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Especially in this day and age, when it’s more common than not for bridal party members to live scattered across the country, it can be hard to know exactly what’s expected of you when a dear friend asks you to be in her bridal party. While the specifics of what is needed most may vary depending on the bride, this Bridal Party Tending List will help you love on your friend well and support her throughout her engagement. Being asked to stand by a friend as she says “I do” is always an honor, and if you follow these tips, we’re confident that this time will only make your friendship stronger!

Note: the starred points are additions especially for maids/matrons of honor!

After she asks you to be a bridesmaid:

Respond promptly. Whether she asks you in person or via snail mail, don’t leave her hanging! Do your best to assess your ability to be a bridesmaid (based on timing of the wedding, finances, etc.) as quickly as you can so that you can jump right in to the planning stage together. (Note: if you have to decline, be honest and kind about the reasoning. The bride may be willing or able to tweak some things in order to have you with her on that day!).

Sit down together for a chat. Whether in person or via Facetime, make the time to chat one on one and learn about her dreams for the day. Let it be a fun time for her to share her vision with you, and ask what you can do to help bring those ideas to life! Ask specific questions about how you can best serve her during her engagement and what would be most encouraging to her.

Laurie + Brian by Cassidy Carson

In the thick of planning:

Touch base with her regularly. Whether this means a weekly coffee date or simply a text every few once in awhile, make sure she knows you’re thinking of her often. Ask if there’s anything you can do for her, but also, just be a listening ear for her to share the decisions she’s making with, and be genuinely interested! If she sounds stressed, you can also offer to help give her a break from planning by having a girl’s night or outing together (or, if you live far away, a Redbox gift card is a thoughtful and affordable way to encourage her to kick back and relax with her beau!).

Lend a hand. If you live nearby, or will be in the bride’s town at any point during her engagement, offer to host a crafting night, help her assemble invitations, or lend a hand with whatever she might need. Even the most tedious of tasks can be fun when done with friends!

**Take the lead with organizing the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Chat with the bride, and possibly her mom, about any plans or preferences they have, especially regarding dates and locations. Then, take charge of planning the parties, communicating with guests, and sharing the bride’s registry details. Don’t forget to loop in the bridesmaids for help!

Help plan, and do your very best to attend, the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Your presence is the most important thing, but if you’re not able to attend one of the pre-wedding celebrations, you can still love on the bride by helping the other girls plan (you don’t have to be together in person to help search for the cutest decor ideas!) and sending a sweet note and gift to the bride for the party.

Be gracious and supportive about bridesmaid attire. Choosing bridesmaid dresses can be a really tough decision, and it should go without saying that this is her day, not yours. Share your thoughts gently if she asks, but above all, be willing to wear whatever she asks you to wear with a smile. Note: if you’re REALLY uncomfortable with the style or price point, talk to the bride one on one about any alternative options she may be open to.

Top: Sara + Austin by Love, The Nelsons, bottom: Nina + Nick by Tracy Enoch

On the wedding day:

Be on time. Few things are more frazzling than running behind, and the bride has undoubtedly put tons of thought into the schedule for the morning of the wedding. Show up on time, armed with your dress, shoes, accessories, undergarments, handbag, snacks, and anything else she may have asked you to bring along. Give yourself extra time to account for traffic if you’re driving!

Know the schedule. Print a copy or have it readily available on your phone to field any questions from vendors or wedding guests. All the bride should be worrying about is enjoying her day, so take responsibility for being aware of what’s going on so you can jump in confidently as needed.

Check in with her throughout the day. Make a point throughout the day to ask her how she’s doing, ask if she needs anything, tell her she looks incredible, and remind her that she’s marrying the love of her life today!!

Smile, toast, and dance! Participate fully in the day, from singing the hymns (no matter how bad your singing voice may be), to smiling joyfully during the portrait session, to being the first on the dance floor at the reception. While eyes will be on the happy couple, people will notice the way you’re acting too, so set a great example!

** Make a toast. When done well, the maid of honor and best man toasts can be some of the sweetest moments of the day. You can find all of our best tips for toasting here!

Drink responsibly. There are few things tackier than a bridesmaid who has had too much to drink, so enjoy yourself, but remember that all of the bride and groom’s loved ones are present (grandparents included!) and you should be respectful of the company.

Top: Mary Courtney + Kit by Graham Terhune, Jessica + Chuck by Jen Dillender, bottom: Stephanie + Glenn by Rachel May

After the wedding:

Send her a text to tell her how much fun you had at the wedding, and wish her a happy honeymoon!

Find more expert advice from the editors of Southern Weddings here!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Elle reply

    Really great advice for sure!

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There is something so incredibly sweet about Libbie and Alan’s Georgia wedding, and I think it all stems from the fact that they kept their guest list super small. Childhood friends-turned-sweethearts, I’m sure it would have been easy for them to invite anyone and everyone they grew up with, but instead, they kept their guest list to just extended family and eight close friends. This meant that every single person at the wedding knew the two of them well and was ready to play an active role in encouraging their marriage in the years to come. Especially with their own little belle on the way now, I can only imagine how grateful Libbie and Alan are for their loving community!

