You’ve gone through the important decision of identifying who your bridesmaids will be and you have popped the question through a beautifully wrapped bridesmaid proposal gift. You come to realize it can be a tough decision to make especially when you have a lot of girlfriends and lady family members you’ve been very close with and you really want them to be part of your bride tribe as compared to one who has a few close lady friends or relatives. After the excitement of getting their “yes” and having all their names finalized, it’s time to gather them for a heart to heart talk as to the essential things they need to know as your bridesmaid.
So get those bubbly on color-coded or personalized tumblers, snacks, and ice cream and gather them in one room. Set that notebook and pen in place too and take the time to discuss the following things every bridesmaid should know:
1. Lay down your expectations and your bridesmaid’s expectations.
As the bride, this is something you should have identified way before this time of discussion with your bridesmaids. Knowing clearly what you want and what will work for you will help you communicate it better to them compared to identifying your expectations at the time you have gathered your bridesmaids.
There are standard expectations you can discuss with your bride tribe. For example, you can tell them that you expect them to be punctual on all pre-wedding events and most especially on your wedding day. You can further tell them that you expect them to make themselves available on going to hair and make-up trial, attending dress alterations, attending your rehearsal dinner and the like. Down to as simple as replying on a timely manner to your e-mails or the group chat you’ve set on social media. For example, communicate to them that you expect prompt answers within the day on e-mails sent regarding bridesmaid outfits. You can add to this list all other events leading to your wedding that you would want to do with your bridesmaids. Go through your list and try to put yourself in their shoes. Make the necessary changes by keeping it balanced as you wouldn’t want to be asking too much or too little from them. As you communicate your expectations, be prepared to accept that there are expectations your bride tribe won’t always agree on. Remember to be flexible and consider that their opinion counts too.
Now if you’re one of the bridesmaids, this is the perfect time to let the bride know what she can expect and not expect from you. For example, you may not be earning as much as the other bridesmaids and you worry that the cost for the hair stylist is way beyond your means, let the bride know about it. Another concern is when you cannot be present on all pre-wedding events due to personal reasons or your job makes it impossible for you to do so. These are all valid concerns that you shouldn’t be afraid to communicate. For all you know, there may be concerns of the other bridesmaids too and they are just too afraid to get it out in the open. The bride would appreciate your honesty and for communicating these concerns early on.
Choosing and deciding on how good you want things to turn out as you prepare for your wedding and the events leading to your wedding can be clearly relayed to your bridesmaids at this time. This way you avoid setting yourself up on confronting inevitable issues down the road. You also eliminate unnecessary frustrations and stress for yourself and your bridesmaids.
2. Let them know which wedding tasks they can assist you with.
While it is ideal to have a wedding planner to do all the tasks needed for your wedding, not everyone is capable of hiring one. Go through your wedding planning checklist and choose tasks that you can delegate to your bride tribe. There are actually a lot of tasks they can help with like visiting wedding fairs, preparing DIY favors and decors, getting in touch with suppliers, or having someone in charge of handling gift list questions and many more. Obviously, there will be tasks that would really require the presence of your bridesmaids like coming along to shop for a wedding dress or bridesmaid dresses, or you may want to meet up with them on a monthly basis to discuss all things concerning the wedding.
Leverage on the kind of personality, talent, skills and even inclinations that your bride tribe have. Let the person who is good on following up and talking on the phone be in-charge of giving suppliers a second call or handle the gift list. Let the artistic type help out in the DIY projects for your wedding. Get the input of the fashion guru when shopping for a wedding dress or bridesmaid dresses. What would matter most is that you make each activity as fun-filled and exciting as possible so the work at hand doesn’t become a burden for them.3. Allow them to freely speak up on what they don’t like.
It’s easy to have bridesmaids that agree with what you prefer for your wedding all the time. However, it is better to hear what they really feel about your preferences especially in aspects of your wedding where they play a major role. Would they be comfortable on wearing bridesmaid robes during pre-wedding pictorials? Is the color yellow okay with them as a gown color? Are they into wearing uniform tank tops? Is everyone okay having a choreographed dance or do they find it too cheesy? Would everyone be able to afford if the bachelorette party if travel is required The good thing about knowing if they agree or not is that you can come up with alternatives together. This will require some discretion and intervention from you as the bride. At the end of the day, there’s no better way to solve differences than to sit down and talk about it and take everything into consideration. One way or another you would have arrived at a decision, though it may not be right away, wherein everyone will be happy to say yes to.4. Provide necessary information as they organize the bachelorette party.
Because she knows you pretty well and would somehow have the idea of what you prefer to do on the last day of your freedom, the chief bridesmaid is tasked to organize the bachelorette party. However, there are those that feel they need to come up with something crazier than the bride’s expectations. To avoid finding yourself in awkward situations, you can always verbalize, lay down your expectations and provide the necessary information for the bachelorette party do. Would you prefer to have your mom and your future mom-in-law to be at your bachelorette party? Then feel free to let the chief bridesmaid know. Activities for your bachelorette party well planned and set appropriately if expectations are set early on.5. Talk about their outfits.
The balancing act would be for you to find the dresses you want and the ones you can afford. Not only that, this subject is one that needs to be discussed together with your bridesmaids. What colors do they prefer? Should the hemlines be short or long? Are your bridesmaids buying their own shoes? How about their accessories? Listen to their feedback and allow them to give suggestions. This way your bridesmaids would not just feel good that they get to wear the outfit that they like but that you truly value what they have to say.6. Tell them you want to plan the wedding but have fun with them at the same time.
All work and no play will definitely lead to stress and sometimes unnecessary conflicts. As the bride, you must remember to bring the fun into the picture especially when tensions and stress levels are on the high. You are bringing a bunch of loved ones and friends from all different backgrounds. Hold events that will allow them to get to know each other and have some time to bond before getting them to work on a specific project - your wedding. Your role is to inject the fun and excitement from time to time. You can even surprise them with bridesmaid gifts that can be useful for your wedding preparation. Why not give them functional tote bags to carry stuff as they do some wedding errands? Organize monthly night outs where they can just relax and be with you and not talk about the wedding prep. Go to the salon or spa together. Or simply gather them in your house for some wine or champagne. Be creative. Remember that a bunch of ladies who are happily working together can accomplish so much more. However, since these are your closest lady friends and relatives, you know for sure that they will joyfully work and do their best to make you the happiest bride on your wedding day.