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50 Shades Of Bridesmaid

Bride with Bridesmaids at the Hens Party

We all know how integral bridesmaids are in the wedding process – but what exactly do they do? And, what happens when you get a bad one?

Looking after everything from your bridal shower to your hen’s night a good bridesmaid can make a world of difference when it comes to executing your dream wedding. Here we look at the roles and responsibilities of your bridesmaids and what to do if they lose the plot.

Who are they?

Bride and bridesmaids photoshoot

Usually someone close to you or your husband-to-be a bridesmaid can be your sister, cousin, friend, sister-in-law or even an Aunt! It’s entirely up to you who you have as a bridesmaid, just choose wisely. Your wedding is a day you will cherish for years-to-come, so try not to choose a friend that’s just passing through, you want to share your day with people who are in your life to stay.

Roles and responsibilities

Bridesmaids assisting the bride get ready

Traditionally a bridesmaid will help you with all your pre-wedding planning. They should be organise your bridal shower and hen’s night, they should help you select vendors; accompany you to dress fittings and tour venues with you. Then, on the day they should help make sure that everyone is doing what they should be doing and play the role of crisis prevention if any hiccups arise.

However this is flexible depending on the bride and the bridesmaid.

Expectations versus reality

Bride with her bridesmaids

We all have a tendency of hoping for the best - no matter how unlikely it might be. That's why our expectations may not always match up with reality. But, life isn’t perfect and that's what makes it beautiful. Likewise, if your bridesmaid isn't perfect, it's not the end of the world, it's just time to re-evaluate. Sometimes - in fact a lot of the time - you need to remind yourself that your bridesmaids can't read your mind.

The first step to having a good relationship with your bridesmaids is communication. Set a time to sit down with them from day one and outline what you would like compared to what they can realistically provide. Your bridesmaid will have a life outside of your wedding, they have work and family commitments of their own so it would be unrealistic to expect them to drop everything to help you execute your dream event.

In reality a good bridesmaid will be there when she can and have good time management. Likewise, a good bride will be understanding when her bridesmaid can't be there for her and thankful when she can be.

Disaster stories

Sometimes, if you’re incredibly unlucky, your bridesmaids can be a hand full! My family, in particular, seems to be cursed when it comes to bridesmaids, with both my Mum and sister having their own bridesmaid disaster stories.

From hating the dresses to refusing to have their makeup done, some bridesmaids are less than useless. When my Mum got married she didn’t expect much of her only bridesmaid. Her cousin was her bridesmaid and my Mum as the laid back charmer she is, just wanted her to rock up on the day and put on the dress. However, when the morning of her wedding finally rolled around, her cousin kicked up a stink about the dress being ugly (what did she expect, it was the 80’s for chrissakes!) and wouldn’t let the beautician put a drop of makeup on her face, or style her hair. Much to my Mum’s dismay, her cousin walked down the aisle plain faced with her hair in a ponytail!

Flash forward 25-years to my sister getting married – her bridesmaid-to-be didn’t even make it to the wedding. In the early planning stages she announced she would choose her own dress, hair, and makeup and her boyfriend, who wasn’t a groomsman, would sit at the bridal table with her! As you can expect, a nasty fight ensued. This eventually led to her bridesmaid dropping out of the wedding and refusing to talk to my sister.

So, what do you do?

When your bridesmaids go sour there’s really only one thing to do – give them the flick! This may be extreme, but you need to remember that your wedding is your day and no one should compromise the joy of your wedding. Start of by having a calm, civilised discussion with your bridesmaid and address your issues. Hopefully, you will be able to come across a compromise, but if they still prove stubborn it’s best to explain to them that it may be in your friendships best interest that they step down and just be a guest. Otherwise, if you leave it too late, your friendship and bridal party might be unsalvageable.

Smooth sailing

Bride together with her bridesmaids

On the opposite end of the spectrum, a good bridesmaid can make planning a wedding as easy as A, B, C!

They will ask you how things are going, help you address all your wedding invites and calm you down when you get cold feet. A good bridesmaid is ultimately a good friend.

All you can really ask for is a bridesmaid that's trustworthy, loyal, and kind. If you find a worthy bridesmaid with these traits everything else will simply fall into place.

On the hunt for a bridesmaid dress? Check out some vendors from all over Australia who provide gorgeous bridesmaid dresses for your own wedding!

About The Author

April Davis

April Davis is a young Melbourne based writer and blogger working in magazine publishing. With a degree in professional writing and publishing, her writing has an equal dose of heart and humour.

If you'd like to see more of April's work you can find her at A Beautiful Mess Me