Thank you kindly to Eliza Morrill for sharing this special day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I looked and looked, found a dress, and then started having second thoughts. I’m a very whimsical/ethereal type of gal and the dress just didn’t fit the bill. My stepmother and I, with very little time to spare, stepped into an adorable wedding dress shop, Kelly’s Closet in Atlanta, and there it was…the most perfect dress. It fit like a glove–all we had to do was hem the bottom and add the bustle! It was fate!

My favorite detail was the flowers, because they were simply perfect, but another favorite was that our dog LB, aka Lady Blue, was there to spend the day with us. She is a blue pit/lab mix and was my something blue. She is the sweetest thing you will ever meet and knew this day was a special one to be a part of. She smiled like a good girl for the pictures and sat quietly with my best friends for the ceremony.

How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Four of my closest friends and four of his, and then just our aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmothers, and immediate family members! It was a very intimate wedding.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Both of our families had spent Thanksgiving at Barnsley Gardens on separate occasions and it is truly a magical place. We knew we wanted an outdoor, destination wedding and my stepmother even remembered me saying I wanted to get married there during our visit many years before. When we returned, I just knew it was the perfect place for Alan and I to be married–there were flowers upon flowers, beautiful trees, and rolling hills.

The wedding flowers were definitely one of my favorite details of the day–they were stunning. I carried a whimsical bouquet designed with all white and green blooms, which included ranunculus, white Veronica, white stock, Queen Anne’s lace, white larkspur, white scabiosa, mini green hydrangea, mixed succulents, Green Jade roses, and a variety of eucalyptus. My bridesmaid’s bouquets were smaller, but equally as stunning, using the same flowers. My flower crown (I wish I could wear it every day of my life!) was designed with small succulents, larkspur, ranunculus, and mixed greenery.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My father’s speech was so unbelievably heartfelt–he could barely get through it, he got so choked up. He said things he had been trying to say for years and spoke about my mother, who passed away when I was 13 and would have given anything to be there that day. He had the whole wedding party in tears. It was beautiful.

We had a simple, three-tiered vanilla cake with vanilla frosting and fresh strawberries between the layers. My florist added flowers cascading all the way down the cake. Honeymoon Bakery in Rome, Georgia hit it out the park! I could eat this cake for every meal, and I am counting down the days until our first anniversary!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Eliza Morril Photography, for sure–we went to school together since we were very young, played soccer together, and our big brother were great friends! She did an outstanding job, and as someone who hates posing for pictures, she actually made it pretty fun!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We went to school together since we were six years old and have always been such great friends. However, we didn’t start dating until about two years ago, and the minute we stared dating, we just knew it would last forever.
Tell us all about the proposal! He put the ring under his family’s dog’s collar and said “LuLu has a present for you!” She was so excited, it was like she knew she was delivering something very special. He then said, “I have loved you since the fifth grade and have known I wanted to marry you since the moment we started dating.” The ring he gave me was my deceased mother’s wedding ring and it is the most beautiful thing I own. Wearing it every day is an honor. I get to carry a piece of her with me for the rest of my life.
When did y’all get married? April 17, 2016
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The string quartet played as the bridesmaids and mothers walked down the aisle to different songs by The Beatles, and I walked to “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard. We walked back up the aisle together to the upbeat part of “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Ros. It was all simply perfect!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The groom’s best man was his father, which is just about as Southern as you can get! The location of the wedding, Barnsley Gardens, is also right in the heart of Southern Georgia.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My stepmother is a woman of many trades; she cut the little birchwood place holders for the reception, sewed the burlap tablecloths for the reception, made the wedding programs, made the dog’s flower collar, and sewed the junior bridesmaid dress herself!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t let the details stress you out too much, and take things day by day. The vendors know what they are doing, so let them help you and trust them!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We have a baby coming soon, so we are now planning for her arrival! We are also moving to Nashville in September!

Photographer: Eliza Morril Photography | Videographer: Peerless Films | Planner: Heather Rabinowitz | Venue, Catering, and Rentals: Barnsley Gardens | Florist: Bloom | Cake Baker: Honeymoon Bakery | DJ: Gresham Cash Trip | Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau | Hair and Makeup: Claudia Mejerle | Bride’s Shoes: Nine West | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN and Donna Morgan | Menswear: Collared Greens

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Dana reply

    Those pictures in the flowers, omg!!!! And the doggy :)

  2. avatar Catherine reply

    Love her gown! Beautiful!

  3. avatar Elle reply

    That dress is to die for!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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Every year, we do our best to fill our annual print edition with advice and tips that will help you not only plan your wedding, but also (more importantly), help you and your fiancé prepare for marriage. We ask every couple we feature how they go about preparing for life after the big day, and were so happy to include many of their answers in V8. Please enjoy their words of wisdom every Sunday here on Southern Weddings!

Amalie Orrange Photography

We planned for our marriage by attending an eight-week wedding prep class at Watermark Community Church in Dallas. We learned about roles in marriage, communication, finances, expectations, etc., in regards to our upcoming marriage and life together. It was a great way to have discussions on important topics that aren’t always the most fun to talk about, but that are so important when deciding to share your life with someone.
Brooke + Bryan

lisa Written with love by Lisa

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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