In life, there are always things people don’t tell you. No one says that no matter the job, you’ll likely never be able to talk about your salary and feel comfortable about it, no one ever goes into the truths of childbirth (and if they do, there’s a special place in hell for those type of people) and on a lesser note, no one tells you that there’s no easy way to leave a Whatsapp group without getting shunned by at least two of your friends. The same goes for bridesmaiding. “It’ll be great!” they say, without ever looking you directly in the eye. Because while many aspects of bridesmaid duties are great, the truth is: it’s hard work. And just when you’ve gotten over the panic stages, we’re here to either comfort you or add to that (sorry) with eight other unspoken truths no one says a word about (but that you are expected to know):
You can say no
Not when it comes to your dress, hair, makeup, shoes, anything about the general wedding or practically anything asked of you (well, within reason) but to the actual task itself. You can turn down being a bridesmaid if you know, that you’d rather not take on the responsibility. Because being a bridesmaid means taking on that responsibility (and a whole lot of other stuff too). And if you know you’re the wrong person for the confetti-strewn job, let the bride pick someone more suited. It will save tears, tantrums and probably your friendship too.
There’ll always be one bridesmaid who does nothing
It’s a known fact that one or two bridesmaids do everything while at least one just shows up to get her hair and makeup done and swans down the aisle on the day. Oh, the rage. Alas, there’s nothing that can be done about this, save for grinning and bearing it. Well you could fight it out, but it’s not recommended – see point 4 below.
Someone will constantly complain about money
From the hen night to the fact that it costs more to have the bridesmaid dress altered than it did to buy the dress itself, to the general cost of the day, there’s always one who never lets go of the fact that they have to spend x amount of money. This is hard to deal with (and hard on our wallets too, being honest) but again, we stress that the bride left out of such discussions. Just remember: there will be wine at the wedding.
There’ll be at least one bridesmaid row (and you can’t tell the bride-to-be)
Ah, the row. As sure as day turns to night, there will be at least one fight between the bridesmaids, be it because Sarah does nothing or Mary never shuts up about money or because someone is making the festivities about themselves when it’s never to be about them. But if you value your friendship with the nervous bride, tell her nothing because first of all, it’s not fair to her and secondly because you will feel the wrath of her mother and nothing is worth that.
Your shoes are going to kill you (but again, you must say nothing)
No matter the shoe, they are going to make your feet hurt like hell. But you must practice gliding around the house as if floating on air because the bride doesn’t have time to worry when she has to source six other identical pairs of the same shoes. Don’t be selfish, the actual STRESS of that task.
You can’t ever tell the bride-to-be your real opinion
Hate your dress? Hate the colour scheme? Hate the starter? You weren’t asked to be a bridesmaid to divulge this information at any point before, during or even after the day itself. You were asked to smooth over the cracks, help the bride look the best version of herself and soothe any tears – while keeping some form of Dutch courage very close by.
You will spend a weird amount of time with your bride’s mother
This could be a walk in the park if you’re a best friend to the bride, but considering you’ll likely spend more time with her mum than you do your own, it’s bound to feel a little odd. But it must be done. It’s also worth remembering that your opinion means nothing when the mother of the bride is on the scene.
It is ALWAYS about the bride
And never about anyone (yes, even the groom, sorry lads) – or anything – else. Breathe, repeatedly say it and repeat.