If you’re lucky enough to have been asked to be a bridesmaid for the wedding of your close friend or family member, congratulations! It’s a serious honor to stand next to a bride on what will undoubtedly go down as one of the happiest and most memorable days of her life. But that’s not to say that it doesn’t come with a laundry list of responsibilities that amp up as the wedding day draws close—and especially on the actual day. If you're trying to lock in the title of bridesmaid MVP, here are some things you should try your best to avoid doing on the wedding day.
Unless you’ve planned a wedding before, you probably can’t even imagine the amount of things running through a bride’s head on her big day. Your duty as bridesmaid is to do your job so it’s one less thing she has to think about, starting with being on time. Your bride or the wedding planner has likely given you a getting-ready schedule, so you know when you’re supposed to arrive. Be even earlier than that. Flora Wu Ellis, founder and CEO of Unveil Events, even suggests that the bridesmaids set up a phone chain as a secondary wake-up call to alarms.
This can help ensure that no bridesmaid is left behind, in bed that is.
Forget your dress, shoes and accessories
There’s a lot to remember to do and bring with you on the day of your friend’s wedding. This is especially true if you have a bigger role, like maid of honor, where you’ll also be reciting a speech. Lay out everything you’ll need to bring the night before so that you’re not scrambling in the early morning. This includes your bridesmaids dress, shoes, any hair pieces or jewelry you might plan to wear, undergarments like strapless bras or double stick tape, etc. “If there’s a secure bridal suite at your venue or church, one option is to ask drop off your clothing and accessories at the rehearsal,” suggests Ellis.
Post before the ceremony
In the midst of all the excitement and craziness associated with your bestie's big day, it can be tempting to capture every tiny moment in photos, Snapchats, Instagram stories and more. But, remember, that when it comes to your friend’s big day, the #latergram rule always applies, mainly because you never know how and when she’d prefer the world to see her in her white gown. “Resist the urge to share photos—of the dress, the bride, the behind the scenes action, etc.—because no one wants to spoil that big surprise when she walks down the aisle,” says Amy Shey Jacobs, founder and creative director of Chandelier Events.
“Plus, she'll likely have a pro photo and video team with you to capture this all, so enjoy being there with her, and don't let your cell phone get in the way of these fun shots, too!”
Mess with the hair and makeup schedule
If your bride is expending the tiny little bit of extra energy and sanity she has left on a hair and makeup schedule, do what she says. It’s as simple as that. “Unfortunately, some of the bridesmaids will have to start earlier in the day than others, so just remember that you are there for her—to keep things calm and moving smoothly,” says Jacobs. “Be punctual for your scheduled time, don't take up too much of the stylist’s time with changes and modifications and don't complain about the schedule—especially to the bride!” If you have special needs (such as you need to feed your baby at a certain point of the day), Jacobs suggests addressing this situation with her as early in the process as possible, ideally before the schedule’s been created.
Forget to eat and drink
With so much going on at once, it can be easy to forget to fill your body with food and H2O; however, doing so will quickly leave you famished and feeling faint. Your job as bridesmaid is not only to make sure you’re consuming enough energy in the form of food on the big day, but to make sure the bride is doing the same. “There have been situations where bridesmaids have fainted during the ceremony,” says Ellis. “If possible, have a plan in place so your bridal party can eat before the ceremony.”
Complain within an earshot of the bride
Remember why you’re a bridesmaid: to celebrate your close friend or family member on her wedding day. Even though you may not be thrilled with the schedule or the frenzy of the day or what you're wearing, Jacobs recommends doing your very best to keep any negative feelings to yourself. “The bride is likely nervous for a million reasons, so the last thing she needs to deal with is having to keep everyone in the room happy as a clam,” she adds. In other words, no complaining allowed.
Drink way too much
With an open bar and drinks flowing left and right combined with the celebratory excitement that comes along with seeing someone you love marry the love of their life, it’s easy to overdo it on the booze. Fight the temptation to repeat the level of tipsiness experienced at the bachelorette party. “A mimosa or glass of champagne while you’re getting ready is fine, but the bridesmaids should not be intoxicated during the ceremony,” adds Lisa Costin, wedding planner and owner of A Charming Fete. “Save that partying for late night!”
Forget to dance!
“If the dance floor is looking sad at any point, it's your job to get out there and do the funky chicken!” says Jacobs. “The bridal party can quickly fill a dance floor, so keep your eye on the stage and make it your mission to make the wedding so fun she won't ever forget it!”