The most recent wedding I attended was my BFF’s wedding in May 2011 and incidentally, the movie Bridesmaids was released around the same week States-side. Initially I had wanted to watch it with my girls at the time but everyone was pretty tied up. I myself also had my hands full creating floral arrangements for my BFF’s special day, so I gave the movie a miss. Fast forward two months later, I got invited to the movie screening in Singapore and I managed to catch this flick in the end. :) Yay.
Since I’ve been in the wedding industry for quite a number of years in-between my design + advertising gigs, I am generally VERY interested in wedding movies. I have a habit of always checking out all the wedding details in movies like this, or if there’s a wedding scene in other movies. I actually pay extra attention to how the event is styled, what color scheme is used, what the flowers are, how the decor is put together, what the overall visual effect looks like, etc. Can’t help it. :p *geek* Hahaha!
Without giving anything away so that you can go and watch the film for yourself, Bridesmaids is sorta a cross between Hangover and SATC. It’s a chick flick and you know when it comes to weddings, there will always be drama boiling over – which is basically the premise of the movie. I thought parts of it was funny (crude humor) and all in all it was an entertaining movie.
If memory serves correctly, I’ve been a bridesmaid thrice. The first time was maybe around 11 years old at my uncle’s wedding; I think my role was more of a flower girl actually. The second time was for my friend Cathy’s wedding in Anaheim, LA in 1992. Gosh, I remember my dress at the time was hot pink (like in the movie poster you see above). It had an unflattering hemline and mega pouffy sleeves. BIIIIIIIGGGG pouffy sleeves. :0 Well, ya know… bridal fashion back in the late 80s – early 90s wasn’t exactly hip. You don’t say the bridesmaid’s dresses from that era are hideous, what about the bridal gowns!!!???? Poor brides back then didn’t have too many chic sartorial choices either. But hey, what’s old will be new again – you just wait, next time your great-granddaughter will think your momma’s wedding gown is super stylo! ;) Damn, maybe I should’ve kept that pouffy hot pink number after all.
The third (and last) time I wore yet another bridesmaid’s dress was at my gf Tina’s wedding in 2004. This bridesmaid’s dress is so much more fitted and elegant. ^^ Here are some pics from that wedding:
Oh, and I did her wedding flowers! :) :) :) So the dress I wore was nice but I wasn’t flashing a broad smile in any of the photos because I wore braces at the time. It was a fun wedding though and I still remember it fondly today. After that, my bridesmaid career came to a screeching halt, hahaha! I enjoy being part of the bridal party but I gotta say there’s a lot less stress being a wedding guest instead. Thing is, there are differing expectations of the role of a bridesmaid in a US wedding vs. Asian wedding. (I gather that there are different duties when you’re a bridesmaid in Singapore.) In the US, being a bridesmaid is more than showing support to a close friend, wearing a fancy dress and being an ‘accessory’ in wedding photos.
More than that, a bridesmaid and/or maid-of-honor serves a practical purpose. During the hectic time of planning a wedding, she is a confidant, advice giver, doer of menial tasks, errand runner and more. A bride should have at least one bridesmaid (preferably the maid-of-honor) who is reliable, cheerfully helpful, organized, and who lives close to the bride.
A bridesmaid’s duties might include:
- helping the bride shop for her dress and bridesmaids’ dresses.
- when asked, giving advice on decorations, favors, music, and more.
- helping the maid of honor to plan a bridal shower, and, if appropriate, chipping in for the costs of food, decorations, or venue.
- helping to plan a bachelorette party (this the bridesmaids may pay for or split the cost with the other attendees).
- helping the bride dress (and stay calm) before the ceremony.
- providing moral support at all times.
- telling others where the couple is registered and other details, such as when they will return from their honeymoon, where to send gifts, and any name changes.
- being useful at the wedding reception. The couple may ask you to help direct guests to the guestbook, assist with a special moment, make sure that vendors have arrived, or do crisis management. You might also want to stick around after the reception and make sure things are cleaned up and wedding presents secured.
- being social. Be sure to talk to as many guests as you can, making them feel warmly welcomed. If there’s a dance floor, help get the party going!
- consider throwing (or helping to pitch in for) a day-after brunch. These events are great to help the couple catch up with out-of-town guests, and have a more relaxed environment to socialize in.
There is a considerable expense involved in being a bridesmaid too, including cost of apparel, travel and hotel room for the ceremony, hosting a party, as well as a shower gift and a wedding gift.via Bridesmaids are generally expected to pay for their own wedding-day ensemble (shoes and jewelry included). If you think the cost is going to be an issue, voice your concerns to the bride. Hopefully she’ll choose a dress that’s reasonably priced, or consider letting you choose your own. She may give you some color/style requirements (i.e., black and ankle length), and then each of you would choose something that suits your standards. That way, you decide how much to spend.via
You know, when I was a bridesmaid for those three weddings, I didn’t know any of this stuff. There are so many social etiquettes and naturally, cultural nuances revolving around this particular subject matter that I was totally unschooled in + unprepared for. I only picked it up through listening to the rants of my gal pals (and wedding clients… ahem, *bridezillaaasssss*) over the years. And of course gradually as more and more online bridal portals started appearing and weddings get fancier, I began to have references.
The stressful part of being in a bridal party usually comes down to agreeing with your fellow bridesmaids. Most of the time you’ve never met the other girls before, but for this one momentous occasion which takes months of planning, all the bridesmaids must agree on certain decisions. These decisions are not easy to come by sometimes, because everyone is excited for the bride and has ideas they want to contribute – from the wacky to the over-the-top lavish ideas, which unfortunately not all the bridesmaids can agree on right away. In addition to the bridesmaids’ involvement, throw in the mother/mother-in-law and other female relatives wanting to have a say in the matter too….. Boy, oh boy. That’s why weddings are fertile ground for drama and lots of emotional roller-coaster.
But of course, everything usually turns out well during the day itself, everyone is having a jolly good time celebrating and the married couple will live happily ever after. ;) Else, there’s always cocktail hour and the open bar during reception to get sloshed. Heh! j/k.
✎ Question for readers: Have you ever been a bridesmaid?