It can feel like the top honor in your friendship with another human being when they sit you down and ask you if you'll be a member of their bridal squad. You may envision several champagne filled-brunches, weekends shopping for a fun bridesmaid dress, and a bachelorette party weekend that will go in the books for both a memorable and laugh out loud experience. But, being a bridesmaid is no easy feat. It can cost a lot of cash, drain you of your weekend free time, and can be a headache that you might not have room for in your life. You may find yourself following a close set of rules, which come directly from a friend-turned-bridezilla, and you may also find your calendar occupied with dates on dates on dates, all regarding a wedding that isn’t yours. Sometimes, you may even have to beg and plead with family members to give you a loan so you can pay for being a bridesmaid in a wedding that, once again, is not yours
So, before you agree to walking down the aisle and standing beside your BFF on her wedding day, ask yourself these six important questions, so that you are on the same page as the bride-to-be and can avoid any and all headaches.
1. Do I Have Enough Cash?
Being a bridesmaid is not cheap. Sometimes it can cost you more than you pay in rent (even NYC rent). If it's not something you can afford, it's important to let the bride know that. If you want to keep yourself on a strict budget, it's also important to let the bride and even the maid of honor (who will be planning a lot of pre-wedding events) know that too.
2. What's My Schedule Like?
Have a chat with yourself to see what your upcoming schedule is like. Maybe you have a lot going on over the next few months and may not be available for a potential bridal shower or bachelorette party. Knowing in advance what you can and can't commit to will help you be upfront and honest with yourself over whether you can take on this commitment or not.
3. Have I Been Honest With The Bride?
You may find yourself so flattered by the idea of being a bridesmaid that you put off being honest with the bride. Perhaps you have a lot going on in your life and you won't have as much time as the bride thinks you'll have during the wedding adventure. Be sure when you accept the role of being her bridesmaid that you let her know what you have coming up that might interfere with the wedding — things like a career change, a big life change, or even just a busy schedule from all the other weddings you are in (you popular bridesmaid, you!).
4. What Questions Do I Have?
It's important to make sure you're on the same page as the bride before you agree to being part of her wedding squad. Be sure to ask questions, as many questions as you have. It's OK to ask how much time and money she thinks you'll be spending on her wedding, as well as what other expectations she may have for you as her bridesmaid.
5. How Many Times Am I A Bridesmaid This Year?
Before you say an automatic yes to being a bridesmaid, take a personal step back and see how many times that year you have already agreed to be a bridesmaid for someone else. Before you know it, your calendar may be filling up with previous wedding engagements and you'll realize that you have already said "I do" to being a bridesmaid five other times so far.
6. Do I Want to Do This?
Have a chat with yourself and get to the bottom line: Do you really want to be a bridesmaid? If you're not feeling bursts of excitement over being there for your friend as she says "I do" to the one she loves, and potentially spending a thousand dollars while doing it, then opt out of the position and be a wedding guest instead. It's the best decision for both you and the bride — and you'll each have a much better time because of it.