kindness Archive

7 Things Your Bridesmaids Need to Hear You Say

Hi, loves! Emma here. If you’re reading this, you’re most likely a bride-to-be who is a) planning her wedding and b) curious about bridesmaid etiquette for the bride. I read this cringe-worthy article about a bridezilla with a capital B that really struck a chord. It’s hard to believe a bride could be such a crazed lunatic (to put it loosely), but I’m sure it happens more often than I think. Planning a wedding can be stressful, but it needn’t break character. The bridesmaids you’ve asked to be a part of your day are presumably your best friends. Sisters. Cousins. Loved ones. Don’t let this wonderful time in your life bring out the worst in you. We’ve prepared this post to keep things in perspective and stay on the good side of your wedding party. After all, it’s one day — one amazing, totally memorable and awesome day — and you’d like them to remember it just as fondly, right? Exactly. Read on to see seven things your bridesmaids need to hear you say…

7 Things Your Bridesmaids Need to Hear You Say (photo: ashley caroline) via

photo: ashley caroline photography via real wedding

Bridesmaid Etiquette

7 Things Your Bridesmaids Need to Hear You Say (photo: johnstone studios)

johnstone studios via real wedding

1. “Thank you.”

Be specific. Say it often (and mean it).

bridesmaids in purple dresses | via Bridesmaid Etiquette: 7 Things Your Bridesmaids Need to Hear You Say (photo: stephanie craig)

stephanie craig photography via real wedding

2. “Wear any ______ you’d like!”

Fill in the blank with something — anything — of which you are willing to offer flexibility. Some major examples include shoes (honestly, will it really ruin your wedding if Jessica can’t wear stiletto heels?), jewelry, or, if you’re willing, dress. Some brides are adopting a more laid-back bridesmaid dress approach where they pick a particular color and ask their bridesmaids to pick any dress they love in that shade.

bridesmaids in different types of dresses | via Bridesmaid Etiquette: 7 Things Your Bridesmaids Need to Hear You Say (photo: leah marie landers)

photo: leah marie landers photography via real wedding

A little black dress, for instance, is another awesome idea: chances are each bridesmaid already has a favorite in her closet and, if not, it gives her an excuse to get a dress she’ll actually wear again. Bottom line: give a little and you’ll get a lot of respect.

bridesmaids in little black dresses | via Bridesmaid Etiquette: 7 Things Your Bridesmaids Need to Hear You Say (photo: jeannie guzis)
jeannie guzis via real wedding

If you want to pick a specific dress, you can always choose something like this and she can wear it however she likes best.

3. “If you can’t _______, that’s okay.”

A good way to live your life is without expectation for perfection. If you don’t have expectations, you won’t be disappointed if something doesn’t go your way. The same applies to planning your wedding. Don’t expect bridesmaids to be perfect or to fold to your every whim because, you know what? While you’re busy planning this huge day, your girls keep on keepin’ on, just like the rest of us. They’re just out there living their lives. Be gracious. Be kind. Be understanding. Yes, it’s your big day — but every day from your engagement until the wedding day can’t be all about you. Otherwise, it would take away the fun of the big day! Oh, and when you say that’s okay, mean it… don’t just say it and then email your other bridesmaids about her being unreliable (not cool). For example, if she can’t…

○ afford the dress
○ wear high heels since she never, ever does
○ go on a lavish bachelorette party weekend
○ travel out-of-state for her bachelorette party, bridal shower, or other wedding events
o go to twelve dress fittings

Of course, if a bridesmaid can’t be present and supportive, and can’t afford to (or doesn’t plan to) participate in any part of the wedding festivities, she might not want to accept the role of bridesmaid. Being present (literally and figuratively) comes with the territory.

4. “Please help me with _______ “

The number one thing bridesmaids want to be? Helpful! However, they don’t always know what to do or where they can offer assistance. Being specific is a great way to communicate with her and help you tackle your to-do list — within reason, of course. Here are some examples:

○ ask to write down gifts and recipient names at your bridal shower
○ go dress shopping with you and let you know if your __(noun)__ really does look too __(adjective)__ in that dress
○ go to your makeup trial and give her opinion on your hair and makeup before the big day
○ help her pick out centerpieces / decor / drink menus by browsing Pinterest
○ help with the seating chart or guest list
○ pick out fun ideas for entertaining guests (see also: entertaining kids at a wedding)
○ help you with easy DIY wedding projects or shopping for DIY supplies
○ decide on songs for your perfect wedding playlist

5. “What’s new with you?”

Skip the wedding chatter at least once in awhile and find out what’s new in her life. What’s happening. What’s good. What’s bad. What’s the funniest video she saw on YouTube this week. What picture made her laugh out loud. Be present in her life and don’t treat every conversation as an opportunity to babble about bridal stuff.

