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Maid of Honor Check List

21 Jan

You’ve been asked to be the Maid of Honor in one of your favorite girls’ weddings, you couldn’t be more excited, but—uh—what exactly are you supposed to do? As a first time Maid of Honor myself, I know all too well that once the initial excitement, hugs, kisses, and congratulations are done, the next thought is something along the lines of “what is a Maid of Honor even supposed to do?” So for all you first time honorees out there, here’s a check list breaking down your main responsibilities. Each wedding party is different, and each bride may have her own requests and tough tasks requiring your help, but here are the basics every Maid of Honor should be sure to check off their To Do list:

  • Plan and host a shower with the help of the bridesmaids and bride’s female family members. During the shower, be sure to help keep track of who gave what so that the bride’s thank you note writing goes smoothly!
  • Plan and host a bachelorette party with the help of the bridesmaids.
  • Help the bride shop for a wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses.

  • Pay for your wedding day attire—this includes dress, shoes, and jewelry. If you don’t want to break the bank, be sure to suggest Bridesmaid Trade during the bridesmaid dress search!
  • Attend the rehearsal dinner.
  • Toast the bride and groom (either at the rehearsal dinner or the reception). If you need tips for giving the perfect speech, check THIS out.
  • Keep the groom’s ring during the wedding ceremony.
  • Arrange the bride’s train during the ceremony, if needed.
  • Hold the bride’s bouquet during the I Do’s.
  • Witness and sign the marriage license if requested.

  • Buy the couple a wedding gift.
  • Stand in the receiving line and help organize it.
  • Coordinate with the other bridesmaids throughout the entire process—keep them informed about important dates, fittings, and any other important news.
  • Easy on the alcohol during the wedding! Remember, you’re supposed to be helpful, not slurring your words!

And of course the most important thing to check off your list is to have fun!

Have you been a Maid of Honor before? What were your responsibilities?

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Top 10 Actually Useful Tips for Bridesmaids on The Crucial Big Day

23 Sep

10.  Buck up, Sister: No Debbie Downers.  Drink some coffee or a Gatorade (depending on how open the bar was at the rehearsal dinner), go on a run, steal a few quiet moments away with your gadgetry in the morning, and then – as we say in my family – Put Your Game Face On. Be courteous, kind, generous, helpful.  Except that…

9. Find your Thing(s) and Do Them Well: No one needs a martyr. Thumbs more oppositional than opposable? Opt out. Say, “Gosh, I would love to, but I’m terrible at knots/wrapping/rapping/reaping/keeping track of things. But I’ll help you find someone who can!  In the meantime, though, I can make sure the junior bridesmaids are alright. I’m great with kids!” Or “Ack! I would totally greet guests beneath the precious shelter-made-from-wood-from-the-bride’s-grandmother’s-farm but birds really freak me out.  I’m an ace with knots, though!  Let me at that birdseed!”

8. Make New Friends, But Keep the Old; One is Silver and the Other’s Gold: Yeah Troop 60!  Bridal parties are comprised of friends and family from different stages in a bride’s life.  Whether they are the bride’s kindred spirit cousins, best friend from elementary school, women she road-tripped with in college, or study partners for quals… they are your New Best Friends for Today.  Chip in on pre-game champagne, paint nails, compliment the Snooki bump if the bridesmaid seems excited, help her undo that mess if she doesn’t. Be the kind of person who makes Oprah proud. Less judging, more loving.

7.  Be Yourself, Unless Yourself is The Enemy: You know, there are times in our lives when we are fish out of water. We are the Double Cappuccino at the Tea Party. We accidentally wore our Palin pins to the PETA convention.  But for today, unless it really violates your principles, do some deep breathing in the bathroom stall and just wait it out.  Formulate a killer blog entry about how crazy the rest of the world is. Fantasize about that cheeseburger or quinoa salad you’re going to eat on Monday.

