I’m going to be a bridesmaid for the first time this summer and don’t have a clue what this entails. I know I’ll be wearing a dress of someone else’s choosing and standing at the front of a church for a long time, but what do I have to do for the bride from now until the wedding day? Who knows? So, when I heard there was a book that would tell me all of the expectations associated with the position, I said, “Send it over!” After reading The Knot Bridesmaid Handbook: Help the Bride Shine Without Losing Your Mind, I feel like I have a lot of work ahead of me; from what I read, being a bridesmaid is practically a full-time job and I didn’t even know I was supposed to do half of the responsibilities mentioned in the book! Keep reading for five things every bridesmaid should know that I didn’t.
- Don’t say “What can I do?” to the bride. I spoke to the bride earlier this week, and asked this very question. Oops. Apparently I should have been more specific and said something like, “When would you like to have your bachelorette party?” so as not to overwhelm her with the expansiveness of a general query.
- Do introduce yourself to your fellow bridesmaids. The other day, I got a friend request from some girl whose name I’d never heard before. After looking at her Facebook profile and seeing that we share the bride as a friend, I searched my email and discovered that she’s a bridesmaid just like me. Luckily she’s one of the two bridesmaids I don’t know, so I don’t have too much more work to do on this point.
- Don’t throw the bride a surprise shower. The reason for this has nothing to do with scheduling issues or the fact that only .001 percent of surprise parties are, in fact, surprises. Nope, you shouldn’t throw a surprise shower because there will be lots of photos taken and the bride will want to look good in them. Making a bride go to a shower when she thinks she’s meeting you for pizza is like asking someone to prom an hour before the dance begins; a girl needs time to do her hair, OK?
- Do buy your undergarments before you go for your dress fitting. While this is a really logical idea, I would never in a million years have come up with it myself. I generally figure out I need a special bra the night before I wear a complicated dress, often finding myself in a quandary with improper undergarments. If you’re not wearing the same underthings that you’re going to wear to the wedding, the dress is going to fit differently. Duh.
- Don’t take off your shoes if you want to look good in photos. Supposedly wearing heels all night long will ensure that I look tall and svelte, even though I’m naturally neither. While this is likely true, I think I’ll accept a few bad photos as the reception wears on because I don’t want my feet to hate me forever. However, I will forgo my really awesome but terribly uncomfortable pair of gold heels. At the last wedding I went to, I abandoned them as soon as the dancing began.