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So your best friend just got engaged and she’s asked you to be a bridesmaid. Yay! Well…maybe. Being a bridesmaid is exciting and fun, but it can also be stressful and a little overwhelming, especially if you aren’t sure what your responsibilities are. To give you some idea of what it’s all about, here are six things you’ll probably need to do as a bridesmaid. We have also added six ways you can go the extra mile and learn how to be the best bridesmaid ever!
Help! I’m a Bridesmaid! How to be the best bridesmaid ever
1. Ask the bride!
This isn’t just a disclaimer, it is fundamental! Ask the bride what she expects from you as a bridesmaid. Make sure she knows that she can contact you for help with anything. Try to get an understanding of what she has in mind first so you can adjust your expectations. In some cases it might be a good idea to find this out before agreeing to be a bridesmaid, to ensure you have the time and money to dedicate to the task.
Be the best:
At the start of wedding planning, your friend might not even know where to start with wedding planning or what it is she expects or needs from you! Help out by doing your own research first (reading this article is a great start!) and give her some concrete examples of things you are able to help with. Try offering your email address and phone number as the RSVP details on her engagement party invitations so guests can contact you about whether they’ll be attending or not. This will save her having to deal with that. Making an offer like this (or something similar) shows that you are on board and thinking about what needs to be done. Let her know that you understand the commitment is more than just showing up to the wedding in a pretty dress.
2. Buy the bridesmaid dress
As a bridesmaid, you will likely be expected to pay for your bridesmaid dress, shoes, jewellery, and maybe even your hair and makeup appointments on the day. While some brides are extra generous and will shout you for some of these things, you should definitely set aside a little cash for it. Chat with your bride about what she has in mind so you can determine the price range to be prepared for, and then be ready to pay when the time comes.
Be the best:
Be prepared to help the bride choose bridesmaid dresses and accessories, but be as accommodating as you can. Don’t make a fuss if you hate the dress or it isn’t your colour, and don’t try to make things about you. Give your honest input if it is asked for, but don’t make the bride’s job difficult! Planning a wedding is hard! The exception to this is if the bride is selecting a dress that is well outside a reasonable price range (eg. several hundred dollars for a dress might be excessive).. It is definitely acceptable to let her know you are going to have difficulty affording it, and let her decide whether to stick with it and make up the difference or find something else.
3. Go to everything
One of the most important aspects of being a bridesmaid is offering support, and unless there is a very good reason (props to all you long-distance bridesmaids!), this requires you to actually show up! Find out key dates as far in advance as possible, and do what you can to be there for them. This includes the engagement party, the wedding (duh!), wedding rehearsal and other events. This applies most of all to the wedding, of course. Unless you are in hospital, incapacitated, there’s really no excuse for missing the wedding.
Be the best:
Take it upon yourself to be a sort of behind-the-scenes host when it comes to wedding-related events. Help the bride with the planning before the day. Get there early and help set up. Make sure there is enough food out and that everyone has a drink. Talk to the Aunty that’s sitting by herself and looks a little out of place. Hit the dance floor first to encourage others to get into it. Your energy and support will make all the difference and truly cement you as the best bridesmaid (and friend!) ever. Plus, it’s good practice for the wedding day, when you need to be the bride’s eyes and ears for problems so she can focus on enjoying herself.
4. Throw the bridal shower/hen party
This one is a step above just showing up! The bridesmaids, led by the maid of honour, are usually expected to throw the pre-wedding party for the bride. Usually this is either a bridal shower or a hen party, depending on the preferences of the bride. Sometimes the bride wants both, in which case she will likely designate one to you. The bridesmaids are usually responsible for both the planning and the financing of the event, but this depends on the expectations of the bride.
Be the best:
Know your friend and what makes her tick, and communicate with her about what she wants the party to be like. Don’t be that friend that invites strippers to the party with her religious family, or forgets to buy alcohol for the shower of a bride that loves to party. Remember that the party is for her, not for you, even though you are the one planning it. Try your best to make it a day that she will love! For best results run everything by her to make sure she likes the sound of it, but keep one or two meaningful surprises up your sleeve to really blow her away.
5. Help the bride with everything
Okay, this might seem a little obvious, but this is the most important part of being a bridesmaid! Find out what your friend needs help with, and help her! You don’t actually need to help with everything, of course, but be willing to help with anything! This might mean taking responsibility for addressing wedding invitations, helping her choose wedding flowers, or listening to her rant about a disagreement with the groom. Be the person she can bounce ideas off or take along for a second opinion. This should pretty much be second nature if she’s your best friend, but it’s kind of official now, in your role as her bridesmaid.
Be the best:
Find out what is stressing the bride most and see if you can take it off her hands for her, or at least help her out. Is she freaking out about choosing the right photographer? Offer to do the research for her and come up with a few good options to make the choice more simple. Does she have to DIY bonbonniere for 200 guests, but she has no idea how to work a glue gun? Take some home with you to do while you watch Game of Thrones, or offer to come round and spend the day marathoning the craft.
