I turned thirty this year so it’s safe to say that pretty much everyone I know (not including myself) is getting married. Don’t get me wrong I love a wedding. I love any excuse to get dressed up, have some free drinks, cry some happy tears, and dance my booty off. Weddings are the bar mitzvahs of your adult life.
My favorite kind of wedding? One in which I get to just be a guest, but don’t tell any of my friends that. It’s no secret that being a part of a wedding can be an all-consuming, money sucking, challenge to your friendship.
Over the last year I’ve been taking notes on how I can be a better bridesmaid by being conscious of my experience and also watching how other wedding days go down when I’m just a bystander. How can we be both helpful but not let it take over our free time? How can we be supportive but not walked all over? How can we come from a place of love when our bestie has turned into a bridezilla?
First things first, establish boundaries. Like any good relationship, boundaries are the key to success. In an ideal world this conversation would go something like, “I am so thrilled and honored to be a part of your special day, but you have to know I am crazy busy right now. I can only fully dedicate to you my Sundays for planning and crafting and whatever else you need.” Or something like this, because now you are being generous but also reasonable.
If you’re an out of town bridesmaid, you might have to be less hands on. Some ways to be helpful from afar might include anything digital like making a photo slide show, coordinating brunch after the wedding, helping to edit vows or speeches, or booking hotel rooms. Something to keep in mind is how many plane tickets can you afford? You might have to forgo the bachelorette party to make it to the wedding. Being upfront about this erases any animosity later down the line.
Remember, this is not your wedding. So, while your Pinterest board might be bursting with ideas and you might hate her color scheme, you have to check yourself. You can offer ideas and advice but don’t you dare try to hijack the décor just because you think you know better. If you want your ideas to be heard, come forward with a well thought out plan and present it to her in a logical and loving way. She will take what she likes and you’ll have to save the rest for the next one. The idea is to contribute but not to control.
On the Day Of, your job includes: not letting her get too drunk, escorting her to the bathroom and holding her dress while she pees, helping to navigate touchy family situations, possibly giving a killer speech, taking lots of photos, and having a fantastic time! At a certain point, the day is going to play out the way it will, so if the flowers wilt or the place settings are crooked, then just let it go and grab a glass of champagne.
Remember above all else, the wedding will end and your friend will return back to normal. Weddings can be a crazy time and as a bridesmaid it’s your job to help navigate the madness. If things get out of control, it’s also your duty to be the voice of reason. Sit her down, have a grown up chat using language that reminds her you love her, but that she is being bat shit cray. Best of luck my lovelies!
What is your favorite part about being part of your bestie’s wedding party? Tell us in the comments!
(Feature image via Plum Pretty Sugar)