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HOW TO: be a good bridesmaid

Interview: Keija Minor; Photography: Mirra Photography

How to be a good bridesmaidPeople secretly love to complain about being a bridesmaid, but it helps to keep in mind that the role is a celebration of your friendship-and it usually ends up being a lot of fun.

Pay attention

Listening is your most important duty. Brides have to make so many choices and have a lot of people giving them advice. Let her vent without interruption, or be the person she emails to say, “I’m sending you three links. What do you think?”

Don’t share every opinion

If she’s already purchased her dress, then you love it. If she hasn’t and the one she’s trying on doesn’t flatter her, buffer the negative with a positive. Say, “That dress you tried on before really showed off your waist”.

Find strength in numbers

The good news is that most brides don’t choose those Little Bo Peep gowns for their wedding party any more. Try to go along with the dress the bride picks. Support from the other bridesmaids and say “We love the idea of a strapless dress, but it doesn’t work on every chest. How about we do the same colour but different tops?”

Set Boundaries

If the bride to be is asking more time than you can give to events or projects, it is fair to say, “I love helping with your wedding, but work is crazy right now, I’ve blocked off several days when I can be all yours. Let me know what i can do.” it’s all about saying no by saying yes.

Check your list 

Coordinate with the other bridesmaids about who’s taking on the mundane tasks. For example, the bride may need you to hand out tip envelopes or take the wedding dress home from the hotel the next morning. Make sure you know in advance what you’re doing.

Give the perfect toast

Aim for a three-minute speech – that sounds short until you’re standing in front of 100 people. First, establish how you know the bride. Then add something funny (but not embarrassing) and something sentimental.

Decorate her hotel room

Give the couple something festive to walk into: champagne and a little snack, like cheese and fruit or chocolate. A candle is nice, but don’t light it-you’ll burn the place down. And definitely don’t cover the bed in red rose petals. We know a bride who was billed an extra R3 000 because the roses stained the sheets.

Looking for more advice on being a bridesmaid? Here are 5 really pretty ‘dos that won’t outshine the bride (but are still totally gorgeous) and here’s a unique way to ask your BFFs to be bridesmaids

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