As simple as it sounds, simply showing up, spending time with the bride, and talking through the wedding plans can be one of the best ways to show your support. Even with some of the most mundane details like napkin colors and day-of time lines, she'll likely be looking for a sounding board to help her make decisions.
Every event calls for some kind of busywork, and being a bridesmaid means pitching in on those smaller, less-exciting projects. Whether the bride asks you to fill favor baskets or help her paint picture frames, bring a positive attitude and turn it into a fun get-together with the girls.
Most of the time, the bride knows best, but if she's struggling to justify a crazy splurge or asks for your input on a questionable plus-one, tell her the truth.
Although the bride may ask for your advice several times throughout the planning process, she may not always want your black-and-white opinion. You're one of the people who know her best, so whenever she asks for your input, step back and consider whether she wants a clear-cut stance or support for her choice.
It's inevitable that through all the wedding madness, you'll end up thinking about your own big day, but now is not the time to tell her which venue you're dying to book with your future Mr. Right. When you're with the bride, make it all about her and turn to other friends (or Pinterest) to indulge your own daydreams.
Bridal parties can be a big, sometimes messy mix of friends who hail from childhood, college, and the workplace, so it's important to build relationships with anyone you haven't met before. Not a fan of one of the girls? Fake it. Now is not the time to be picky over who you get along with, and stirring the pot with a fellow bridesmaid is sure to upset the bride.
With so many festivities leading up to the wedding, the bridal party will be spending lots of time together. Rather than turning every event into a middle-school dance with boys on one side of the room and girls on the other, make a point to reach out and build friendships with the guys — the key word being "friendship." You don't want things to veer into awkward hookup territory, so save any dramatic relationships for after the big day.
From the get-go, your best bet is to listen to the bride when she says what she needs. If she's looking for a low-key bachelorette party, don't hound her about a wild Vegas weekend. If she's tackling most of the to-dos solo, don't insist on coming over to help or joining her for the vendor meetings. Every bride is different, and it can be a stressful time, so step back and be mindful of her wishes.
Yes, weddings are a blast — but they also involve a lot of work. The day of the wedding, be responsible and coordinate with the bride and planners to assist with the odds and ends. There will be plenty of time to let loose during the reception, but until then, you're there to help.
A snafu or two is inevitable with any event, but the bride doesn't necessarily need to know about them. If one of the bridesmaids is missing a shoe or you find out that one of the guests brought an unexpected date, don't run over to the bride for an answer. Instead, talk to the day-of planner or another person in charge so that the bride can sit back and relax.
With so many details up in the air and so many potential problems to worry about, the bride may struggle to de-stress on the big day. Bring up hilarious inside jokes, play her favorite music, dance around the room — do whatever you need to do to help her loosen up and enjoy the day.