By Katie Ellis, Photos by Alyssa Ence
Bridesmaids are to weddings like cheerleaders are to the playoff game. Though they may be on the sidelines, they play an integral role on the big day!
Support the Star
The most important thing you can do as a bridesmaid is to always be on hand to offer your support to the star player; in this case, the bride. There is an array of intense emotions that a bride could be experiencing during the wedding planning for the day she becomes a “Mrs.”. Those feelings can range from sheer unadulterated joy to pure panic, stress, and even trepidation. The best bridesmaids comfort, console, or just help juggle all the necessary tasks of a wedding. And these tasks can start long before the “I do’s.”
Bridesmaids can help with a myriad of pre-wedding duties. Instead of asking the bride, “What can I do to help?” be specific. You could offer to help address envelopes, or you could ask, “Can I help decorate the reception venue? Help pack for your honeymoon?” Who knows, with all of your assistance, the bride may even think you deserve to pick out your own bridesmaid dress—you know, the kind you actually want to wear versus the one that collects mothballs in your attic!
The “Cheer Uniform”
As for your fancy frock, there is no real rule on how much involvement a bride gives a bridesmaid in the selection process. She may round up the bridesmaids and try to collectively agree on a style and color or she may just do it all on her own. Whatever “uniform” she picks for you to cheer her on, just throw a big smile on your face. Remember, this day is all about her!
Yes, that smile should continue even if she asks you to fork out your own Benjamin Franklins for your dress. Bridesmaids are generally expected to pay for their own wedding-day ensemble – shoes and jewelry included. Just keep those fingers crossed that the bride takes your financial situation into consideration.
Some brides even provide a few swatches of colors to their bridesmaids and let them do all of their own shopping, as long as it falls into the color palette or wedding “team colors.” If this is her method of choice, you may just want to send her a picture from the dressing room before you hit the cash register.
A “Pep Rally”
Now, it’s time for the bride’s pep rally or more commonly called a bachelorette party and/or wedding shower. These pre-wedding celebrations are probably the most exciting responsibilities of the bridesmaid.
While bachelorette parties have had a certain reputation in years past, that doesn’t mean you have to join in on the old cliché. Yes, I get it, we’re a short distance away from Las Vegas. But seriously?
There are many directions you could take a modern bachelorette party. You could involve a scavenger hunt where you enlist some of the people from the bride’s childhood such as teachers, coaches, and friends’ parents. Then, have the bride try to figure out clues that lead her to discover these people from her past.
Finally, if you’re struggling with ideas, don’t hesitate to ask the bride. Perhaps, she’s always dreamed of making a big jump before the big jump—translation: some sort of adrenalin thrill like bungee jumping or skydiving before her wedding day.
Whatever you decide to do for the party, just make sure it’s a reflection of the bride and make her the quarterback of the event.
All the pre-wedding excitement is a perfect segue to the big day! It’s time to put game faces on! It can be exhausting and exhilarating to attend to the bride’s every beckoning call. There’s no wonder the word “maid” is part of your title as you may be running any last minute errands, confirming flower delivery times, or satisfying junk food cravings.
The “Head Cheerleader”
The biggest responsibilities fall to the one with biggest title, kind of like the head cheerleader for the cheer squad. If you happen to be the Maid of Honor, feel honored. The bride feels the closest to you among all her friends and she knows that you will be in her life for years to come. She also knows you will give her the support and assistance she needs on her big day.
Among helping the bride and bridesmaids with their hair and make-up, as the maid of honor, you will witness and sign the marriage certificate and hold the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony. And don’t forget about the reception! Instead of megaphones, you will be mic’d up ready to give the toast and speech.
Then there’s the part of the wedding with your name all over it—the dancing portion. As soon as the music radiates over the speakers, you can be one of the first to hit the dance floor and show off all those amazing moves. And yes, just like a cheerleader, as a bridesmaid, you can encourage the crowd to get up off their seat and join in on the excitement.
Victory in your Hands
After all the dancing, it’s time to toss some pom-poms…well, instead of pom-poms, the bride will be ready to toss her bouquet. This is when you and all the rest of the bridesmaids fall into formation with open arms and battle it out for the victory. If you happen to throw your arm out at just the right moment and catch that flying floral concoction, the victory is in your hands! As folklore suggests, this victory includes a ring on your finger, a man at your side; and most importantly, a chance to boss around a new crop of bridesmaids!
Cake- Cupcakes By Julie
Design- Laura Graf
Dress- Sassy Chic Bridal
Floral- Jocelyn’s Floral
Hair- Blow Beauty Julie Thomas
Makeup- Kelli Miller
Photos- Alyssa Ence Photography
Stationery- Courtney Odorizzi