6.  Eyes on the Prize: Where do you look when you’re walking down the aisle? We think it’s ok to look around for people you know and get a little support while you’re trying to walk in those shoes.  But in the end, it’s probably going to be a little weird.  Looking straight ahead is fine.  Cross your fingers for a cute minister (lucky for us, we know a lot of cute ministers).

5. DIY: Are you good at hair and make up and stuff like that?  Awesome!  Offer your expertises to the wedding party if you know the bride is tight on cash, or if you are just feeling up to the challenge.  A few of our suggestions to get you started…

4. Shoes: Unless the bride has a particular pair in mind, don’t do something ridiculous and uncomfortable.  You will regret it.  15 minutes in, you will remember why you are a Rainbow-wearing hippie in real life. We’re partial to these if you’re hip and like heels and these if you can get away with it (design your own: I’m in love).

3. Booze: Yes, you’ve earned a cocktail, a dinner drink, a dancing drink… I mean…we’re not here to judge.  Just to nudge (less judging, more loving). But someone is going to give you a ride to the airport in the morning. Help them remember you fondly. Have fun!  Just not so much fun that you forget the backup Ipod or accidentaly take the bride’s shoes or almost drop cake on the groom’s dad’s shoes.

2. Thank you’s: Remember your manners.  Go out of your way to thank hostesses and hosts, the folks who are pouring drinks and clearing plates, and everyone who’s doing anything.  Weddings make people unwilling stress balls and emotional wreck-a-zoids.  Hearing someone say “Thanks, this is beautiful!” or “Thanks, everything is delicious!” goes a long way towards re-establishing at least momentary equilibrium.

1. Bridesmaid Trade …mwahaha!  Come on, it’s our business to plug our business. No seriously. If it’s not a dress you’ll wear again, but it’s still a pretty cool dress someone might enjoy, simply snap a few pics of the dress while you’re wearing it. Post it to Bridesmaid Trade on Monday after you’ve dropped it at the cleaners (and picked up a cheeseburger) or dropped in the Dryel (and made some quinoa salad).

Would these be on your Top 10? What do you think real, live bridesmaids need to know about the wedding day?

Reduce, reuse, pre-cyle?

23 Sep

The interweb has been replete lately with articles on how to reduce, reuse and recycle — or even, um, sort of “pre-cycle” — wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses.

In July, Jennifer Saranow Schultz explored the pre-sale trend wherein brides are starting to sell their dresses before they wear them.  Using traditional bridal consignment sites, brides are considering the pre-sale as part of staying within budget.  One bride describes her choice this way:

Kourtney James, 30, a lawyer in Houston, had budgeted about $1,500 for a dress but fell in love with an Angel Sanchez strapless gown that cost $3,300. Now Ms. James, who is paying for her wedding with her fiancé, hopes to sell the dress for $1,650 before her August wedding. “If I can secure a buyer before the wedding occurs, it takes a lot of the pressure off,” Ms. James said.

A used dress generally sells for about 50 percent off retail, whether sold before or after the wedding. But brides see an advantage to selling before the wedding because the styles are still current and other brides often can try on the same dress in stores. That, they say, enhances the likelihood of a quick sale.

Of course, ya gotta be careful with that white dress.  No dust bunnies or smushed mellowcreme pumpkins in one’s train (we digress: this is a pre-wedding pre-worry).  You’d need to avoid red wine like you would a champagne hangover and threaten one’s new lifelong partner with sudden death if one drop of delicious buttercream strays from its fork-to-mouth course.

Like this couple.

We were glad to see that the folks at MSN Money thought it was worth talking ’bout, too.  They wisely noted that frugality doesn’t a hit reality show make.  True.  Sigh.  Oh, well. We think saving money and being a not-crazy-person are both cool things.

Schultz noted that some sites are starting to focus on bridesmaid dresses and other wedding sundries.  Does anyone have any experience with pre-selling bridesmaid dresses? Was it awesome? Way too complicated?  We’d love your comments!