Last week I posted about our wedding, its organization and the DIY decors. I want to dedicate this post to my bridesmaids!
The first time we got married, in October, I only had two-weeks notice, and my family and friends couldn’t fly to Seattle to celebrate. We had a nice dinner with John’s family and friends, and my parents on Skype, but I definitely missed these girls.
When we got re-married in August, my family and friends were present. I realized how important it was to be surrounded by benevolent people before and during the wedding. Time is sometimes stressful right before the Big Day. You are more emotional than usual, and you can easily feel overwhelmed by small details. These girls are here to reassure you, give a hand, make you laugh and bring on the fun! It means a lot to have your best friends around you. Since I knew they had to fly from Europe, it was even more precious. My bridesmaids and I used to be very close friends. We experienced college together: we prepared for exams late at night, we did school trips, we shared boys stories and were part of several musicals. After grad-school, we took different paths — mostly because we became so busy with work, or because we moved to another country. Still, they took a two-week holiday to come visit us, and we were immediately close again. I knew this moment would be a unique way to catch up and seal our friendship, so I really wanted to treat them and make their time in Seattle unforgettable.
Here are 8 cool things to do with your bridesmaids for your wedding:
#1 Federate Team Bride!
Your bridesmaids don’t necessarily know each other well. It is a good idea to create a Facebook group for them to connect a few months ahead of the wedding. I crafted a nice and funny blurb about each one to post in the group so they can learn about each other and start a conversation. For them, it is also a good way to ask about the wedding preparation and get advice from each other. For the bride, it is the perfect platform to communicate logistics (transport, housing, outfits, activities, etc.) and to build excitement. I remember sharing bohemian outfit ideas found on Pinterest to inspire them, and I posted old pictures of us doing crazy stuff in college to refresh their memory!
#2 Say “Thank You!”
Your bridesmaids are coming to your wedding to celebrate your friendship. It means as much for them as it means for you! Take care of them. It is easy to turn into a bridezilla as tension rises, but remember that they are here to enjoy a wedding and have fun. They will give back when you need them most. The days before the wedding, I arranged some activities so we can spend some precious girl-time together, and the day before the wedding, each one of the bridesmaid received a personalized gift bag. I had stuffed small boxes with homemade goodies such as a friendship cuff (DIY here!), homemade soaps, leather barrettes, a frame for a bridesmaids picture from the wedding, and of course a nice letter for each one. You can always add littles treats like chocolates, key holders, nail polish (and hangover medicine, if they get the goodie bag before the bachelorette party)!
#3 Take Care of the Logistics!
While you can’t arrange transportation and housing for each one of your guests, it is nice to provide extra assistance for your girls. You know the wedding area better than they do, and you want them to enjoy their stay in a comfortable place. We hosted all our bridesmaids in our house. The family house turned into a holiday camp, with mattresses on the ground and daily BBQ dinners for 10 people. It was a zoo, but we had so much fun!
#4 Help Them Find Outfits!
Many bridesmaids worry about their wedding outfit. They know they are expected be assorted, wearing the same dress or at least the same color. I’m not very attached to traditions (we got married by a comedian on a beach, for Pete’s sake!) so I wanted to give them as much relief as possible. The theme of the wedding was bohemian, so I didn’t want them to wear the same outfit. Plus, we don’t share the same budgets and body shapes, so I decided they could choose their own dress. We discussed together and agreed on flower crowns for everyone, and the result turned into a beautiful, colorful mess!
#5 Plan Group Activities Together!
Your bridesmaids are close friends, and you don’t get to see them everyday, so enjoy the precious time you have with them. An occasion like this is not likely to happen again soon. Listen to them, and try to plan a few activities to do together before the wedding. Do they want to relax at the lake, read magazines and paddleboard at sunset? Do they want to go shopping and get a manicure? Do they want to visit the region, get some local and authentic experiences like tasting wine or visiting museums? Are you missing your student days, when you were squatting at each other’s place, cooking dinner and watching a chick flick? Your wedding is the perfect occasion to live these moments again. And if you are not flying right away to your honeymoon, spend some relaxing time together after the wedding to debrief. You will be delighted to hear all the wedding stories you missed because your were busy being the bride!
#6 Ask For Help!
Whether you can afford a wedding planner or not, you will need help organizing the wedding. Your bridesmaids are your allies. They are there to have fun, but they are also there to administer the fun! You know your girls, and each one of them as a special talent they will be honored to use to help you. Pair a goofy one with an organized one to take care of the bachelorette party. If you have artists and crafty friends, they can give a hand for the decorations. Some are very talented for hair and makeup, some will be perfect crowd pleasers by singing a few songs or giving a funny toast! Of course, you don’t want to overwhelm them with work — it is a celebration, after all! By giving your bridesmaids the opportunity to gift you with one of their talents, you will end up with a very unique wedding that looks like you. During the wedding, you know you will be able to count on them to remind you to smile, eat and drink some water. They will help you fix your hair, remove that red wine stain on your dress, and they will be the first ones on the dance floor to get the party going!
#7 Create a Souvenir
As a DIY blogger, I was fully expected to spend some crafty time with the bridesmaids. Each one brought wire and some flowers assorted to their dress. The day before the wedding (still hungover from the bachelorette party, and after spending the morning dealing with a broken septic tank!) we sat down in the bridesmaids’ headquarters and made some flower crowns. Each girl created a unique crown she will be able to keep as a nice souvenir of the wedding.
#8 Stay in Touch
Having these girls around for two weeks reminded me of the fun we had during our good old times. It is easy to lose friendship because of time passing and people living busy, different lives. Your wedding creates memories your bridesmaids and you will likely keep forever. Since you reconnect and catch up on each other’s stories, stay in touch and follow up. These moments you share are sealing your friendship for the long run, so make sure to keep these girls in your life!
To Swann, Laureline, Marilou, Aliki, Lucie, Léa, Julie and Aline!