We never thought the time would come – where friends start getting engaged, married and having babies…*takes sip of wine.* Earlier in October, we were bridesmaids in our college roommate’s wedding. Besides being flower girls when we were younger, this was our first real wedding that we were part of. We had no idea what to expect when we said yes to our friend last March, except the stories our moms had told us and some of the insight we received from a few expert bridesmaids. Now that we have gone through the whole bridesmaid process, we have the low-down on everything they do and do not tell you when accepting to become a bridesmaid.
1.The Bank Might Break
We wanted this to be the first point in our post because we want to make sure you know what you are getting yourself into financially. In total, we paid for a gift for the engagement party, splitting the cost of the bridal shower, gift for the bridal shower, splitting the cost of the bachelorette party, bridesmaid dress & shoes, bridal makeup (we did our own hair), gift for the wedding, and the hotel room the night of the wedding. There were things we didn’t know we would have to pay for and other things that we didn’t know would be as much as they were. Every wedding is different and sometimes families of the bride and groom pitch in here or there. We recommend to be prepared to pay for everything and if the families help out in any way, be very appreciated they saved you a little money. Try to save some money each month that will go towards the wedding. The maid of honor should tell you in advance what they expect you to chip in for which will help you plan better.
2. Making a Smooth Bridal Shower
Only one or two of the bridesmaids had been in a bridal party before. The rest were learning with us as we went along. Luckily, we had been to a couple bridal showers to understand what normally goes on. Try to break up roles by each bridesmaid: who’s buying/making decorations, who’s making/buying the games, who’s buying the gift for the bride (usually one from all the bridesmaids), who’s getting the gifts for the attendees, and who will help run the shower to know what is happening and when (usually the MOH and a helper). It’s helpful for one or two girls to focus on one role instead of everyone trying to do it all – it will just turn into a hot maid mess! The decorations do not have to be intricate, just enough to make the location feel personalized (flowers or succulents, centerpieces, signs with the bride’s name, etc.). You also have to remember that the ladies attending the shower want to be entertained and don’t want to be there for a whole afternoon. The longest part of a shower is when the bride is opening her gifts. To help make the process go a little faster, one or two of the maids should start to open each gift to make it easier for the bride to rip off the wrapping paper. It doesn’t seem like a necessary part of the shower but believe us, it makes a difference! These little tips and tricks will help make a fun filled shower for all.
3. Bachelorette Party – Planning & Executing
Depending on the bride, they either choose where they want to go, have some say in it, or it is a total surprise. For our bride, it was a total surprise! Because a majority of us could not spend a lot of money (some were still in school and others just got out), we decided as a whole that planning a road trip to somewhere a few hours away would be the best bet. We chose Dewey Beach, Delaware which was only about 3-4 hours away from everyone so it worked out perfectly! We looked into renting an Airbnb vs getting separate hotel rooms but since the prices were about the same, we decided an Airbnb was the best choice so we could all be together! The house was gorgeous and right in the center of the beach town so we were able to walk everywhere. The house was also a great idea because the maids were able to get to know each other better before the wedding so we definitely recommend renting a house! A couple girls volunteered to bring some decorations and games to make the place a little more of our own. Everyone also brought some food and drinks so we didn’t have to eat or drink out the whole time (money saver tip!). Next time around, we would love to do a meal out whether it be brunch or dinner but it’s not a necessity! We also had matching bridesmaid shirts while the bride had her own – we can’t tell you how many free drinks we received! 😉 Matching tattoos and a cute Snapchat filter is also a must! As long as you have a fun group, you’ll have a fun time wherever you go, whether it’s a night in the city, a road trip to a cute town, or going all out with a trip to Vegas!
4. Getting All Dolled Up
The bridesmaid dress is usually chosen by the bride however there are some brides that don’t mind what kind of dress you get as long as it’s the same shade, type, or style, etc. We joined our bride at David’s Bridal one day and she picked 3 different dress styles that we were able to choose from. The price tag might be a little scary but you have the option to order and pay then or wait until you save up a bit. Keep in mind there is a deadline of when they suggest you should order the dress by to make sure it comes in time. There is also a good chance that you will have to hem the dress or in my case, order an extra-long dress and then get it hemmed *takes another sip of wine.* The bride was pretty lenient with the shoe choice as long as it was silver & sparkly so we grabbed some heels from Payless under $20! If you are able to choose your own heels, make sure they’re comfortable because you will be wearing them for most of the day. The bride then chose a hair and makeup artist for the day of the wedding. Luckily, the bride agreed to let me do our hair which saved us a pretty penny! We didn’t trust ourselves on the makeup so paid a little under $100 to get it professionally done. Last but not least, nails! Courtney is an avid salon visitor for gel manicures while I choose to do my own. No matter how you do your nails, make sure the color is neutral and nails are cleaned because not only will all eyes be on the bridal party but there will lots of pictures taken – no one wants to see any chipped nails!
Bridal parties can be fun but a lot goes into them! Communication and budgeting is key but also, don’t forget to have fun! This is a once in a lifetime chance for your bride and she’s picked you to make it as perfect as possible. We hope these tips and tricks can help!
P.S. images taken by Laura Lee Photography.