The Professional Bridesmaid from Craigslist Shares Her Best Bridesmaid Tips

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Bridesmaids make mistakes. They bring lingerie to bridal showers or wait a month before the wedding to order their bridesmaid dresses. I’ll admit, I did both things when I started out.
But now I know better, and I can tell you exactly what you can do to avoid the blisters, the crying bride, and the "I'll never be a bridesmaid again" thoughts... 
1. Walk a mile in your bridesmaid shoes.
If you’re wearing brand-new shoes with your bridesmaid dress, please (pretty please!) wear them a few times before the big day. And I’m not talking about wearing them around your house for 15 minutes. Wear them out to a fancy dinner, or perhaps to the bridal shower or the bachelorette party. Be sure you can waddle in them for at least 45 minutes comfortably. And be sure to get yourself a pair of comfortable flats so you can break it down on the dance floor. 
2. Don’t ask the bride “What can I do to help?” 
Chances are, the bride has a to-do list longer than the grocery list for a family of nine. So just offer to help her in an area that you’re really good at. Maybe you’re a speech-writing rockstar and can help her put some words down on the page for her vows. Or perhaps you’re good at making boring situations fun, and can help her mail out her invitations or write thank you notes after her bridal shower. 
3. Call a different complaint line. 
If the bridesmaid dress she chose makes you look like a protruding cupcake, or you’re going to be a half-hour late to the bridal shower, chat with the maid-of-honor (or the professional bridesmaid!) instead of the bride. She has so much going on and just wants everything to go smoothly and everyone to be happy. So if you’re cranky about something, try to talk it out with someone else before approaching the bride with a sassy attitude.
 4. Clean out the travel-size toiletries section at CVS. 
Take charge of making the day-of emergency kit, and then stock up on Band-Aids, bobby pins, Advil, mints, Tide-to-Go, a lint roller, baby wipes, and coffee filters (they are the ultimate for cleaning sweat off your face without taking your makeup off). Pack them all in a mini-tote bag that you can carry around with you, or put them in a fanny pack that any bridesmaid can slip-on. (Because what makes a bridesmaid dress look even cooler? A fanny pack, of course!) You’ll need these items when you least expect them, and you’ll need them quickly. 
5. Remember: there’s a reason why you’re doing this.
 Being a bridesmaid can be a thousand different things: stressful, exciting, exhausting, expensive...but it should never be a friendship roadblock.
If you find yourself frustrated with being a bridesmaid, take a step back and remember why you are doing it. Friendship is one of the most flawed—yet beautiful—things we can experience. Our friends are the people who make our hearts flutter and sometimes even ache. I’ve never seen a friendship that didn’t get a couple of blisters every now and then.
Remember to give the bride her big moment, and also her space when she needs it. Be there for her, a bit extra, during her crazy wedding adventure, just like she's been there for you (and will be there for you!) again, and again, and again. 
Jen Glantz is the author of All My Friends are Engaged and the woman behind the website The Things I Learned From. She eats way too much pizza and goes to way too many weddings. Learn more about her professional bridesmaid adventure or give her a virtual high-five!
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