I'm a Bridesmaid!! Now what?!
You may be visiting this site because you have been given the honor to stand by your friend on her most special day, so first of all Congratulations!! Being a bridesmaid is a treasured experience that you will remember all your life. I have been blessed to have so many wonderful friends that I have known all my life and as a result I will be in my 9th wedding this year! Although it is fun and exciting, it is also a responsibility that should be taken seriously and well thought out before committing to. The purpose of this web page is to give you tips and helpful information regarding Bridesmaid etiquette and duties. I am NO expert but I do have very useful information that I have gained from my own experiences. Please feel free to drop a line and I will do my best to guide you on your journey :)
Bridesmaid Etiquette 101
A few things you should know:
1. Being a bridesmaid is a big expense. You have to remember that this is your friend's day so please do not expect them to cut corners. If you cannot financially afford this responsibility then it would be in your best interest to politely decline the offer. It is also probably important to the Bride that you show up for every wedding event leading up to the big day so if you know your availability will be tight then just make sure that you communicate this with the Bride so there are no hurt feelings later on. Many of us have busy schedules and we are all understanding of that.
2. Although it is typical for the Maid of Honor to throw the Bridal Shower remember that as a member of the wedding party you should chip in. Whether it be helping with planning, finances, or setting up you should make yourself available. What you help out with will obviously be determined by your location and schedule. If you are out of town, offer to send a check.
3. Understand that this is the Bride's big day and she will have the final word BUT don't be afraid to voice your opinion about dress styles, colors, etc. There is a kind way to go about this and after all, you are close enough friends to be her bridesmaid; you shouldn't have a problem being open with one another. My suggestion is to offer to help pick out a dress. I usually go online and send the bride to be a list of dresses that are nice for the season, bridal party body types, and that fit in with the Bride's personal style. This also helps the Bride out tremendously!
4. Bachelorette Parties aren't just a night out on the town anymore. Be prepared to take a trip to another town or possibly another state. Each member of the Bridal party should chip in on the Bride's travel expenses, even if they aren't able to attend. One tip for Bachelorette parties: DON'T invite too many girls. This equals TOO many opinions and too much clashing. A smaller group makes for a much more drama-free trip. I have been to Orlando a couple times, Tampa, South Beach Miami, and next month I will set sail on a 4 day Bachelorette Cruise. All experiences have been so worth the cost and are still talked about to this day!
5. To get a wedding gift or not to get a wedding gift?? Well that is up to you. I will say, however, that it is not the standard to give a wedding gift when you are a bridesmaid. You have already purchased a bachelorette gift, bridal shower gift, funded a bachelorette party as well as a dress and/or shoes, and sometimes even more. The Bride and Groom are so appreciative of all you have done to help make their wedding day special and should not expect anything more.
6. Bachelorette Gifts- Although the usual lingerie and naughty little gifts are always fun and encouraged it is becoming more and more popular to buy the bachelorette gifts that also appeal to her special quirks and interests. For example: An art teacher bride would get a lot of use out of a monogrammed art smock (just don't forget the body paint!!). A lawyer might enjoy a mallet signed by the bridal party (this could also serve as a "prop") or even a "legal" bachelorette weekend contract. A cosmetologist would love a monogrammed make up brush set or some other personalized beauty kit. I think you get the point. The thought will go a long way!
7. Be prompt in your responses regarding wedding affairs. Email is the easiest way to organize showers, parties, hair and make-up, etc. It is rude to not respond as you are slowing down the planning process which already stressful enough. Although the Maid of Honor will be the main contact, it is not ALL her responsibility so offer to help. You are a team; TEAM BRIDE!!
8. Hair and Make-up. The Bride will determine whether you will need to have your hair done professionally or not. Typically you are given the choice since so many people tend to know someone who can do it for free BUT if you don't get the option that is okay too. If you have a complaint about the cost then feel free to look up other salons that may be more in your budget but do not attempt to get out of this. Make-up is almost always optional. At least it always has been for the weddings I've been in but if not then the same advice as for hair applies to make-up. Getting ready together is part of the team bride bonding and is always a lot of fun and a great photo-op. Tip: If you get your hair or make up done and you DO NOT like it then you need to tell the person that is doing it that you would like it done differently. If not, you will complain about it all day and it will affect yours and most likely everyone else's mood. After all, you are probably paying good money for the service and should be happy with it. Just do it right away to avoid holding anybody up.
