During my second semester in college at SUNY New Paltz, in my Literature of Journalism class, in walked a hurricane of a 20 year-old woman. She burst through the door and commanded the attention of the entire classroom. That hurricane quickly became my best friend. We discussed our love of writing, magazines, boys and the frustrations of our families over tacos in the school dining hall. Taco Tuesday quickly became our thing. Meghan and I are a lot a like, and we have been through literally everything together. I look up to her in a lot of ways and she always knows what to say to calm me down. She's organized, creative and simply awesome. Which is exactly what I was looking for in a MOH. Below she has crafted her personal top tips on how to be the best Bridesmaid you can be.
By Meghan Butler
In the upcoming year, I have 8 weddings to attend – EIGHT! In addition to my duties as an attendee of these weddings, I am also the maid of honor in two of them.
It should be stated up front that I love attending weddings. Cost aside, I think that watching two people share their eternal love is a beautiful thing to witness. It makes the cost totally worth it – in my opinion.
In working with the brides, I’ve picked up some preliminary tips that will help other bridesmaids as they begin to help with the planning process!
1. Never, EVER use the term ‘Bridezilla.’ Even if it accurately describes your bride. This is self-explanatory. No bride wants to be labeled a bridezilla so unless she is beginning to get out of control with demands, grin and bear it. Remember this is one of your best friends and the demands will be over in 6-8 months. Plus, when you get married, it’ll be your turn to be demanding/get her back for her temper tantrums!
2. Whatever they want, make it happen. This may seem like a no-brainer but sometimes it’s easy to let our own opinions get in the way of encouraging our bride to plan what she wants for her day. If she says that she wants to ride in on an ostrich, start looking up ostrich farms. Just. Do. It. Chances are, 75% of the things that the bride wants will eventually be cut out of the wedding anyway. It’s most important to be a supportive friend during the process.
3. If you can’t make it happen, come to them with a solution, not just a problem. Providing the Bride with an alternate solution will help minimize the potential impact of the terrible news. If you’re tasked with finding a photographer and the one that the bride wants is not available, find a list of 3 other photographers and offer those. Try to reframe this as an opportunity to save money with a less expensive photographer or a chance to try something different.
4. Keep calm and try that bridesmaid dress on. When planning, you’re most likely going to try on dresses that you don’t care for and some you downright HATE. No matter how well intentioned a bride is, she cannot please everyone in the bridal party – that’s just not possible. So breathe and remember that even if you don’t wear that dress ever again, you’re making the bride so happy by wearing it (and pretending to like it) and that’s what the day is about. So smile big, choose good shoes and rock that bridesmaid dress with pride.
5. Keep reminding the Bride that it’s her and her future hubby’s day. When it comes to planning a wedding, everyone and their mom has an opinion (literally). For a less decisive bride, this can be confusing as all get out and magnify the stress of planning a huge event. While it can be tempting to give a strong opinion on everything, remember that it is the bride’s day (and her soon-to-be Hubby’s!) so if you must bite your tongue, do it. And if you’re able to, tell those around the bride to also bite their tongues and let her and hubby decide on their own.
6. Stay organized. The bride has a million things going on at once. Your duty is to help her stay organized and on task. Sit down with her and help her set key dates and then track those dates. (For example, set the date that she must order her dress by, when she must order Save the Dates and Invites by, etc.) Keep those milestones in mind and keep your bride on task. This also makes it easier to delegate tasks out to other members of the bridal party.
7. Have fun! This is the simplest of the tasks – but often this becomes the most difficult. Remember that weddings are meant to be a celebration not a burden. If you feel that the planning is stressing everyone out too much, call for a pause and get everyone together for margaritas or something similar to lighten the mood.
It’s important for the bride to always remind herself that it’s a celebration not a burden. It’s equally important for a bridesmaid to remind herself of this. It’s tempting to levy opinions on every details – and sometimes it’s helpful to give your bride a “reality check” but don’t be a bridesmaid diva. Give yourself 5 “veto cards.” These are things that you’re allowed to levy opinions on. This will help to remind you that while you should have some say (the bride is one of your close friends!) you shouldn’t be giving a heavy opinion on every single decision. Having only 5 opportunities to share your opinion throughout the entire process helps you evaluate each opinion and decide if you really disagree with the bride or if there’s something else you’ll want to use your “veto card” on.