Being a Good Bridesmaid (and Not Being a Bad One!) – Part 1

Every bride has a few bridezilla moments when planning her wedding.  Many times the bridesmaids and maid of honor get to see the worst of those moments. Bridesmaids would get accused of “wronging the bride” most if it weren’t for having to take a back seat to mother-in-laws.  Sometimes the brides are being brides and other times they may have a point.  Here is what can be expected of a bridesmaid and some common things brides ask that are over the lines of friendship.

Being a Bridesmaid Costs Money

Standing up for someone at their wedding is not a financial decision that should be taken lightly.  Bridesmaids may very well have to pay for a dress that they will never wear again, shoes that they probably think are hideous, tacky matching jewelry and beauty treatments that they think are ridiculous.  And that is just the start! Destination weddings may require travel and lodging as well. Some of the things bridesmaids will have to pay for may include:

  • Their own dress, shoes and accessories (of the brides choosing)
  • Their own hair, nails and makeup
  • A portion of the bridal shower
  • A portion of the bachelorette party
  • Their own travel to and from the wedding (or meet up place if the bride is hiring a limo or other wedding day transportation.)
  • Their own lodging (for a wedding or other bridal events far from their home)

Some brides may have other unusual requests but this is a general idea of expenses to expect when agreeing to be a bridesmaid.  The cost for each of these things will vary with the style of the wedding and the bride’s taste.  Some brides may opt to hire one makeup artist for the morning to do everyone’s makeup or one stylist for everyone’s hair.  Other brides may buy their attendants’ shoes or jewelry for the wedding day to help offset the cost.   Bridesmaids may very well be expected to purchase all of these things themselves however and it is something to be prepared for when agreeing to be a bridesmaid.  If a bridesmaid really can’t afford to contribute to showers and parties; however, she shouldn’t be expected to do so.  Standing up as a bridesmaid is about being there for the bride on her big day, not the parties before the event.

Bridesmaids Sometimes Have to Look Hideous

Many women have visions for their weddings that they cannot be persuaded to change.  The jokes about bridesmaid dresses have a source! Lucky bridesmaids have friends and relatives with excellent taste, or are standing by a bride that allows the bridesmaids some decision making power.  Many brides now choose a color and length and allow the bridesmaids to pick a style that looks best on them. Some brides go as far as to choose hairstyles and makeup colors for their bridesmaids.  The bride may have  a final say but no bride should want her bridesmaids to be totally uncomfortable.  Bridesmaids should feel free to address serious concerns with the bride like a flower allergy or worries about a wardrobe malfunction.  As for color and style, bridesmaids can make a passing comment and give an opinion, but in the end the bride will have the final say.

Not All Bridesmaids Contribute Equally

Many times the planning for the bridal shower or bachelorette party will fall on one or two bridesmaids even if there are six.  School and family issues, work and just pure laziness can be contributing factors. There isn’t really much that can be done if a bridesmaid or two aren’t stepping up to the plate.  Every attempt should be made to include all of the bride’s attendants regardless of their ability to donate financially or contribute time to the planning of these events.

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