9. As we all know, the economy is in a horrible state and as a result many people have to cut down on their guest list. Do not be hurt if you are single and aren't invited with a guest. Embrace the fact that you will probably meet a lot of other single guests and can "cha-cha slide" with whomever you choose ;)
10. As soon as the DJ starts playing music, make a B-line to the dance floor. Don't be afraid to get the guests hyped and ready to party. If you didn't know, this is also a very important duty. "Every party has a pooper......" don't let it be you. Get out there and shake what your Momma gave ya all night!!
ALSO....Include the Mother of the Bride on all events. Secretly this is HER big day too! Most likely she will decline the invitation to the Bachelorette party but if not then make sure you have an extra party hat for her!!
*These are just a few words of advice because these were topics that I wondered about at some point of the journey. Enjoy being a beautiful bridesmaid :)
The Maid of Honor Speech
Maid of Honor Speech
I was honored when one of my very best friends, Christina, asked me to stand beside her as her Maid of Honor. Instantly I knew what this meant. I needed to have a gem of a wedding reception speech!! Believe it or not, I started writing this speech months in advance. I would eventually add on, remove, and tweak different parts of the speech on a weekly basis. This was a really smart move because it allowed me to memorize the speech(although I certainly brought my index cards with me on the big day!). Here's a few things to note when writing your speech:
- Keep it simple sweetheart! Don't get too detailed or dwell on any one point. Some of the best speeches have been short and sweet! At this point, the wedding guests are ready to bust a move on the dance floor!!
- Include something nostalgic, a compliment, a laugh, a thank you and a nice comment to the Groom as well. After all, it is HIS big day TOO!
-Thank the guests for being there and traveling from all over to attend the event.
-Thank the Bride's parents for all they have done in preparation for the big day.
-It's always smart to add a "Doesn't (insert Bride name) look stunning tonight?" The crowd will break into applause with agreement and your friend will no doubt be smiling ear to ear :)
-Meaningful quotes are lovely! Not to mention a great way to wrap it up!
-Last but not least, comic relief is always appreciated!! This is where a story about the Groom might come in handy ;)
Long Island Wedding :)
Bachelorette Party Destinations :)
Popular Bachelorette Destinations
I have had the pleasure of attending quite a few bachelorette parties in the past and have made countless memories from each. After speaking with many friends about their bachelorette party experiences I was able to narrow it down to a few good suggestions based on cost and what the cities have to offer you crazy bridal parties ;)
ORLANDO, FL- This is one of my personal favorites. I have actually been here a couple times for bachelorette parties. If you head downtown to the church street area, there are tons of bars and great places to eat. The bars downtown are practically recruiting you and your bridal party which is what I really liked about it. YOU are the star of the show :) Make sure you hit up Mako's. The bartenders there will really take care of your bride(possibly with a fishbowl to drink out of!). This is no place to be shy!!! Other noteworthy bars: Chillers, Bliss. For a great dinner with amazing homemade sangria, Ceviche is right down the road!
SOUTH BEACH MIAMI, FL- Although South Beach is not quite as budget-friendly, it is certainly an experience you won't want to miss. One boutique hotel I can recommend that is very reasonable is Circa 39 www.circa39.com. The rooms are delicately decorated and the hotel is very modern. In my opinion, no trip to South Beach is complete without a visit to Mango's Tropical Cafe. It is a tropical bar with a super fun atmosphere. This spot features choreographed routines that the bartenders perform on the bar(don't forget to get the Bride up on stage, you will NOT be disappointed with the photo op!). Spend a day (or 2 or 3) on the beach with the ladies and take in all the sights. Other noteworthy spots: BED, Mansion, Wet Willie's, Klutch, LIV at Fountainbleau. Hit up News Cafe, it's open 24 hours!!
TAMPA, FL- There is just so much to do in Tampa on any given weekend so if you do choose Tampa be sure to check out all upcoming events. Tampa is nice because it is more affordable as they usually have good drink specials or ladies night. Steer clear of Ybor City after 9pm and head to Channelside. Located right at the port there's a nice array of clubs, bars, and restaurants. Check out Splitsville; part bowling alley, part bar. A few of my other favorites include: Howl at the Moon, Banana Joe's (for dancing), Margarita Mama's, and Wet Willie's. A great bachelorette dinner spot is Bahama Breeze located right on the water. Don't forget to check out the great shopping in Ybor City in the day or even take a trip to Busch Gardens!
