1. Ask in a Unique Way
Being asked to stand beside a friend on their wedding day is a huge honor, and the way you ask should reflect that. If your friend lives far away, consider making the trip to ask her in person. If that’s just not possible, create a crafty surprise to send to her with the message. There are tons of thoughtful, creative ways to inquire if your friend will do you the honor of “attending” you as a bride—even just a thoughtful, handwritten message on one of our Rifle Paper Co.’s “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” cards is a lovely gesture.
2. Keep Their Interests in Mind
These are your best girls, and you want them to know that you have their back. For example, keep in mind their preferences and body types when considering their wedding attire: you don’t want any of them to feel uncomfortable or self-conscious on a day that should be full of fun. And before you get your heart set on designer duds, ask them early on what they think they can afford. Being a bridesmaid can get extremely expensive, especially if you’re throwing a destination wedding for which they must travel. You don’t want anyone to harbor any bitterness about how much they’ve spent to celebrate your love.
3. Throw a Mini-Fête in Their Honor
Especially if your bridesmaids don’t know each other, it’s a great idea to throw a little party for them early on to get acquainted. Most likely, they will need to coordinate with each other during the wedding planning process, so it helps to connect faces with names as they exchange contact information. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy: think about hosting a wine and cheese tasting, an at-home spa day, or even organizing a little DIY wedding project (with cocktails, of course). You will love seeing all of your favorite females in one room, enjoying each other’s company.
4. Arrange for Bridesmaid Portraits
Consult with your wedding photographer about allowing extra time for your bridesmaids to have a few individual portraits taken on your wedding day. Again, they have spent a lot of time and money to be there, so why not make it truly memorable by allowing them to get a few professional photos by themselves, with their significant other, or just with you? They would love to have their own personalized token of the occasion. Combining this gesture with a striking picture frame to display their memory, such as the Umbra Prisma Square Frame, makes it even better.
5. Offer Them a Bed
If you’re going uber-traditional, it is the couple’s responsibility to cover the wedding party’s accommodations. Especially for a destination wedding, in which the wedding party has to travel a long way, it is important to take this burden off their shoulders. If hotel rooms are too expensive, try asking friends or family in the area to host them. Or, consider renting a house near the venue where all the bridesmaids can stay—it will be such a party!
6. Treat Them to Manis and Pedis
Chances are good that your bridesmaids’ fingers and toes are going to be on display, especially during a spring or summer wedding, so arrange a mani/pedi party and treat them to some nail love. This will be a fun way for all the bridesmaids to meet (or see each other again, if you’ve taken our advice on #3 above) before the wedding, and your bridesmaids will be grateful for the pampering (and this bit of financial help). Keep in mind that many spas and nail salons offer a bridal party discount to make this more affordable.
7. Give Them Unique Bridesmaid Gifts
Put some thought into what your give your best girls, and keep in mind that the possibilities are endless. Consider giving each girl a practical yet customized gift like a personalized copper cocktail shaker or stemless, gold-rimmed wine glasses. If you want to give them something they can wear on the wedding day and for years to come, consider a minimalist piece of jewelry in a classic design, such as Gorjana Pristine Mini Studs earrings. You don’t have to give each bridesmaid the same thing, so mix it up and make it personal by searching through Zola’s collection of bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts. And if you’re totally stuck for ideas, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with matching, blinged-out sun hats:
8. Present Them Each With a Personalized Letter
On the wedding day, give each of your bridesmaids a thank you card with a heartfelt message. Explain how much each of them means to you and why you wanted them, specifically, to stand beside you on one of the most important days of your life. This is something that is sure to produce some tears and will be kept forever.
9. Do Something Extra-Special for Your Maid-Of-Honor
This person has been there for you not just on your wedding day, but probably many, many times throughout your life. The two of you have a special bond, and it is important that you thank her for everything she has done. Treat her to a one-on-one day at the spa or, since she has probably been involved in many steps of the wedding planning process, give her a meaningful gift that really makes an impact: our list of top ten maid of honor gifts for under $100 will set you on the right course for the perfect present that won’t break the bank.
10. Thank Them—Over And Over
Express your gratitude to your support crew every step of the way as you journey from newly engaged to married. Consider making a short toast to them on your wedding day, and thank them after the party’s over. Being a good bridesmaid is no small feat and takes a lot of patience, time, and money. Make sure they know how grateful you are and lucky you feel to have them stand beside you.
Featured Photo Credit: Amelia + Dan