7 Things I Learned as a First-Time Bridesmaid

It was an incredibly joyful occasion, and I also learned a few things along the way. I highly recommend keeping these lessons in mind the next time you have the honor of being someone’s bridesmaid.

I should’ve had a bigger breakfast. 
I knew that the day would be long and busy so I vowed to myself that I’d eat a hearty breakfast. This didn’t go as planned I was starving after having just a few pieces of fruit while I got my hair done. The ceremony was around an hour and I didn’t have the chance to eat until 3 PM. Looking back I wish I’d taken the time to get up early and eat a big meal so I didn’t feel so famished in the church. If you plan to brunch during primping time, factor in time to actually enjoy it versus jumping right into hair and makeup. Luckily the bride’s dad packed us snacks for the bus for us to enjoy on the way to take photos.

Keep the funny faces during photos to a minimum (until the photographer says otherwise!). 
Since the newlyweds are going to want to look back on these photos for years to come, save the silly expressions for when the photographer says it’s OK to make them. They’re professionals and it’s important to follow their instructions on posing and placement. Sometimes it might feel awkward or unnatural but trust us, when the photos come back, you’ll be glad you held back. You don’t want to be that one friend whose face looks ridiculous while everyone else is smiling.

I was way more emotional than I thought I would be. 
I found out after the wedding that some of my friends had placed bets on how many times I would cry throughout the day (they think I’m over-emotional), and that my cry count was way higher than anyone expected, including myself! I knew I would choke up during all the big moments: when she walked down the aisle, the father / daughter dance, the toasts, but it was all the other random occasions that took me by surprise. When I saw her in her dress for the first time, when they were officially announced as husband and wife, the whole day was basically waterworks for me. If you’re an emotional person like me, you may shed more tears than you think. Thank goodness for waterproof makeup.

The grand entrance isn’t as big of a deal as it seems. 
When my friend told me I was going to have to do an entrance dance with one of the groomsmen, I panicked. I wanted to do something funny but also not totally embarrassing. My partner and I spent the day brainstorming but I always had a lingering feeling that we would end up making total fools of ourselves. Good news—we didn’t. By the time it was time for our entrance, the wedding party had bonded, we had enjoyed champagne and we were ready to start celebrating. Moral of the story? It was actually a really fun way to show off a little personality during the reception!

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The dance floor is the most fun place to be, hands-down. 
After dinner and the toasts, it was time for the best part of the night—dancing! I have to say that the dance floor at a wedding is one of the most fun places to be. And as a member of the wedding party, my presence on the dance floor encouraged other guests to get out of their seats and boogie. People you never knew had moves are center stage showing off their best ones, and for just a moment, it doesn’t matter who knows the bride or groom or who’s a bridesmaid. We had all gathered to celebrate two people we love, and the joy on the dance floor was palpable.

The day really does go by in the blink of an eye. 
When I woke up on Sunday morning, I couldn’t believe it was over. After 14 months of anticipation of my friend’s big day, it was gone, just like that. I’ve heard this from many couples before, but I had never experienced it for myself. The whole thing felt like a really awesome dream. Now I’m counting down the days until another one of my friends gets married and I can relive the love all over again!

Wedding withdrawal is real. 
Here I find myself, 48 hours after the wedding, and I can’t stop replaying the day in my mind. Bridesmaid withdrawal is a real thing, but luckily, there are ways to deal with it. I have known the bride and groom for almost seven years, and I couldn’t be happier for them. The day was filled with so much joy and love, and it really gave me the chance to see what a great job weddings do of bringing people together. I can’t wait to be a bridesmaid again one day and have the privilege of standing by the side of more of my close friends, as they marry the love of their life.

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