When it comes to having bridesmaids or being one, the expectations can be incredibly high and turn out to be hard to manage. Brides while expecting their bridesmaids to really be ‘maids’, find out their friends would rather have a photoshoot all day long. Bridesmaids expecting to get preferential seating or feeding, find out that they are just like anyone else or maybe ‘VIP’ ushers.
A bride’s picture-perfect dream wedding may end up costing some bridesmaids so much but they may never mind because they feel when it is their turn, the favour will be reciprocated. Sadly, this bridesmaid (to at least 4 of her friends) find out when it is her turn to play bride that no reciprocation can occur because those married friends will not be available to be their own bridesmaids (…life happened!)
As funny as it sounds, these stories have ruined friendships and to me, it is not worth it especially for a day’s event. Friendships should stand the test of time not the test of wedding. So, what ideally should be a healthy bride-to-bridesmaid relationship? As the one who has seen these dramas happening, here are a few things to have at the back of your mind as a future bride or bridesmaid, especially if the friendship is very important to you.
- None of you should spend your life savings on your wedding
Dear Future Bride, it is a day’s event! Even if you have all the money in the world, do not finish it on just this one day. You have a whole marriage ahead of you. With this in mind, please do not expect your bridesmaids to spend their life savings on your wedding too. Think about it, they too are saving up for their own weddings or if married, have children to raise. It will not be fair to them if they are your friends. Think about it, will you want someone to do that to you? Or if they already did it to you, how did you feel about it?
Dear Bridesmaids, please if you cannot do it, say it. You do not have to please anyone and if the bride decides to count you out of her friends for life because you saw her ‘to-buy’ list, that you could not afford, then maybe she does not care about the friendship. I have seen brides who paid for everything for their bridesmaids because they cared that much to say, “I have the money but I need my friends with me that day”. So, if you saying no defines friendship, *deep sigh*.
- They will be there not just for the pictures but to help make your day go according to plan
Dear Bridesmaids, you look amazing in that dress and your hair and makeup are on the ‘fleekest fleek ever liveth’. You have to take a picture to save this fabulous memory! But, it’s not your day. Sounds harsh but that is the fact. There is no harm in taking pictures and having a swarm of paparazzi for your mini-shoot but the bride will love your help too. She had plans and probably a wedding planner but things are going off course. As a friend, this your time to prove it – swing into action and make her day the dream she shared with you. Remember, if it was your day, what will you expect?
- You will not be overbearing on the things they must do
Dear Future Bride, it is your day, confirmed! But, if you choose your friends who mean a lot to you to be bridesmaids, you will understand that they can do a lot for you even when you did not ask for it. Those who care will do their best; appreciate those who do during and after the wedding. Being bride does not mean you should unleash the ‘bridezilla’ to command all to do your bidding. Trust me, your friendship can be ruined by you saying something harsh to your bridesmaid just because it’s your day.
Another side to this is forgiving them in advance for unforeseen circumstances. While you plan to happily walk down the aisle, they might have emergencies that might make them miss the wedding. This is time to be understanding and let them prioritize on what is more important to them not you just like you are focusing on what is important to you.
- They will not mind how they looked more than how you looked
One wedding, I was a bridesmaid and all our dresses including the brides needed to be refitted. Our friend had a good squad as bridesmaids because we all devoted to finding a seamstress to come as early as 5am with her machine to the hotel room to amend the wedding dress. Think about it, no wedding dress, no bride; no bride, no wedding; no wedding, no you. We got our priorities straight!
Dear Bridesmaids, you definitely need to look awesome because the spotlight is partially on you. But then, remember, it’s definitely not on you. You all have to slay but, what happens when the fashion designer sews a maternity dress instead of a bodycon? What happens when the makeup artist gave you the worse beat of your life? It’s easy to blame the bride for not getting the right vendors but what can you do to move ahead? This is the time to move your focus from yourself to your friend – the bride. Do what you can to still look as great as possible (especially if you want le boo to find you when you catch the bouquet) however, make sure your friend is looking her best that day. The worst thing to happen, is you won’t be in the wedding album. :O :D.
- You will want them to be as happy as you are
One bride recently said, “I chose you all because you meant a lot to my love story and I am glad you all took care of yourselves during my day even with all the things that went wrong”. Fact is, this was another sad case of maternity dresses instead of the beautiful style she chose for us. The bridesmaids spent their morning using needle and thread to take in as much as 5 inches to look good for the day. The bridesmaids couldn’t be around her that morning to take all the ‘Bride Squad’ pictures she planned because the bride was more about them looking as good as they wanted. She felt bad for the misfortune especially with the money spent and she got to church late because of her squad. She really meant it when she said, “It is our day”.
Dear Future Bride, it took a lot for these friends to rally round you for months to make your day awesome. Be truthful and honest to what you promised they will get if they pay. Appreciate their effort every step of the way. Get them gifts if you can. Send their pictures to them with lovely messages after the wedding. In all, let your wedding make your friendships better.
- All of you will pray for each other, the wedding and the new marriage
I cannot overemphasize the importance of prayer in anything especially weddings and getting married. As friends, you are buddies in gist, laughter, cries but importantly, prayer. As a bride, the most important gift your bridesmaids can give you is sincere prayers for you and your new journey. Weddings can come with chaos or challenges. Unfortunate things like road accidents and disappointing vendors can happen. Physically, you can do what you can but spiritually, more than your ability can be done by the host of heaven. Spend time to pray for everything ‘pray-able’. If your friends are important to you as bride or bridesmaid, prove it together on your knees.
Weddings are awesome not just because two people become one but also because many people can come from around the world to celebrate this union. Make it a day for all to remember for good.
The Bride’s Assistant.