A while back, I posted about choosing your wedding party, which can be a difficult task if you don’t have the perfect number of sisters and brothers and need to start picking between friends and cousins. This time, I’m offering up a little advice for the lovely maids and handsome men that you do choose to be by your side on the big day.
For the girls
First up, what are your duties? What’s expected of you by the bride? The most important thing you will provide is emotional support. It will be an incredibly stressful time for her in the run up to the wedding, and she’s going to need her friends to keep her calm. You’ll more than likely be involved in picking out a lot of the wedding elements, including choosing the bride’s dress, the venue, flowers and more. Of course, you’ll also be responsible for organising a bridal shower and hen/bachelorette party. This is an important one – you need to bear in mind what is affordable for the guests as well as what the bride will really like or enjoy. Don’t be afraid to ask the bride what she wants for these occasions.
So apart from the obvious, you may find yourself dealing with a bridezilla, or even a groomzilla. Bossy relatives, handsy groomsmen and too much booze could all lead to big day disasters. Here are some tips to help you survive your job as bridesmaid:
Don’t get drunk. There will be a lot of eyes on you throughout the day, so behave well, keep calm and don’t end up with red wine down the front of your dress.
Speak kindly about the bride – this applies from the day you are asked to be a bridesmaid right through to the big day and beyond. She might be pissing you off, but you never know who might be listening when you start mouthing off about her behind her back.
If you would rather be a guest and not a bridesmaid, then say so. The bride really needs people beside her that can help her organise the wedding, keep her nerves at bay and help her hold her dress up when she needs to pee. So if you’re not willing or able to, then don’t be afraid to say no.
If you’re bringing a date that doesn’t know many people at the wedding, try to introduce them to a few other guests before you get called away to your maid duties. He or she will probably be left alone for much of the day, and could be left feeling very awkward or out of place.
Pack your emergency kit – band-aids, breath mints, lipgloss/lipstick, deodorant, flat shoes, hair pins and tissues.
Take your time at dinner – you’re in a tight dress!
For the guys
The best man or groomsman is probably not going to have quite as many duties in the run up to the wedding other than planning the stag or bachelor party, but the job is just as important. You are there to provide moral support to your buddy as he takes the biggest step of his life, keep the wedding rings safe and to make a speech that will entertain the guests without getting the groom into serious trouble with his new spouse. No pressure, eh?
When you’re planning the stag or bachelor party, the same goes as for the bridesmaids. Remember that even though you might be able to afford a 3 day knees-up in Amsterdam with hotels, dinner, drinks and excursions, not everyone that your groom wants there might be able to afford the same. You don’t have to go too far to have a fantastic night out the guys.
Look after the stag! It is perfectly possible for him to enjoy his stag without drinking so much he blacks out/sleeping with a stripper/ending up on a boat to Iceland.
Accompany the groom when he is getting his final haircut before the wedding – watch that barber like a hawk!
Go to the rehearsal! You do not want to be standing at the altar and not have a clue when to stand up, sit down, or which side to stand on.
Keep the phone numbers of the most important people in your phone for the big day – the chief bridesmaid, mother of the bride, venue, band, cake maker, wedding planner. That way if anything is running late you have the correct contacts to hand.
Keep an eye out for troublemakers at the reception – if someone is getting too drunk, too quickly, be ready to escort them outside for a coffee. Your groom will appreciate that you have his back when he is too busy to keep an eye on these things.