6. “Here’s the itinerary for the week of the wedding.”

As early as possible, provide a schedule for the week of the wedding, including any events (a rehearsal dinner, rehearsal, getting ready, girls day at the salon, etc.) that you’d like her to participate in. Include times, locations, and specifics (“I’d like everyone to meet at the salon by 9am on the wedding day. Please call ahead and have your hair appointment made with Monika.”) This way, she can be sure that you’re all on the same page. It also helps her to know what is expected and gives her ample notice to make any necessary plans. (EB TIP: This is a great time for you to make your must-have getting ready photos list, too!)

bride smiling surrounded by bridesmaids | via Bridesmaid Etiquette: 7 Things Your Bridesmaids Need to Hear You Say (photo: daniel fugaciu

photo: daniel fugaciu via real wedding

7. “Thank you for being awesome.”

Seriously. It is so important it’s mentioned here twice. Say it, mean it. Don’t take anyone for granted! And, be sure to give her an amazing gift that shows your appreciation.

bridesmaids kissing the bride | via Bridesmaid Etiquette: 7 Things Your Bridesmaids Need to Hear You Say (photo: matthew steed wilson photography)

photo: matthew steed wilson photography via real wedding

Have Bridesmaid Etiquette to Add?

So, what bridesmaid etiquette would you add to this list? Include your tips + advice + thoughts in the comments area below.


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50 Wedding Acts of Kindness

Hi, loves! While planning your wedding, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of selfishness, always wanting things to go perfectly. A few months ago, I read a blog post by Robyn Bomar of Mix Mingle Glow which focused on how she celebrated her birthday with 38 random acts of kindness. It inspired and reminded me about how simple acts of kindness can impact one person’s day – and how good it feels to do things for others without anything in return. Today we’re tying in the idea of random acts of kindness with a wedding twist: read on to see fifty wedding acts of kindness that can make your wedding more meaningful for all involved. This is a great way to step back and remember why you’re planning your wedding day in the first place and put love back into the equation. Enjoy!

50 wedding acts of kindness

photo by mark williams studio via southern weddings via pinterest

50 Wedding Acts of Kindness

1. Be courteous and kind.

To everyone – and all the time. Family, friends, and wedding vendors are there to help make your day memorable, not work for you. Be kind, courtesy, and appreciative – it goes a long way!

2. Say Please and Thank You often.

50 wedding acts of kindness - please and thank you sign

by little minnow designs

3. Expect nothing.

No expectations is a great way to live, let alone plan your wedding. If you expect nothing, you won’t be disappointed – and you’ll often find yourself pleasantly surprised.

4. Select a bridesmaid dress that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

The bridesmaid dress will most likely be worn only once. Plus, dresses can be downright expensive! If you find one you love, offer to pay a portion for each bridesmaid to help defray the cost.

5. Let bridesmaids select their own shoes.

If you’re specific on color, pick something like black which most women already own. Wearing their own shoes means they’ll be happy with how they look, feel, and since they’re probably already worn in they won’t be in pain all night.

6. Ask your honey what is most important to them for the wedding…

… and make it happen.

7. Ask your Mom or other important person to go dress shopping with you.

And make it a girls’ day to remember.

8. Surprise your bridesmaids with manicures a few days before the wedding.

9. Donate your wedding favor budget to charity.

50 wedding acts of kindness - wedding favor charity card

by nostalgic imprints

10. Put gowns back the way you found them after trying ’em on.

It will make the dress attendants day much easier… and it’s the right thing to do!

11. Surprise your honey with date night – and nix the wedding talk for a night.

12. Register only for things you need, love, and will use.

13. When you receive a gift to your home, snap a photo of you with it…

… and send with the thank you card.

14. Spend your wedding budget on things that matter to you both at your wedding.

Make sure both visions of a perfect wedding day are met.

15. Ask friends and family members for favorite song requests and add them to the playlist.

They’ll feel included – and will appreciate the gesture.

16. Honor a loved one who passed away with a bouquet charm or special memento.

For example, one bride attached these charms to her shoes so her deceased father could walk her down the aisle…

charms on bride's shoes
(image via pinterest)

17. Ask your Mom or Dad about their wedding day and tie in a memorable detail.

I borrowed my Mom’s bridal purse, which was given as a wedding gift by my Grandmother.

18. Arrange transportation for the bridal party (if your budget allows).

If the ceremony and reception are in separate locations, arrange for a limo or shuttle to transport your bridal party.

19. Tip well.

And often.

20. Arrange for a wedding shuttle…

… for out of town guests at their hotel, budget-allowing of course. I attended a wedding where the bride arranged for a shuttle at our hotel which was awesome because we were unfamiliar with the area.

