Being a bridesmaid is one thing. Being a darned good Bridesmaid is another. So here are a few tips that will make you an absolute legend before and after the wedding.
1. Prop up the scrum.
Girl, you're going to need to be there to hold things together when our dear bride gets hit left, right and centre with all the planning going on. It's her wedding, so let her plan it, but provide sage advice when you need to, throw out the old shoulder to cry on when it's needed and keep encouraging her no matter what.
The numero uno rule here is to remember it's not your wedding – it's your friend's/sisters/whoever's wedding – so remain thoughtful and considerate at all times.
2. The bachelorette party is your baby.
You know what your bride enjoys and what she doesn't enjoy, so plan the bachelorette party accordingly. And for goodness sake, plan it well ahead of the wedding. Get the guest list, phone the girls, set up the date and do the thing.
The later you leave it, the harder it will be to organise because the days leading up to the wedding are going to be frenetic.
3. Don't criticise the groom
Funnily enough, a lot of couples will bang heads about everything from décor, to the photographer and wedding invitations. And sometimes, things can get pretty heated. Your role here is to be supportive of the bride, so lend an ear, stay positive and don't criticise the groom.
Remember, she still loves the guy and she's still going to marry him – it's just that right here and right now she doesn't like him as much as she did 2 hours ago!
4. Love your dress
Now look, you might love the dress she's chosen for you, but there again, you may not want to be seen dead in it. Either way, you're going to do one thing – you're going to love it. And you're going to tell her so. And you're going to wear it with pride come wedding day. If you really don't like it you can seek counselling after the wedding.
Having said that, it is always a good idea to be a part of selecting the dress (since you will be wearing it from start to finish come wedding day). So ask her if she minds if you can be part of the process in choosing it.
5. Be there
There really is only one reason you were ever asked to be a Bridesmaid and that's because she wants you to be there for here. And she wants you to be there for her because you've probably been there in the past for her. So yes, you've earned your role. But come wedding day you'll need to pull out all the stops. So here's how you go about it.
On wedding day you: field calls for her, pack all touch-up make-up (and ensure it's closed at all times throughout the day). You make sure you know what is going on where, how and when across the board.
You are her eyes and ears throughout the day. If she needs something, you get it, or you delegate, but you make damned sure it happens (and quickly). Before she walks down the aisle you make certain everything is in place and that she looks perfect. Then you say: 'See you at the front gorgeous' and then you walk down the aisle with pride.
Not too difficult really. Oh, and when the groom or Bestman stands up and says: 'I just want to thank the Bridesmaids for the most incredible job ever,' believe me, it's going to make every moment you have spent as a Bridesmaids100% worthwhile. Okay, now it's up to you – you go girl.
What have your experience as a bridesmaid taught you? Share your tips with bridesmaids-to-be below.
Warren Williams is a specialist wedding and portrait photographer. He's also women24's resident wedding photography expert. Visit his website here, or ask him a question here.