University of York Graduate, aspiring to be a journalist with dreams of one day publishing my own novel.
Published work can be seen at www.theyorker.co.uk and www.yorkvision.co.uk
Published December 30th 2012
Keep Bridezilla away
It's some girls' dreams and others' nightmares – being asked to play the role of bridesmaid. While it's not as stressful as maid of honour, there can be an almost unnecessary amount of stress and attention placed onto a bridesmaid, depending on how many or few there are in the ceremony. I was tasked with being bridesmaid to my sister this spring, and these are my tips on what you can do to ensure the blushing bride doesn't turn into a bridezilla.
1) Look nice – but not too nice I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy being pampered on the morning of my sister's wedding. Everything from the perfect dress to cascading curls had been picked out for me and I was destined to be beautiful. Of course, it's every bride's worst fear to be outshone by the bridesmaids, and naturally I didn't stand a chance with my beautiful sister, but just in case – I would advise you to make the effort – but not too much – to look nice. In my case, this involved having professional hair and makeup, but skipping on the fake tan and not getting down to my target weight for the big day. Deliberately, of course.
2) Take time to meet the family
Weddings can be a hotspot for family bickering, so make sure you are a keen mediator between families. If you've never met the groom's family before, take time to introduce yourself to them, ask them how their travels were and make sure they're comfortable. The last thing you want is the bride stressing over the guests – I even went as far as to pass messages between the bridal party and her soon-to-be in laws, who couldn't speak English. That's diplomacy.
3) Take it slow The crucial moment – taking the steps down the aisle, is your final chance to show your eagerness as a wonderful bridesmaid. I found this to be an incredibly nerve-wracking experience, but was advised by the master of ceremonies, "go slow. However slow you go, it won't be slow enough." Take this on board and it will quell your nerves walking down the aisle, while giving the bride time to compose herself.
4) Play your part Walking down the aisle may be one thing, but it's another to offer your services in the form of a reading or a speech. Chat with the bride a few weeks before the wedding to see if there is anything you can contribute – I for example was asked to read out a poem; it'll make you look as if you've put some effort into the organisation and will secure your place in the family good books.
5) Be ready for anything As a bridesmaid, of course, you are there to have fun, but you are also there to make sure the bride is satisfied with everything. To that end, you must be prepared to run any errand, be it running to Tesco for breath mints at six in the morning or hooking her in to the all-important dress. Being a bridesmaid is truly the modern day equivalent of being superwoman.
Above all, however, remember that it is a wedding – it's a happy occasion, and there will be laughter. Things might go wrong, but as long as everybody is happy then you have fulfilled your role as a bridesmaid. Just stick to these simple rules and you may soon have the pleasure of ordering everybody else about when it's your time to walk up the aisle.
Great article, I think an important part of being a bridesmaid is preparing for anything and everything with your bride. If you are getting married in summer, make sure you have bottled water for the bride (and groom, if you are particularly nice), has she worn her shoes in properly? if not, bring bandaids. Bring oil blotters for the bride. Take some behind the scene photos and make them into an album. Remember snacks for the girls, nothing worse than a cranky bride on a sugar low... PS you look beautiful Katie!