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If you've just had the honour of being asked to be a bridesmaid, here's what to expect in the months leading up to the big day.
Being asked to be a bridesmaid can be a huge honour and momentous moment in your life, it can also be financially and emotionally draining so its best to prepare yourself for the huge (and great) task ahead.
Despite what the name might suggest, you are not a maid, but the role of being a bridesmaid can feel like a very demanding job and you will need to be there every step of the way for your bestie before, during and after the big day.
If you have been handed the task (honour) of being a bridesmaid be prepared to cough up some cash, sleep very little and put in an enormous amount of effort to please the bride-to-be.
Here's what to expect in the months leading up to the wedding:
This will have to be bridesmaid duty number one because regardless of what you have to do, regardless of how stressful the situation becomes your girl is going to need your support all the damn time.
Planning a wedding is stressful and a wedding can be an extremely emotional time, and the bride-to-be will need your support both during the months leading up to the wedding and on the big day itself.
Bridesmaid pro tip: There will be real tears and happy tears, fears and plenty of cheers so carry some tissues at all times.
Get your ears ready for a whole lot of listening. As we said, planning a wedding is super stressful and emotional and your ears are probably going to take a beating!
So get ready to hear your freind complain about everything from the reception venue, vendors, makeup artist, her fiance, her Mother in Law and more.
Open a bottle of wine or tell her it's time to think about something else and the wedding stuff needs to put aside for the time being. Going shopping, getting a coffee or even catching a movie will be a great distraction and stress-reliever.
And whatever you do, DON'T complain about the cost, look, colour or anything!
While some brides cover the cost of decking their bridesmaids out, it might not always be the custom.
Don't stress though there is a fine line between paying for your own dress and being left bankrupt from a dress you're likely to only wear once. It's all within reason ladies, but it goes without saying, weddings are expensive so start saving.
Bridesmaid pro tip: Establish with the bride who will be paying for the dresses and what your budgets are from the beginning. Don't leave it until the bride had found the perfect £500 dress for you then to mention your budget.
If there is a wedding to plan, there is a hen party to plan as well.
And, unlike the wedding, the hen party should be hassle-free, completely fun and full of great memories and bonding times with your besties.
While the brunt of organising a hen party will fall on the Maid of Honour, bridesmaids are expected chip in with ideas, give feedback, help organise, decorate, splash some cash and help with hostess duties as well.
Go the extra step and think about the extras – anyone can done a pink sash that says 'bridesmaid' but go the extra mile to make sure your besties hen party is extra special and memorable. Whether it's organising an itinerary, researching fun games, getting a polaroid camera or organising a fantastic hen party activity, there is always something extra that can be done.
Bridesmaid pro tip: Or you can just leave it all up to us, after all, we've been in the business of planning hen parties for more than 20 years and have over 500,000 happy customers so we can organise the ultimate hen weekend in a world-famous destination.
Our top hen party destinations in the UK include Liverpool, London, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Bristol and Brighton.
Our top abroad hen weekend destinations include Barcelona, Budapest, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Tenerife, Ibiza, Madrid, Dublin, Algarve and Marbella.
In the months leading up to the wedding, your weekends no longer belong to you as you have your friend's prenuptial commitments to attend to.
From the bridal shower, hen party, wedding rehearsal, rehearsal dinner and even spray tan and makeup trials, your weekends are fully booked for the months leading up to the wedding. Make no plans and considered yourself completely unavailable because your ass is committed to one thing only, your bestie's wedding and all her wedding events.
Outside all the rehearsals and pre-wedding festivities, you want to make yourself 100 per cent available because you never know when the bride-to-be might call you in the midst of a full-on meltdown and you need to be on her doorstep with chocolate and a bottle of prosecco within minutes.
Bridesmaid pro tip: Stock up on chocolate and prosecco and be prepared for plenty of Pinterest pinning and Instagram tagging.
Whether it's one night a week, brunch on the weekend, heading to the cinema or just a phone call, you need some time where the 'W' word is forbidden.
The bride probably won't tell you this though, so it's on you to create some non-wedding time with the bride-to-be.
No wedding talk, no stress, no planning, no bridesmaids business - it's all off the table and it's all about normal-everyday life during this time!
