Bridesmaids, do they still exist?
Why don’t we ever discuss bridesmaids anymore?
There are loads of wedding dress photos all over the internet. There are lots of things that people have to say about brides and the details regarding preparing for the wedding day, but not a lot is being said about bridesmaids.
We see them as a humorous punctuation in movies, but aside from that there is not a lot of detail to their role and why we even have them. In fact, you will even notice that during the journey to find the perfect dress, a lot of large luxury retailers do not stock bridesmaid dresses anymore.
As a wedding dress designer who was once empowered to design for a very large New York bridesmaid fashion house, I have been reviewed closely the roles and relationships of brides to their bridesmaids. It is quite interesting, to say the least. At one point, I attended a dinner party where even a high-profile international diplomat who had just experienced his daughter’s wedding, commented upon the sheer bitchiness of bridesmaids.
I am sure that none of you wish to be THAT topic of conversation at dinner parties, so if you happen to be asked to participate in a greater capacity thus being asked to be a bridesmaid, here are a few things that you should know.
First know that the bride cherishes the friendship you both have. One of the first things a bride may do after getting engaged is to count her friends and to begin choosing bridesmaids. It is important to realize that you are chosen. The bride honours your friendship, and wants you to be there for the wedding, all pre-parties, and to assist in any way needed. To be chosen is a privilege, and if you are chosen a number of times to be a bridesmaid, it means that you are truly a good friend. A trusted one. A level-headed companion that can be a rational addition to a highly emotional event.
Know that you are chosen to make the bride’s life easier. Bridezilla is often a word that describes the transformation of your lovely friend to the competitive insecure bride upon her engagement. Sometimes she is acting irrationally because of YOU the bridesmaid. Questions any bridesmaid needs to ask. Are you making it easier or more difficult for the bride. Are you assisting in making her wedding day journey a joy, or a living hell. I have seen so many chaotic wedding parties with brides who end up more stressed out by the process of getting married and become relaxed after the wedding day is over. Please bridesmaid, assist the bride in her tasks, and errands. This is why you are a bridesmaid.
It is your responsibility to be compatible to the bride, the other bridesmaids as well as the extended family. Often enough, I have seen bridesmaids who (somehow, and weirdly) have a competitiveness with the bride or other bridesmaids. She may be a sister, or a high school friend, but she is someone who innately wants to outshine everyone else. Please bridesmaid, examine your conscience, and if you believe that you may be subconsciously sabotaging the wellbeing of the bride and the whole wedding itself, please recuse yourself from the wedding to prevent further damage.
Yes, participating in a wedding party will cost you money. Please, make a budget, and show the budget to the bride and be transparent about what you can afford. Please note, that it is the responsibility of each bridesmaid to fund their own dress(es), travel, parties, etc. IF, and it is a bit IF, the bride has the means and the generosity to partly or completely finance your dress(es), travel, and parties, it is a gift from the bride and/or her family, and you should be grateful.
Sometimes all you need to do is show up. I have been involved personally in over 1000 weddings that span the globe. One of the great things that weddings represent to me is the sense of family, friends, and community. Sometimes it is nerve-wreaking for a bride. The new experience of the wedding day, with all of their people around them. There is a terror about doing it correctly and not making a mistake. Often a bride will dream, or more correctly, have nightmares regarding her wedding day, which has nothing to do with anything other than simple fear of not being adequate and not living up to what people want of her. As a friend and as a bridesmaid, sometimes your job is just to show up and be a friend. Show your smile and be around for her to hold her hand. It is the simple things that mean so much.