You fell in love with the perfect, pristine white wedding dress and put down your deposit for the purchase. Very soon, you will have this beautiful gown altered to your measurements and take it home. It will stay there till your wedding day, when you finally get the chance to show it off and be a gorgeous bride. All this seems easier said than done!
White wedding dresses with their heavy fabric layers and intricate embellishments are susceptible to different types of damage. From stains to embroidered details coming loose and even yellowing of fabric, there are many things that can ruin its brand new look. This would be a huge tragedy, since it is the one dress that will aid your transformation into a stellar bride.
Being a bridesmaid for the first time is a thrilling experience. It is not to be taken lightly when you have been given the honor of being in the wedding party. This is only because the bride values you a lot, and would love to have you by her side on the most important day of her life. When you think of it this way, it can also be daunting. So, don’t be surprised if you feel nervous about donning the role.
Here are some of the most important things that you should know. This will help you to handle your role well, not have any nasty surprises, and basically understand what the bride will expect you to do. So, let’s begin!
1.The sticky issue—finances
When you agree to be a bridesmaid, remember that there are a number of expenses you have to bear. This includes the bridesmaid dress, accessories, hair and makeup, expenses for the bridal shower, and the wedding gift. The bride decides most of the outfit, hair, and makeup choices, while the bridal shower expenditure is up to the bridesmaids group.
The bridesmaid dress is one of the most expensive items on this list, and how much you spend on it depends on the bride. If you are on a tight budget, it is best to discuss your constraints with the bride beforehand, so she can keep it in mind when planning her choice. You can also volunteer to help her find the best deals and offers that will be easy on your pocket while she still gets what she has in mind. If all the expenses come to go beyond what you expected, you are entitled to go for a budget wedding gift. You can either get the bride your own wedding gift or do it as a group. We will look at this in more detail, later.
2. The bride makes the choice
Your friend, the bride, may have specific ideas about how her wedding day should be. She will also have a certain idea of how her bridesmaids should be dressed and what they should or shouldn’t wear. As a member of the bridal party, you are expected to go with them. If you are very particular about not wearing something, share your opinions with the bride. Nevertheless, it is up to her to decide if she wants to consider it when making her choice. So, if she chooses a dress silhouette that doesn’t flatter your body shape or a color that doesn’t go well with your complexion, gracefully accept it. Tell yourself that you have to go with her choice because it is her big day. Although you may tell the bride your honest opinion, don’t dwell on it, or criticize her. A bride has so many things to plan for her wedding day. So, she can only accommodate everyone’s personal preferences so much.
3. What you gift is up to you
Your being in the wedding is definitely more important than the gift you get the couple. The bride knows that you are already shelling out money to buy her a dress, paying for the bachelorette and bridal shower, all for her. So, it isn’t reasonable for her to expect a big gift. However, it is customary to give her something on this lifetime occasion, even if it is small. With a little creativity, you will have no trouble finding a gift that will mean a lot to her, without breaking the bank. It could be something handmade, so you can gift her a personal gift that doesn’t cost a fortune. Or you can volunteer your help with something that she would appreciate. In some cases, all the bridesmaids pool money together and get the bride a better gift than many small, individual ones. If you think this is a better idea, but none of the others are suggesting it, you can take it up and see whether the others would like to join you. You will also be expected to give her a gift for the bridal shower, and this will mostly be opened up in front of all the attendees. So, make sure it is something that the bride will love.
4. Planning the bachelorette party and bridal shower
Although it isn’t compulsory, it is usually the bridesmaids who throw the bride a bachelorette party and a bridal shower prior to the wedding. The entire bridal party works together to plan these events, and usually, the Maid of Honor approves the final plan. The idea behind having such parties is to ensure that the bride has a great time and likes the way it is set up. So, offer your suggestions to the group on what you think the bride would like. If the bride has, at any time, shared her ideas of what a great party means to her, discuss this with the rest of the group. Finally, it should be a function that reflects her personality and choices. You will also be expected to work hard on the décor, food, and arrangements so it goes smoothly. Be prepared to run around, make arrangements, and help to make the events a success. Both the bachelorette and bridal shower are usually held within a month or two before the wedding. Discuss the dates in advance and make sure you are available on the day. Also, since you will be contributing to the expenses, make sure that you are comfortable with the budget and be ready to pay the expenses that are expected from you.
