I’m going to be a bridesmaid!
Whilst on a ski trip away in the frosty snow-covered hills of Japan, My cousin’s Mr. popped the question on bended knee. Being extremely romantic for the first and perhaps only time in his life – as my cousin would say – he had even cleverly organised a undercover photographer to follow them for the occasion to capture the perfect snowflake-lovers moment.
And the ring! Oh my word. Uniquely hand crafted and tailored-to-order, it has got to be one of the most wonderful rings I’ve ever seen. It was sure to secure the all-too-important ‘yes’ as an answer if the location itself wasn’t convincing enough! (Have I started turning green yet?)
I almost squealed when I heard the news of the engagement! I could not have been happier for her. And I almost burst into tears the moment she asked me to stand by her side on the big day as we stood amongst a hundred beautiful white dresses in a small bridal shop. To be apart of a her dream come true – well there’s just no other privilege like it in this world.
Having always been quite close with my cousin since we were both still in high-school, we have certainly spent many a-nights gossiping about her Mr. back when he was just a crush. The whole “So, there’s this boy and he’s really cute…”is exactly where this all started so many years ago. And little did we know that five years later she would be saying ‘I Do’ to the man who she once dedicated a Jason Derulo song to.
#19 on my bucket list is to be a bridesmaid. I guess you could say this one was more an experience I was hoping to have in life rather than being an item to physically pursue. But nevertheless, I have always hoped that one day I would have the opportunity to be one so I could be one of the most positive catalysts in the making of someone’s forever. Because let’s face it, I’ve always been pro-love and fairytale endings.
Being a bridesmaid for me isn’t just about standing up there on the day filling a place. It’s about the journey to the big day, it’s about centring the experience around the bride and about ensuring that she knows just how much she is cherished from the moment she chose you to be her bridesmaid.
It’s about realising the importance you have in someone’s life that they have asked you to be apart of their big day in the first place and then going to the ends of the earth for them to show them they mean just as much to you too.
With the big day rapidly approaching, its starting to get very exciting. It’s been a bit of a bumpy ride so far with a bridesmaid swap (Oh, the drama caused with that one!) and some guest list troubles (a common ‘fire-starter’) – but I think we’ve finally found smoother paths to travel on now and it’s so great to see my cousins eyes sparkle with excitement again instead of stress.
And I guess I’ve learnt a lot from being a bridesmaid. Not specifically about the role itself, but more about what it means to be a friend. What it means to put somebody else’s wants and needs above my own, and the impact that we can have simply through the smallest of our actions. To me, the lead up to a wedding is a journey that was always meant to be a wonderful one. Stressful in aspects yes, I don’t think we’ll ever manage to avoid varying levels of ‘Bride-zilla’, but a journey that when you look back upon it in five years you realise was one of the most exciting life altering moments you’ve ever had.
The road to forever should always be one where love is the driver, and excitement it’s passenger. Every other emotion should find itself being a small package tucked away in the boot, seldom used (like that spare roll of toilet paper we keep in there for goodness know what kind of emergency).
And I realise that being a bridesmaid isn’t always easy. It’s not like there’s some outline out there on how to be a bridesmaid.
So, I’ve comprised a list. Almost like a guideline, or how-to list, of the little things I’ve so far learnt to be necessary traits in a bridesmaid.
Because hear me now beautiful bridesmaids out there in the big wide world – whether you realise it or not, you are the one’s that have the biggest impact up until the moment of the big kiss and the effortless transition into Mr & Mrs. So make it count.
It’s called The Bridesmaid How-To and I’ve come to learn that these 5 items are simply what it takes to be a bridesmaid worth having.
1) Be Available. Being a bridesmaid means your life is about to get busy. Get a diary – you’re going to need it. There are bridal fittings, and make up trials; shopping expeditions for shoes and jewellery; high-tea’s and bridal showers, and of course the engagement party. So get organised, know your dates and do your best to be at every event! Plan ahead and get those dates off work and no matter how difficult it may be to miss out on Sunday penalty rates – make it look like it was never a hard choice to make!
Also, know that you’re bound to find yourself a part of a group message where your phone will most certainly boast it’s very existence almost every minute for the next 12 months. Learn to love the alerts, embracing it is the only way you’ll survive.
2) Be the ultimate helper. Like a bridesmaid version of a Santa’s Elf. I will guarantee you here and now, that at some point you will find yourself so deep in bombonieres that you won’t know which way is up. Now is the time to start practising you bow-tying skills, and ability to pack heart-shaped biscuits into cellophane bags. Be the one to sprinkle sequins on the bar tables despite how they may chose to stick to you instead of said table, and know that every moment you spend being a bridesmaid elf is truly making the difference.
3) Avoid being difficult about the dress. Yes, it may be hideous. But repeat after me…I like my dress and I will love wearing Frankenstein’s outfit. Because the bride does and that’s really all that matters. Granted my bridesmaid dress is going to be amazing, but I have seen a fair share of tulle-embellished and Hessian sack look-a-likes to know that it’s not always easy to pay for a dress you might rather use as a rag. But it’s one day, and it’s most definitely not about you. So smile and enjoy yourself, then bury the pictures.
4) Be the backbone. Be the one to make sure the bride sticks to her guns, to make sure she gets exactly what she wants. Brides are subject to feeling the need to please everyone, even if it’s to their own detriment. It’s your job to make sure there’s no compromising on the things that matter most to her. Even if it means you have to take down the mother-in-law to-be over guest list seating. Get your boxing gloves on, your a bridesmaid moonlighting as a bodyguard.
5) Go above and beyond. This one is the most important one. Never forget that it is a privilege to be a bridesmaid and never let your bride feel as if you aren’t just as excited as she is. Spoil her! The aim of the game is to have her bursting with happiness. For my special contribution to the big day – I ordered in specially made and hand embroidered satin gowns to wear the night before. They are personally detailed with last names and initials all the way from California. Worth every ridiculous cent spent on the exchange rates to get them here!
I am so looking forward to this wedding! And I am so thankful to have the most perfect opportunity to show my cousin just how much I adore her. She’s going to make the most beautiful bride.
Now that our embroidered silk robes have arrived and our checklists are almost completely checked, I think it’s time we held Hen’s Weekend for the Hen herself… Because that might just be an event better than the wedding itself! Look out big city, we are coming for you.
#19 – Be a Bridesmaid: Check!