From The Straits Times    |

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Everyone has their role and their place at a wedding with everyone fulfilling a different duty, from guest invitations to ensuring the guests get home safely after the reception. But what about the role of a bridesmaid?

How to be the perfect bridesmaid

Here are 10 top tips on how to be the perfect bridesmaid.

1. Don’t steal the bride’s thunder
If you’ve already had your wedding day, then look back with happy memories rather than trying to relive it through your friend’s big day. Or, if your day is yet to come, be happy for the bride and trust that your moment will come one day. This is all about the bride, so remember this before you get carried away and steal the limelight. The perfect bridesmaid is there to support the bride, not take her place.

2. Offer emotional support
It’s virtually inevitable that the pressure of wedding planning will get to the bride sooner or later, and when this happens, the perfect bridesmaid will offer emotional support. Whether that’s a pep talk to spruce up the bride, a shoulder to cry on or some considerate counseling, every bride needs a supportive friend in their bridesmaid.

3. If you haven’t got anything nice to say …
… don’t say anything at all. The perfect bridesmaid will bite her lip when trying on an ugly bridesmaid dress and keep her opinions to herself. Likewise, when the bride is rambling away on a tangent, explaining how she wants flamingoes at her drinks reception and an ice sculptures in every guest’s room, just nod and smile sweetly and let the bride come to her own decisions to avoid offending her. It’s not your wedding and it’s not your money, so let her and the groom make the decisions.

4. Be a personal trainer
Every bride wishes to look their best on their big day. Don’t be the devil on the bride’s shoulder, eating pastries and ice cream, when you could instead support her in her pursuit of weight loss, toning up or improving wellness. Having someone to exercise or start a new diet with is easier than going it alone. So, be the perfect bridesmaid by kicking the bride into gear; why not go to a Zumba class together or suggest trying your hands at some healthy recipes?

5. Be everyone’s friend
The bride has enough on her plate without having to worry about her loved ones falling out. Pre-wedding, there are lots of opportunities for arguments or disputes, as excitement and nerves will be flying high and the pressure of the looming big day endures. But in order to be the perfect bridesmaid, you must firstly avoid any quarrels by being placid at all times, and also try your best to resolve any potential fallouts between others.

6. Know the bride
The wedding planning process, the hen party and the wedding day itself all need to reflect the bride and her personality. As a bridesmaid it’s vital to know your bride, her likes and dislikes, loathes and lusts. Is she a fan of surprises? Does she hate the spotlight? Ensure you arrange any bridal showers, hen parties or wedding day extras to suit the bride’s tastes perfectly.

7. Be positive
The perfect bridesmaid should always strive to make the best of a bad situation. ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’ and ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ should be the mottos for any perfect bridesmaid. Being able to think on your feet and offer solutions to less than ideal situations is what separates an adequate bridesmaid from a great one. If the bride is in floods of tears over a cancelled supplier or a typo on the wedding invitations, don’t panic with her. Instead, remind her of the bigger picture of what her wedding is about.

8. Respect the maid of honour
Maybe you’re bitter that you weren’t chosen to be the bride’s maid of honour, or maybe you just don’t like being told what to do. But, like point five, you should always keep the peace for the bride’s sake. Remember, it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.

9. Initiate wedding breaks
Planning a wedding can be like getting sucked into a vortex of swatches, suppliers and mood boards so it’s important once in a while to break out of this cyclone and step back into the real world. As the perfect bridesmaid you should initiate breaks from all the preparation so the bride stays de-stressed and content; a coffee catch-up here, a movie night there, or even a spa day if you can afford it.

10. Be a teacher’s pet
When the bride asks for a favour or gives you a wedding task to do, do it straight away. Being a teacher’s pet pays off when it comes to keeping your bride happy. No bride wants to find out the day before their wedding that the buttonholes you promised to order have been forgotten or that the balloons still haven’t been picked up. Don’t ever give the bride the excuse to say she’d have been better off doing a task herself!

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