Things a Bridesmaid Should Consider

andre-hunter-AmSSPYrLriQ-unsplashBy Eric Hansen, Vicksburg Library Director

Adrianne Schinkai, head of reference and circulation services at the Vicksburg District Library, was a bridesmaid in October for a friend from high school. While she was honored to be asked to stand up for her dear friend, Melissa, she explained that the event was not without its hiccups. “Most people think about the bride being stressed out when a wedding is being planned,” says Schinkai. “But the truth is it can be stressful for anyone involved, and that includes the wedding party.”

“It’s not just the money involved,” she continues. “It’s time management, communication, and making sure all the pieces come together and at the right time. If one of those pieces falls out of place, it could lead to an avalanche of other issues.”

Schinkai recommends the first step after being asked to be a bridesmaid is to pace yourself and examine the situation as a whole, especially the financial aspect. “Weddings come in all shapes and sizes, so the first question you should ask yourself should be, is being a bridesmaid going to push you into debt? Yes, you love this person getting married, but can you truly afford the dress, shoes, makeup, and hair? What about the cost of travelling? Are you going to be responsible for throwing the bridal shower and/or the bachelorette party? If so, how large is the bride’s guest list going to be? It could turn out to be a ton of money to justify that love. I say if you are going to empty your bank account and max out your credit cards, don’t do it. A compassionate bride will completely understand. But if she doesn’t, then consider turning down that role as a dodged bullet.”

Once committed, be realistic about expectations, says Schinkai. A lack of communication is what tends to send things out of control. Communicating with the bride, other bridesmaids, and other bridal party members involved is key when it comes to planning. “Here’s the thing: We’re all human and sometimes things hit the wall, whether personally, professionally, and otherwise. If this is the case, be honest with everyone. It’s the only way to get things back on track.”

She adds that on the day of the wedding, you must have a game plan. Make sure that the bride and groom have a schedule written for the day and that everyone follows it. Otherwise, being tardy can add to the stress. “Make sure on the big day you eat properly, stay hydrated, and save the drinking for the reception. Trust me, nobody likes a drunken bridal party,” Schinkai insists. “There will be plenty of drinks at the reception. Take care of business first, then party later.”

Schinkai adds that the wedding she recently participated in was a wonderful event, and aside from a ton of rain it was a fantastic day. “Look,” she finishes, “the truth is weddings are not easy, straight-forward events. In some instances, they are episodes of chaos where two people just happen to get married in the middle of it all. But this is something you just need to consider when someone you love asks you to stand up with them to witness their marriage. It’s not all pretty dresses and bouquets.”

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