Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dear Bridesmaids: How to be the Best Bridesmaid Ever

Look! I'm hiding my morning just-woke-up-face behind a cool Bridesmaid t-shirt! The bride's brother had a custom shirt made for all the bridesmaids which included our name and... they actually took the time to count out the number of friendship years for each of us! Mine is 17! I've known Cindy for 17 years!!! (Which is impossible, since I am only 18 years old now, ahem). Of course, the best part about being a bridesmaid/ji mui in Malaysia is still the cash payout at the end of the day. Ahem ahem. And the free bridesmaid dress which is always so fun to twirl around in! If I had my way, I'd wear pretty dresses everyday!

I feel guilty because I never collect Wedding Cards. I usually chuck them out after the wedding event has passed. *guilty* Can you spot my wedding card? I can't believe she kept it so well!!! 

OK OK so here are some things that I have learned over the past two months as a bridesmaid: 

1. Don't be an asshole. If you're sitting around the house/venue with nothing to do, then get off your butt and get something done. It's OK if you couldn't make it for the bridesmaid briefing, but it's not OK to talk about your boob size/work/boyfriend drama while everyone else is scurrying to get ready for the wedding. If you don't know what's going on, it's your fault so take some responsibility! No one cares if you're best friends with the bride since you were born. 

2. It's fine if you don't know any of the other bridesmaids, but you should at least know what the Maid of Honor/Heads Bridesmaid looks like. If there is no leader in the group, get the bride to elect the go-to person in case you have an issue you would like to get straightened out. Sometimes, you need to be the leader, too. I've been a bridesmaid at one wedding event where things were not ready yet 30 minutes before it was supposed to begin! So I just sat everyone down and had a flash meeting. A girl has to do what a girl has to do, especially if her best friend's happiness is on the line. 

3. Don't ask if anyone needs help because 99% of the time, the wedding family members will be too polite to ask you to help. Help anyway, unless the bride explicitly tells you to just sit still and be pretty. 

4. No form of criticism or constructive advice is needed on your best friend's wedding day, thanks. For a few hours in that day, your one and only job is to make sure the bride looks fabulous and always has everything she needs on hand, be it eyelash glue, a drink of water or even a piece of paper. You don't ask or suggest - you get it done pronto. 

5. Get to the wedding venue early and be one of the last few to leave. Even if the rest of the wedding crew has everything handled, they always need extra pair of hands to double check that no money/jewellery/shoe is left behind after the wedding (when most people would be drunk silly). 

6. Befriend the photographer and videographer. These people are trained to take customary wedding shots of shoes, wedding cakes and rings, so it will be extra sweet if you point out pranks or special surprises on the wedding day so that the camera can capture it on film. The bride will be super happy about this! 

7. Apply really, really good make up and keep lipstick, compact mirror plus wet tissue in your bag in case of emergency. Don't be one of those bridesmaids who are busy touching up their face power and lipgloss while you keep the bride waiting! Get your makeup done properly early in the day so you can run around doing errands while looking cute.

8. Try to keep your schedule as clear as possible the day before and after the wedding day. This is so you can help in case of any last-minute emergency wedding activities before the wedding day, and the day after the wedding is meant for you to sit back, relax and enjoy a relaxing facial mask moment while listening to your favourite songs at home. Weddings are exhausting for the entire wedding team, but it sure is worthwhile! 

9. SMILE, always. Unless this is a goth wedding, you better make sure you walk down the wedding aisle with plenty of grace and sweet happiness. I don't understand why some bridesmaids look like they're attending a funeral as they walk down during the wedding procession. It doesn't make you look hot, you just look ugly and bitter, honey. Why on earth would you want to do that? :( 

10. Always check that you can wear your bridesmaid dress ONE MONTH before the wedding day. One of last month's wedding nearly ended up in a disaster because only 2 of the 8 bridesmaids could fit in their dresses. By then, the dresses were sold out and the bride had to waste extra time looking for dresses of similar colour. Don't be that asshole who can't be bothered to try on a dress in advance. Seriously. 

11. Is she hungry? Does she need to pee? Is she thirsty? These are things you need to be obsessed about, especially if the bride has to go through hours of photography and ceremony on the wedding day. If you're feeling shy about standing around while holding a plateful of food for the bride, gently cover the food with a piece of serviette, but a better idea would be to just hand feed the bride when no one is looking. This is especially true for Chinese weddings which start from 6am all the way till 3pm. The bride will definitely get thirsty midway! 

12. Check your ego at the doorstep, please. Bridesmaids are important to the success of a wedding, but they are basically pretty wallflowers to everyone else. Be super nice to everyone and do your utmost best to create a fun environment for everyone - there'll be plenty of time for eye-rolling and stories to talk about over alcoholic drinks after the wedding. ;) 

Q&A: But Pam, what if the other bridesmaids are not doing anything? 
Answer: Let them be! It's not your job to start any drama. Your job is to get the job done and any attempts of backstabbing, gossiping, etc. will not be useful to the wedding. 

Q&A: But I'm so used to being the life of the party! How could I possibly be just another boring bridesmaid?
Answer: If you want to be overly flashy, then you are simply not prepared to be a good bridesmaid. Just blame the problem on your DNA and tactfully reject the invitation to be a bridesmaid. Then you can attend the wedding as a regular fabulous guest and wear as many sequins and fake eyelashes as you like - without jeopardising your friendship with the bride and earning a bucketload of karma payback. 

So basically, the key to being a good bridesmaid is to not be so self-centred on that day. It's about celebrating the love between two people who are important to you, so make sure you do a good job if you're going to take up the responsibility! 

Next: Gatecrashing/Ji Mui-Heng Tai Wedding Games Idea! 

Yes, this wedding had 30 groomsmen/heng tai. 


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