5. Be there to support and help
Weddings can stress out even the most easygoing bride. The bride will have a million things to handle, and it isn’t uncommon for her to feel emotional, angry, or upset while planning the wedding. As her bridesmaid, you can ease her tension by offering your help when possible. Whether you choose to help her complete her responsibilities or are there to support her when she is feeling down, make sure she knows she can count on you. Volunteer your help for whatever you can assist her with, and help her stay positive and happy. Do not complain or criticize, but offer constructive suggestions. Nevertheless, remember that she may or may not take them, and don’t be disappointed if she doesn’t. If she asks you for your opinion, provide honest feedback. If you come across good ideas or inspiration you think she may find useful, share it with her. Overall, ease her responsibilities by pitching in with help when possible, and she will appreciate you being on her team.
6.Understand your responsibilities and perform them well
Bridesmaids have an active role prior to the wedding, and on an actual day. Usually, the bride or maid of Honor will delegate duties that each bridesmaid has to handle. Prior to the wedding, your duties include attending the dress selection, buying the dress, getting it altered, and collecting it on time. On the wedding day, you will have to get dressed, help the bride get dressed and attend to jobs that are designated to you. Make sure that you are available and enthusiastic to handle any task assigned to you. Have everything you need to get ready for the wedding and handle your jobs responsibly and punctually. At the wedding venue, the bride may turn to you for last-minute help or assign new duties. Accept them gladly and do your best. If you are in doubt, consult the Maid of Honor, or bride herself, and plan accordingly. Remember that you aren’t a regular guest at the wedding, instead, you have a very special role. So, try to live up to the expectations of you.
7. Be there for the different wedding events
Bridesmaids are expected to be present at all the important events leading up to the wedding. This includes the bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and any more events that the bride or Maid of Honor notifies you of. Once you sign up to be a bridesmaid, keep your calendar ready to accommodate these events. Unless you are far away from where the events are held or have a commitment that you simply cannot miss, don’t forge excuses to keep yourself away. You will have to work with the rest of the girls to plan the bridal shower and bachelorette and be prepared to assist the bride with planning the rehearsal dinner if required. It will also be nice if you can accompany the bride to her vendor appointments or dress fittings if she asks you to. A little help can go a long way in making your friend happy, and it will be fun too to be involved in something so exciting. Now, if you are a junior bridesmaid, it is possible that you will be excused from the bachelor party if the plans are not suitable for your age. In such a scenario exit gracefully, and only engage in tasks that are expected of you.
8.Learn to compromise, adjust and work in a team
All the members of the bridal party are important to the bride, and they will all have a role to play in the wedding and events before it. So, you may have to deal with people you are unfamiliar with or don’t get along with. Compromise and make adjustments when necessary, and don’t be too stubborn about everything. If there is something that is genuinely concerning you, discuss it with the Bride or Maid of Honor, and they should suggest a practical solution. The bride trusts you to do things in her best interests. Don’t be a drama queen and be a good team player, so you can all help the bride have the wedding she wants. Don’t get into fights or arguments, as this can make the entire party uncomfortable. Help each other out where possible, and things will be a lot easier for both the bride and for all of you.
9. Follow the bride’s instructions
The bride or Maid of honor is responsible for delegating duties and responsibilities. Try to be a good friend and follow them. If you are expected to hold the bouquets in a certain way or be in a specific place after the ceremony, take note of it and follow these instructions. The bride may need your help to go to the washroom, for bustling her dress, fixing an emergency situation, or touching up makeup, so don’t get lost at the time she needs your assistance. All the same, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have fun at the wedding. By all means, do! Just be aware of the needs of your bride and be available when she needs you to help. If you aren’t sure of what you are expected to do, ask, and find out.
10. Be pleasant, friendly and approachable at the wedding
Guests look up to the bridal party as the hosts of the event. So, you may be asked questions and asked for assistance. Take up the responsibility of helping those who wish to know something. Be pleasant and welcoming, and you will be a fantastic bridesmaid. Try to help those you come across feel comfortable by chatting with them or getting them to meet people they can mingle with. Invite people to the dance floor and ask if there is anything you can do to help those who seem to need it. Spread the joy around and you will feel just as happy as you make the people around you feel. Plus, your friend will appreciate your efforts to make her special day extra-special.
Are you a first-time bridesmaid? If so, do tell us what you look forward to at your friend’s wedding? And for those of you seasoned bridesmaids, tell us how you have evolved from a novice to an expert over the many weddings you participated in.
