Having had the honor of being a bridesmaid twice now, as well as going through my own wedding and receiving positive feedback from my bridesmaids, I thought it would be fun to share some ways brides can keep the day fun for everyone! No one likes a "Bridezilla," so here are some things you can do to go the extra mile for your girls and the people around you on your special day.
1. Feed them!
Typically speaking, wedding prep actually begins early in the morning. Hair, makeup, and getting dressed can take several hours, so plan on hanging out with your bridesmaids through breakfast and lunch. For my wedding, the ladies in my family prepared a delicious and balanced breakfast: egg casserole, fresh fruit cups, orange juice and coffee. It was extra memorable that they took the time to do that for me and all the girls. And I had arranged for lunch to be delivered for everyone several weeks in advance. "Everyone" includes the people doing hair and make-up! Be sure to let them know in advance that lunch will be provided and they won't go hungry :) Your posse and vendors will appreciate that you were thoughtful enough to remember their needs, too.
2. Personalize their gifts.
I made Origami Owl necklaces for each of my bridesmaids, and chose charms that represented things I love about each of them specifically. One of my maids of honor and I have been writing letters to each other since we were 14 and lived in the same city! Writing has just always been a part of our friendship, so I chose a tiny typewriter to include in her locket. I also ordered personalized hangers with their names on them from Etsy. For mom, I created a photo book of my bridal portraits from Mixbook. It turned out really stunning! I chose Bible verses and song lyrics that meant something to us to spread throughout the pages. She couldn't get through it without crying! It was important to me to let all these women know just how special they are, and how honored I am that they would share this day with me.
3. Say "Thank You!"
Okay, this one seems obvious. But on a day that is all about you, it's easy to not notice all the little things everyone else is doing to make your life easier. My girls ran my wedding dress back and forth across a long bridge in September Tennessee heat 3 times because the location of the ceremony kept changing due to weather (outdoor wedding.) One of my best girlfriends who wasn't even a bridesmaid came early and brought her steamer to freshen up my sash and veil on-site. A server at the venue was constantly in and out to bring us cold champagne, fresh water, make coffee, and make sure the guys' fridge was stocked too.
4. Pay for something here or there.
Accepting an invitation to be a bridesmaid is, on average, a $1500+ commitment. For most 20-something's, that's a big (almost painful) chunk of change! For the first wedding I was in, the bride bought us all mani-pedi's. This was something we expected to do for the wedding anyway, so it was really nice that she took that expense. My mom did the same for my bridesmaids and I paid for part of their hotel rooms the night of the wedding. Other expenses you could take off their shoulders are hair, makeup, or as I said before - meals the day of the wedding. Yes, this may seem like just another "bill" on the long list of things you have to pay for, but trust me, the last thing you want is for someone else to feel like your wedding is making them broke! Even if it's something small, they'll appreciate your effort.
5. Build plenty of time into the schedule.
The surest way you'll feel pressure on the "most important day of your life" is to be running behind schedule. The one near-Bridezilla moment I had happened when my bridesmaids were trying to tie a sash around my waist. The "First Looks" pictures were supposed to have started 10 minutes prior. The sash was the last accessory I had to put on before I could go meet my groom who was waiting for me! And the sash was not laying quite right. There was urgency in my voice and I was speaking faster than usual. "It's fine, it's fine, that's going to have to be fine. I've got to go." Mind you, I had built a lot of time into the schedule, but because the rest of the day went so smoothly, we lost track of time toward the end of the day.