I remember the first wedding I was asked to be in - I was still in college and really had no clue what a wedding entailed. I just knew that I cared about my friend and wanted to be there for her any way that I could! While every single wedding is different, bridesmaids have a huge role to play. Whether it's a laid-back wedding where the bride is carefree or a black-tie affair, all of these tips apply!

  1. Be available the whole wedding weekend - From the rehearsal dinner until the decor is taken down and the reception site is cleaned up after the bride and groom leave, you should be available - as in, don't make other plans. The bride wants you to be there for support for the whole weekend, and making sure you're there for her is your number one priority! Try not to sneak other plans with other people in if you can help it - your priority that weekend is the bride. 
  2. Volunteer to help with tasks - The bride may or may not ask you to help with DIY projects or addressing wedding invitations or picking out the dresses, but make sure she knows you're there if she needs you! Not only is it a great stress reliever for the bride, but it's such a great opportunity to strengthen your friendship.
  3. Be a hostess - This one's specifically for the wedding reception. The bride and groom are going to be so busy on their wedding day just making sure they say hello to everyone! Guests will recognize you at the reception because of the ceremony, so be prepared to make small talk. The topics are easy - you just have to mention how beautiful the bride is and how happy you are for them!!
  4. Don't question the bride - Every wedding is different. Remember that. The only time you can question the how and the why things are done are when it's your wedding or when you're helping to pay for one! Otherwise, keep your opinions to yourself. Chances are high that the bride has already thought long and hard about what color the bridesmaids dresses should be, or where you will be seated at the reception, and doesn't need another reason to doubt her decision!
  5. Wear that dress with a smile! It's no secret that bridesmaid dresses can be downright ugly. It is highly unlikely that you will ever wear the dress again - even if it is a popular style that season. Just be prepared for that, and remember that no one will really be looking at you on the big day, they'll be looking at the bride! Your job is to smile, and mean it, because you're happy to be there. Not because the color she picked clashes with your skin tone. Trust me, you're the only one (well, maybe the other bridesmaids are too) not loving the color. No one else is going to remember!!

Whether you've been in 5 weddings in the last year or are just realizing that this season of life is upon you, I hope these tips help you keep perspective :)