22 Things You Learn Being a Bridesmaid- Good, Bad, and Ugly

downloadIt’s wedding season and over the years I have attended more than a normal person’s fair share of weddings or been asked to be in the bridal party.

If I am not in the bridal party, for some reason, I am somehow asked to be involved in the wedding party as make-up artist, as a fill-in for someone who bailed out on a role, photographer, baby-sitter, or a driver.

I have had very easy brides who are amazing to be part of the wedding to difficult brides who are not as considerate of their bridesmaids, and a few who expect a lot from one or two bridesmaids, but the same treatment is not expected from the rest.

Once a bridesmaid, hopefully not always a bridesmaid.  But I guess you can call this a very expensive lesson of what you learn as a bridesmaid in so many weddings and a few things NOT to do as a bride.

  1. You don’t always need to go to a bridal shop to get your bridesmaid dresses. It’s a hassle to get it customized. The time is long, the dresses are expensive, and there are always issues that the dress needs to be tailored. Ladies, it’s fine to do an off the rack at Nordstrom or Macy’s.
  2. It’s OK to say no. I never knew that you could say no when being asked to being a bridesmaid. But people do say no and a good friend would understand if you have a lot on your plate.
  3. Depending on the bride, you will be more stressed being a bridesmaid than a bride. Especially if the bride is either extremely demanding or extremely indecisive.  I have not determined which is better. A demanding one knows what they want, but an indecisive one sends you for loops as they keep changing plans every other minute.
  4. It’s not always necessary to have a bridal shower and a bachelorette party. If the guest list is the same for both and you are not looking for gifts. It’s not necessary to have a bridal shower. A bridal shower is mainly to enjoy each other and open presents, if you only want cash, most people will give that at the wedding.
  5. Jack and Jill bridal showers are becoming more popular, to celebrate both the bride and the groom.
  6. Some brides will say that the bridesmaids don’t need to give a gift because they already pay enough for all their events. I still believe it’s a rule of thumb to give a gift at least equivalent to the meal that you will be eating at the wedding.
  7. Most of the time, a bride and groom will never recoup the cost of the wedding and you shouldn’t expect to.
  8. Sometimes as a bridesmaid, you get caught between family dramas when it is not your place to be.
  9. Bridezillas are absolutely the worst and some of them you would never expect to be bridezillas.
  10. There is absolutely a price on friendship. Some brides don’t consider anyone’s budget with all the events or time.  Just because someone agrees to be your bridesmaid, doesn’t mean that it’s fair that they expect you to pay that much of the costs.
  11. Ask what are the costs associated with being a bridesmaid. It can range from a few hundred to over at thousand once everything is said and done.
  12. During the process of being a bride or a bridesmaid, you can really see where you stand in the friendship.
  13. People are full of excuses. If you ask some of the bridesmaids to step-up, the ones who don’t care will literally make up any excuse possible to say they don’t know how to do something.
  14. Before you commit as a bridesmaid, you have to ask who the other bridesmaids are. Having a good group of bridesmaids can save a lot of headache because everyone pitches in.
  15. You think being a bridesmaid, you would stay friends forever, but at the end of the wedding, sometimes your friendship is severely fractured and never will be the same again.
  16. Having too many planners involved is a headache. A majority of the planning should be on the Maid of Honor. A bride cannot have “co-bridesmaids” to handle items.  If you assign a maid of honor, they are responsible for taking the lead for planning.  Once they have confirmed the plans, then they can ask for help from the other bridesmaids.
  17. All brides will say, we’ll do this for your wedding, but not all brides mean it. You are expected to be this perfect bridesmaid, but when your big day, the favor most likely will not be returned.
  18. Don’t ask a bridesmaid to go into debt for your wedding. This is a big thing that some brides cannot even comprehend.  Not everyone has unlimited funds. Before you decide to pick a $300 dress, ask what the budget is for your bridesmaids.
  19. Brides get offended over the most normal things. For example, if a bridesmaid cannot attend one event, don’t make a big deal about it if they are involved with everything else.
  20. 99% of the time, you will NEVER wear that dress again. Don’t believe them when they say that.  And if they say you can always make the dress short, it’s going to cost more than buying a brand new one.
  21. If you are doing a bachelorette party, make sure it is in a fun place where your friends are going to enjoy like Vegas. Another factor is to make sure it’s affordable and people can stay a few days.  If you plan on doing something more relaxed like a spa day, don’t ask your friends to fly to another state for a manicure and pedicure.  Do something local and cost-effective.
  22. Don’t take all the weekends before your wedding, give the bridesmaids a break, we have our own lives too.

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