Being a bridesmaid is tough work. Being an out-of-town bridesmaid? Even tougher. While e-mail threads and group texts are necessary when it comes to finalizing details, exchanging dress photos and funny stories, living miles away from the bride during crucial times isn’t easy on your wallet or your sanity. Unfortunately, it’s becoming more common to have bridal parties scattered across the U.S., so today we’re laying down the law when it comes to traveling bridesmaids.
Prioritizing: There are a number of things you can do to make it easier on yourself as an out-of-town maid and it all begins with priorities. Chances are, you’ll be invited to every event: engagement parties, multiple bridal showers, bachelorette parties, spa days, rehearsal dinners, wedding day, etc. Pick and choose your events. Ask the bride what events she wants you to attend—nine times out of 10, she is going to say the bachelorette and the wedding. But make sure to contribute to the other events by chipping in for the shower and sending a wrapped gift for her to open so she knows you’re thinking of her. Any understanding bride will be forgiving when it comes to out-of-town bridesmaids. Just make sure to always, always, always be there for the wedding.
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Befriend the Mother of the Bride: As a traveling bridesmaid, it’s important to have an “onsite contact” outside of your fellow bridesmaids. If the bridal party is large, opinions and questions can get lost in translation. Forming a relationship with the MOB before the big day is a great way to stay up-to-date on last-minute details, especially when the other bridesmaids are running around with curlers in their hair, chugging champagne to calm their nerves. The mother-of-the-bride is an untapped resource many bridesmaids forget about, so be sure to show some love one way or another to the woman that helped raise your BFF bride.
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Lend your ear: Even if you can’t be there in-person to listen, help or contribute in wedding day plans, the bride needs to know as a traveling bridesmaid, you’re still on-task and thinking of her. Whether it’s a weekly phone date or bi-weekly Skype sesh, lending an ear to the bride when she needs it most is one of the biggest tasks you can accomplish as a bridesmaid. Even if that means 75 minutes of non-stop ranting, just be glad you’re listening over the phone and not in-person.
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Pack accordingly: Packing for a wedding or bachelorette weekend is a total pain, especially if you’re not prepared. Make a list weeks, or even months, in advance, jotting down little things as they come to you. The problem with being a traveling bridesmaid is that you don’t have the ability to run back to your house the night before the wedding because you forgot your nude heels or black Spanx. Start a packing list with the fellow bridesmaids so they can chime in on things you should remember as well. And as a last resort, just make sure there’s a 24-hour pharmacy nearby. Trust us, you may need one.
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Maximizing time and budget: Sticking to a budget is important for all bridesmaids, but perhaps most important for the traveling bridesmaid. Since it may or may not be feasible to attend all out-of-town wedding events, making the most of your time spent in-person with the bride and bridal party is crucial. Whether that’s tackling more DIY projects, finishing up guest lists or finalizing dress fittings, it’s always better to knock out two birds with one stone when it comes to the planning process.
Photo Courtesy of Woman’s Day
Make the best of it: At the end of the day, all the packing spreadsheets, group text messages, plane flights, train rides and so on are all worth it for the traveling bridesmaid. Because out-of-towner or not, having the honor of standing next to your BFF on her special day, surrounded by all the love and support, is what matters most.
Photo Courtesy of Confetti Daydreams