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?