Scoring a spot as one of your friend’s trusty bridesmaids is like winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. But being a bridesmaid can also have its complications.
And if you’re new at it, you may find this new responsibility to be a drain on your savings account, your free time, and (probably) even your patience.
To help you avoid falling into that headache-inducing trap, we rounded up 14 mistakes all first-time bridesmaids make so that you can avoid them.
Listed below are 10 mistakes most first-time bridesmaids make while deciding to be there for their friends during their weddings.
1. Being Selfish and Not Selfless: The bride will likely need a lot of favours from you, so it’s best to put your selfless-foot forward. Instead of making the wedding about you, take a step back and realize that, as a bridesmaid, there’s going to be some dirty work to do.
2. Not Saying Yes to the Bridesmaid Dress: Waiting too long to order your bridesmaid dress could leave you running around to fabric stores the week before the wedding, attempting to DIY it. (Not good.) Even if you’re not completely in love with the dress the bride picked out, be sure to order it with enough time so that it arrives and you can get it altered if needed.
3. Assuming You’ll Get a Plus One: You may be flying solo to the wedding, even though you’re a bridesmaid and all of the other gals in the bridal party get to bring their significant others. Don’t assume you’ll be given a plus one, and instead, wait for the invitation to come before asking the bride if you’re allowed to bring some arm candy with you.
4. Skipping Out on the Pre-Wedding Festivities: Being a bridesmaid requires a whole lot more than just showing up on the day of the wedding and sauntering down the aisle. There’s often an engagement party, bachelorette weekend, and bridal shower that you’ll need to help plan and attend. Clear your calendar early on so you can commit to those events, too.
5. Blowing Your Budget: The first thing you should do as a rookie bridesmaid is set a very tight budget for yourself, and then sticks to it. Being a bridesmaid can be very draining on your savings account, especially if you don’t plan ahead of time.
6. Leaving the Wedding Early: Just because the bride said “I do,” and the open bar is officially open, that doesn’t mean your role as a bridesmaid is finished. You may be asked to be there for the bride throughout the night to bustle her dress, get her a slice of cake, or even take her to the bathroom. Stick around until the very end of the reception (and after-party), if your exhausted feet can take it.
7. Getting Aggressive at the Open Bar: It may be tempting to celebrate the end of your bridesmaid role with a few shots at the open bar, but try to take it easy. You’re a big part of the whole wedding party, and since eyes are on you throughout the night, you want to make sure you’re functioning well (and on two feet) until the very end.
8. Forgetting to Pack a Change of Clothes: You’ll likely want to crawl out of that polyester, itch-inducing bridesmaid dress as soon as you can. Pack a change of clothes you can toss on for the wedding after-party or even for the morning of the wedding before it’s time to walk down the aisle.
9. Not Prepping a Survival Kit: Pack a tote bag of essentials—everything from Band-Aids to Advil—that you might need at the bachelorette party and on the wedding day. Having these items by your side will be lifesavers for you and the bride throughout the entire event.
10. Bugging the Bride with Tons of Questions: You may find yourself with a list of pressing questions, like where you need to be and when. Try to save those for the maid of honour, or other members of the bridal party, instead of the bride. Her to-do list is a couple pages long, and the less you can bother her with questions, the better.