6. Make a great speech
If you’re the maid of honour, you get the pleasure of making a speech at the wedding reception. Usually this speech is focused on the bride, your friendship, and how happy you are for her to be marrying the love of her life. When you’re writing the speech, keep in mind that guests at the wedding will include the bride’s new in-laws, some of whom she will be meeting for the first time. There might also be other special guests, like her boss or an important client. Make sure the speech is appropriate, not embarrassing. This is absolutely not the time to roast your friend! Don’t hit the champagne before giving the speech, either. Be on your best behaviour, basically, and show your friend in a positive, loving light. Let everyone in the room know how much you adore her, and why.
Be the best:
After the wedding, give the bride a beautiful copy of the speech as a gift. It might be carefully handwritten or typed up, framed or on loose paper she can scrapbook or put away in a memory box. You could also include a favourite picture of the two of you, perhaps one taken at the wedding. This will be a great memento of the wedding day as well as of your friendship, and will remind the bride of all your support and love during the months of planning.
So now you know how to be the best bridesmaid ever. Wedding planning can be stressful, but it can also be a beautiful (and fun!) experience to go through with friends by your side. If you’ve had the honour of being asked to be a bridesmaid, throw yourself into it and take the opportunity to show your friend how much you love her in a whole host of practical ways. After this, you’re going to be friends for life.
This was a guest post by Maddison Wallace from Paperlust Wedding Invitations. Maddison is head of content at Paperlust. She is a communications professional, postgrad student, part-time librarian, and occasional wedding photographer. She loves words and drinking cups of tea.
Both weddings and honeymoons can be expensive. In today’s economy, it is often necessary to decide which of these two events merits the most attention in regards to money output. Should you go all-out on the wedding and maybe book a quick weekend for the honeymoon or should you keep the ceremony small and simple and splurge on a honeymoon?
While there are many factors, including the amount of time you have available, that go into making this decision, here are a few things to consider.
Should You Spend More on Your Honeymoon Than on the Wedding?
It is important, as a couple, to consider what is best for you. You want your friends and family to share in your excitement, but this is your special time and the final choice must be one the two of you feel meets your needs best.
Focusing on the Wedding
Very often, little girls dream about their wedding day and plan everything from their dress to the kind of flowers long before they even understand the entire concept of marriage. Weddings can range from a simple ceremony in front of a few to an elaborate affair booked at a wedding resort two years in advance. For most couples, the wedding and reception are considered part of the same event.
Advantages of spending the most on your wedding include:
- You can share your special moment with a lot of people.
- You can have your dream wedding location.
- A fantasy can come to life.
- You don’t have to decide between special features but can instead have everything you want, from the ice sculpture to a petal-strewn bride’s walk.
Disadvantages of spending your budget mainly on your wedding include:
- Your honeymoon may not be as elaborate.
- It’s only one day, which some may argue makes spending thousands unjustifiable.
- Simplicity is often a lot more impactful.
- In the future, many people regret spending so much on their wedding as the money could have been better spent elsewhere,
Focusing on the Honeymoon
The honeymoon gives the couple a chance to relish in each other’s company without having to deal with the demands of everyday life. It’s their first break as a wedded couple, and the romance is heightened greatly. They can explore a new area or spend time alone, the choice is entirely theirs. The special memories created during this time can fuel family traditions down the road.
The advantages of spending more of your budget on your honeymoon include:
- You’ll be able to spend more on the location, just think about how romantic and relaxing a honeymoon in the Maldives would be. This is something you may not be able to budget for if you spend everything on the wedding.
- The honeymoon will last longer.
- You can do more on your honeymoon and explore new locations and activities together.
- You can connect more as a couple.
- There are more memories to talk about in the years to come.
- The honeymoon spot can become a place for renewing vows and going on special family trips.
Disadvantages of spending more on the honeymoon include:
- The ceremony may be a lot smaller.
- The bride may find giving up a long-held vision difficult.
- You may not be able to have your dream wedding location.
- A person’s wedding day is often one of the greatest days of their life, the more you spend on it the more special it will be.
Whichever choice you make, both your wedding and your honeymoon are events that are likely to happen only once in a lifetime. Deciding which is the most likely to bring about happy memories throughout the years is the key to your final decision. Take time to think about the pros and cons of both, then go with what your heart tells you.
In the end, this special time is about you as a couple sharing your love. You can always split the budget evenly and have a beautiful wedding and honeymoon!
While wedding gift lists are a common and expected part of the big day, many couples still feel a little uneasy as to whether or not they should have one. It can feel a little rude to ask for specific things and then there’s the worry over whether you’re asking too much. However, did you know that most guests would prefer to have a little guidance when it comes to what to buy the happy couple?
Setting up a wedding gift list doesn’t have to be stressful. With so many options available to couple’s these days, it can be an exciting part of the wedding planning process. If you’re struggling to compile a list, here you’ll discover some great tips that can help.
