Ask the Experts: Bridesmaids

Being picked as a bridesmaid is a tremendous honor – an honor that’s usually bestowed upon close friends, sisters and other relatives of the bride. The details of a wedding are important, and if you’ve been chosen as a bridesmaid you should be flattered, not frazzled.
While you may have to take orders from the bride – or the Bridezilla – or sashay down the aisle in a dress fit for a 1970s prom queen, keep in mind that after the vows have been exchanged, the memories of the day will last a lifetime and provide joy in the years to come.  
Some expert bridesmaids, who’ve been in plenty of weddings, and seen all kinds of scenarios arise, offer advice. One more thing: Whatever happens give it some time, you might look back on it and laugh. Jessica Woodward
 3 weddings

Wedding day survival kit contains: safety pins, double-sided tape and champagne or wine.

Least favorite bridesmaid dress: Actually, I’ve liked all of them.

What do you do with a bridesmaid dress after the wedding? If it’s long and you like it, cut it and try to wear it again, or just hang it up in your closet and maybe you’ll wear it again… doubtful, though it may be a good Halloween costume.

The most dire bridal emergency you’ve had to help with and was the solution: About three hours before we were supposed to get in the limo to go to the church, it was realized that someone forgot to buy the father of the bride and father of the groom’s ties. Fortunately, we were at a hotel on top of Canal Place and could go and buy them right away.

Bridesmaids’ primary duties: Make sure that the bride doesn’t freak out about anything and that the bride looks beautiful. No one will be looking at the bridesmaids, just the bride.

What are some gifts that a bride should get for her bridesmaids? Flip flops to wear at the reception, jewelry to wear with the bridesmaid dress, a monogrammed cosmetic bag or purse.
Allison Boucvalt
9 weddings

Wedding day survival kit contains: Hollywood Fashion tape for loose straps, safety pins in the inside of my dress for emergencies and a flask.

Least favorite dress: A brown potato sack.

The most dire bridal emergency you’ve had to help with and was the solution: The bride drank so much at the rehearsal dinner that we had to call a nurse to bring an IV to her on the big day.

What tips do you have for the bachelorette party? A small group is key. Too many girls is always trouble.

What’s the most common mistake a groom makes makes? Drinking too much the day before – or that day.

Bridesmaids’ primary duties: A bridesmaid’s primary duties are to host and participate in showers, load the car up with gifts, ensure that the bride has a drink in hand at all times, and finally… drink all the booze at the wedding.

Summer Brandt Tallant
11 weddings

Wedding day survival kit contains: Lip gloss, Q-tips, bobby pins. If her face looks good, no one will notice anything else.

Least favorite dress: A yellow chiffon empire dress with gold satin straps. Trust me – it’s much worse than it sounds.

What do you do with a bridesmaid dress after the wedding? Sometimes they can be worn again to Mardi Gras balls. It’s a perk for living in New Orleans.

The most dire bridal emergency you’ve had to help with, and was the solution: All problems are dire emergencies for the bride. My favorite (and most time-consuming) task was cutting out the yellow pollen, with fingernails clippers, from the inside of the bridal bouquet. The flowers had bloomed and opened and she didn’t like the yellow color against her dress.

What do your recommend for gifts for the bride? I always like to give them something for their home. I also think it’s a nice touch to give her something that she doesn’t really need – something that she won’t just go and buy herself. One of my favorite gifts is the set of champagne flutes. Another one is ‘his and hers’ matching robes that are monogrammed.

Quotable: “The hardest thing I’ve had to do was keep the mother-in-law away from the bride. As in, a whole other room away from her.”

Lauren Brignac-Hoover
10 weddings

Wedding day survival kit contains: Champagne, Band-Aids and more champagne.

Least favorite bridesmaid’s dress: A two-piece. Yuck.

What tips do you have for the bachelorette party? Don’t ask your friends to spend too much money. Although trips are fun, it’s rare that everyone can participate.

Quoteable: “I was supposed to wear heels for the reception, but I didn’t.”

Hollie Chan
7 weddings

Wedding day survival kit contains: Music, Raisin’ Cane’s chicken fingers and tissue.

What tips do you have for the bachelorette party? Don’t pass out before the bride! You might miss something.

What advice do you have for grooms? Don’t show up late to the rehearsal. And don’t go to the casino with your groomsmen before the rehearsal.

Quotable: “Everyone understands that it’s a special day for the bride, but sometimes things happen that are beyond anyone’s control, so the best thing to do is just be understanding, and not difficult.”

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