To give you some guidance, we called in the experts — Xochitl Gonzalez of wedding design company A.a.B.Creates, Angel Piu of social wedding community Weddingful, and Elizabeth Bailey, an eight-time bridesmaid who's put in ample amounts of legwork — to lay down all the must-know tips. From combating cold feet to giving gifts she won't return and getting through it without needing a bail-out plan, being the best bridesmaid ever has never been easier.
What to wear
…to the bridal shower: Much like the wedding day, let the bride be the only one who's wearing white to her bridal shower. Even if her wedding dress is neon green, play it safe and choose any other color in the rainbow. As a matter of fact, whether the shower is a no-fuss BBQ or more like tea with her royal highness, feel free to break out your best cheerful, printed ensemble. Save the sexy cuts and shiny fabrics for another time, since the shower is your opportunity to bond with your BFF's close family and friends. You don't have to go entirely WWGD (What Would Grandma Don), but it won't hurt to err, just slightly, on the demure side.
…to the bachelorette party: The bachelorette party — whether it be an all-night rager or a weekend at the bride's uncle's beach cottage — is a chance to rekindle that friendship flame and toast to the bride-to-be's last days as a single lady. And, yes, short and tight dresses may seem like an appropriate option for dancing the night away, but if you're not a body-con kind of lady, this is not the time to start. Get festive with embellished tops, ruffled dresses, and statement heels, but be sure that you're comfortable in whatever you're wearing just in case your night of dancing lasts well into tomorrow. Also, keep the envelope clutch at home and go for a crossbody. You'll want to have both hands free for sipping Champagne, giving the bride a helping hand (should it be necessary), and y'know, waving them in the air like you just don't care.
…to the wedding: You're probably going to be wearing whatever ensemble the bride-to-be has dreamed up. But unless there have been explicit and finely detailed directions, you can add a few personalized touches that make the look still feel you. A pair of stunning heels, your favorite vintage chandelier earrings, or your go-to shade of lipstick will customize your look without stealing any thunder from you know who.
Totally unhappy with the seafoam, ruched dress you've been dealt? You do have a right to an opinion, Gonzalez reminds us. "You have one chance and one chance only to express concerns about a bridesmaids dress. Take it," she advises. "If your opinions are ignored, fret not. It's just one night and you can untag your photos."
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