When your best friend gets married, you quickly learn the ropes of being a bridesmaid.

Requirements of Being a BridesmaidMegan got engaged one month and fifteen days after me, and I couldn’t have been happier. People asked me if I felt like she was “stealing the spotlight,” to which I politely responded, “simmer the hell down.” Who else gets to experience this process at the same time as their best friend?

Megan’s fiancé and I have an entertaining relationship. If we aren’t disagreeing about song lyrics, we’re discussing theological views or laughing about something inappropriate. Despite the drama that’s surrounded our friendship (I had a messy, long-term relationship with his cousin that ended atrociously), it has prevailed.

It was Megan’s wedding day and the champagne was flowing and the girls were chatty.

It only took me a couple of minutes to see my makeup artist was the beginner of the group. It actually wasn’t frequent slips into my eye with the mascara that cued my suspicion, but her incessant questioning to the other artists.

We finished and took a look at our faces. Once we got to the car and pulled out our mirrors, we couldn’t speak. The sunlight didn’t do our faces any favors. Our makeup was so wrong it was laughable. I am a pasty tone of Caucasian, but my makeup artist sweetly painted my face the color of a sun kissed Puerto Rican girl.

I was scrubbing my face with my shirt while Mo tried to cover hers with more makeup. We were less than an hour away from pictures that would last a lifetime. We threw up a few choice words and went into hyper mode. Meg strolled in half an hour later with the photographer following close behind.
“How did it come out?” she asked.

I could tell Mo was contemplating honesty and consideration; no bride wants to hear about her friends’ horrible experience on her wedding day.
“A little setback, but it looks good now.”

She quickly changed the subject, and it was over just like that. I still have no idea if Meg is aware of that ordeal, but we did exactly what we should have done. There are certain things required of bridesmaids, and any wavering could cause unnecessary stress. I have been in four weddings, so I have learned some important lessons about being a bridesmaid that I’d like to share. Here is the best bridesmaid advice that I came up with over the years.

The Requirements of Being a Bridesmaid

Play a role in everything. Attend every shower and party if possible. Offer to host and help out when you can. Even when it feels like a lot, remember your friend only gets married once (fingers crossed).

Take care of the details. Relieve your bride from the pressure of the details when you can. Take some of the pre-wedding load off of her, but especially help that day. Ask her what’s on her to-do list, and take as many of the to-do’s as you can.

Keep your spirits high. It doesn’t matter if you’re tired or had a fight with your boyfriend that morning- you need to be in a good mood for you friend. Moods are fleeting, and the last thing you want is to put a damper on her day.

Make her relax. Whether you use soothing music, delicious food, or a back rub, make it your personal responsibility to help the bride relax on her big day. It’s your job to help her take it slow so she can soak it all in.

No bad news. It doesn’t matter if the guest book went missing or a centerpiece broke, don’t bother the bride. Solve the problem yourself along with her family and the other maids. After all, your solution will be just as good (and maybe better) because she has so many other thoughts on this day.