You’ve just been asked to be a bridesmaid to your best friend’s wedding. You’re so excited and it’s something you’ve always wanted to be, sort of like crossing “become a bridesmaid” off your bucket list. You’re so happy and honored to know that you’ll be part of the bridal squad (not just for the photo op - of course), but that you’re part of something so special.
After a few moments and the excitement wears out, you start thinking about all the roles you’ll need to play as a bridesmaid. So many questions pop up, from budget to duties and you panic wondering if your idealist idea about being a bridesmaid might actually turn into an “unpaid job”. You start calling your friends who have bridesmaid experience and watch movies about bridesmaids to get advice, but then you start getting overwhelmed - ‘Where do I even start?’
Whether you’re a rookie bridesmaid or a 27th time bridesmaid (like Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses), you might find yourself making the same mistakes over and over again. These common mistakes can be very easily avoided and we’re here to help you conquer your bridesmaids duties. These are 8 common mistakes that bridesmaids need to avoid so you (and the bride) have a stress-free and joyous wedding.
Turning Your Bridesmaid Role into a Full-Time Job
Bride: Marena and her bridesmaids. Photography: Love and Covenant.
Your excitement of being a bridesmaid might make you want to help the bride with everything because you’re just as excited for the wedding as she is. You might even want to plan the wedding alongside the bride and be at her call 24/7. But after a few weeks of constant scrolling on Pinterest and researching wedding venues, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with all the wedding tasks and realize you’ve taken on a full-time unpaid job. As Johnathan from Queer Eye would say “Honey, you need to put yourself first”. Set boundaries and only handle bridesmaid duties during certain hours each week. You need to also have time to self-care after a long day of work, and not be overwhelmed with more work, no matter how much you love the bride.
You Make the Wedding All About You
Bride: Jenny and her bridesmaids. Photography: Chymo
Taking care of yourself does not mean being selfish and making the wedding all about you. At the end of the day, the wedding is about the bride and it’s important to remember that. Learn to be selfless and let go during the wedding planning process. If you don’t like the design of your bridesmaid dress, let it go because you’re there to ultimately be the support system to your friend. When it’s your time to be the bride, you can make all the rules.
Ordering Your Bridesmaid Dress & Shoes Too Late
Bride: Sonoko with her bridesmaids. Photography: Emma Pilkington
Once the bride gives you the thumbs up on the bridesmaid dress, order the dress right away. It’s one less thing for you to worry about and you’ll have time to exchange the size or get it altered to fit you perfectly. Don’t forget about your bridesmaid shoes as you’ll be walking around all day, so you want to have comfortable shoes that are up to the task. Bella Belle shoes are not only comfortable for all day wear (yes even dancing!), they are handmade from the finest craftsmen. You’ll be wearing clouds on your feet with a beautiful couture-like design.
Waiting Until the Last Minute to Buy a Gift
Bride: Sabby with her bridesmaids. Photography: Oliver Fly
While being a bridesmaid is special, it can also be very expensive. After all, you’ve already spent on the bridal shower, engagement party, bachelorette party and outfit. You shouldn’t feel the need to spend a lot on the wedding gift, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to get the bride anything. You can still get the bride a small gift, or even a DIY gift like a card or a photo album of your memories with the bride. Anything to show your love to the bride will be appreciated.
Forgetting to Plan Ahead for Emergencies
Bride: Vanessa and her bridesmaids. Photography: Maria Sundin
If there’s a golden rule of wedding advice, it’s to think that the wedding day goes as smoothly as planned. You’ll want to plan ahead in case of emergencies like a cut or an unplanned migraine. Bring your own bridesmaid survival kit that consists of Band-Aids, a bottle of Advil, hair bands, Bobbi pins, sewing kit, stain remover, tampons and breath mints - for when you meet a cute person at the bar. You’ll thank yourself for this.
Forgetting to take pictures
Bride: Julia and her bridesmaids. Photography: Jennifer Fox
Whether you’re a first time bridesmaid or a MVP, you’ll want to take lots of pictures throughout the journey to document and look back on with the bride. Some notable moments you definitely need to take pictures of is the day you became a bridesmaid, dress fittings, all the parties, wedding day - of course, and sprinkle in some random ones like the 3am frantic calls from the bride. Trust us, it’ll be something you both will laugh at after the wedding. This can also be a great idea to print and make into a photo album as a DIY wedding gift to the bride.
Leaving the Party Early
Bride: Duan and her bridal party. Photography: Mist of Morning
As a bridesmaid, you want to be a support system to the bride. That means sticking around at the wedding until the very end. Even if you’re not a party animal, you want to be there in case she has an emergency and needs your help (and your bridesmaid emergency kit). Be sure that you have a pair of comfortable shoes from Bella Belle that are made to keep you comfortable until the very end so your feet don't hurt. Bonus point: Bella Belle shoes are stunning as well as comfortable!
You Don't Take Time to Enjoy Yourself
Bride: Casey with her bridesmaids. Photography: Carrie King.
Weddings are a huge celebration and it’ll be a shame if you did not take the time to enjoy yourself. In the midst of all your bridesmaid duties and photo ops, don’t forget to take it all in, let go and live in the moment. Have a good time with the people around you and break out your signature dance moves as you and the bridal squad dance to your favorite song. Those are the moments that you’ll want to remember as you celebrate another member of your squad being married (and no longer allowed to dance to Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’).
Shoes: Olivia, Mariee. Photography: Winsome & Wright.
Don’t forget to shop for your bridesmaids shoes!