Being A Bridesmaid – What You Need to Know | by Randi Fracassi
Being a bridesmaid (or bride’s man!) is exciting, and an honor. The bride picked you–whether you are a family member or one of her closest friends, you get the privilege of standing beside her and her honey on their wedding day to help celebrate their marriage.
It’s easy to say “Yes! Of Course!” right off the bat upon being asked or proposed to. But, before you heartily accept the position, there are quite a few obligations and things to talk about to make sure you’re on the same page as the bride.
Let’s talk about the most important things to think about before and after you give the bride that “Hellz, yeah!”
As a bridesmaid, there are numerous events and invitations you’ll have to respond to–and that’s not including the showers and a rehearsal. More often than not, the bride is going to ask you for your advice on all kinds of things. She’s going to ask for your thoughts regarding everything from decor to colors, fabrics, and hairstyles. You may even get recruited for crafting help!
Although these things may or may not be of an interest to you, there’s a general expectation that because the bride reached out to you and values your opinion, you should take the time to respond and participate.
Outside of the time assisting with planning, there is an unspoken expectation to attend any and all wedding events. The bachelorette party, bridal shower, rehearsal and rehearsal dinner are certainly mandatory. You may also be asked to attend trips for dress appointments, or send photos or video of dresses tried on.
Carving out the time in your schedule to attend events, or letting the bride or hostesses know of your inability to attend in a timely manner is not only considerate, but a must. This will prevent hurt feelings and preserve your relationship with the bride.
THE DRESS, AND HOW YOU LOOK
Speaking of apparel…
With the trend of having bridesmaids pick their own (on-theme) dresses, you have a relatively good chance of ensuring that you get to wear a flattering dress (or not-a-dress!). However, the bride DOES get the final say on what you wear and how you are presented, as you will be heavily photographed on the wedding day.
That said, talk over the details of your appearance with the bride beforehand. Let her know your comfort level, and what would be ideal for you. Examples would be preferring to wear a complimentary pant suit, rather than a dress. Or perhaps having your tattoos exposed, rather than covered in makeup.
While most friends are understanding and may predict these needs or requests before they ask you, remain cautious and follow the adage, “Expect the worst, hope for the best.”
According to sources like Weddington Way and Bustle, the average cost of being a bridesmaid today is between $1,000 and $1,500. Not all brides will insist on a financial commitment that large, of course. But, when you break it down to an average of:
- $250 for a dress
- $100 for a (wrapped) shower gift
- $100+ to go towards the bachelorette party
- $300 for traveling
- $150 for hair and makeup
…the expenses can add up quickly.
If you struggle with procuring funds, be honest and up front with the bride about it before you accept the offer of being a bridesmaid. It’s awkward having the money conversation, but being genuine with your friend from the outset about what you would be able to commit to the day will go a long way in avoiding or preventing hurt feelings.
Whether or not money is a little tight for your bridesmaid budget, definitely keep track of what you’re spending throughout your bridesmaid experience. Let the bride or Maid of Honor know when things are getting a little out of hand! Don’t be discouraged from being the voice of reason in the midst of the wedding-spend craziness that can often occur. Speak up about frivolous spending, or if something seems off (as in, noticing that your contributions aren’t going to the things they were intended for).
Be understanding and open with the bride about your ability to commit to being in a member of the bridal party! Stay true to yourself throughout the process, while still being there for the bride. It’s okay to say no, and to question. But, also keep in mind that this is not your wedding, so there are some things that you will have to comply with despite your personal tastes.
Above all, expect though to have an amazing time with your soon-to-be-married bestie. Just enjoy being there by her side throughout the process!