Every couple wants to ensure that their bridal party will have a great time at their wedding. Beyond a well-stocked bar and a killer DJ, here are six simple ways to help your bridal party enjoy your wedding day:
1. Ask them to be a part of your wedding early in the planning process.
You will want your bridal party to be present for your engagement shindig, wedding dress shopping, bachelor and bachelorette parties and any number of other important milestones in the months and weeks leading up to your wedding. By “popping the question” early in the planning process, you affirm their importance in your life and give them ample time to prepare financially and to schedule travel as needed. They will appreciate this courtesy. After all, no one wants to feel like the “back up” bridesmaid.
2. Communicate their roles and duties to them clearly.
Ask yourselves which responsibilities you will delegate to certain members of the bridal party and make sure to talk through each component with the individual. These might include:
- Who will deliver your suitcases to your limo before you leave?
- Will your Best Man and Maid of Honor give toasts or speeches?
- Will your bridesmaids be paying for their dresses, hair, and makeup on their own in full or in part?
- Will your groomsmen be responsible for paying for their suits?
- Will everyone need to schedule a fitting appointment by a certain date?
3. Spend some quality time with each individual before the big day.
While there are many things to do to prepare for your wedding day, don’t forget to slow down and enjoy the process with the people who mean the most to you. Allocate time in your schedule to spend quality time with each person you have asked to stand with you. Although it may be tempting to schedule a few gatherings with the group, or to write off wedding dress shopping as quality time, the truth is that those experiences will be focused around your wedding and will not create opportunity for you to connect on an individual level. Schedule lunch or a pedicure with each bridesmaid. Take each of your groomsmen golfing, catch a game together or meet for a beer. Make it a point to ask questions about their family, their work and what’s going on in their lives. Show them that you care about them and appreciate the time and energy they are committing to make your wedding dreams a reality by expressing an interest in their lives. Time may be hard to come by, but this investment will pay you in dividends on the day of your wedding – and throughout your friendship.
4. Provide them with a wedding day timeline a few days in advance.
Finalize your wedding timeline with your venue, coordinator and photographer, and then take the time to create a simple copy for your bridal party. Include important details such as:
- When bridesmaids should be present for hair and makeup
- When everyone should be ready for bridal party photos
- Important names, addresses and phone numbers
- Approximate time of any important events throughout the day (such as: first look, exchange of gifts, lunch, ceremony time, cocktail hour, etc.)
By giving your bridal party a snapshot of the day and providing each person with the important details, you give them the opportunity to relax and enjoy the flow of the day you have planned without stressing about when and where they should be from one moment to the next.
5. Make sure you have plenty of snacks and drinks on hand for them on the day of your wedding. (Don’t forget to be mindful of dietary restrictions and food allergies!)
Wedding day timelines often begin early in the morning, and bridal party duties often span 14 hours or more! Be considerate of your people and use the following rule of thumb: If their presence is required before 10 AM, provide breakfast. If their presence is required before 1 PM, provide lunch or brunch.
A few excellent low-mess food items to have on hand include:
- Charcuterie trays
- Bottled water and other bottled drinks
It may be tempting to cut costs in this area, but remember that you have asked each individual to be there. Don’t ask them to be there and be hungry.
6. Tell them how much you appreciate them!
Of course, you appreciate them…but do they know you do? In the weeks and months leading up to your wedding, it is easy to lose touch with those you care about. You are juggling the logistics of planning your wedding ceremony and reception, communicating with multiple vendors and planning your honeymoon in addition to dealing with all of the natural stressors which accompany any major life change.
Make an effort to express your gratitude and appreciation for their presence, their love, and their contributions toward the wedding of your dreams. A genuine, “Thank you for being here. It means the world to me.” will bring a smile to any face. This simple step will warm their hearts and remind them of why they are such an important part of your big day.
By following these six steps, you can be certain that your bridal party will feel loved and appreciated. They will be freed to enjoy every moment of your perfect day – and so will you!
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