Best for Bride brings you designer bridesmaid dress collections in sizes ranging from 0-34. Visit our online store to see the variety of stock we carry and make your choice from the thousands of choices we have to offer. We are sure you will not be disappointed.
Weddings are big events, and big stress is an unavoidable factor when events this big. Even if you will be having an intimate wedding with just family and close friends, you will still have a lot of planning to do. And, unless you have previously been involved in planning an event with as many details as a wedding, there will be moments when you will feel totally stressed out.
There is only so much a bride can do to prepare for such scenarios. Nevertheless, any challenge can be tackled, if you are calm, organized and refuse to succumb to pressure.
Here are ten tips that will help you navigate the unexpected, or at least prepare in the best possible way for it.
1.Insure your wedding
Most couples overlook the importance of wedding insurance, as they are already operating on a tight budget. Nevertheless, it is a worthwhile investment, when you think of the potential mishaps that can throw your wedding into chaos. You will be working with most vendors for the first time ever, and even those with sterling reputations can disappoint or cancel at the most inopportune time. If you have a long engagement, things may change from the time you booked your venue to the actual wedding day. Then there is the weather factor; one of the most unpredictable problem-makers in the wedding world. Instead of worrying about what might go wrong on your wedding day, it is always best to have a safety net. This will help you relax, since you have a back-up and your money will not be lost, should anything unplanned happen.
There are different types of wedding insurances, and you can choose one that suits your budget and needs. Either have the entire wedding insured, or insure only those aspects that are expensive or prone to problems. So, if a blizzard comes along, or your wedding jewelry loses a gem, you can reschedule, replace or re-organize for a minimum difference in cost.
2.Do your lists digitally
Some brides prefer to do everything the pen and paper way, but this is tedious, time-consuming and error-prone. We think it is best to start all your wedding planning with a suitable wedding planning app. Else, designate a folder on your desktop for all your wedding planning. This will allow you to collate all the information in a single location and this minimizes the stress later on. Google allows you to organize your various documents, and with its many options, is one of the most streamlined ways to plan every aspect of your wedding. This article on the Huff Post suggests creating a Google doc with your potential guest list and all other details pertaining to it. What a brilliant idea! It is much easier this way, and you can add not just the names, but addresses and even RSVP details later, in a single place. Cloud sharing allows you to share this list with all those who are involved in the planning, thus making the entire process very efficient.
3.Take small breaks from wedding planning
You know how it is when you are planning a wedding, when you are either working or planning, planning and planning! Avoid overwhelming yourself this way. When you put together your wedding planning time-line, make sure to incorporate breaks from all the wedding planning. This will help you focus and get back to it with full gusto, after you rejuvenate yourself. If you have a full-time job, it is a good idea to take a day or two off work just to relax. And absolutely no wedding planning during those days! Plan a date with your fiancé instead! Unless you fuel your romance during your engagement, you will miss the best time of your relationship running behind details and not enjoying what you should be doing, at the time. Try to have at least a few normal weekends with friends and family and catch up on some well-deserved couple time. Your wedding stress will naturally reduce, as you will not be burning yourself out.
You may believe that you are perfectly capable of handling everything yourself, and we think you are too! Still, consider hiring help for some, if not all wedding tasks. This is just so you aren’t overloaded with responsibilities, and planning is actually fun and not tiring. If you plan to DIY things, do not exceed what you can manage within the available time. Remember that you will be doing everything on a large-scale. So, account for the time, effort and resources that will go into a task. When you overburden yourself, you will not have the time or energy to enjoy your wedding day, and that wouldn’t be fun. So, divert a part of your budget to hire help. For a smooth wedding day, you should definitely consider a day-of planner. And, if you have the budget, and aren’t obsessed about micro-managing everything at your wedding, consider hiring the services of a wedding planner, or at least a part-time planner for some aspects.
5.Have someone else hear the speeches
Many brides look forward to the wedding toasts and speeches, but are equally worried about inappropriate things being said or a speech being long and boring. However, listening to the speeches yourself is not a good idea, as it can ruin the surprise for you. To save yourself any worry, ask someone you trust to hear the speeches and tell you if they sound fine. Your maid of honor or mother, or someone who thinks like you do, can do the job. Provide a crisp set of guidelines of what to look out for, so they can analyze whether the speech is fine or not,. Then, leave it to them. This will be one less thing for you to worry about, and you can relax trusting that the speeches will be great, and not to mention New!
