This is part of a series of posts called The No B.S. Bridesmaid. This will eventually become a general category, but enjoy the series!
So you’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid in a wedding. Congratulations! Here’s what to know know before saying yes to this awesome offer of friendship.
1. Being a bridesmaid will take up way more time than you think.
You have not truly known scheduling stress if you have never been in a wedding. Trying to coordinate the schedules of several people together to try on dresses is a nightmare. You’ll have to take time off work on multiple occasions to do this and other wedding-related nonsense.
Also, since the trend now is to have everything at the wedding be handmade, you will very likely be drafted for nights of knitting Mason jar cozies and crinkling tissue paper for eternity. Clear your schedule for the next 2-14 months. If you’re a bridesmaid, you’re always going to be busy in some capacity.
2. It will take up way more money than you think.
There are so may incidental costs that come with a wedding. There are dozens that you don’t even realize exist until they’re actually happening.
For example, take parking. How much does it cost to park your car for two hours in your city? Take that number and multiply it by 6. That’ll cover you for dress fittings, alterations, the rehearsal dinner, the bridal shower, the actual wedding and the reception. That’s your template for planning out costs for the wedding to come.
This was the hardest lesson for me to learn, and my biggest source of frustration. So if you decide to do this thing, do yourself a favor and over-budget for your role in the wedding. Better to have too much money than not enough—or to overdraft your bank account paying for parking at some cake-tasting shop.
3. You will become an amazing diplomat.
Sure, everyone will tell you to say yes to everything the bride wants. But there will be that inevitable moment where she asks you set up that crazy-high centerpiece… right next to the dance floor.
You know it’s going to fall. So now you have a challenge ahead of you: How do you point out the hazard without looking like a jerk?
Situations like this are going to happen over and over. As one of the bride’s main peeps, you can’t afford to say yes to everything she wants. But you also can’t be too harsh. So you’ll have to find the middle quickly.
(Just FYI, here’s the answer to the centerpiece question: “I’m actually worried that it’s going to fall if we put it there. How about at the next table?” Emphasize your worries.)
4. You will learn far more about the bride (and her partner) than you ever knew.
Every couple has their List of Irritating Things that the other one does. Ditto for their families. If you sign on to be a bridesmaid, be prepared to stare deep into the heart of that list and come out on the other side.
For 99% of bridesmaids, this isn’t a problem. In fact, it’s kinda great to get to know a couple you love more deeply. But if you’re truly not that close with the couple to begin with, you may want to reconsider being a bridesmaid in their wedding. You’ll be saving yourself (and them) a lot of drama.
5. The other bridesmaids and you will become besties.
The whole Bridesmaid Rivalry Trope never really happens in real life. If there’s someone you don’t like or who doesn’t like you, you’ll most likely end up just avoiding each other. The more likely scenario is that you’ll walk out with some measure of friendship with the other folks in the wedding party. No one checks the evenness of someone’s boobs or re-inserts 20 of their bobby pins without liking that person at the end of the day.
Have you ever been a bridesmaid? What’s one thing you wish someone had told told you before you had said yes? Tell us about it in the comments!
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