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Being a bridesmaid can be a ton of fun or a living hell. It all depends on the bride, your fellow bridesmaids, and your attitude. Maybe I'm just one of the lucky ones, but in my experience, being a bridesmaid is great! You get to have a ton of girly days, and a reason to get all dolled up. Having a very laid-back bride and a group of nice girls helps too. After talking with other people and watching one too many episodes of Say Yes to The Dress, I have some things to say about those bridesmaids that ruin it for everyone else.
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First of all, a bridesmaid isn't a bride. You would think that's a no-brainer, but sometimes one or two bridesmaids get it in their head that they are the star of the show, and proceed to act like a diva. Stop! Like it or not, the big day that you are working toward isn't yours. It's for your friend/sister/cousin/whoever. Whether you think the theme is dumb, the venue is sketchy, the dress is awful, or you hate the groom, you need to zip your lips and suck it up. This is what someone else has been dreaming of, so it doesn't have to match up with your ideal day.
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Money. Being a bridesmaid is going to cost you. Unless the bride graciously pays for everyone's dress because money is no object (must be nice),you are going to at least pay for your bridesmaid dress. It's just part of being a bridesmaid. The bride and groom already have to pay for other things such as the brides dress, venue, catering, flowers, cake, DJ, and really the list goes on and on. If you need to save up or make payments then do it, but don't expect a hand out.
That brings me to my next point. Being a bridesmaid doesn't only require some cash, it also requires a time commitment. You will have to attend the bridal shower, bachelorette party, countless dress fittings, a rehearsal dinner, and of course, the wedding. That might not sound like much, but that's the bare minimum. The bride may also want opinions on flowers or help with planning. If you aren't up to help with the little things, then why did you accept the position?
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Lastly, keep your attitude in check. It's not going to be a fun experience if all you do is complain, whine, and provide snarky comments. Just relax a little, be willing to help, and let yourself have some fun. If you have a good group of girls in the bridal party, and you aren't dealing with the bride from hell, being a bridesmaid can be a lot of fun!