On being a good bride to your bridal party

Sunday 15 March 2015

In June 2016 Stu and I are getting married. The venue is booked, the photographer is booked, my hair and makeup is booked, I'm on the hunt for a florist, I know who is going to make my dress, and super importantly, I've asked all my the lovely ladies I want to be my bridesmaids, and they all said yes!

I'm having 2 bridesmaids. My best friend since school Fal, and a face that will be familiar to those who follow my photography or alt modelling generally, Roswell Ivory.

Roswell, me and Fal :)

As a kid I was a bridesmaid for my Auntie, I didn't have any responsibilities other than to show up and be cute, which I am sure I rocked. Last year, I was due to be bridesmaid for a girl I've known since university and considered a good friend, until, ultimately, she threw me out of the wedding party.

A whole bunch of stuff went wrong. I was incredibly ill in the months running up to the wedding and was in and out of hospital alot. My focus was on my health, which I consider to have been fair, rather than being a good friend. I wasn't able to go on the main hen party because between my illness, and the resulting time I had off work, a trip to Disneyland Paris wasn't affordable, or well advised. If I had become ill, I would have ruined the weekend for everyone there.

It was a really hard, stressful time, and I lost a friend, which was pretty heartbreaking. Planning a wedding is a stressful time, I totally get that, but I don't think it is fair for a bride to expect their bridal party to be at their beck and call for their every whim. Even during work hours!

So now that I am the one getting married, one of my biggest concerns is that my bridesmaids and bridal party have fun at my wedding! I've made myself some little rules to follow to help make sure it stays fun for everyone involved.

1) Your wedding might be your whole life in the run up to your wedding, but you can't expect it to be anyone else's. People have real lives, their own worries, their own work, and you can't expect them to drop everything for you.

2) A wedding is a celebration, it should be fun for everyone!

(Edited to add - I ended up with 4 awesome and beautiful bridesmaids!)

3) Comfort is key! One of the major problems I had was that the bride I was due to be bridesmaid for bought me a dress that was 3 sizes too small, and didn't want me to get it adjusted, which I had to so I could remotely fit in it. I also have size 10 feet, so I couldn't buy the same shoes the other bridesmaids were wearing, because they didn't make them in my size, and the bride was really distressed by this. I want my bridesmaids to be happy and comfortable all day. I'm planning on having my bridesmaids wear dresses with thicker shoulder straps, as they are quite busty and I want them to feel fully supported and not concerned that their boobs are about to go everywhere! If people have to wear slightly different things because they are different sizes, different heights etc, it's no biggie, I'd rather my loved ones be comfy and happy than every single detail be exactly the same. I'm also going for flat shoes, probably Converses for my bridesmaids. Comfy for a whole day of wear.

4) Keep it cheap! I felt terrible I couldn't go on a mega expensive weekend away for a hen party, but it just wasn't a realistic expense for me. My plan is to have 2 hen parties that involve the bare minimum of money for my hens. The first will be an afternoon tea party that both my grandmothers can come to, and my future Mother-in-Law, that will be something they can enjoy too. A nice relaxing afternoon! The other hen party will be the more 'me' one. At the moment, I'm thinking about going offroading, or Stu and I are considering a hens vs stags go karting do! Nothing that involves travel or big expense, but will be super fun.

5) You love your bridesmaids because of who they are, so don't try to change them. Got a best friend who is heavily tattooed? Don't make them cover up, celebrate what makes them them! I was asked to change my hair colour and lose weight (in not-subtle, but not totally direct ways either), two requests I consider entirely unreasonable. I love my bridesmaids because of what makes the unique, so I want to celebrate that with them on my wedding day. Fal rocks a girly mohawk, so I want her to rock it up! Roswell is famous for her beautiful long red hair, so I want it swishing about and showing it off!

6) Don't be afraid to ask for help. I want to do as much of my organising and planning as I can, I loooove planning stuff, but I also know I need help from my Mum and my family and Stu big time! They know about different things to what I might know, so their opinions and assistance is a huge help. Don't dump responsibilities on people, ask for help, and work together as a team! I know my bridesmaids are busy, and Roswell lives away, so I have a pinterest and have encouraged my bridesmaids to join so they can feel more involved, without feeling lots of pressure to be places in person that aren't realistic expectations.

7) Don't forget to say thank you! Your bridesmaids and bridal party are giving up time and money to be with you and a part of the most important day of your life, appreciate what they have done for you and make sure you thank them. I already have gifts in mind for my lovely ladies, and will make sure I thank them individually on the day too. These guys are your best friends, treat them like they are, and show them that you love them!

At the end of the day, everyone being happy and enjoying the day is the most important thing!

What advice do you have for brides about treating their bridesmaids well?

Much love,
Kitty xxxx