Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The role of a bridesmaid - what's it all about?

Our first blog on our new site...
Hello to everyone who is reading, whether you are a new follower or have joined us from our last blog site.

The topic today is about bridesmaid roles and what your bridesmaids should be doing on the run up to the big day. I was a young bride myself (at the tender age of 22) and my bridesmaids were taking on the role for the very first time and to be fair to them, they didn't really know what it was all about. And I certainly didn't know what they should have been doing either. If I could turn back time myself with the benefit of hindsight, I'd be giving mine a list of things that they are duty bound to to do and it would be a lot easier with well defined roles!!!

The number one thing to point out, is that being a bridesmaid is not just about looking pretty in a nice dress on the day.  If only that was all there was to it!!
If a bridesmaid is the one and only bridesmaid, she will have a combination of duties… if there is more than one bridesmaid, then the job can be shared with one or two maids helping out in some aspects and other bridesmaids helping out with other jobs.  I am going to list a few of these jobs here so that bridesmaids can all read this and know what is expected of them collectively!  Please note that these aren’t in order of importance and I’d love my blog readers to add their own ideas.
1.  Helping  to organising the Hen Party.   Some brides like to be involved as much as they can (most don’t like the surprise element, so it’s not always a good idea to keep her totally in the dark!)  but it’s the bridesmaids that are the cogs on the wheel of getting the big night or the weekend planned and should be organising things, whether it be getting outfits co-ordinated, buses or hotels booked, guest lists drawn up or party games put together.
2. Dressing the bride on the big day.  From my perspective doing the job of a dress fitter in my shop, this is a vital role, and I expect bridesmaids to be well clued up when it comes to how to dress the bride.  A good way to find out is to attend one of the fittings with the bride, preferably the final fitting. They should know exactly how to get her into the dress without ruining her hair and make-up, how to get her underwear and petticoat on, how to fasten her dress, how to make sure it is sitting right on her…. yip.. that’s all in the day’s work of being a bridesmaid! You’ve got to make sure her train is fixed, and that her veil is sitting right for her photos.   And then there’s making sure you know how to tie her train up at night, and being organised with things like an emergency kit for the day.  This could include things like babywipes, a needle and thread, safety pins, hair grips, tissues, breath mints, a comb, hairspray, plasters, paracetamol, anti-perspirant, and anything else that you can think of that would be handy to have in a bag in the car to take with you to the hotel.
3.  Helping  the bride prepare for looking her best on the the big day.  I find that not every bride wants her bridesmaid to take part in every single thing of the lead-up to the wedding.  But most brides will want input into things like the dress, the hair style and the accessories.  Some will want all their bridesmaids to help out, or maybe it will be just the chief bridesmaid.  The advice here to pass onto the bridesmaids is to be honest and for them remember that if their tastes are different to the bride’s tastes, then bear this in mind and don’t be intrusive and try and push personal ideas on her.
4.  Emotional and practical support. It’s a very stressful and emotional time when you’re organising your wedding.  Your bridesmaids should be there for you to help you organise the run up to your wedding.  Delegate jobs to them – whether it’s picking up the wedding dress, helping with centre pieces or collecting her mum’s outfit from the seamstress. You’re not superwoman and no-one expects you to be able to do everything on your own!!  And she will be there to re-assure you when things are getting too much.  You may feel overwhelmed and just need a listening ear and someone to talk to.
5. The bridesmaid dresses…..   this can be a challenging one!  If your bridesmaid really cares for you and what you want for your wedding, then you - the bride - will get the final say on the colour and style of dresses.  She won’t stamp her feet and sulk and put demands on you for your wedding day  (unless you are putting her in a truly hideous ensemble, in which case she has every right to protest!). But let’s face it, 99% of brides want their bridesmaid to look good on the day and a good bridesmaid will be happy to give her input, but will not take over and make final decisions.  It's the bride's big day and she should get the most say.
Here are a few other points (some serious.. some not so serious) to add.
She won’t knowingly get pregnant after ordering her dress  (sorry to my friend Michelle - I'm guilty of this one myself lol!!!!) … she won’t put on weight after ordering her dress… she won’t get any drastic hairstyles before the wedding without consulting the bride… she won’t get any visible tattoos before the wedding… she won’t get drunk at the wedding…
…in return, you must must promise not to turn into a bridezilla!!!!!   I hope your bridesmaids will be worth their weight in gold.   xx Ciara