We spoke with expert wedding consultant Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting about why it’s so important to treat bridesmaids like honored guests and how a bride can make sure they’re taken care of throughout the planning process leading up to the big day. Check out her expert advice in this post!
As a bride, your wedding is the most special, important day of your life, and you want your closest friends and family present to witness you and your partner-in-life to-be saying, “I do”. While the day is all about the bride and groom (as it should be!) it’s essential that bridesmaids have an amazing time as well. We don’t mean just an amazing time at the wedding, but throughout the entire planning process. Bridesmaids are there to help with the nitty-gritty details: favors, place cards, table numbers, special decorations, and of course – be there as your sounding board for when you may need to vent. Bridesmaids are your most-dearest friends, after all!
Here are some tips from Meghan!
Meghan stresses this as a main thought to always keep in mind. She quotes, “… they’re your closest friends! Oftentimes, brides can get caught up in the planning business and forget that it’s supposed to be a fun process with their nearest and dearest.” Meghan also spoke with Resha Zazueta of Something to Celebrate, a wedding planning company, who stressed that bridesmaids are not “hired help, but honored guests. Yes – they’re willing to help you address your invitations and make favors, but they’re really in it for you.”
One of the most underrated tips a bride can receive is allowing others to help. If bridesmaids offer to take things off of your plate, it’s not because they think you’re doing a poor job or that they have a better idea, it’s because they truly want you to relax and enjoy this process. Let them help!
Per Meghan: “Allow your ladies to explore their own fashion and pick out a cute dress that they can use for years to come – they’ll thank you for it!” A couple’s special day is made even more signifcant when everyone at the wedding is having just as much fun as they are – and part of that is feeling and looking good!
Meghan spoke with Alice Zhang of Azazie, a one-of-a-kind special occasion dress retailer, and Alice stated how important it is to allow bridesmaids to pick something that they’re comfortable in, while also sticking to the theme the bride wants:
“Gone are the days of poofy sleeves and awkward hemlines. Select a color palette for your bridesmaids to stick to, but give them the freedom to pick a dress that complements their personality and best fits their body size.”
If, as the bride, you’re worried about “approving” each dress, pick a website like Azazie as the sole vendor so you can ensure your color palate stays consistent through all of your bridesmaids’ dresses.
If we’ve learned anything from expert wedding consultant Meghan, it’s that saying “thank you” is invaluable. Meghan spoke with Kate Franzen of Glint Events about how important it is to say thank you to bridesmaids for their help (and investment) in your special day:
“Don’t disregard the power of a simple ‘thank you.’ Show your gratitude with thank you notes, small gifts, or private moments with your girls. Be genuine and don’t overdo it, but don’t assume that they know how appreciative you are. They are your nearest and dearest, of course!”
This is a crucial piece of the big day that often gets forgotten. It takes hours for you and your bridal party to get ready, and it’s easy to skip meals! Part of your bridesmaids’ happiness and continued support throughout the big day is making sure they aren’t starving by the time you walk down the aisle.
Meghan can’t stress this enough! She chatted with Alex Chalk of Taylor’d Events about how crucial this is for brides and their bridesmaids: “Please, please, please feed your wedding party! Plan to provide a light spread of food in the morning, with extra snacks in an emergency bag. Ensure that there is water in the transportation, as well as in the bridal suite.”
Preparing snacks and meals is also something a bride can assign to someone like a family friend, sibling, or another important person looking for “a task” – just don’t forget to say, “thank you”! “Oh, and of course,” says Meghan, “don’t forget the bubbly!”
While bridesmaids are there to help during the entire planning process, it’s going to make your bridemaids’ experience (and more importantly – yours!) more enjoyable if they’re able to sit back and relax on the big day. Their good energy will only help enhance your wedding day experience!
Meghan shared a quote from Paula Ramirez of Historic Mankin Mansion, a gorgeous Virginia venue, “Whether it’s a full service planner or a day-of coordinator, make sure there is someone to take over responsibilities when the time comes to walk down the aisle. Your bridesmaids will love planning your bridal shower, but allow them to have fun on your big day instead of having to worry about the details of coordination.”
Meghan tells brides to not worry if they’re planning on doing a destination wedding. Your bridal party will be excited to travel, and more importantly – thrilled to be there for you and your partner on your day. Meghan shared with us destination-planning tips from Meghan Velez of Destination Weddings:
“To keep any stress at bay, finalize plans for accommodations and travels well in advance, and communicate them early. Consider putting together travel gift bags for each of your ladies – personalized passport cases, matching flip flops, and travel-size toiletries are a great start! Want to win big with your ‘maids? Pre-plan excursions to ensure they make the most out of their time there.”
Meghan shares that, “when it comes down to it, it’s really about showing your squad a good time and incorporating them into your wedding – including the fun aspects! Treat your bridesmaids the way you’d like to be treated and you can’t go wrong.”