Many of us have been asked or will be asked to stand with one of our friends on her wedding day. It is an exciting thing to be invited to be a bridesmaid. We anticipate the silk or linen dress we will wear, the satin-wrapped flower bouquet we will carry, and the pure delight at dressing up and walking down the aisle. But when it comes right down to carrying out the responsibilities of being a good bridesmaid, what does bridesmaid really mean?
A bridesmaid by definition is a young woman who attends the bride. She is most often a close friend or sister of the bride or groom.
If you are given the honor of being a bridesmaid, here are some important things to consider as you endeavor to do your job well.
1. After you accept the bride's request and thank her for the honor that it is to be asked, remember to make yourself available to help with whatever she might need. The bride has a great number of things to choose and coordinate, and you being willing to help, or even being in charge of something, will be a great help to her.
2. Be supportive of the bride. Every bride is under a certain amount of stress, and your encouraging words and gestures will be a boost to her.
3. The bridesmaids often give or help give a shower for the bride. The Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor usually initiates it, but be willing to participate and help.
4. An important thing to remember is that being a bridesmaid costs money. You have to buy your dress and shoes, and often contribute monetarily to a shower or tea. Once you have accepted the request to be a bridesmaid, never complain about the cost. Consider this before accepting, but once you are in, be happy!
5. What if the dress is immodest? Oh dear, we all know someone who has had this trouble, or we have had it ourselves! If the dress is strapless or revealing and you are not comfortable wearing it, let the bride know discreetly how you feel, and ask if you could wear a bolero or shawl. Do not make a scene or cause difficulty for the bride. If she refuses to alter the dress, you may respectfully decline being a bridesmaid or you may be able to work with the dress itself to make it more acceptable. Just be sure to consult the bride before you make any cosmetic changes to the dress.
6. Keep in mind that this is her wedding, not yours, and respect her decisions and tastes. It is often beneficial to simply remain silent. Instead of having too many comments, be good at listening.
7. Be willing to work! The bride needs you -- she really does. Your efforts and willingness to do the grunt work will help make her wedding day even more special.
8. On the wedding day, be ready to set aside your personal needs for those of the bride. Offer to get her something to drink or eat as she gets ready, and constantly be aware of things she might need. Continue in the same manner at the reception. Do not be nagging, but be available and willing.