seamstresses can do wonders and an extra 20 quid getting it to fit properly is worth it. As for the colour and style, unless you really don’t like it, don’t worry too much. It’s OK if a bridesmaid dress isn’t quite “you”. Because it’s not your day. If you want to personalise your outfit ask if you can choose your own jewellery and make up. Reassure her you’ll run it by her so it’s on the right lines. Lastly, when she says you can wear it again, smile and nod, and maybe lend her 27 dresses on DVD. Once that dress has been all over Insta and FaceyB you just can’t wear it. Soz.
The Hen Do
This deserves a whole blog in itself. Which is handy as we have one here if you fancy checking it out. The main thing to think about here is what the bride wants and make it as special as possible for her. If you know she’s not into tacky stuff then clearly don’t go booking Butlers in the Buff. If you can, try and make it all secret for the bride and keep her out of all the organising. She has a billion things to sort out for the wedding and it’ll be a real treat to have not only all her besties together but sweet FA to think about apart from rocking up and having a bloody good time.
The Big Day
Make sure the bride has a chilled evening the night before, an early night and only a couple of drinks. Your bridesmaid duties might get revoked if the last think she remembers the night before her wedding is you chanting “Jagerbomb, Jagerbomb!”
Hopefully no dramas will happen but you need to be channelling some next level hippy vibes (minus not showering) just in case to keep the bride as calm as possible. You need to be the voice of reason when the make-up artist calls up sick the night before (“I mean, f*** it, you didn’t even like your trial anyway, right?!”)
For the wedding day, it’s time to relax and enjoy the special day your friend or relative and partner have been waiting for. Make the most of their magical day that you’ve been honoured to be a part of. Laugh, cry, eat lots, be merry and dance.
Definitely don’t get so battered you fall over, smash your face on the dance floor, spend two hours crying about it and go the brekkie with your mates rinsing you after that blog you wrote about how to be a perfect wedding guest a mere week ago…. (Face. Palm.)