Weddings are stressful. Being in the wedding party is even more stressful. Less than being the bride but more than being a simple guest. I have heard horror stories from bridal parties but luckily have not had to personally deal with anything drastic myself. I've weighed tips from friends and done a little research to put together the ultimate survival guide. Don't be surprised when you see a little tough love delivered. I'm not holding back so be prepared if any of the don'ts or criticisms pertain to you. If you know someone who needs to read this, feel free to print it out and have them read it as well. It's a great passive aggressive way to bring bad behavior to someone's attention without being too forceful. Just don't be highlighting or underlining any of their faults if they're included. That's just asking for a fight.
5 Tips For Bridesmaids
- If you need to travel for the wedding, book your flight 45-90 days in advance. I have done a ton of research on how to save money traveling that can easily apply to wedding travel. Flights are generally at the best price range 45-90 days out. Scout out prices in advance and do it often to find the best deal. I've noticed that the close you get to the 45 day-range, the better the deals.
- Don't bitch to the bride. She is not your personal sounding board and issues you're having with anyone in the bridal party is sure to make her even more stressed. Handle the issue yourself or talk to someone else you can trust.
- Don't get wasted...at anything. I know that some things are meant to be fun (aka, the bachelorette party). But nothing good ever happens from the entire bridal party being drunk out of their minds. I'm not saying "don't drink." I'm saying be responsible. Be an adult.
- Share a room with other bridesmaids if you're going by yourself. Cramming as many people as is comfortably possible in one hotel room will help everyone save a few dollars. Pitch in on as many things together as possible so that everyone has the option to save a buck.
- Get to know the other bridesmaids. Instead of sticking like glue to the one or two you know, ask all the bridesmaids to lunch and encourage everyone to get to know each other. You'll be spending a lot of time together so why not?
5 Tips For The Maid Of Honor
- Remember that this is not about you. If I had a nickel for every MOH that made everything about them, I'd be a millionaire. You were chosen by the bride to be her third arm. Don't screw that up by making everything about you or somehow mistaking this wedding is centered around you.
- On the other hand, you are not a punching bag. Just because you are the MOH does not mean you should let the bride, her family or any of the other bridesmaids walk all over you, tradition be damned. If this is a common issue you face, be polite yet firm informing them that you are not going to be mistreated or disrespected. You'll help with anything you can but you won't stand for bridezilla, momzilla or disrespectful bridesmaids.
- Ask for help. Don't shoulder all the responsibility. That will just lead to a psychotic break. Ask the other bridesmaids to pitch in. Most will probably be helpful. Also keep in mind that all of you are on a budget. Discuss options for things like the bridal shower and bachelorette party to determine what's most cost effective for everyone.
- Be prepared the day of. Have a bag full of emergency essentials like band-aids, aspirin, water bottles, snacks, allergy medicine, makeup, etc. Prepare for every situation you can imagine and have a solution in a bag.
- Be in tune to the bride the day of the wedding. Chances are, she won't eat or drink much and she'll be exhausted. Make sure she sits down to eat something, drinks plenty of water and takes breaks here and there. The last thing anyone wants is a fainting bride because of dehydration or malnutrition.
Bridal Party Do's and Don'ts
- DO offer to help the maid of honor with anything. Even if you can't stand her or she doesn't seem to want help, offering is common courtesy. No one should have to shoulder the full responsibility that is often put on the MOH regardless of tradition.
- DON'T be cheap. I have a friend who had to front the full cost for a limo to a bachelorette party as MOH because none of the other bridal party members gave her money. If a cost needs to be split or if a cost is going to be shouldered onto one person, chip in. Nothing irks me more than people who refuse to pay and then take advantage of the people who do. Everyone has a budget they need to stick to but there is no reason to get a free ride for all the shenanigans.
- DO be cooperative and flexible. Weddings are stressful. Being difficult just makes everyone's lives harder and it's inconsiderate to the bride. We all have stories of that person who made life hell for everyone else. Don't let that be you.
- DON'T think any more of yourself than necessary. If you're the MOH, you are not God's gift to earth. If you're not the MOH but feel like you should be, don't be the jealous 'B.' There's a reason why the bride chose you for whatever she asked you to be and you should respect that. You also shouldn't make anyone feel less because of it either.
- DO support the bride no matter what. I am that friend who is ready to run if the bride decides at any given moment she doesn't want this anymore. I will get the car, no questions asked, and drive to the other side of the earth. If you notice the bride is having hesitations or is getting uncomfortable, talk to her. You'd think I didn't have to include this in the list but sadly, I do. I've heard too many regret stories that could have easily been prevented if just one person was in tune with the bride's feelings and asked her what she wanted. Be that friend.
Do you have any other tips for the bridal party? Share them in the comments below. While you're at it, make sure to check out our Bachelorette Party Gift Guide as well.