Although there is a tremendous amount of literature on how to be a "good" bride, there is a noticeable lack of information about bridesmaids. Even if you were a bridesmaid in another wedding, did the bride explain to you what your role was, what she expected from you, and where you could help? As a bride yourself, you will find that establishing your bridesmaids' responsibilities up front is the most effective way to be on top of everything. Perhaps your biggest questions surround the bridesmaid dress, fittings and finding the right fabric.
These early customs continue to have an influence today. The expression "thrice a bridesmaid, never a bride" arose from the bridesmaid's interception of, and gradual infection by the evil spirits trying to disrupt the ceremony! And, although the bridal party no longer functions as a troop of foot soldiers, bridesmaid dresses are still commonly chosen in harmony with the look and feel of the wedding. The bridal party continues to serve a vital role in the wedding process, not by fending off hexes and robbers, but by providing key support staff and an advisory board. Besides being an honored member of the wedding party and special guest at the reception, today's bridesmaid is also designated as the bride's special assistant. From shopping for dresses to scouting hotels for out-of-town guests to writing place cards to hosting a bridal shower, her first duty is to be helpful. The payoff is that walk down the aisle, looking absolutely beautiful in a gown that is stylish, sophisticated, colorful and absolutely wearable. In 21st century America, bridesmaids are chosen to be caring helpers, thoughtful organizers and skillful liaisons.
Make sure that your bridesmaids try on their dresses and accessories several times!
Make sure your bridesmaids are getting enough attention and have a clear idea of what to do, i.e., what you expect.
Don't be too demanding. Remember that your bridesmaids have a life beyond planning for your wedding.
Extend thanks often and do little things to make your bridesmaids happy. The little things make a huge difference - especially if they're gifts!
Organize a bridesmaid survival kit for the wedding, but leave someone else in charge of bringing it (you'll have enough to worry about). Contents should include aspirin, band-aids, nasal spray, tissues, white medical tape, needle, thread and scissors, safety pins, nail file, clear nail polish, smelling salts, eye drops, hair spray, breath spray/mints, bobby pins (hair pins), tampons and liners and mirrors.