Being asked to stand up for your friend at her wedding is truly a compliment and you should definitely feel honored to have been asked. However, being a bridesmaid is more than just hanging out in a dress on the day of the ceremony. There are responsibilities involved that some people don’t consider before they make the decision to say yes.
Here are five topics you should think about before you tell someone you will be her bridesmaid.
Many people focus on the big day itself but forget about the rest of the time involved in helping someone plan and throw a wedding. You will definitely have to block off the day of the wedding and probably also the day before. You are also likely to be needed on some weekends before the actual wedding to help the bride with wedding-related tasks, to attend dress fittings and to throw and participate in parties. You may end up having to take some time off work, and you will almost certainly have to sacrifice a few evenings.
Don’t agree to be a bridesmaid unless you are willing to give your personal time to the wedding.
Serving as a bridesmaid can be expensive. You will probably have to come up with the money for a dress you didn’t choose, pitch in for a bridal shower and bachelorette party and then come up with a gift.
If your budget is tight, talk to the bride honestly before you accept. Let her know that you would love to be her bridesmaid but you can only spend a certain amount of money. Find out if she has a budget in mind for the bridesmaids’ dresses and ask if you will be expected to pay for professional hair styling and makeup. Ask the maid of honor how much she is planning on having the bridesmaids contribute for parties. If some bridesmaids are better off financially than others, it’s possible that you could work something out.
In almost every case, you will end up spending money as a bridesmaid. If you aren’t willing or able to do that, you should decline.
Saying yes to being a bridesmaid is also a promise that you will give the bride your all. Only agree to this role if you love that person enough to attend events when you’d rather stay home and to engage in activities that seem boring or meaningless to you.
It’s your job as a bridesmaid to sincerely do everything you can to help the bride have the wedding of her dreams, whether you agree with her choices or not. You may be asked to stuff envelopes, assemble boxes, arrange flowers, address invitations or even walk her dog down the aisle during the ceremony.
Be willing to do whatever it takes.
The worst thing you can do as a bridesmaid is to flake on the bride. The date for the wedding has probably already been decided. Put it on your calendar and don’t plan to do anything else that weekend if possible.
All of the bridesmaids should be consulted when it comes to choosing a date for showers and a bachelorette party. When it’s time to plan for these events, be part of the decision making and commit to showing up.
It is not okay for a bridesmaid to agree to attend a wedding-related event and then fail to come.
Ask yourself honestly if you really have the maturity to be a bridesmaid. The bridesmaids are not the center of attention at a wedding. They are there to be helpful to the bride.
You may be asked to wear a dress you hate. Your hair and makeup will not be as important as the bride’s. You will be in the background, and you will be expected to run errands and complete menial tasks. If you can’t handle that, you shouldn’t agree to be a bridesmaid.
The bottom line is that if you honestly care for the bride, you are going to be willing to make some sacrifices so that she can have the wedding she wants.
If you don’t feel that you are close enough to her that her wedding is important to you personally, you should decline serving as a bridesmaid and just attend the wedding as a guest.
Being a bridesmaid involves putting someone else’s wants before your own and striving for the benefit of another person. When you are a bridesmaid for someone you care about it, it can be a bonding experience that will solidify your friendship for life.