Brides & Bridesmaids – Choose Wisely, Treat Kindly

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Michelle and Brian's 'Happily Ever After' Disneyland Wedding
Photo by White Rabbit Photo Boutique; See this whole wedding here

“Choose Wisely, Treat Kindly” – A famous phrase made popular by Dr. Laura regarding marriage, but I think it can also be applied to the bride/bridesmaid relationship. A while back there was a bride’s email to her bridesmaids that went viral (if you want to read it, here it is). Apparently an anonymous fed-up bridesmaid leaked this letter to the media, and off it went. This bride got raked over the coals for her bridal party expectations, but guess what  – the bride/bridesmaid relationship goes two ways. So before you accept the bridesmaid position, I recommend you “choose wisely,” and brides, I want to just give you some words of advice about “treating kindly.”

Bridesmaids

  • Go above and beyond. Be the best bridesmaid evarrrrrrr. Check in with your bride before she’s even aware of the problem you’re about to solve. Plan a shower/bachelorette party with all her favorite things, even if you hate them. Be available on wedding day for whatever she needs. Your bride will love you forever.
  • Know what you’re in for. Discuss what’s expected of you before you accept the bridesmaid role. Some (not all) women can end up going kookoo-bananapants once that ring gets slipped on their finger. So even if it’s your best friend or sister, just discuss the details before you start to get swept up in everything.
  • Dodge a bullet.  You know what I’m talking about. All of us have those friends who are a little high maintenance. If your Spidey sense is tingling and the red flags are waving, don’t be scared to Just Say No to being a bridesmaid.

Brides

  • Don’t forget that your friends are your friends. They aren’t ACTUALLY your maids. Don’t expect them to wait on you hand and food, and show your appreciation when a bridesmaid goes out of her way for you.
  • Lower your expectations. TV shows, magazines, and blogs all show us the types of parties, showers, and other pre-wedding activities brides expect their bridesmaids to do for them. Well, forget all that. Your wedding will be unique and your bridesmaids will give you a unique experience. And if you don’t get a shower or party thrown for you, that’s okay, too. These things aren’t requirements for getting married. Keep your expectations low and you won’t get disappointed and angry (this is good advice for life in general.)
  • Say “thank you.” You know how good it feels when you do something nice for someone and they smile and tell you “thank you?” That.
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    I’d love to hear about your bride/bridesmaid experiences. What would you add to the list?

    This article was originally published in October 2012 and has been updated.