As soon as your bestie got engaged, you knew this was coming. It was only a matter of time before a cute gift box showed up in the mail, asking you to be her bridesmaid.
If this is your first time being someone’s bridesmaid, you’re probably now wondering what’s next.
There are no strict rules on what you should do after receiving a bridesmaid proposal. That being said, here is a safe place to start:
1. Think Carefully Before You Say Yes
Once you receive a bridesmaid proposal, the first thing you probably want to do is say yes. It’s your best friend — of course you want to be there on her big day.
Before you call her and accept all the roles and responsibilities that go along with being a bridesmaid, think about the commitment you’ll be making. Do you have any other major life events that could coincide with her bachelorette party, bridal shower or wedding?
You don’t want to be in a situation where you need to choose the birth of your niece over your best friend’s wedding. If there is any reason you may not be present for some of her events, you need to give her a heads up right away.
2. Set a Budget
Brides aren’t the only ones who need to budget wisely to shoulder the cost of a wedding. As a bridesmaid, be prepared to shell out anywhere from $1000-$5000 for your bestie’s wedding.
What could possibly cost this much, you might ask? Consider the following expenditures:
- Bridesmaid Dress ($100-$350)
- Dress Alterations ($50-$100)
- Accessories and Shoes ($30-$100)
- Planning a Bachelorette Party ($1,400 average cost by Knot, often split between bridesmaids)
- Gift for the Bride $50
- Hair and Makeup ($150-$300)
- Travel Costs ($50-$1000, depending on destination)
Ouch, right? Well, you love her, so making a budget is your best bet. If the bride is sensitive to her bridesmaids’ needs, she’ll make purchasing affordable bridesmaid dresses a priority and try to help you out in other ways.
However, you may want to set your budget on the higher side to accommodate for any unexpected expenses.
3. Let Her Know How Much It Means to You
Now that you’ve thought everything through, you can go ahead and agree to be her bridesmaid with enthusiasm and excitement. Call her up and tell her how honored you are to be her bridesmaid. You could also send a heartfelt note telling her how excited you are to stand up for her.
If you have any concerns about your bridesmaid duties, now is the time to bring them up. She’s probably neck-deep in wedding planning already. The sooner you let her know your concerns, the easier it will be for her to plan around any potential issues.
4. Post the Proposal on Social Media
If your bestie went all out and sent you a bridesmaid gift box filled with goodies, show her some love on social media. Whether she made the gift box or bought it, your friend deserves some recognition for an awesome proposal.
5. Block Off Time in Your Calendar
Although the bride may not know specific dates for pre-wedding events, she should have a wedding date set by now. This should also be included in your bridesmaid proposal, but on the chance it’s not, find out the wedding date from the bride and mark it off your calendar immediately.
While you can’t completely plan for events that haven’t happened yet, it’s helpful if the bride knows the month in which specific events will happen. For example, if you know that the bachelorette party is in March, you can try to avoid scheduling anything on the weekends during the entire month.
6. Reach Out to Other Bridesmaids and Introduce Yourself
There is a good chance you will not know some of the other bridesmaids. Now is a good time to reach out and get off on the right foot with each of them.
You’ll be working closely with these ladies to plan the bride’s bachelorette party and help with the wedding planning process. It’s super helpful to be on good terms with everyone right from the beginning.
This strategy will also give you an idea of how each bridesmaid will be contributing. If one bridesmaid lives further away, it makes sense to give her tasks that aren’t location-specific. Plus, you can bounce budget-friendly bridal party ideas off each other and be on the same page.
7. Start Saving (It’s Never too Early!)
You know that being a bridesmaid isn’t cheap. Fortunately, you don’t need to drop a few grand right away.
Start saving up now and you’ll be much less stressed when the expenses start piling up later. You’ll also be more relaxed when unexpected expenses come your way, such as dress alterations.
Remember to stick to your budget. Although you want to be a good bridesmaid, you can and should put your foot down if the bride is making a crazy, last-minute request that will leave you penniless.
8. Bridesmaid for a Destination Wedding? Start Preparing Now
If you’ve agreed to be a bridesmaid for a destination wedding, you’ll need to set a higher budget. More importantly, you need to start tracking flights immediately.
You don’t want to actually buy your ticket too quickly on the chance that the bride changes her mind. However, tracking flight fares can help you buy at just the right time to save a little money.
If you’re flying somewhere expensive, it’s a good idea to purchase flight insurance. Although you hope the bride won’t change her mind, in this scenario, you’ll be protected against unexpected events
Get Ready for Unforgettable Moments
Being a bridesmaid is a huge honor and privilege. It’s also a huge commitment of your time and money.
Still, you wouldn’t dream of being anywhere but by the bride’s side on her wedding day. By planning early and jumping into your role as a bridesmaid, both your wallet and your best friend will be grateful.