“I wanted to ask you,” my best friend said on Sunday night, “will you be my bridesmaid?”

Of course! Brides, I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to join my friend in her wedding preparations. One year ago, she helped me with my Las Vegas wedding planning. She stuffed my save-the-date cards into envelopes, championed my bridal shower with another friend, and even came back early from a vacation to England to attend my wedding. Now it’s my turn to extend the favor. And I can’t wait!

Brides and bridesmaids, find the balance between wedding planning and having fun together as friends.

But for all my bridal experiences, I’ve never before been a bridesmaid. This is new territory for me. As a result, I’m compiling a list of bridesmaid duties to prepare for this next step in wedding planning.

Las Vegas brides, consider sharing these tips with your bridesmaids. Then give them an opportunity to share their thoughts, concerns, etc. with you. Next communicate your expectations, and keep the conversation open as you and your bridesmaids support each other throughout the wedding planning process.

Okay, bridesmaids, here’s what we can do to support the bride:

  • Buy the Bridesmaid Dress: Purchase and wear the dress that the bride selects for her bridesmaids. While you might try to add your two cents of commentary, remember whose special day this is. Hint: Not yours.
  • Pay for Personal Transportation: Cover the cost of your own travel to the wedding and any wedding planning appointments. This includes planes, trains, and automobiles.
  • Attend Wedding Dress Try-outs: Be available for the bride’s wedding dress appointments. Remember that some brides will want your opinion on each gown while other brides will prefer to just have your presence for moral support. Ask the bride what she wants.
  • Pick up the Phone: Answer the phone when the bride calls. Yes, it may be the twelfth time she’s called that week, but try your best to support your bride. Wedding planning can be stressful, and she’ll be counting on you, her close friend, to listen and respond.
  • Do Not Stage an Intervention: Let the bride spend her free time with her groom as often as she chooses. While you may want one-on-one time with your best friend, she may be difficult to find without her man on her arm. Rather than complain, make an effort to embrace them as a couple.
  • Plan the Bridal Parties: Host a bridal shower and a bachelorette party with help from fellow bridesmaids. Ask the bride for ideas of her ideal theme, and create the remainder of the details for an event she’ll love!
  • Bustle that Bridal Gown: On the wedding day, be available to assist the bride as needed. Whether you’re bustling the gown’s train or leaping to catch the bridal bouquet, keep a positive attitude as you help whenever, wherever, and however you’re needed.
  • Never Steal the Show: While you should feel free to be yourself, remember this isn’t your wedding. Don’t insult the bride’s choice of flowers. Don’t drink too much at the reception. Don’t wear your hair in a bridal-worthy up-do. You get the point. The wedding is about the bride. She needs to look her best, feel her best, and know that you care about her.
Support each other through thick and thin. That's what friends are for!

To the Bridesmaids: This is your moment to support the bride in a tangible and giving way. Offer some of your free time to help with wedding planning, and always make a priority of appointments you’ve committed to attend. Then even beyond the wedding, you’ll continue to enjoy a long-lasting friendship.

To the Brides: You have chosen your bridesmaids to support you in your journey to marriage. But remember they also have lives evolving beyond your wedding planning. Maintain a balance between inviting them to help you in your wedding planning and giving them (and yourself) time to relax. Then you’ll have the help you need for your Las Vegas weddings while also continuing to cultivate your friendships.

Have fun, ladies, as you enjoy this experience!

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Author: Allyson Siwajian © 2011

Photo Credit: first image by Jamison Frady of Quiet Art Photography (Used by permission), second image by Allyson Siwajian of Bridal Spectacular