I am currently in France at my best friend’s wedding. She’s getting married in a beautiful subterranean church in a little village called Aubeterre-Sur-Dronne, which is about an hour or so north of Bergerac. She’s marrying her boyfriend of about 11 (might be 12?) years and they’ve been planning this mini holiday/wedding for about 18 months now.
I was so excited when she asked me to be a bridesmaid. She was one of my three bridesmaids when I got married, so I now know that being a bridesmaid is much, much more than just walking down the aisle before her and helping her go to the loo when she’s drunk and can’t get out of her dress!
Here are my three gorgeous bridesmaid’s on my wedding day – my best friend Ann-Marie, my sister-in-law Louise and my sister Anna:
So here are my top 5 tips for being the best bridesmaid ever:
1. Ask her on a regular basis how the wedding planning is going: When I was planning my wedding, it soon became apparent that not everyone was as excited about it as me. Nor were they keen to talk about it all day every day. So it’s lovely to be able to talk to someone about the plans and any up’s and down’s you may be having, with someone who actually wants to know, and someone who can lend a hand if needed.
2. Organise the best hen (bachelorette) party ever: I think planning a hen party is almost as stressful as planning a wedding. As a bridesmaid you want your best friend to have the best time on her hen party, so there’s quite a lot of pressure to make sure you get it right. We worked really hard to find out what the bride did and didn’t want, and then incorporated loads of activities and little touches that really suited her and her personality. The end result was that she had a fantastic weekend away, as did everyone who attended. It’s certainly something we won’t forget in a while (and remember, what goes on on the hen, stays on the hen!).
3. No matter how funny you think it’ll be, don’t get her a stripper if she doesn’t want one: There’s nothing more hilarious than watching someone deal with the unwanted advances of a male stripper. Being forced to lick cream off places you’d really rather not look at, let alone touch with your tongue is not a fun experience – unless you’re the one watching this happen to a poor bride-to-be. Yes it is side-splittingly funny, but don’t be mean! We hired a Butler in the Buff which was a good compromise and it was fun for everyone.
4. Find out as much as you can about the day and the details in advance: Knowing exactly what’s happening and when will really help the bride. As a bride it’s nice not to be bothered by staff or other people asking questions about the day. You really want everything just to tick along perfectly. But when questions or issues do arise, it’s nice as a bridesmaid to be able to take time out to sort these out yourself, so the bride and groom can carry on with their day, oblivious of any problems. But you can only do this if you know precisely what’s supposed to be happening and when, and what the bride has specifically planned in her head. So get it from her head into yours and you’ll be fine!
5. Provide emotional support to those that need it: A wedding can be quite overwhelming for lots of people – the bride, groom, best man (arrrgh, that dreaded speech!), the parents of the bride and groom, and your fellow bridesmaids. So make sure that you’re ready to provide emotional support as and when needed. Try and keep the mood light and fun whilst everyone is getting ready in the morning, try to not get the bride or the bride’s mum too drunk before the ceremony starts (bucks fizz is a good thing to drink rather than champagne), and if people do start going crazy or tearful, try and calm them down and restore the smile to their face as soon as possible.
And finally, make sure you have fun too!
Have you been a bridesmaid or a bride recently? Do you have any pearls of wisdom you want to share? Did you have a particuarly fantastic bridesmaid? Let me know below!