October 10, 2016

Always the Bridesmaid

Sept 2010 - Susan's wedding 
I’ve been the Maid of Honor three times, a bridesmaid twice and I’ve already been asked to be one again next year. That brings me to a total of 6 weddings that I’ve been a part of. I sort of feel like a pro at this point! And the truth is, I've had both good, bad and so-so experiences while being in a bridal party. I know I've done my fair share of venting with friends and vice-versa but they can be a lot of fun too. The latest wedding I was in got me thinking about what makes bridesmaid duties fun and/or stressful and I thought I’d share some advice!

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Only say yes if you genuinely want to.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say that they felt bad saying no. And all I can say is, don’t. I’ve said no to being a bridesmaid before and I've never once regretted it. Long story short – the friend (now ex-friend) and I had been drifting away for some time and I didn't feel comfortable standing up as her BM given the state of our friendship. And realistically speaking, being in a wedding requires time and money, neither of which I felt willing to give. Again, because of the circumstances. So do yourself and the bride a favor by politely declining. If the position were reversed, I wouldn’t want someone to be my bridesmaid out of guilt. And if financially this just isn't in your budget, that's okay too. Just be honest.

Sept 2012 - My cousin RJ's wedding
Yes, bride.
Being a bridesmaid means you’re going to be there for the bride and her day. Whenever any of my bride-to-be friends would ask me what I think, my answer was usually this: whatever makes you happy. Because that's what it's about. It drives me crazy when I hear BMs whine to the bride (or the MOH) about the cost of everything. Yes, I do think the bride and MOHs should be mindful of everyone's different budgets. But at the same time, we should want to do something special for the bride. I can say from personal experience that I've been very proud of every bridal shower I've thrown.

Getting to know the bridal party
Most of the weddings I've been in have had 8 or more bridesmaids. In three of them, I had other friends I knew pretty well. In another, I didn't know a single person and another time I was familiar with all the girls but not quite friends. What I've learned is that you shouldn't put pressure on yourself to be buddy buddy with everyone. Obviously be open and who knows, you may get a new friend out of it. But if you don't, that's okay too. Ultimately the most important thing is all of you being there for your friend (and maybe crying together during the ceremony!).


Sept 2013 - My best friend Carina's wedding! (I was the MOH!)
For my fellow MOHs, don’t be afraid to take charge.
More often than not, the bridesmaids are just looking to you to tell them what to do. I would always send emails with updates and requests for suggestions but usually didn’t replies unless they had a question or concern. So in the end, the co-MOH and I would just plan things together, which was so much easier, and then inform the BMs later if we needed help.

Have fun and give yourself a break after the wedding
The day of the wedding goes by so fast. Even if you're up at 5am and starting to get ready by 7am, you'd be surprised how quickly it becomes the end of the night. So enjoy it! Bring flip-flops to change into later, eat as much as you can during the cocktail hour and dance with friends. And if the wedding is on a Sunday, take Monday off (I did and it was the best idea ever).

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Now that I'm officially on a break from bridesmaid duties for the rest of the year, I can't deny that I'm relieved. And I think that's ultimately why I wanted to share advice. Because I've told other friends (and had them tell me) to be myself, not to worry, that it'll be over soon and to have fun. So now, I'm sharing that with you!

Have you been a bridesmaid or Maid of Honor before?
Do you have any advice?

2 comments:

  1. I love that you've shared your tips for being a bridesmaid/MOH! (And honestly, I'll definitely be using these for my own upcoming foray into being a bridesmaid.) All of these tips are quite great advice! I'm particularly fond of the one that is generally just to remind yourself it's the bride's day, and not your own - because it really is.

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  2. Wow, Rach, you've been a bridesmaid so many times! I very much appreciate this advice - I've been an MOH once, and a BM once, and I just got asked to be an MOH again. I think your advice about not being afraid to take charge if you're the MOH is GREAT advice. Having gone through this on the bride's side now, I feel like I wished my MOH had just gone ahead and done things and just asked me later (I'm absolutely not complaining about my BFF and MOH - she was amazing! I just wanted her to take charge more!). And as a bridesmaid, I was constantly looking for someone to tell me what to do. So yeah, that is great advice.

    And yeah, the bridesmaid bitching. Le sigh.

    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! =)

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