So, you have been asked by your best friend to be part of his or her wedding party. Congratulations!
It is an honor to be a best man or a bridesmaid. Not only will you get to experience many wonderful and fleeting moments of your best friend’s wedding, but you will also get to be part of the entire wedding planning experience. But with so much things on your to-do list, best men and bridesmaids will sometimes have to solve etiquette, personality and logistic challenges before they can see their married friends cut the cake, pop those bottles of champagne and toss the bouquet. Here is a list of things for you to keep in mind – if you wish to see your friend walk the aisle with a big, bright smile on his or her face without any hiccups.
#1. Be punctual
Being on time conveys more than just a good sense of timing. It tells people that you are on top of things, that you are organized, that you can be counted on and, more importantly, that you value people. If you value your friend, always be on time for his or her bachelor/bachelorette party, gown or suit fitting, photo-taking sessions, rehearsals and, of course, the wedding party.
#2. Help get the party started
Organizing a wedding party (or ceremony) is no easy feat. That is why you are called on to help get the party started. As best man or bridesmaid, you should always offer to help your friend with his or her pre-wedding tasks. And if necessary, schedule out some time from your busy schedule for your best man or bridesmaid duties.
#3. Set a good example…
To the guests and other best men or bridesmaids! Always be on your best behavior, stay cool, calm and collected, and be prepared to handle any up and coming issues or emotional crises that may affect the mood of the wedding party.
By staying calm, you are also better able to troubleshoot emotional crises that may involve tissues and tears and offer rational advice if needed.
#4. Do all you can to keep the bride and or groom happy and worry-free
Weddings are usually joyous and blissful events but they can be the most stress-inducing. Do not ask why. But as best man or bridesmaid, you are expected to do all you can to take weight off the groom/bride’s shoulders; from helping out-of-town groomsmen/bridesmaids arrange for accommodation to cracking up jokes to get groom/bride laughing and, yes, feeling relaxed.
#5. Give the first toast to the bride and groom at the reception
Both the bride and groom are the stars of the event, hence it is your job to give the lovey dovey couple a push to declare their love in front of a crowd of friends and family. And subtly encourage the newlyweds to show the guests some love.
#6. Keep a record of all the gifts and cash received at parties and showers
Because… You may be asked to deposit the cash in the couple’s bank account or keep both gifts and cash until your newlywed friends return from their honeymoon, depending on the arrangement.
To make things easier, you can record all transactions in either an excel spreadsheet or the traditional way: by pen and paper.
#7. See to it that all the groomsmen and bridesmaids get their hair, makeup and outfits done right
With a themed wedding, consistency is important. No questions why. And if you value and respect your friend’s decision in organizing a themed wedding, you will accede to their requests.
#8. Even if the bride or groom does not directly ask for help, always ask if he/she needs help
Everyone communicates differently. What better way to find out if they need help than to ask if they do need help. Chances are, both the bride and groom will need your help – even with the smallest task. No task is too small for the best man or bridesmaid.
Oh, before we forget to mention, bridesmaids: always put on your listening ears. Sometimes a little bitching is inevitable from the bride; and she cannot complain to her groom without starting an argument. It is your duty to hear her out, comfort her and remind her that it is her big day, there is no point getting upset about whatever that is eating her.