I’ve been a bridesmaid the same amount of times I’ve been in a jury.
What I’ve realised is that the same kind of commitment is needed for both jobs.
Basically, once you’ve committed, you’re going to need a gargantuan excuse to get out of it. And while you may be excited about it for the first few days, there will be a time when you say to yourself, ‘what the hell have I gotten myself into?’
While being asked to be a ‘maid is an honour, it can also quickly become a burden.
Further – if you are asked to be one, start budgeting now.
The first time I was asked to be one, I was floored. It’s like being asked to get married. And these days, you can set it all up like an actual proposal.
If you don’t know the other bridesmaids, guaranteed there will be one that you won’t be able to work out why she and the bride are friends.
You will end up bitching to your own friends about her as she will have this knack of completely dismissing all you awesome ideas. You harbour secret hopes she will put on weight and not fit into her bridesmaid dress.
Say goodbye to weekends for they will now be filled with funnelling confetti or sugared almonds into favour boxes or visiting all kinds of dress shops. Don’t wear layers and boots. Do wear thongs and trackies. Comfort reigns supreme.
Ask the bride how much she is expecting you to cough up. After I said yes, the person I ended up pissing off the most was mum as I suddenly treated her pantry like my own personal Coles and found that fried breadcrumbs and sauce was actually pretty palatable.
If the bride hands you a document that looks like this….
Hello my beautiful bridesmaids! Let me just say again how happy I am that you are going to be a part of my special day! Below are just a few guidelines for the wedding that I’d like you to review, please initial by each point, sign at the end and send back to me. Just want to make sure they’re aren’t any surprises! The planning bride is a happy bride!
Thanks a bunch! Love ya!
______ My hair will remain at the length it is now or longer.
______ I will not change my hair color without first consulting (the bride) and providing a sample photo or hair swatch for consideration.
______ I will use Sally Hansen’s ‘Maximum Growth-Daily Nail Growth program’ every day for the 4 months before the wedding day.
______ I will not gain more than 3 kilograms from the weight I was when I was asked to be a bridesmaid.
______ I swear to attend all bridal showers (such as the hen’s and kitchen tea), to arrive in a timely manner and do everything in my power to support and ‘be there’ for the bride.
______ I will purchase the style # 81123 dress in latte/champagne within 3 weeks of today.
______ I will NOT knowingly get pregnant without notifying (the bride) at least 4 months prior to the wedding so a suitable alternate can be found. I will also give my purchased bridesmaid dress to said alternate.
I do hereby swear that I will adhere to all of the above & other understood bridesmaid duties for the wedding on (date of wedding)
(sign, print and date)
You have to organise the bride’s kitchen tea and hen’s night. It’s like herding cats then you have to try to pry money from them. From the last couple of hen’s parties I’ve been to the usual cost of attending is roughly $40. This can wildly vary.
You may also be asked to make a speech at the wedding. Be prepared.
Brides, do not ask your bridesmaids to be bridesmaids purely because they are a pastry-chef, a florist, a jeweller, a make up artist, a hairdresser or someone who owns a stationery shop and has access to a top notch stationer’s guillotine. They’ll work it out pretty quickly that you’re using them.
While the dress may be worn again, you may not actually wear it again. I managed to wear two of them again, but the full-length dark burgundy off-the-shoulder number with the burgundy satin bows? Alas, I am still looking for the right occasion. Perhaps my next round of jury duty.
You’ll probably have to pay for your hair, makeup and *cough* spray tan. Bridesmaids need to be aware of what this actually means. Spray tans mean you getting your kit off in front of a complete stranger while she airbrushes your whiteness away while you are either in stone silence wishing the minutes away, or chatting furiously to distract her from your not-quite-up-to-scratch bikini wax. For a moment you will think you are getting turned on, but really, you are just cold.
Also, don’t sleep in white sheets the night of the spray tan. Ideally, try to sleep standing up and naked next to a fan.
You will be bored while the bride and groom have their photos done post-ceremony, pre-reception. You will be made to do some kooky poses with the bridesmaid you don’t like. Tempting as it seems, this is not the time to get stuck into the chardy.
Your groomsman counterpart will either be devilishly handsome and married, or a complete jackass.
‘Fun’ music may be selected on your entrance to the reception. When Sisqo’s ‘Thong Song’ starts up, just smile and walk to your seat.
If you are saying a speech, do it with total feeling. This is when you start to remember why you’re here – and it’s the last official thing you have to do. Like on jury duty, you’re delivering the verdict. Light. End. Tunnel.
Do not wink at devilishly handsome married man.
Bridesmaids, while I salute you, you are all off the hook for my wedding day.
I have been asked to be a bridesmaid for the fourth time, but I declined very lovingly, saying my bridesmaiding days are over, my area of expertise now is being a fabulous guest.