Bridesmaidzillas??!! Yes, dear reader, they do exist so brace yourself. Thankfully, they are few but it’s a reality of weddings that no one really talks about. Suddenly, your best friend since kindergarten is not the loving, supportive attendant but a self-centred b* trying to upstage you, complaining that your choice of dress color is “cheap”. Just what every bride needs to deal with.
Here, then, is my open letter to bridesmaids, in my effort to banish Bridesmaidzilla to the deep depths of wedding lore, where she, Bridezilla and Groomzilla can scrap it out whether it should be the chicken or the fish…
Thank you for agreeing to stand up for your friend/sister on what is likely the most special day of her life. It’s a huge honour as it means she cherishes your friendship and believes that she can rely on you to support her in all her wedding preparations. It’s an exciting, emotional time not only for her, but for you as well. She’s relying on you to be there for her in more ways than one.
Being a bridesmaid is a lot more than just showing up in a pretty dress and holding some flowers for photos. A LOT more. If you’re not up to the task, do everyone a favour and decline. Seriously. An unsupportive attendant is the last thing a stressed-out bride needs. Your job is to reduce her stress level, not add to it.
- Your #1 job is to support the bride. The wedding is not about you so don’t try make it so as you’ll do nothing other than tick everyone off and look desperate for attention (soooo not flattering).
- Being a bridesmaid has costs associated – yes, you are expected to pay for the dress, for the shoes, the jewellery and accessories as well a shower gift. If you cannot afford it, let the bride know upfront. Open communication is the key to keeping things amicable. Moaning about the dress pricing down the road just plants seeds of discontentment in the garden of friendship.
That said, do NOT complain about the bridesmaids’ dresses/color/decorations/flowers. If the bride asks you to go along during initial scouting sessions to give opinions, then do so but if it’s a done deal, smile and suck it up, buttercup. The bride is happy with her choice and you should be too. Snide, catty comments from you, her gal pal, about something she has spent countless hours planning will only make the bride miserable. Keep your thoughts to yourself and be gracious. Make “WWJD” (What Would Jackie Do) your mantra (ahh, Jackie O, you are missed).
- Plan a bridal shower and bachelorette party. Doesn’t have to be a girls gone wild weekend in Vegas but something that everyone involved can afford and will enjoy.
- Offer to help out. Don’t just say ‘what can I do’ or expect the bride to come out and ask. Be proactive and offer specific tasks (ie. “Can I help you stamp and stuff the wedding invites?”). Remember, you are expected to pitch in and lighten the bride’s work load.
- Attend as many pre-wedding parties as possible.
- Help keep track of who gave what shower gift so the bride can send out the thank you notes.
- At the rehearsal dinner and wedding, be the hostess with the mostess. You are representing the bride to her guests so be charming, be nice and smile.
- Be ready on time. Again, this is not about you so don’t hold up the day ’cause you couldn’t get it together or are playing some passive/aggressive game.
- Help with set up/tear down of decorations, etc. Expect to be the last person to leave the wedding, not the first. Your job is to make sure everything is squared away at the end of the night so the bride and her groom can enjoy themselves.
- If there is a wedding planner, play nice. She is not there to usurp your position nor is she there to take on your bridesmaid’s duties. You’re all on the same team and are all trying to make the day the best possible. Leave your ego and any latent resentment at the bride for hiring a planner at the door.
- Get up and dance. Once the floor opens, be the first to kick up her heels. The rest of the guests will follow your lead. An empty dance floor is the kiss of death to any party so make sure there is always someone on it.
- Don’t drink like a fish. Remember the wedding where the ‘maid ended up under the table and people are still laughing at her? ‘Nuff said.
- During the wedding, be aware of what’s going on. See something that needs fixing, do it. Try to minimize asking the couple to make decisions. Be proactive (within reason) and take care of small issues. If a decoration is falling down or the buffet is needing more food, talk to to the appropriate vendor.
- And most importantly? Have fun. Smile and make an effort. Be there for the bride and show her the hard work and fretting over the blue or the green napkins was all worth it.