Getting asked to be a bridesmaid can often feel like you just scored the supporting actress role in an Oscar-worthy movie. It can feel somewhat like a rite of passage, even something you're desperately looking forward to crossing off your bucket list.
But after the excitement of having the bride pop the bridesmaid question to you wears off, you may find yourself flustered over where to start or even though it might be your "job" to start anything. Sure, you can scour the Internet, call on experienced friends, or ask strangers for advice on what to do and more importantly what not to do.
But no matter how much you read up on how to be the most perfect bridesmaid ever, and no matter how many times you've been a bridesmaid before, whether that's once, twice, or a handful of times, you will find yourself making the kind of mistakes that will leave you with one too many blisters, headaches, or just simply wishing that you would have negotiated the terms of your bridesmaid role ahead of time. You may even find yourself fidgeting around the idea of backing out of your bridesmaid duties or convincing yourself that being a bridesmaid once is more than enough.
Dodge the blisters, the crying bride, and the "I'll never be a bridesmaid again" attitude by learning how to conquer your bridesmaid duties, and you eventually will, as long as you avoid making these 49 rookie bridesmaid mistakes.
You Prematurely Accept to Be a Bridesmaid
Just because you're asked to be a bridesmaid doesn't mean you have to say yes. Do it only because that person truly means a lot to you, you have the time and extra cash to do it right, and because you want to.
You Bring the Wrong Gift to the Wrong Place
When the wedding adventure first begins, map out each event that you plan on bringing a gift to—that way you won't make the rookie mistake of bringing lingerie to the bridal shower.
You Don't Listen to the Bride
When the bride says she wants a quiet and simple bachelorette party, somewhere with bottles of wine and cucumbers over her eyes—don't go off and plan a night out at the hottest club in Las Vegas. Listen to her, even if it's not what you want to do—or what you "think" she really wants.
You Don't Save the Drama for the Maid of Honor
Planning a wedding is stressful. So if you're not happy with the dress she picked out or the time the bridal shower starts or how another one of the bridesmaids is treating you, chat about it with the maid of honor or another member of the bridal party. Don't bother the bride with that nonsense.
You Leave the Essentials Behind
Clean out the travel-size toiletries section at CVS and throw all of those items into a tote bag or a fanny pack—they will come in handy. They will save your feet, your mind, and your stress sweat from leaking out all over the place when the bride desperately needs eyelash glue.
You Say Too Much in Your Toast
If you're speaking during her reception or at her rehearsal dinner, leave out the part about how on your spring break cruise to Cozumel she spent 60 percent of the trip with her head nearby the toilet and the other 40 percent with her lips on a shot glass. Save that for the bachelorette party.
You Think Your Bridesmaid Role Ends When the Wedding Ends
Just because the couple said "I do" doesn't mean your job as a bridesmaid has come to a complete stop and you can exit your role. In the days after the wedding, the bride may turn to you for help with picking out photos for her album, helping her sort through gifts, and even just calling you to chat.
You Think You're Guaranteed a Plus-One
Being a bridesmaid doesn't necessarily mean that you're automatically granted a plus-one to break it down on the dance floor with or cheers a glass of champagne with. Unless the bride specifically says you can bring along some arm candy with you, assume it's not okay to bring a guest.
Your Plus-One Becomes the Life of the Party
If you are granted the privilege of bringing a plus-one along with you to the wedding, remember that you're responsible for their actions. While you're juggling your bridesmaid duties, keep an eye out to make sure they aren't guzzling their twelfth tequila shot for the night.
You Put Up a Fuss about the Dress
Even if yellow marigold is not your color or you don't like the way the seven layers of chiffon fall on your body, just remember that you're only going to be wearing this dress for one night. Complaining about the dress to the bride could jump-start her stress levels.
You Assume the Other Bridesmaids Will Take Care of It All
Instead of thinking that the maid of honor is taking care of all of the details and the planning, reach out and ask if there's something you can help with. If there's nothing at the moment, you can offer to be "on-call" in case something comes up.
You Make Excuses Instead of Being Honest
If you don't want to go to the bachelorette party or are afraid to tell the bride that you can't afford to fly out for her bridal shower, it's better to be honest and upfront about your reasons rather than make excuses or let her know last minute what is really going on.
You Forget the Key People, Places, and Things
After saying hello to your bridesmaid role, be sure to keep a mental note of all of the important dates for the wedding adventure as well as who the other members of the bridal party are. Get yourself in the loop of the details so that you don't forget where you need to be and when you need to be there.
You Go Big When Really You Should Go Home
You may start to feel like you're overdoing everything just to impress the bride or make her happy. But instead of ordering five shots for the bride and yourself at the bachelorette party or spending a lot of cash to make her bridal shower look like it's straight out of Pinterest, remember it is okay to keep things simple.
You Lie to the Bride
Whether she asks you an opinion on flower arrangements or whether her fake eyelashes look too fake, you don't have to spit out a lie to make sure she stays happy. Politely tell her the truth and even provide an alternate suggestion after doing so.
You Turn It Into a Dating Game
While it may be tempting to go over and fraternize with the groomsmen on the day of the wedding, make sure that you're around for the bride first, especially when she needs your help the most.
You Put Your Wedding Before Hers
If you find yourself getting married around the same time as the bride, be sure to support her as much as you can. Share your wedding-planning tools and to-do lists with her and try not to let your own wedding chaos get in the way of being there for the bride through hers.
You Don't Plan Out Your Hair and Makeup Beforehand
Screenshot photos of hairdos and makeup looks that you absolutely love and bring them with you on the day of the wedding when you're getting your hair and makeup done. This way, the stylists will know the kind of look you're going for and they can stay on time.
You Leave the Wedding Early
Try to stick around at the wedding until the very end. Even if you're not a party animal, being there until it's over will show the bride that you support her and that you're around to help out if she needs it when the celebration comes to a close (she will probably need your help to clean up!).