Photo: Amy Arrington Photography
Ugh, it's like, don't your friends realize you have a life too!? Obviously, you're super excited for them and you'd never in a million years miss the opportunity to stand by their side as a bridesmaid on their wedding day, but seriously, if you have to buy another bridesmaid dress you'll never actually wear again (despite what the bride says), you might scream! Well that, and the fact that your bank account is taking a major hit too. Besides saving up and grinning and bearing the whole dress thing though, here are seven other ways to survive wedding season when you feel like you're the perpetual bridesmaid, courtesy of the professional bridesmaid herself, Jessica Janik, Founder of The Invisible Bridesmaid.
1. Be honest with the bride from the get-go.
Have a lot on your personal plate already? Then let the bride know, recommends Janik. "Don't take on too much, and know your limits." Speak up if you're constantly being asked to help out and are feeling overwhelmed. "This way, the bride can pass the duty on to someone else rather than stressing you out." Besides, the last thing you want to do is be that bitter bridesmaid, right?
2. Don't procrastinate.
If there's one way to avoid unnecessary stress (and stay on the bride's good side!) it's to not wait until the last minute to get the job done. "Order your dress right away, prepare and practice your speech and try to get your jewels and appointments all in order ahead of time," advises Janik. This way nothing piles up and nobody gets upset.
3. Keep your cool.
Managing daily life can be tough as it is but to deal with planning someone else's wedding on top of everything else only adds more stress to your plate, points out Janik. "So if the bride has a bridezilla moment, just remember this is temporary and remind yourself that she's overwhelmed too and might not mean what she just said. If you keep this in mind you can try to have more patience with her, and she'll probably apologize at some point afterwards anyway." Maybe now's a good time to take up yoga classes or meditation together!
4. Eat, drink water and go easy on the booze.
You know yourself and you know your limits. If you're that person who doesn't like to eat at a party, Janik urges you to get some food in your stomach beforehand and always stay hydrated, especially if you'll be sipping on champagne with the girls while getting ready. Speaking of alcohol, remember that when you're a bridesmaid, weddings are a marathon, not a sprint. So don't get too tipsy early on in the day or you'll totes regret all that bubbly by the time the reception rolls around.
5. If it's a destination wedding, turn it in to a vacation.
If there's one way to get through wedding season, it's to make it one big vacation! Instead of dreading paying so much money for someone else's event, look on the bright side and use it as an excuse to take a trip, suggests Janik. "Go earlier or stay longer after the wedding. This will not only allow you to have some free time to do your own thing but will also most likely allow you to get in some great quality moments with the bride and groom."
6. Save the drama.
Literally check it at the door! Weddings can bring up a lot of feelings that you might be dealing with in your own personal life, notes Janik, particularly if you're constantly asked to be a bridesmaid in your friends' weddings. Your feelings have nothing to do with anyone else there so her best advice? "Keep them locked up for now, and I promise this will allow you to say, 'Wow I had a really great time' at the end of the night."
7. Get to choose your own bridesmaid dress? Then keep it tasteful. Oh, and wear comfy shoes too.
Definitely make sure the dress isn't too tight or skimpy, warns Janik. "The worst sight at a wedding is seeing a bridesmaid's outfit that screams look at me, and the last thing you want to get at a wedding, of course, is dirty looks, eek!" While we're on the subject, she says comfy shoes are key too. If you're a seasoned bridesmaid, chances are you already know this by now or have learned your lesson. "Sore feet can last more than a week, which can really drag you down during wedding season."