Always a Bridesmaid: Appreciate Your Bridesmaids

Katie has a message for brides: It’s always nice to give your bridesmaids a pat on the back.

A few weeks ago, I got the most random text message from one of the brides: “You’re driving to the wedding, right?” she asked.

“Yup,” I replied, assuming it was about transportation arrangements. “I can pick some people up at the airport if you want.”

Just a few days later, I received a package from the bride. In it was a sweet card, a mix CD, and gas-station gift cards. It was one of the best surprises I’ve received all year.

My blog posts are typically to help other bridesmaids, but I want to leave a quick note for the brides: Take a cue from my friends, and appreciate your bridesmaids. Not only will it keep them happy and easier to manage, but it’ll strengthen your friendship, too.

I’d imagine that for a bride, it’s easy to get caught up in the business of planning your wedding. Saving money, settling family disputes, making changes to your living arrangements and your lifestyle all while working and maintaining your daily life—who has time for friends? Luckily for me, my friends do.

Every bride whose wedding I’m attending this year has also participated in the wedding celebrations for other women in their lives. They’ve been good about keeping track of the important milestones their friends and family are celebrating, too—from graduations and weddings to jobs and moves. When Angie invited us to Raleigh for her bridal shower, she made sure to coordinate transportation and housing and help her friends with costs. When I got to see Crouton (bride number 3) for the first time in two years, she was more interested in hearing about my new boyfriend than gushing over her own wedding plans. And when I threw Ducky’s bridal shower, she even brought me a hostess gift.

Gestures like these make all the difference to your bridesmaids. Don’t even worry about gifts or money—just little notes, e-mails, text or Facebook messages—let us know that you remember we exist in your lives more than just on your big day. Though any good bridesmaid would be there for you with or without thanks, it really feels good to hear that you appreciate the role we’re playing in an important day in your life. It’s funny—I always assumed that when my friends got married I’d feel like they were moving farther away. But it turns out, knowing that I’m able to contribute something—small as it may be—to this important milestone in their lives has made me feel closer to them. I know that this year, wedding bonanza 2009, wasn’t a year for losing friendships but for celebrating and strengthening them.

Katie, a local bridesmaid-to-be, writes occasionally about planning for and being part of three (and counting) friends' weddings in one year. To follow her adventures from the beginning, click here.

To read the latest Bridal Party blog posts, click here.