No one teaches you how to be a bridesmaid. Sure, you can scour wedding message boards or highlight the pages of a bridesmaid survival guide. You learn what not to do by watching the movie Bridesmaids, or you can ask a veteran bridesmaid for a few quick tips. But you may find yourself running away from the chiffon and right towards the champagne. If you're a rookie bridesmaid, or someone who has done this more times than they can count, here are 10 things nobody has ever told you about being a bridesmaid.
1. It's expensive (but it doesn't have to be).
2. You can make the wedding weekend a mini-vacation.
Once your bridesmaid duties come to wrap, make a vacation out of the rest of the weekend, especially if you're traveling to a new destination.
3. Your body is a wonderland that'll accumulate some damage throughout the wedding adventure.
Thing week-long blisters that cling to your toes, headaches that linger past the "morning after," and exhaustion that a spa day can attempt to cure.
4. 75 percent of being a bridesmaid means being the life of the party.
A main chunk of your responsibilities as a bridesmaid is making sure the bride, and her guests are breaking it down on the dance floor and having a memorable time that'll shine through each Instagram photo.
5. The other 25 percent of being a bridesmaid means being the bride's personal assistant.
You may have been her sidekick in middle school and her wing woman in college, but now, you'll take on the role of her personal assistant. Making last minute trips to the drugstore for eyelash glue, helping her lick her wedding envelopes shut, and being her DIY centerpiece muse.
6. It's a good excuse to play dress up and get pampered.
What better way to justify spending a morning getting your hair and makeup done than celebration of a close friend tying the knot?
7. You'll learn how to be less selfish and more selfless.
As a bridesmaid, you'll do things you don't love, like smiling for a thousand photos, dancing with a groomsmen who smells like tequila, or give a speech at the rehearsal dinner.
8. It's also your time to shine.
Being a bridesmaid gives you the chance to do what you do best. Maybe you're a crafty person who can help with DIY projects. If you're organized, you can help with the to-do list. If you're the comedic one in the bunch, you can call the bride regularly to help her de-stress.
9. Always a bridesmaid doesn't mean every wedding you go to is the same.
Every bride, every venue, every group of people is dynamic. Your 13th time as a bridesmaid can feel like your first.
10. You'll have an unforgettable time.
Whether you tripped down the aisle, or the bride morphed into a last minute bridezilla, or because you spent the night slow dancing with a groomsmen who looked like Brad Pitt — a girl can only dream.
Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.