Kate Middleton and Pippa Middleton
As Kate Middleton's little sister/maid-of-honor Pippa Middleton knows, receiving the request to be a member of a wedding party is one of the greatest honors anyone can have. Here are eight tips for best performing ones duties as a bridesmaid-tips even Pippa can benefit from!
1. RSVP "Yes" to Everything
It seems like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many bridesmaids think they can pick and choose which events they attend leading up to the nuptials. If you want play the role of bridesmaid beautifully, you should attend all the pre-wedding events you're invited to, from engagement dinners to bridal luncheons. The only exception to this is if you live very far away from the bride, in which case you should ask her which events she feels are most important for you to attend.
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2. Give Her a Fabulous Send-Off from Singledom
The bride's last hurrah as a single girl should be a night (or weekend) to remember! Plan activities you know the bride will thoroughly enjoy, whether it's going wine tasting, enjoying a relaxing day at the spa, or painting the town red in over-the-top bachelorette-party attire (think sash, tiara, feather boa, and lit-up accessories). Because it's customary for the bridal party to cover the cost of the bride at the bachelorette party, take the lead in divvying up the amount among the bridesmaids, so as to make the always-uncomfortable process of splitting the bill as smooth as possible.
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3. Lend a Hand Throughout
With so much for her to think about, one of the best things you can do for the bride-to-be is offer your services beyond a bridesmaid's typical duties of co-hosting the shower and throwing the bachelorette party. If you're artistic, you can assist in creating the programs, gorgeous centerpieces, or, if you're super ambitious and have the time, invitations. Even if you consider yourself woefully uncreative, you can still help address envelopes, accompany the bride to appointments, or simply be someone she can lean on during this stressful, albeit wonderful, time.
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4. Say Yes to the Dress
Think the bridesmaid's dress is a monstrosity? Keep your opinion to yourself. While you can gently suggest a different style or color, accept the wedding-day wardrobe with a smile because ultimately it's her special day, not yours. After the event, you can donate the dress to your local Glass Slipper Project, which recycles gowns for high school girls who cannot otherwise afford them, or incorporate it into this year's Halloween costume.
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5. Throw a Sensational Shower
Another (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime event, a shower should be a special and memorable tribute to her. Help make it happen by sharing bridesmaids' tasks, such as finding a venue, outlining the menu, deciding on décor, and conceptualizing fun games. If you're all on a tight budget, you can host a simply chic tea party with homemade dainty bite-size sandwiches, scones, and mini desserts!
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6. Advocate for the Bride
The day of the wedding can be chaotic to say the least, with everyone from vendors to family members throwing last-minute questions at the bride. Step in and answer what you can, hold onto the bride's cell to field phone calls, and take the responsibility of handing out payments to the appropriate parties. This alone can alleviate unnecessary stress and keep the bride focused on enjoying her day.
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7. Master the Menacing Bustle
Of all the wedding-day details and processes, bustling a train can easily be the most frustrating. Go with the bride to the shop where she purchased the dress to get first-hand instructions on how to properly bustle the dress. Do a couple of run-throughs as the hooks and snaps on a dress can be hard to maneuver, much less find.
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8. Tie Up Loose Ends at the End of the Night
After the happy couple bids adieu to their guests and drives off, there's still work to be done! Tie up the loose ends by gathering the gifts (including envelopes), guest book, left-over cake, engraved champagne flutes, and other important keepsakes. And if need be, schedule a time with the vendors to pick up and drop off any remaining rentals.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.
Images via Splash News
Kate Middleton and Pippa Middleton