Being asked to be a bridesmaid is an incredible honour. If you’re anything like me – read an emotional wreck – it’s enough to bring a tear to your eye. Your best friend, sidekick, sister from the same mister has asked you to share one of the most important days of her life, and the role you play is pivotal to the smooth running of the wedding.
A bridesmaid’s role doesn’t just start on the morning of the ceremony, as you gather in the bridal suite, drinking champagne and smoothing out your curls. It begins as soon as you agree to stand beside your bride, from dress shopping, to organising a sophisticated yet laughter-filled send-off into married life. And with wedding season officially in full swing, I thought it would be a good idea to give you eight pieces of essential advice on how you can be the ultimate bridesmaid. And trust me, I’m speaking fro experience, from things I’d do again, to lessons I’ve learnt.
When it comes to the bride asking your opinion as a bridesmaid, honesty is key. When she steps out of the changing room in a dress less than flattering and asks what you think, the key is to be kind but truthful. No bride wants to walk down the aisle feelin less than amazing so it’s your job to steer her in the right direction when it comes to what suits her body shape and what doesn’t And don’t mistake honesty with having an opinion on every single thing – the secret to keeping to bride happy is to give it when asked, and not before. There’s a fine line between honest and being overbearing.
Organisation is Key
Planning a wedding can be incredibly stressful so your job as bridesmaid is to take some of that stress away and help with organising anything you can. Does your bride have a list of venues she’d like to look at? Then call around and see if you can book some appointments together. Does she need to view some dresses but doesn’t know where to start looking? Find various boutiques and make a girls day out one weekend. Your bride will no doubt have her own excel spreadsheet, but it won’t do an harm having your own too, just in case there’s anything she’s forgotten. Any excuse for a spreadsheet hey?
Wear the Dress
OK, so it might be candy floss pink, which totally doesn’t go with your freckled pale skin, complete with long satin gloves and a bonnet, but if your bride asks you to wear said bridesmaid dress, just do it. It’s one day of your life, and let’s face it, finding a dress to suit three or four different figures is an almost impossible task so let your bride choose the dress, suck it up and plant a hug smile on your face. No-one likes a grumpy bridesmaid.
Plan an Amazing Send-Off
The hen party, or bachelorette party in you’re over the pond in the US, should reflect your brides personality perfectly. If cocktails
and 80s music are your brides kind of thing, then really work that into the evening. Or if she’s more of a spa day and intimate dinner with her closest friends and family kind of girl, then make sure this is something you try to incorporate. There’s nothing worse than a bride feeling uncomfortable because there’s a naked man rubbing baby oil all over his torso when she’s more magic show than Magic Mike. Great hen party ideas include spa treatments, afternoon tea, cocktail making classes or a weekend away in a lodge complete with hot tub. I’m just organising my best friend’s send off into married life and because she loves doing some kind of activity, but something sophisticated too, we’ve organised segwaying around a beautiful castle in Yorkshire, followed by afternoon tea and dinner and drinks in Harrogate.
Surprise the Bride
So many moments of the wedding will have been organised by the bride so why not, on the morning of the wedding, present her with a gift from yourself and the other bridesmaids. British brand Wedgwood is the epitome of sophistication and whether th wedding is a country castle affair or a chic city wedding, the latest collection from iconic New York design house Vera Wang presents a plethora of stylish gift options. With the Infinity collection, for example, the braided, loop-knotted rope symbol, free of beginning or end, is to represent love’s endurance and can be found across a range of silver platedphoto frames, toasting flutes cake knife and server, and wine bottle coaster among other pieces in the range. With Love Nouveau, meanwhile, represents to gift of happiness and wealth, with opulent silver finishes and pearl detailing – and a personal favourite of mine. This range is every bit as timeless yet modern as you’d expect it to be and offers the perfect gift option for your
Managing your bride’s stress levels on the day of the actual wedding is essential so the secret is to plan ahead. Make sure all
jewellery is laid out, shoes and handbag are ready, her lipstick is safely in your clutch, hair and makeup have arrived in plenty of time and everyone knows what’s happening when. I’ve learnt to work this way when assisting – and now directing – photoshoots and having everything to hand really does save so much stress when everyone is rushing around. Another little addition which could really make the morning much calmer is get breakfast ordered and have it delivered to the room so you can all enjoy a glass of bubbly, some smoked salmon and eggs whilst waiting for hair and makeup. And let’s face it, who wouldn’t enjoy eatin breakfast in a suite as beautiful as North Yorkshire wedding location, Goldsbrough Hall, where I was lucky enough to shoot this post. Fro the stunning countryside surroundings to the iconic sunken bath, this place really is as breathtaking as it looks.
What’s the Worst that Could Happen?
Every bridesmaid worth her salt should have the ultimate emergency prep kit, designed to minimise the amount of things that could go wrong on the morning of the wedding. In my prep kit I’ll have hair pins, deodorant, white cotton and needle, fashion tape and mints. Make sure you prepare for certain situations like last minute jitters, unpredictable weather or lost items. It’s also your job as bridesmaid to make sure everything’s running smoothly outside the bridal suite, so if you’re able to, head down to the venue before the ceremony and reception, make sure table centre pieces are right, the room looks like your bride envisioned and let staff know if there are any problems to contact you directly. No bride wants an emergency phone call on the morning of their wedding to say the flowers are missing.
Enjoy the Moment
The most important piece of advice I can give to you? Enjoy every moment and make memories to last a life time. Get up and dance, eat delicious cake, wipe your tears as the couple say I do, laugh as the best man makes the room erupt with his tales of the groom, take pictures, toast the love birds, catch up with old friends and fill the room with love and happiness.