How to be the Best Bridesmaid

You’re in a bridesmaid’s dress, so you already stand out in a wedding day crowd. Here, find some tips to make sure you don’t end up being the talk of the wedding party (in all the wrong ways).

Bridesmaid holding a bouquet

We get it: Weddings are emotional for everyone involved. But don’t let your emotions get the best of you. You may be giving a speech at some point, either at a shower or the rehearsal dinner, and even just standing beside your bride can be nerve-racking. Either way, you don’t want to start babbling incoherently during your toast, so keep your cool.

Sometimes, the cost of being in a wedding can get out of control, but that’s just part of it. Like it or not, doling out all that dough is what you sign up for when you agree to be a bridesmaid. If you think the bride is asking her friends to spend way too much money, just remember that not paying your part for showers and bachelorette parties doesn’t hurt the bride at all: It hurts the other bridesmaids, which can cause all kinds of awkward tension. Your bank account might be feeling it for a while, but so will the rest of the bridal party’s, too. So pay your part, and then try your best to live it up and enjoy the festivities with your girlfriends.

Try to make it to as many wedding events as you can. I know, I know, life is busy. But, again, the time commitment is part of what you sign up for when you agree to be in a wedding. Plus, the more events you go to, the more you’ll get to know the other people in the wedding party and the more fun you’ll have at the actual wedding.

Celebrate and let loose, but there are limits. It can be hard to control yourself at a wedding, especially one with an open bar, but don’t go crazy with the booze. You don’t want to embarrass the bride or her family (or end up on YouTube).

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Regardless of whatever wedding drama is going on, don’t talk to the bride about it. Talk to the other bridesmaids about it, or better yet, talk to one of your friends who isn’t in the wedding at all. What-ever you do, mum’s the word around the lady in white.

Maybe it’s not the one that you would have picked out for yourself, but that’s beside the point. The day is not about you — it’s about the bride. Try to find the best in the dress, and if you can’t do that, there are plenty of secondhand clothing websites where you may be able to recoup some of the expense. Either way, you only have to wear it once, so learn to smile and bear it.

With a few exceptions, everyone involved in a wedding is an adult. So, if you don’t want to be in it, just say so. It will save you a lot of time and money, and at the end of the day, the happy couple only wants people who actually want to be in the wedding standing beside them. Any reasonable bride will completely understand if you are upfront when asked, but a sour bridesmaid can ruin this special day for all involved.

You’re not the caterer, the photographer or the band: You’re a bridesmaid. Lend a hand and help out when needed, but don’t overstep your bounds. The only time you should be stepping on toes is on the dance floor.

If being Girl Scouts taught us anything, it was how to be a good bridesmaid. Be ready to serve and do the job well, especially in an emergency. From extra bobby pins to Advil, be ready for all the little hiccups that can happen on the big day. Chances are the MOH will have the bases covered, but who says it all has to fall on her? No one is perfect, and chances are she’ll have forgotten something, so be prepared to step in and offer a solution.

Remember, weddings are all about having fun and celebrating the bride and groom. Regardless of what may have gone down in the days leading up to the wedding, live in the moment and have a good time.

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