There has been a lot of wedding'ing in my life lately. In the past 2+ years, I attended 16 (and had to miss several others due to conflicts), and I was in 5.
I was Tina's maid of honor last year - isn't she beautiful? - and I wrote the following email soon afterwards. These were the things I learned or wish I knew as a bridesmaid. I sent it to anyone who asked; I thought I'd share here too:
since i lived my maid of honor life quite recently, i wanted to pass on my nuggets of knowledge while the nuggets were still relatively fresh in my mind. being maid of honor requires a lot of work. be prepared to be your bride's bee-yatch, even when she doesn't know that's what you're doing. in theory, if everything goes as planned, she should not have to worry about a single dingle thing on her wedding day besides smiling for the cameras and having a good time. you will be running around - a lot.
that being said, let's start with the list of things to bring in your WEDDING DAY KIT:
- SEWING KIT: you should have the basic needle and thread, and also anything else which may come along as extras with the dress (extra matching thread, buttons, etc.). don't forget the SAFETY PINS and SCISSORS too.
- HAIRSPRAY, BOBBY PINS
- LIPSTICK, LIP GLOSS: the bride will probably have her own color, but if you've got a neutral shine on hand, that'll save her the hassle of having to run back and forth for touch ups. like i said, you'll be doing the running back and forth for her. i actually came fully stocked with other makeup too, so you might want to consider bringing anything she might need, since the makeup artist most likely won't be on hand all day/night.
- BLOTTING PAPER: while powder is great, i always fear the over-caked look. the bride will probably have on enough makeup that she won't need to be re-powdered too many times, and that's when shiseido or clean&clear comes into the picture. this is also key for THE BOYS. guys don't like makeup, but a shiny groom and/or groomsman won't make for the prettiest pictures. our boys had a "whose paper can you see through the most" contest. ew.
- BABY POWDER: this was a great tip from the dress designer. should the dress get dirty or spilled on, rather than ruining the dress further by trying to get the stain out, simply dust some baby powder on top, and she'll be good to go for the pictures.
- HAND TOWEL: once the bride's in her dress, she won't be coming out. if she needs to touch up her makeup, or if the makeup artist wants to do a touch up, there's a chance she'll get something on the dress (see baby powder, above). use the towel like a bib so you don't have to chance this. heck, go ahead and bring a full-on bib if you'd like.
- MINTS, CANDY, SNACKS: not a necessity, but definitely nice to have. no one will have time to eat, so you'll want the energy boost. nothing messy, remember. i packed tic tacs (mints) and cereal bars, enough for the entire wedding party.
- EXTRA STUFF: beyond the list above, anything you can think of that won't be overly burdensome to carry will be nice to have on hand. if your bride is wearing nylons, bring an extra pair. i even brought an extra strapless bra, just in case. it's nice to have a change of clothes, or at the very least a change of shoes for yourself. your feet will thank you for that at the end of the night.
DAY OF THE WEDDING:
i would recommend getting a pretty detailed itinerary from the bride so that you'll know exactly what should be going on when, and you can be prepared. this should also include the contact info for all the vendors, in case you need to call anyone for any reason. make sure the mother of the bride feels comfortable asking you to do things too, because she'll likely be very involved. (for example, tina didn't want to wear her garter until the time came for the toss. tina's mom hunted me down to help her find it from the room right before that was scheduled.) i tried to generally keep an eye out for tina and made sure she knew where i was at all times. my attitude was, "i'll do anything! just tell me what you need!"
speaking of doing anything, brides tend to need help going to the bathroom, because there's no way they can handle the dress all on their own. depending on the dress, it may require assistance from more than just one person. one of the other bridesmaids even offered to wipe… luckily, that wasn't necessary.
you'll probably need to help with nominal cleaning afterwards. i had to gather some of the supplies and drop them off to the florist. i read the list beforehand and felt ready. one thing i didn't realize, however, was that "copper pot" meant that i needed to lug a huge, 4' urn back with me. i wasn't prepared and didn't have the space in my car. luckily, we got some help, and it all worked out in the end. just make sure that if you do have to do something like this, be totally clear on what you're getting into so that you'll be fully prepared.
well, that's it for now. i have more specific ideas for games and things like that when the time gets closer, so don't be afraid to ping me.
ta ta for now,