Everything, you will need to help with all the prewedding tasks and just absolutely everything.
You can never ask "What can I help with?" enough, so ask it one thousand times in the lead up to the wedding.
As a bridesmaid, you have the duty of helping your bride select her dress, shoes, accessories and more as well as repeating the process for the bridesmaids.
On top of this, she will also need your support in organising all the pre-wedding celebrations, invitations, wedding favours, decoration bouquets and more.
You help, you always help.
Bridesmaid pro tip: stock up on coffee and plenty of wine, it will be needed by the truck load!
And, offer to go to that bridal fair that's coming up.
No matter how big the problem may seem or how emotional the bride might be getting, 'no' and 'I don't know' are not an option.
Every problem has a solution and it will be the Bridesmaids jobs to find it and make sure there are no dramas or hiccups on the big day.
Bridesmaid pro tip: Create an emergency kit, you'll be surprised how much plasters, tissues, a needle and threat, pain relief, breath mints, hair elastics and bobby pins can make a difference.
And a chocolate, chocolate helps with everything!
The bridesmaids should be available before, during and after the wedding reception to assist the bride with anything she might need.
From makeup touch ups to helping her go to the bathroom and know how to bustle her dress...be prepared for it all.
Regardless if you learnt how to tie or button the bride's dress the night before or if you've been practicing since the fitting, just make sure you know how to bustle the gown quickly for the wedding day.
If you start to think "its all done, everything is taken care of" or "surely we've done everything", you haven't, there will always be something to do on the wedding day.
And it starts from the moment you wake-up...
If you’re not already with the bride on the morning of the wedding, head to her place as early as humanly possible and help her get ready. But also for those getting ready photos and beautiful moments like when her parents see her in her wedding dress for the first time. Ahhh, tear!!
The bridesmaids should also be able to help any younger bridesmaids and flower girls.
Most importantly, make sure the bride eats and drinks, don't take any of that "I'm too nervous to eat" or "I have the jitters" BS, your bride-to-be needs to eat and drink because no one needs a fainting bride!
Be sure to arrive at the ceremony venue at least ten minutes before the bride does so you can see her arrive and give her one final boost of confidence.
Double check the dress, hair and makeup and then it's time to walk down that aisle and get your girl married.
Make sure things are seamless and know when to collect the bride’s bouquet and hold it for her.
Sign the register, smile and pose for more photos than you've ever had to smile for before!
Compliment the bride throughout the entire day and don't forget to ask if she needs anything or if there is anything you can do for her!
Have your emergency kit at the ready and be sure you know how to bustle that dress.
When it comes to the reception, no one cares if you have to left feet or not, you will dance and you will smile while doing so. Be a hype girl if you have to, but that dance floor can't be empty!
Keep track of the wedding gifts, It’ll be of huge help when it comes to those thank-you cards. Also, be prepared to do some last-minute tidying-up or making things away once the reception is over. From presents to floral arrangements, you might find yourself with a few tasks to complete at the end of the night.
Between the bridal shower, engagement party and wedding, there is a ton of gift giving when it comes to marriage.
While as a bridesmaid, you aren't expected to buy a gift for every occasion you need to go all in for the most epic wedding gift.
After all, it is the most important one.
Bridesmaid pro tip: Team up with the bridesmaids for the ultimate buying power and get a gift that knocks the brides wedding garter off.
Once again, it should go without saying, weddings are expensive.
Before taking on the commitment of being a bridesmaid remember there are a lot of costs.
Dress, shoes and wedding attire aside, you will need to be prepared to pay for your own transport and accommodation on the night of the wedding and the hen do.
And then, there are all the hidden extras including makeup, tanning, the hen party, bridal shower and everything else leading up to the wedding, which costs plenty of money so make sure your friend's big day doesn't leave you with a big debt to worry about afterwards.
Regardless of all the tasks and expenses being a bridesmaid may bare, being by your besties side as she marries the love of her life is an unforgettable and truly rewarding experience and we know you will love it.
Being a bridesmaid is stressful enough, so let Maximise take some of the load off your shoulders and organise the ultimate hen party for your bestie.
Need help planning the ultimate hen weekend, get your free quotes here!