Being asked to be a bridesmaid is one of the most amazing things you can be asked to do and most girls feel delighted with the honour. That said, there is a lot more to the role than going along to dress fittings and securing a prime spot in the wedding pictures, and if you’ve never been through the experience before, it’s important you know what is expected from you.
From last minute make-up artist, flower girl wrangler, psychiatrist and general human stress ball, there is a lot you need to know before taking a place at one of the good tables. This is going to take more than watching the film ‘Bridesmaids’ a couple of times as research, no matter how VERY funny it may be.
The history of bridesmaids might vary across cultures and countries, but the recurring theme throughout the years has been their role as a protective force that ensures the brides gets to the ceremony safely. While brides-to-be are generally safe from being picked off by sabre-toothed tigers and marauding Vikings on their way to the church these days, bridesmaids still have to act as a sort of protective shield around the bride on their special day.
Morning of the Wedding
The bridesmaids will want to get dressed at the bridal home rather than with the bride at the hotel or venue. This will prevent the threat of creasing as well as ensuring any last-minute adjustments can be taken care of. But the main benefit of getting ready early is that it means the full focus is then on helping the brides feel as beautiful as possible on her big day.
When it comes to bridesmaids other duties in the morning, as well as keeping the bride calm and making sure everyone who is meant to be there is there – hair and make-up, photographers, crying mother – they also need to be on-hand to help any younger members of the bridal party get ready.
Then there is the crucial job of assembling of a small emergency kit of those important things that may well come in use throughout the day; we’re talking plasters, sewing kits, hip flask of vodka – just the essentials here, ladies.
The Wedding Ceremony
When the bride arrives at the church, the bridesmaids need to make sure everyone is in the right place behind her, including trying to negotiate with any excitable flower girls or page boys, be it with threats of telling mummy or basic bribery. After going through the final checks with the bride; hair, veil, make-up, dress, hair again – you’re ready to take *the* walk.
Having walked behind the bride down the aisle, probably in more traditional fashion than those in that video – brides will take their seats behind the special couple and try to stop your mascara from running when the inevitable waterworks begin. From there, the bridesmaids will be escorted from the church by the ushers, before being photographed for what will seem like an eternity.
By this time, your feet are going to be in agony – this is where the emergency plasters/hipflask will come into play.
Right, so it’s almost the end of the bridesmaid duties and the time when it becomes acceptable to ditch the shoes, hit the dance-floor and get a bit silly. But first, there are still a couple of things left to do. Having helped the bride and groom meet their guests, the bridesmaids are expected to mingle before taking their seat ready for the meal and the speeches.
While these are traditionally taken care of by the best man, the groom and the father of the bride, it has become more common for the maid of honour or chief bridesmaid to say a few words. But if you’ve managed to avoid having to make a speech, your only role here is making sure you don’t spill any food down your dress and making sure you fuel yourself ready for a night of doing the Macarena and line dancing.