Hi everyone, Kelsie here! This is my debut on the blog as an Elevate Associate Coordinator, so thanks, M&K, for having me! I also recently made my debut as a bridesmaid in my brother and now sister-in-law's wedding, and learned a ton from the experience, so today I thought I'd share my findings with any of you other lovely ladies who have the honor of standing up in your family or friend's upcoming weddings.
Logan and Emily were married this past New Year's Eve in Milwaukee, and they also just so happened to be one of our Elevate couples! While I knew it was going to be one of the most beautiful, memorable days of my life watching my big brother get married, I was also obviously a bit anxious and nervous. I had never been a bridesmaid before and even though I definitely know how it goes from being in the industry, I wasn't quite sure what to expect diving into the role for real.
It was, of course, an absolutely wonderful experience, and I was completely thrilled to be a part of Logan and Emily's big day! As I was reflecting on the wedding, I realized that perhaps some of our readers might be in the same boat as I was, and are about to be bridesmaids for the first time. So I thought, 'what the heck?!' Let me share what I learned in the hope that I can help someone else in the same position. So...here are a few of my tips for being the very best bridesmaid you can be:
1. BE ON TIME AND BE PREPARED
I can't stress this enough, follow your timeline! Our bridal party was lucky enough to have Emily lay out everything for us. Seriously guys, my sister-in-law was on top of her GAME. She gave us a document listing where the girls and the guys needed to be, what to bring, what to pack, and SO much more, all down to the last detail. I whole-heartedly stand by this lesson learned as both a bridesmaid and as a wedding coordinator. Being on time throughout the day makes each part flow smoothly and is a HUGE de-stressor for everyone involved!
Packing for the wedding can sometimes be a bit overwhelming when you're a bridal party member. Attire, jewelry, shoes, gifts, the list goes on. My #1 tip: pack all of your must-have's FIRST. Obviously, what you need for the wedding itself is most important! You can always figure out the rest later in a pinch. We also can't forget items like the "getting ready" outfit (hello photo ops!), accessories, rehearsal dinner attire, or, of course, THE SPEECH if you're the Maid or Matron of Honor. Having everything prepped and ready to go will put you at ease and allow you to take in all of the special moments throughout the day. Bonus tip: If your suitcase winds up feeling a little empty, bring extra for the rest of the group just in case! Bridesmaids can never have enough hairspray, bobby pins, lipstick, or Kleenex. ;) TRUST ME!
2. HOW CAN I HELP?
Helping fellow bridesmaids, the groomsmen, and the bride is basically ingrained in the job description. While this tip may seem to be common sense, I promise there is something VERY important to keep in mind here.
Guests at weddings often seek out the bridal party with any questions. After all, you know where to go, what to do, where the food is - basically, all of the important stuff! As a wedding coordinator, I am all for supportive and helpful bridal party members, it is truly the BEST. However, I have also witnessed bridesmaids and groomsmen getting a bit sidetracked in helping someone, and it ends up taking them away from where they are supposed to be or distracting them from what they are supposed to be doing.
Of course, we all want to be helpful, but here's my short answer: if you are not able to give a quick solution to someone asking for help, guide them to someone who can. Wedding and venue coordinators know all of the ins and outs of the day and it is their JOB to make sure the day goes as smoothly as possible. Direct that wayward guest to the person who can get the job DONE so that you can focus on being there for your bestie!
3. ENJOY BEING A BRIDESMAID!
Being a bridesmaid is so much more than wearing a pretty dress. You are asked to stand by someone's side on one of the most important days of their life. They asked YOU to be a part of it because you are meaningful to them. Enjoy all of the little and big moments of the day. I remember waking up on the day of the wedding SO excited for what was to come and wanting to relish and take in every single part of it.
Of course, with every wedding, there can be moments of stress, but I encourage you to continue to remind yourself of what it's all about. It's a celebration of love, and not just between two people, but with every bridesmaid, guest, Mother of the Groom, Father of the Bride, everyone! Take the time to tell your bride how beautiful she looks, how happy you are for her, how much love you have for her and her new spouse, and how honored you are to be a part of their day!
I hope you found these tips helpful! As a little surprise ending...here are a few more snapshots from Emily and Logan's wedding. :) Enjoy!