21. Make welcome bags for out of town guests.

Include fresh fruit, water, snacks, a thank you card, and a map, along with notable places to visit nearby.

22. Save your Dad a dance.

50 wedding acts of kindness - save your dad a dance

photo by jemma coleman via southern weddings

23. Ask a family member to contribute his or her talent.

For instance, ask a cousin to contribute her talent for floral design, your aunt to give her famous apple pie recipe for your dessert table, or ask a musician to contribute music for the ceremony.

24. Can’t agree? Compromise.

If you and your honey can’t agree on something, compromise. Better yet – flip a coin. It’s not worth a second arguing.

25. Listen.

If your mind is made up on something, be quiet and listen anyway: it may be worth considering.

26. Provide fun games for guests who don’t like to dance.

Read our article on how to entertain guests at a wedding for some fun suggestions.

corn toss at wedding

photo by shyla photography

27. Laugh.

Often. You’ll feel better and stress out less.

28. Reserve a space for honored family members to sit at the ceremony (and reception).

reserved sign at wedding

by k&l inspirations

29. Dance.

You know what makes guests get on their feet and dance? When they see the bride and groom dancing!

30. Provide flip flops for sore feet.

Ah, a lifesaver for high-heeled guests!

31. Provide a basket in the bathroom with essentials for guests.

This is a great idea and guests will be so thrilled you went the extra step! Read more on the must-haves here (+ snag a FREE printable!).

32. Make gift bags for kids at the reception to keep them entertained.

Kids get bored at weddings, at least until the dancing begins. Keep them happy with coloring books, crayons, word games, puzzles, and more.

33. Let guests request songs at the reception.

34. If giving favors, make them memorable.

Don’t say thanks with a throw-away gift! Give guests things they’ll actually use and enjoy, like bags of candy, coffee favors (try Apropos Roasters), homemade candles, beer soap (give Dirty Deeds Soaps a look), printed photos from your photo booth, etc.

35. Give the bridal party gifts they’ll actually use (+ enjoy).

Again, the gifts you give ought to be memorable. Try this list of 50 Must-Have Bridesmaid Gifts for your girls.

36. Let him plan the bachelor party with his best man.

It’s his party – mind your business!

37. Enjoy the events leading up to the big day.

This time goes by in an instant, so step back and enjoy the events as they unfold. You’ll thank yourself later.

38. If getting married in cold or rainy weather…

… provide blankets or inexpensive umbrellas for guests. I was at Ikea a few weeks ago and spotted these umbrellas which are only $2.99 each (if you’re an IKEA family member, which is free) and are available in a multitude of colors. For blankets, buy in bulk to save some money. You can also bring your own blankets for guests to borrow and ask family members to contribute theirs. Just be sure to have a basket for guests to put the blankets back at the end of the night.

wedding umbrellas - 50 wedding acts of kindness

photo by kgoodphoto via bowties and bliss

39. Give yourself a wedding planning break when you need it.

This is one way to be kind to yourself. Wedding planning can be stressful, and you owe it yourself to take a day off every so often. Rent a movie. Go for a bike ride. Exercise. Go on a date with your hubby to be. Play video games.

40. Give your bridal party an advance itinerary.

Include important dates, events, and locations so they can plan ahead (with work or school schedules).

41. Arrange for ushers at your ceremony…

… especially important if you have elderly guests in attendance.

42. Include a thank you card at each guest’s seat.

50 wedding acts of kindness - thank you card at each guest's seat

by cheerup cherup

43. Be generous.

44. Donate your dress to a bride in need.

Places like The Bride’s Project help you donate a dress to someone who can’t afford one. It’s a great way to pay it forward.

45. Learn how to shrug it off.

My Dad told me while planning my wedding that if something happened – i.e. the cake never came, the flowers undelivered – that he’d find a way to make it work. (What a guy! – P.S. We didn’t need to improvise, but it was nice to have a backup plan just in case.) Grocery stores offer sheet cake, flowers, or anything else you may need in a pinch. So, if something happens, shrug it off and improvise. It happens! You’ll laugh about it later. Remember: if you’re married at the end of the day, your wedding day was a success. :)

46. Send thank you cards (for all wedding events) as soon as possible.

47. Spend a little time with all of your wedding guests.

50 wedding acts of kindness

photo by mark williams studio via southern weddings via pinterest

48. Donate any uneaten leftovers to a shelter.

49. Donate your wedding flowers to hospitals.

Bring them over the day after the wedding or arrange for family members to assist. Your pretty flowers will be enjoyed and brighten up rooms of so many people. Places like Random Acts of Flowers makes the donating process even easier.

50. Never, EVER be a Bridezilla.

It doesn’t look good on anyone.

* * *

Happy Planning!


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