ADVISE FOR THE BRIDE
Choose your retinue wisely, and don’t feel obligated to choose your bridesmaids immediately after your engagement. In life there are seasons for everything. You may be surprised, disappointed, or left in awe of current and future relationships with siblings and girlfriends. The last thing you want is to find yourself regretting the decision later down the line.
“MUM’S THE WORD”
As for the mother of the bride and the soon to be mother-in-law, as they say, “You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family”! The wedding will be an opportunity for the bride to rekindle her relationship with her mother and to share special moments with her as confidante, best friend and sounding board.
Not all mothers and daughters have such a close bond. Some daughters and their mothers do drift apart, especially when the bride starts building her own career and personal life. This is why planning a wedding can be the perfect occasion to rekindle this bond.
As for the mother-in-law, perhaps I should not elaborate… In some cases this relationship is natural, but in others there is intense effort required. The bride’s main focus at this time will be to establish rapport and build on this relationship.
Ultimately your dear mother and mother-in-law will be you and your husband’s, as well as your children’s, safe haven forever. Family is everything: this is why you are to be wed.
ADVICE TO THE BRIDESMAIDS
It is an honour and a privilege to be part of your bestie, sister or family member’s wedding – and it is your job to do the following seamlessly and without hesitation:
Assist the bride with choosing/selecting her venue and all service professionals.
Be readily available for meetings with service providers.
Be there for her when there are big decisions to be made about all aspects of her big day, reminding her of her and her fiance's true essence, ensuring they stay true to that.
Ensure that you take care of the traditions
and heirlooms, for example ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’.
Pamper the bride, and if you do not do this yourself, herewith a few ideas:
Book her facials, beauty treatments and massages within the 8 weeks leading up to the wedding.
Ensure appointments with the oral hygienist are booked – and never skip teeth whitening.
Self-tan or any other form of bronzing should be experimented with well in advance.
Why not create a pamper ‘kitty’ and involve all the female guests by suggesting they each make a nominal contribution towards these indulgences.
In the week leading up to the wedding take the bride for dinner at her favorite spot, and ask her about arrangements for the post-rehearsal cocktail hour (such a perfect time to create a buzz ahead of the big day). This is the perfect icebreaker for long lost friends and family to reconnect. The wedding ceremony is so much more jubilant when bridal couples have that pre-wedding event.
On the wedding day itself you are a servant, or rather ‘lady in waiting’. You should be at the bride’s beck and call. The day is all about her and NOT anyone else. Sadly many a bridesmaid makes everything about themselves – forgetting whose day it really is.
The ceremony has commenced: fix her dress at any point. Remember, it’s all going to be about capturing those perfect pictures – so it’s worth minor interruptions to fix here or lift there.
Ensure that you have tissues handy – the bride may need them. Best to hide some in your décolletage!
The last point is perhaps the most important: You are there to serve the bride. Your duties do not end straight after the ceremony. The devil is in the detail… hair and make-up touch-ups, assisting the bride to undress when she visits the rest room, ensuring that her speech notes are at hand, and (most crucial), making sure she looks her best at all times. Your duties only come to an end when Cinderella’s carriage turns into a pumpkin!