6.Plan the day before
Just like you plan every detail of your wedding day, plan the day-before as well, and you will find things progressing smoothly. There are a number of things that you should do on the day before your wedding. This includes setting out your dress and accessories, checking on your bridesmaids and vendors, finishing last-minute arrangements and finding time to relax. The day before can be very stressful, as there will be many arrangements to attend to. So, rather than go through the day attacking things as time allows, create a checklist and it will save you a lot of stress. List all the tasks for the day, and schedule in time for each of them. Also add some buffer time, so you can catch up on any last-minute needs, or finish off tasks that take longer than anticipated. Most importantly, you must find time to relax, catch your breath and sleep well on this day. So, if you have your rehearsal dinner on the day before your wedding, make sure you wind it up in time to get home and rest well. We also suggest that you take a look at this previous post of ours, and plan the day before your wedding day based on it.
7.Plan the day-after
You won’t believe us when we say that your wedding day will be over before you know it. Despite all that intense planning and the hundred things you took time to perfect, you will find your wedding day fleeing by. Before you know it, your wedding day will flee, and it will be time to busy yourself with what has to be attended to after the wedding. Make sure to relax and find time to dwell on the memories of your special day, while you can still remember it, by planning a relaxed and laid-back day-after. While planning the your wedding day details, also find time to sort out the things that should be done soon after the wedding. You will have to send your wedding dress to the dry cleaners, pay wedding vendors and do things like taking home the gifts you received at the venue. We think that this suggestion on the GalTime blog of making arrangements for a late hotel-checkout and booking a car service to the airport, is very sensible. It will allow you to relax before you go for your honeymoon. Make arrangements for these activities in advance, and you will not have to buzz around after the wedding worrying about them. Instead, you can enjoy time with your spouse.
8.Tackle things as early as possible
The days leading up to your wedding will be chock-full of tasks. It may be tempting to put aside some of them for later, so you can relax a bit. But, remember that the pile is just going to grow. As long as there are pending things to complete, you cannot relax. So, do everything in small installments, as and when possible. It is productive to create a list of tasks you must handle, and cross them out as you complete them. Not only will this give you a feeling that you have made progress, it will also get things done faster. One thing you can start with before the wedding is, writing your thank you notes. This is easier to do bit by bit, than when you attempt it in a single go. Start writing your thank you notes as and when your gifts arrive, and it will take you less time to complete. You may even find it relaxing and enjoyable. This previous post on how to write your thank you notes may be useful for you.
9.Choose assistants for everything
Wedding planning can be exhausting, when you attempt to do it all by yourself. Always asking the same person for help may also affect the overall productivity. The better option is to ask the right people to assist you with each relevant aspect. Working with different teams will allow you to relax and enjoy the experience better. You will have family and friends who are eager to help with the wedding. So, take a short while to think of who could best assist you with each aspect of the wedding, and ask them for their help. If one bridesmaid is particularly organized and systematic, she can help you plan the logistics of ordering, altering and getting your bridesmaids dresses delivered on time. If you have a friend who has a great taste in colors, prints and patterns, she can assist you in choosing the right wedding colors, prints and patterns for your décor. So, find out each person’s strengths and make the most of it, so your wedding planning is less hectic.
10.Have a go-to person who knows just as much about the wedding as you do
Trust us, this is a huge stress-buster. This could be your mother, Maid of Honor or even wedding planner. The person you choose for this role should know everything about the wedding, just as much as you do, so they can be the alternate point of contact. You can direct people to this person, whenever needed, and you can focus on other tasks instead. This article on the Bridal Guide also suggests that you hand over your cell phone to this person on your wedding day, so she can do a complete job of handling any last-minute needs from the vendors or guests.
Hopefully, these tips will reduce the stress on the days leading up to the wedding, and on the day itself. Every bride will have moments where she is overwhelmed with worry and bothers that things will not go as per plan. Should this happen to you, just relax, take a deep breath, and take a look at the big picture. Everything will then fall into place.
For more wedding day tips and advice, and for all your wedding shopping needs, keep visiting Best for Bride—your one-stop destination for all needs bridal. We have everything from bridal dresses to attires for the wedding attendants, party favors, décor, wedding cakes, invitations and more to help you plan the perfect wedding day.
Once you wear your wedding gown on your wedding day, your transformation into a bride is almost complete. There are few things left to do now, before you walk down the aisle. But before you step into your dream wedding dress, there are a couple of things you should first complete. This is what we will look at today. Here is a list of must-do’s before you finally wear your bridal dress, and are ready to walk down the aisle.