Bridesmaid Rules & Mistakes To Avoid

Why do we need to discuss bridesmaid rules and the mistakes to avoid? Being asked to be a bridesmaid at a wedding is exciting – and a big responsibility. Stick to the bridesmaid rules and you shouldn’t go far wrong!

Accepting,Plus 1 and events

Being a bridesmaid is not a cheap deal. If the bride doesn’t mean enough to you then don’t accept.

Don’t assume that you can bring a +1 – you will get a formal invitation which should make it clear. Remember that you are kind of responsible for your +1’s actions, so choose someone you can trust to handle themselves whilst you’re carrying out your BM duties.

Make sure you put a note in your diary of all the important events during the run up to the wedding. If you can’t make anything, such as a meeting to plan the hen do, then tell the bride or the MOH as soon as you know.

Being a BM doesn’t exempt you from giving a wedding gift. Yes you’ve paid to go on the hen do, yes you’ve paid for your dress/shoes/etc, no you don’t get let off the gift hook!

Bridesmaid rules - wedding gift

Make sure you have accommodation booked if you’re not wanting to go home immediately after the wedding. There may well be a group rate available at the venue – book early to avoid disappointment. One of the perks of being in the bridal party is that you will know the details earlier than other people.

Social media

Yay, it’s so exciting, you’ve been chosen as a bridesmaid at your good friend’s wedding! Quick, post about it on Facebook! Whoa, hold on a minute! There maybe reasons why the bride doesn’t want you bragging about it just yet. She may not have been able to get hold of everyone she wants to ask and doesn’t want you jumping the gun. Or there may be someone she doesn’t want to have to ask and wants to keep the bridal party lineup low key to avoid hurting their feelings.

Say yes to the dress

A lot of thought goes into  deciding the colour scheme or theme of a wedding. Remember it’s HER wedding, not yours. You may not particularly like a certain colour or style but it’s not really about you, bridesmaid rules kinda mean that you should say yes to the dress! If the colour completely drains your skin-tone  or the style makes you genuinely look like the Michelin Man then consult with the Maid of Honour (MOH) to try to tactfully persuade the bride to go with a different colour or style. Perhaps a variety of styles of the same dress or a range of shades of the colour might work. At the end of the day no bride will want her wedding photos (that she’s paid good money for) to be blighted by one person standing out like a very sore thumb!

Instead of throwing a hissy fit about the colour/style go for the tactful option to resolve the problem.

Be helpful & supportive

Whilst it’s the MOH’s responsibility to co-ordinate and organise quite a bit, try to make her life easier. Ask her if she needs any help or wants to delegate anything to you. Don’t just assume that it’s someone else’s responsibility to do everything. Offer any help that you feel plays to your strengths. Be informed about the details – the MOH is the go between for the bridesmaids and the bride, so go to her rather than the bride. Bridesmaid rules mean that you have to respect the bride’s wishes. Respond to emails/texts from the MOH or the bride – don’t make either of them chase you, it won’t endear you to them!

If you’re involved in helping to plan the hen do, take into account what the bride wants. A clubbing weekend in Magaluf may be your idea of heaven, but she may prefer a relaxing spa weekend.

Maybe you could offer to put together an emergency kit bag for the wedding day. Collect travel size toiletries and samples for you all to use.

So the bride’s being a bridezilla? Don’t talk about her behind her back. Wedding planning can be stressful so cut her some slack. Take any genuine concerns to the MOH, otherwise button it and suck it up buttercup.

Get to know the other BMs in the run up to the wedding day if you don’t already know them. That way you will be a strong support group her.

Bridesmaid Rules - support group

Be honest

Can’t afford the hen do because it’s a long weekend in Vegas? Then say so. Politely. No need to sulk, but be honest rather than offering up lame excuses.

If the bride asks your opinion then give it honestly, but politely/tactfully. She may choose not to take your advice, but bridesmaid rules say that you have to accept her decision.

Attire, hair and makeup

Order your dress in plenty of time. Have the exact style number and colour to hand to avoid mix ups. If there’s a problem when it arrives at least you’ll have time to sort it out.

Make sure you have suitable underwear for the dress. No one wants to show off (or see) bra straps, so be sure that your undies suit the dress.

Comfortable shoes – no, I’m not talking brogues, but they need to be comfy as well as pretty. Unless you are a seasoned heels wearer, make sure you have flats or flipflops for later on. I am fairly rubbish with heels – I spend most of my time in wellies walking the Lilguys, and just the idea of wearing heels for longer than 5 minutes makes my feet ache! I’m sure you’re not as rubbish as that, but if it’s a morning wedding with a wedding breakfast followed by an evening of dancing then surely even the most hardened heel wearer will be hobbling by midnight!

Plan and trial your hair and makeup in advance. The bride may have a specific idea of how she wants your hair to be or the make up style.

Bridesmaid rules on the day

Make sure that you’re helping to look after the bride on the wedding day. That’s your role, not to chat up all the groomsmen, even if they are gorgeous!

Bridesmaid Rules - flirting with the groomsmen

Set a good example. Don’t overdo the alcohol the night before the wedding. You’ll be hanging, not on top form, which is unfair to the bride. Also you’ll look jaded in the photos (unless you have a miracle worker for a makeup artist!). Turn your phone off – or give it to someone you trust. Don’t drink too much, even if it is an open bar.

Have fun and help to get the party started. Fun and happiness is catching! Don’t force people to get up and boogie if they really don’t want to, but be encouraging and set the tone.

Don’t leave before the end of the day. You may be needed for help after the wedding. Hopefully it should be clear who’s responsible for organising things like returning hired items, dismantling the wedding decor etc. Offer to help, don’t let it all fall on one person’s shoulders.

Don’t be Über competitive for the bouquet. Shoving all the other single female guests out of the way and doing a dive worthy of a rugby try is not a look to aim for!

A good bride

Yes, there are bridesmaid rules for you to follow, but a bride needs to be a good bride too. She shouldn’t expect her BMs to spend money that they do not have. If you can’t afford to make an event then you should not be made to feel guilty.

You should not be expected to change your shape/lose weight to fit into a particular style of dress. No one has the right to tell another person to do this – except a medical practitioner for medical reasons. If one member of the BM party is going to look bad then the bride should opt for a style or a variety or styles that suit everyone. A good friend would not want you to feel uncomfortable and unattractive. It will show in the photos.

Neither should you be expected to change your appearance to fit in with the bride’s vision of her BM lineup. E.g. she’s got in mind a line up of blondes to compliment her brunette hair – too bad if you’re a redhead! That is totally going into bridezilla territory. She should be focusing on having her support group there for her rather than whether you all have the same hair colour.