4 Survival Tips When You're in the Bridal Party
Contributed by @Ms_Tomilola
This is a survival guide for those of us who not only want to be the happy couple but also a bridesmaid or groomsmen for their closest friends. It’s an honour and privilege to be asked to be a part of the bridal party. Especially when it is for the right reasons such as the depth of your relationship with the bride or groom.
Due to gender differences, the level of commitment required of a bridesmaid or groomsman is inherently different nonetheless it is not for the fainthearted (dependent on the bride and groom). Being a part of a bridal party is an honour, but I would encourage you to think very carefully before accepting the role. It comes with a level of responsibility that exceeds just showing up on the wedding day and looking pretty. Ultimately you are investing your time and money into someone else’s marriage. There is no shame in admitting that you cannot commit (financially or physically) to the role of being a bridesmaid or groomsman at this point in your life. Most couples will be understanding, and it is likely they will create a role just for you.
Here are four tips to help you survive being a bridesmaid or groomsman:
1. You must be willing to sacrifice your time
Every couple is different therefore the amount of input requested will vary. Nonetheless, you will have to make yourself available for the bride and groom. This could be church rehearsals, dress fittings and bridal party meetings etc. While I am not advising you to drop everything because you are in the wedding party, I do encourage you to put yourself in the shoes of the couple and think twice before you say you can’t attend.
2. Start budgeting
Being a bridesmaid or groomsman nowadays is not cheap (suit, dress, hair, makeup, shoes etc.) but consider it an investment. During my first experience of being a bridesmaid, I had the benefit of having a very organised bride. She made a list of our expenses and provided us with this the moment she asked is to be her bridesmaids. This allowed every one of us to make an informed decision. Try and put money aside each month towards the items that you have to pay for. Therefore, you will be prepared when deadlines arrive. This will also help spread out the costs, and allow you to enjoy the journey without feeling financially burdened.
3. Agree to disagree with the bridal party
I’ve discovered that the level of friendship between the bride and groom and each member of the bridal party will vary. Therefore, quite simply remember that what you would do for the bride, another member of the bridal party. may not consider it necessary. It is imperative that you don’t alert the bride and groom to any disagreements within the bridal party, they have enough to contend with during the lead up to the wedding. As annoying as the other person may be, you most likely won’t have to see them again until other significant events such as baby shower’s etc. so in the words of Elsa, “Let it go”. I’m not the best at disguising when I am annoyed but try your best to keep the peace, ultimately it isn’t about you.
4. Be helpful
Use your initiative, try and provide solutions! There are always little things that will creep up on you on the wedding day. Don’t burden the bride (especially) with unnecessary questions. I remember being alerted that there were guests in the wrong seats, leaving some guests standing. I therefore went and took a picture of the seating list, and it transpired that children were sitting in the adult seats (children weren’t meant to be there by the way). I kindly but sternly asked the parents to put their children on their laps as these adults needed to be seated in their allocated seats. Yes, I’m sure I was greeted with looks of annoyance, but ultimately, I didn’t care because I was following the guidelines of what I knew the bride and groom wanted. I’m even hopeful that incidences like that will deter African aunties and uncles from ignoring the rules of RSVP and inviting their friends along to invitation only weddings.
I have very fond memories of being a bridesmaid and for a selected chosen few I would experience it all over again.