Behind the Bouquet: Bridesmaid Survival Guide

Written By Jill Warwick@girlwiththejoplinglasses

It’s that time of year again – Wedding Season.

If you haven’t been a bridesmaid before, welcome to the Wedding Party.

This year, I will walk down the aisle for the seventh time. That’s right; I’m working on my own closet full of 27 Dresses.

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Weddings are not everyone’s thing, but what’s not to love about love and new beginnings, especially when it’s people you care about? At the end of the day, your friend and their special someone commit their lives to each other… and there is cake.

It is a win-win situation.

But it is a big undertaking and as a bridesmaid, you are a not only an element in the ceremony and part of the overall decor, you are also staff in just about every aspect – time keeper, model, coordinator, decorator, dress holder, usher, clean-up crew.

Maybe you’re starting to feel a little like:

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To hopefully help ease some bridesmaid butterflies, below are a few tips –

1. Go With the Flow

This is not your day; it is the couple’s. But on top of planning, the couple is probably also trying to meet expectations of multiple people on both sides of their families and make all accommodations for them.

I am not saying be a doormat, but help out where needed and stay calm when things get crazy.

2. Be the Sounding Board

Fair warning, the wedding and all the other related events and details are going to take over the majority of your conversations with this friend for a while.

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She’s not meaning to torture you; she is excited and you’re one of the few people she can truly vent to about the behind the scenes drama. Pour her a glass of wine and be a loving ear while you put together center pieces and enjoy the quality time with your friend.

3. There is Beauty in Preparedness

As weird as this may sound, I have that scene in The Wedding Planner where she pulls out the Super Glue and saves the bride’s day by fixing her heel burned into my brain. That girl had EVERYTHING on hand to solve any wedding crisis and I am still striving to be that prepared at all times.  

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(Side-note, I would totally rock a heads-set and wouldn’t mind running into a Matthew McConaughey-type groomsman)

Bringing a tote with small, sometimes forgotten items can save quite some time: Q-Tips, Bobby Pins, hair spray, Tide-To-Go Pens, Advil, and tissues are solid go-to items.

On second thought, over-pack like you’re leaving civilization.

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4. Speeches

-Write them beforehand.

-Practice them. If you get choked up during certain parts of your speech just during practice, cut it.

-Make. Them. Short.

-Toast the couple at the end.

This comes from the personal experience of melting into a blubbering mess at my cousin’s wedding. Did I mention it was recorded?

5. Make sure the bride remembers to have fun!

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Yes, this is an important day, but sometimes bumps are going to pop up in the road. No matter what, she is leaving the venue holding the hand of the person she wants to spend her life with, the rest is just icing on the beautiful, delicious cake.

Side note: we all want to be the perfect, hot bridesmaid, but do NOT stress about the dress size. Brides want their bridesmaids to shine in attractive dresses and let’s face it- those sizes are in a horrible league all their own. You are going to look beautiful, no matter what size the tag reads!

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