Please Listen and Read
I love weddings. I enjoy watching two souls profess their love, and stand as a unit in the eye of God and the law. I’ve always dreamt of being a bridesmaid, an obsession that started when I watched 27 Dresses. Two years ago, I had my dream come true when a friend of mine got married to the love of her life and sent a postcard asking me to be her bridesmaid. Even though I was financially unable to support myself, I said YES. All pun intended.
Finally getting the time to help assist a good friend on her special day made me feel happy. Throughout the process, I quickly realised that agreeing to be a bridesmaid is like signing up for an unpaid internship. It requires a lot of money, time and effort, not just taking pictures with the bride and doing a dance entrance at the reception. I wrote this post two years ago, and it’s been sitting in the draft folder. It felt like it was time to release this post, I hope it’s quite informative. Here’s what to expect in the months leading up to the big day.
You buy your bridesmaid dress
Shows like Don’t tell the bride made me think that the bride always pays for the bridesmaid’s dresses. I was in for a rude awakening when I realised I had to cover the cost of my dress. Though some brides will cover the expenses, it could be expected that each bridesmaid pays for their dress.
Help plan and pay for the bridal shower and bachelorette party.
The maid of honour is generally in charge of the parties, but bridesmaids need to have ideas, give feedback, help decorate, assist with the hostess duties and chip in some cash. If you’re on a budget, it’s advisable to be upfront about it. There’s no shame in letting the bridal party know you’re on a budget.
Attend the bridal shower, bachelorette party, wedding rehearsal, and dinner rehearsal
You don’t have to attend every single event and the bride can’t demand you to be at every pre-wedding event. But try your possible best to attend all of them.
Put on your listening ears
Planning a wedding is stressful. The bride can’t always go to her groom to complain so here’s where being a bridesmaid come in. You need to help her relax and have fun so it’s best you go out, or stay in, open a bottle of wine if you drink and be a listening ear.
Give a shower and wedding gift
You don’t have to get an extravagant gift. You can adjust the amount you spend depending on your budget, but it would be amazing for a bridesmaid to gift something. To avoid overspending, decide how much you’ll spend on all the gifts ahead of time.
Rehearsal dinner speech
This is a job for the maid of honour mainly, you don’t have to give a speech if you don’t want to.
Help the bride with her wedding dress and accessories
Some brides are better prepared than others. My friend already knew the boutique where she would get her wedding dress. I didn’t have to tag along to a million other bridals shops with her. If the bride isn’t as organised as my friend, you don’t have to go to every bridal boutique, especially if other bridesmaids will be there. But, if the bride asks you to join her for a fitting or help her choose between two gowns, then you have to comply.
Remember – weddings are expensive and stressful, being a bridesmaid is not just a title, it’s also a job role and it can be expensive. However, it’s all worth it as you get to be a part of your loved one’s special day!