Updated: Apr 16, 2021
Having walked down the aisle nearly 15 times, I know a thing or two about proper bridesmaid etiquette. You’re probably thinking, “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” FYI, I’ll happily wear 27 dresses if I end up with a James Marsden. Swoon. In the meantime, I’ve gathered some tips for first-timers or gals who need a refresher course.
Save your Twobirds bridesmaid dress
You may need it again and it can be worn 15 different ways. (All hideously unflattering.) Be careful when the bride decides she doesn’t want to be a “diva” and insists she’s the “cool, laid-back” wife-to-be. If she says you can wear whatever black dress you choose, as with any legal document, always read the fine print at the bottom of the email. (P.S. I love all my beautiful friends, please make sure the black dress is past your knees, no sequins, lace, embellishments, slits, ruffles, buttons….) Like I said, keep the Twobirds or borrow from a friend– you’ll be happy you did. Spend the $300 you saved on shoes that are closed-toed and either silver, gold, or black with zero exceptions. Kisses.
Put on a stupid sash and make a splash
Do whatever she wants for her bachelorette party. If she requests custom tank tops that say, “Last fling before the ring!” (Umm, sweetheart, you got your ring, you’re engaged), just throw on that one-and-done tank and board the trolley! If she selects Napa or Montreal as her bachelorette destination, renew your passport and it’s #wheelsup. She will either remind you that she made it to your bach or bring up that time in 5th grade how you missed her sleepover party to go see Ace of Base. Bottom-line, you’re going. Payback’s a bitch. You will actually want to poke your eyes out after you’ve seen enough penis straws, but drink out of it anyway and pretend to laugh. It’s not funny or cute and sets women back a million generations, but, hey, bring on the tiaras that will ruin your hair and repeat this mantra before any meltdown: “It’s not my day.”
Shower her with love
I don’t know which I’d rather: a root canal or a bridal shower. Both are excruciating and absurdly long. A bridal shower is literally your entire afternoon (minus the prescription painkillers at the end). Do yourself a favor before the gifts are opened; remind all of the guests to view the gorgeous wrapping, bows and ribbon for two minutes. (People sometimes grow offended if you just rifle through their presents like a 5-year-old on Christmas morning.) Then, create an army-style assembly line to cut, open, display and rewrap. This is done in an orderly fashion. Be sure to prance around that Michael Aram plate the bride registered for to everyone like you’re freaking Vanna White and gently place it back in the bubble wrap. Open one glass or Juliska bowl. They’re all the same. People get the gist. Three words: KEEP. IT. MOVING.
The perfect bridesmaid always does what she’s told
If you received the first time slot for hair or makeup, smile and say thank you. Yes, you will be done getting ready before noon, but you’ll look amazing in your fake eyelashes that make you blink every five seconds. Bring your own lip gloss because the makeup artist will just roll her eyes if you ask for touch-ups. You’ll want to brush your teeth after you scarf down lunch anyways. Word of advice—don’t put on your Spanx until pictures. Sit there and look pretty. It’s what models do and they seem to enjoy their life. Be Gigi and sip your rosé.
“I do”— Your oath as a bridesmaid too
Do it all with love. Keep your real remarks to yourself and politely comment on some obvious details. “The flowers are exceptional!” “The band is fantastic!” “The food is delicious!” Write a kickass speech and hit the dance floor all night long. You know she’s clocking when you leave. Pack sneakers or flip flops to change into because you’ve been in heels for twelve hours. Snap a picture with her and don’t forget to use their wedding hashtag and call it a night. You just spent $3,000 on your bestie. You’re a saint.
In all seriousness, I’m lucky people wanted me there for their special day. They picked me to share this pivotal milestone in their life. And the best way I can think to repay them is by eloping. You’re welcome! Xoxo