The history of bridesmaids is time and culture dependent. However, their main charge seems to have been to “protect” the bride, “intervene” on her behalf and/or help outsmart the evil spirits who gathered as a group at weddings or other happy events. Today’s bridesmaids still fulfill some of those roles, even if the evil spirit happens to be a former boyfriend with too much champagne and too little class, or a college roommate who thinks it would be fun to “steal” the bride between the ceremony and reception. Bridesmaids can often be the voice of reason when they hear “Let’s ________, it’ll be funny. You’ll see.” They can put a stop to the nonsense early.
Bridesmaids give up time and money in return for the honor of being witnesses to the bride’s very special day. We urge our bridesmaids to remember the important role they play in her wedding and to pay attention to thanking them for their help and caring.
Here are some tips we have gathered over the years.
Selecting bridesmaids’ dresses does not have to be an occasion of conflict. Cost, style, color and accessories can be issues only if you let them. If you can help financially, by all means do so. If your wedding party represents a wide collection of shapes and sizes, work closely with a skilled and experienced wedding consultant who knows the best vendors to choose to work with your wedding. An experienced retailer will work hard to make sure that the shopping experience is rewarding for all, and will insure that what you have ordered is what you’ll receive. If the bridal retailer is a member of National Bridal Service, you can relax and know that all will be well.
Make sure that your bridesmaids are getting enough attention from you. Keep them in the loop about events and plans. Accept help if it is offered.
Make sure they have a clear idea of what to do and what you expect. Your maid of honor can take on the responsibility of keeping all maids in the loop. Don’t be too demanding. Just because your wedding is consuming your every waking moment, bridesmaids do have lives beyond the wedding.
Be sure to assemble a survival kit for the wedding. Work with your personal attendant to make sure all necessary items are in the kit and trust her to bring it to the dressing area of the ceremony locations, and to reclaim it after the ceremony. A good wedding planner will always take care of this.
Make sure to thank bridesmaids often. Thoughtful gifts are appreciated.
Take time to ask questions, share concerns and plan ways to make bridesmaids feel truly a part of this very special day.