Your Guide to Setting Up a Wedding Gift List
What should you ask for?
Traditionally, the wedding gift list was compiled to include gifts for the couple’s new home. However, these days most couples have already lived together long before they decided to tie the knot. Therefore, they no longer need essential household appliances. This has led to a shift in the types of gifts couple’s do request.
Your list should be unique to your own needs and preferences. Some couples choose to stick to traditional household items, while others ask for donations to put towards their honeymoon.
If you’re struggling for ideas, why not check out your favourite stores and see whether they offer a wedding gift list service? Or compile an independent list to include items from several of your favourite stores, as that way you know you’re going to love and want the gifts you receive.
Great wedding gift list tips
Figuring out the type of gifts you want to include in your gift list is just the first hurdle. Other things you’re going to need to consider include:
- How many gifts to include
- The price of the gifts
- How to actually ask for the gifts
In terms of how many gifts to place on the list, it largely depends upon how many guests are coming. Consider whether some of the guests are coming as a couple or family. For example, you could be having 100 guests but when you split them down into couples and families, you’re going to be looking at around 60-70 gifts. As a general rule, it’s better to have a lot more gifts on the list than you need. That way, your guests have plenty to choose from.
The price range of the gifts should also vary, ensuring there’s something to suit all budgets. When it comes to asking guests to choose from the wedding gift list, do it as politely as possible wording it along the lines of “Having you attend our special day is the best gift we could receive. However, if you wish to buy us something you can find our wedding gift list here”.
Overall, putting together a wedding gift list can be stressful, but with the above tips it really doesn’t have to be.
Buying an engagement ring is one of the biggest purchases you will make during your lifetime. But before you can worry about actually popping the big question, you have to go through the stressful ring buying process.
While you can read all about the four Cs, you probably have loads of questions about where to start. Fear not, here are all the answers that you need to find the perfect engagement ring.
How to Choose the Right Engagement Ring
Can I Get Help?
Of course you can! Buying an engagement ring can be a mammoth and daunting task, but you do not have to do it all on your own. Read and research online before you go shopping, so that you know what you can get for your budget and you are familiar with styles and settings. You could also ask your partner’s friends to come along with you, because a second opinion always helps.
How Much Should I Spend?
In days gone by, the amount spent on an engagement ring should have been equivalent to two or three months wages. Nowadays, this has reduced to around one month. However, it is also important to remember that every couple is different and it comes down to styles and preferences, as well as how much cash you have to spend. However, if you want to buy a traditional diamond engagement ring (like these from F Hinds) it will hurt your bank balance.
How do I Find Out Ring Size?
Before you can buy a ring, you need to know size. Please, whatever you do, do not guess it. There are ways of finding out ring size without letting the cat out the bag, it just takes a little bit of stealth. The easiest way is to take one of their rings with you to the jewellers, or, if they are likely to notice it has gone missing, try it on your finger and mark where it falls. Alternatively, you could trace the ring on a piece of paper, or use string to measure their ring finger while they sleep.
Will they Like it?
When you go ring shopping, it can all too easy to buy a ring that you like, but remember, you will not be wearing it. To get a ring they will adore, consider who you are buying it for. Ask yourself: what kind of jewellery do they normally wear? Are they jeans a t-shirt kind of person or all about expensive designer brands? If you find yourself really stuck, take an online engagement ring quiz to help you narrow down your choices.
Getting married is about the most important decisions you will make in your life, and with it comes the responsibility of many other decisions, such as when and where, who to invite and countless other things down to décor and wedding favours.
Whilst there are many different things to prepare, we have created a short checklist of things you can do in advance to ensure everything runs smoothly on your big day. The elopement weddings have become popular in recent years, and these usually have a very short planning period. However, there are still things that can be considered when planning this type of wedding.
Preparing for Your Wedding
Plan your budget
This is probably one of the most important elements of planning a wedding, since it is what will dictate the type of wedding you can have. Whether it is a modest, low key affair or something a little flashier, you will need to allocate fund to different areas, such as venue hire. Once the venue has been hired, you will still need to think about some finer details.
Choose your tunes
You and your partner may not always agree on music taste. Or you will hopefully have a song that reminds you of each other – ‘your song’. Whatever the case, think about what music you’d like to have played and how you will get it played! What will be your first dance, and what will the entertainment music be like?
Finalise the food and flowers
Whether you’ve been planning this for months or just days, you will need to know where and what you and your guests are going to be eating. To a degree, this element is dictated by budget, and also by personal taste. If you and your friends are big fans of pie and ale, then there is no reason this won’t be your theme for food and drink.
It’s become customary for the happy couple to thank their guests by way of wedding favours. This is something to commemorate your special day and can range from monogrammed stationary to these personalised miniatures.
You should have already booked a photographer as soon as you knew what date the wedding was set for. If you have opted for an elopement wedding, the venue providers should have some good contacts for photographers in the area. Make sure you talk through the type of shots you are looking for, so everyone knows what to work towards.