KEY WEST, FL- One of my favorite party spots! This is perfect for the 'island bride'. One walk down Duval Street and you won't want to come home! There is so much to do in Key West! Rent bikes to get around the island and look into different catamaran trips, snorkeling, fishing, etc. for the day. If you are feeling extra wild then take in a Drag Queen show at the world famous 801 Bourbon Bar. Some popular bars that are always packed with crowds are Hog's Breath Saloon, Sloppy Joes, Fat Tuesday, Rick's, The Bull and Conch Republic(right on the water!). Only the daring will venture to Garden of Eden- a rooftop bar(located above The Bull) where clothing is optional :/ Make sure you save some time(and money!) for breakfast at Blue Heaven....it's amazing!!
SAVANNAH, GA- Although typically a romantic spot for couples, Savannah can be transformed into your party destination at any time! Take in the historic sites during the day (maybe even by horse and carriage?) and take a haunted pub crawl with the girls at night. Make sure you stop in Kevin Barry's Irish Pub for their live entertainment. Bachelorette dinner at Paula Dean's The Lady and Sons Restaurant is a must! For the bride that loves to cook or maybe needs to learn more, check out Paula Dean's food tour that picks you up right from your downtown hotel for less than $60.
LAS VEGAS, NV- How could you possibly go wrong with a trip to Las Vegas with some of your best girl friends??!! I can honestly say that I have never been but I have heard so much about it that I have already asked my MOH in training(I'm not even engaged yet haha) to make sure Vegas is on our bachelorette list! Take in a pool party at Hard Rock in the day and hit up some popular clubs like Rain, Tao, VooDoo Lounge....hell anything!! An added bonus is the Stripper 101 class that you and the rest of the girls can take together(just don't post these pics on facebook!!!). Look into the 'What Women Want' Pass. It runs around $100 and includes admission to some of the best clubs, dinner, Stripper 101, and American Storm- a sexy male revue along with some great shopping discounts!
Thinking about celebrating abroad?? I am going on a bachelorette party cruise next month and will fill you in on all the fun :)
*For extra pizazz, go for themed nights and get creative with your outfits, decorations, and drinks. Tailor these themes to the Bride's interests and you're golden!!! :)
Check out some pictures from my bachelorette party adventures......
Get the Party Started!
Bridesmaid to Bride :)
Bridesmaid to Bride!
I'm very happy to return from my blogging hiatus and to update you all on my recent bridesmaid adventures and also to give advice on not just being a bridesmaid but a Bride as well! I was engaged October 24th of 2011 and will be married October 27, 2012. I plan to start blogging about my experience with planning a wedding on a budget so stay tuned for a lot of helpful advice!
More Bachelorette Party Fun!
Since the last time I blogged on this site, I have been a Bridesmaid in two weddings. Both girls, Whitney and Michelle, are my very good friends from childhood who also grew up in Bradenton, Florida but both weddings were in different cities(which made a great excuse for a little getaway!). Whitney's wedding was in beautiful Ponte Vedra Beach near Jacksonville and Michelle's wedding was in historic Saint Augustine, FL. Both weddings were absolutely beautiful and a great reunion for us friends. I highly suggest taking a couple more days vacation time to explore the cities you are traveling to for weddings. When you are a bridesmaid you have pretty much on a schedule so a couple extra days to yourself is recommended!! Below are some pictures from both weddings, Enjoy!
Bridal Emergency Kit
I'm sure you have heard of a bridal emergency kit for the day of. It can easily be overlooked but I really think it's a must-have. After hearing many stories of the little things that can go wrong while getting ready, I figured it was better to be safe than sorry. I made my first kit for my friend's wedding last October and quite a few items in the kit ended up coming in very handy that day. I made a poem to go along with the items in the kit so that we were all clear on the purpose that each item served:
It’s your big day and we are so happy to be at your side,
This kit is for you; the beautiful Bride.
Lotion to keep your hands from getting dry,
A packet of tissues in case you should cry.
Hairspray and bobby pins to keep your hair in place,
Q tips for smudges on your lovely face.
Baby powder can remove stains on white,
You may need a sewing kit to patch it up right.
Eye drops should those green eyes get red today,
A nail file to keep fabric snags at bay.
Last minute jitters got your stomach reeling?
Immodium to the rescue for those nervous feelings!
We want to wish you the best on your special day,
You are loved and appreciated in countless ways.
As you walk down the aisle and go on your way,
Know that we’ll be right there behind you to share in this day.