Advice for Everyone:
1. Keep the Expenses in Check: This is a broad rule that really applies to everything wedding-related. Whether you're the MOH planning the bachelorette party or the bride choosing the bridesmaid dresses, keep your eyes on the dollar signs. Your bridal party may include some major ballers - or ballers on a budget. Just make sure everyone can afford to attend and participate (without having to pawn their LV).
2. Don't Skimp: This rule is sort of at odds with rule 1, but it doesn't have to be. We can all agree that it sucks to be the bride who is shafted on a gift, and it sucks equally to be the un-thanked hostess. Weddings are expensive for bride and friend alike, but being gracious can be cheap. Send each other nice handwritten notes, framed photos or flowers, bake cookies, or just do any nice gesture that shows how much you appreciate what the other person is doing or how happy you are for them. Plus, eventually you'll be in the other person’s shoes, and don't you want to make sure they don't retaliate?
3. RSVP: We cannot say it enough! It's rude to not respond to a party invitation of any sort. Don't assume that because one person knows your attendance status that the hostess of the shindig does, too. And for you brides out there - give your hostesses your guest lists upon first request. If you choose to stress them out with your procrastination you may find your response emails falling on deaf ears!
Advice for the Bridesmaid:
4. Don’t make assumptions about others’ participation. If you find yourself sending an email to your “fellow hostesses” without ever actually asking who wants to be involved in throwing a shower or bachelorette party, you might be ruffling some bridesmaid feathers. While it is customary for the bridesmaids to work together on the pre-wedding festivities, not everyone will have the same time and money to devote to the events. Before making any assumptions, find out who is interested and what they can offer. Perhaps one girl only has time or money for a beer run. Even though you’ll probably talk about her behind her back, just go ahead and accept it. Such is life.
6. Get Fitted for your Dress: Most every bridesmaid dress manufacturer requires that all maids are sized before they place the order. They want the dresses to be cut from fabric of the same dye lot. Delaying your fitting delays everyone getting their dresses - don't be that girl! If the bride has chosen different colors or a dress that doesn't need to be ordered, please still be timely. Risking a poor fit or finding that the dress is no longer available will throw the whole group off!
Advice for the Bride:
8. Don’t take over your bridesmaids’ social calendars. Just because you have 5 aunts, 3 family friends and an old high school teacher who all want to throw you a shower doesn’t mean you should expect your bridesmaids to attend all the events, especially if they require travel. Figure out which shower is most important to you and encourage them to attend that one. You don’t want your friends to get burned out on your celebrations before the big day even arrives.
9. Avoid wedding word-vomit. Much like not over-burdening your friends with wedding events, try not to take over all conversations by recapping every detail of your wedding planning woes. Yes, everyone can relate to the drama that comes along with selecting invitations and attending tux fittings, but the rest of us have lives, too! Being the bride is a super fun time, but keep it in check. We want to hear about the flowers you have picked out, but maybe keep your seating diagram to yourself. And remember that there is more to life than your wedding!
10. Have reasonable expectations. It doesn’t hurt to ask your bridesmaids if they can help you stuff invitations or create some DIY centerpieces, but be realistic. Your wedding is not top priority for everyone involved, so be selective when asking bridesmaids for help. And if you do choose to make it a group activity, at least provide the wine!
We know we've all had experiences like these - there is one in every group! What are some of your bridesmaid horror stories? (This is the kind of stuff we want to hear, ladies. Don't worry, you won't get caught!)