Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

November 2011

Will You… Be My Bridesmaid?

We have heard of bridesmaid horror stories (Have you watched “Bridesmaids”? Shivers) and we don’t want you to go through the same thing. We’ve identified six types of bridesmaids so you know who you’ll want managing your wedding and how you should reward them after.

Ladies have always enjoyed the company of friends. They visit restrooms with friends, they go shopping with friends, and even as students, study with friends. So it is without doubt that when the time comes that a lady gets hitched, she relies on the support of her gal pals to get her through her big day. Choose your bridesmaids wisely, the way you choose your friends. But remember, they’re doing you a favour!

1. The Bridesmaid from Hell

Drama teacher and Jazz singer Michelle Chua, 33, guesses she must have been a witch in a past life. She’s made grown men cry and suffer from food poisoning with her classic killer cocktails like bittergourd juice and deep fried Indian dried chilli. All these while she rubbed her chin and laughed with glee.

Surprise strip shows (with the full monty, thank you very much), handcuffing her very chaste friend to a lamp post in Clarke Quay (dressed in a policewoman outfit), and organising complimentary lap dancers for brides, Michelle has done it all. “I don’t remember how many times I’ve been Terror Chief Bridesmaid but it’s enough for all the men in our social group to warn me that when it is my turn, my husband would have to be the biggest sport of all because everyone will take revenge on him! I believe he will be man enough for the showdown,” laughs Michelle.

A bridesmaid like Michelle is bound to give you unforgettable memories, especially of your hen party. Just remember to ask yourself how sporting you and your Groom are willing to be, and if you’ve gotten yourself a “notorious” bridesmaid, just let her know if there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed, especially if you have a very shy husband-to-be who isn’t a big fan of parading in boxer shorts with big hearts around your HDB void deck.

2. The Proactive Bridesmaid

Jesslyn Tan, 27, was only too happy to be conferred the honour of being her best friend’s second-in-command. Unfortunately, Jesslyn had little experience with anything wedding-related. “I’d only attended two weddings and had never been involved very much so I had no idea what to do, but I did spend a lot of time searching on the internet. I’m quite meticulous so I think it all paid off; the wedding went so smoothly, phew! And the bride was really nice; she gave me a big angpow and a bracelet to thank me for my help!”

If you’re lucky enough to have an “on-the-ball” bridesmaid, cherish her and do give her a huge treat after to thank her for all her help! And don’t forget a big hug.

3. The Overworked Bridesmaid

Three-time bridesmaid Evelyn Chew, 33, is an event planner, which means that her event planning skills came in very handy for the brides that she had helped. Unfortunately, one of her friends took it for granted. “It was ridiculous! I was the one choosing the decorative flowers, table cloths, music, and invitations. I was like her wedding co-ordinator, but only I wasn’t paid! I was tired and miserable, and couldn’t wait to kick off my shoes at the end of the evening to relax with a glass of champagne.”

Remember that it is ultimately your wedding, and as capable as your bridesmaid is, you should still be part of the planning process. Oh, and she’s your friend volunteering her help. Not your slave.

4. The Cheerleader Bridesmaid

Swimming coach Kit Munn is a self-confessed tomboy. The 28-year-old was shell shocked when her close friend invited her to be her bridesmaid. “Val’s the typical girly girl. Imagine a princess, complete with frills and tiaras, that’s Val. We were as different as night and day. But I was determined not to let this stand in the way of my good friend having a lovely wedding. So I sent her good vibes and words of encouragement regularly. I even watched ’27 Dresses’ to get an idea of what to do. I gritted my teeth and attended her gown fitting session, and went flower shopping with her. The wedding went beautifully and at the end of it all, I told Val ‘Ok, if I see another frill, I will throw up,’ and we had a good laugh. I’m glad I managed to make my good friend so happy.”

Remember that you’re the one getting married so it’s natural for you to feel all lightheaded and lovey dovey. Your bridesmaids, on the other hand, may be a little uncomfortable with certain things. Do appreciate that they’re doing it for you, their friend, and remember to thank them after!

5. The Young and Dangerous Bridesmaid

Tan Ming Hui, a teacher, was merely 19 years old when her sister-in-law desperately approached her to be a bridesmaid. “I am embarrassed to admit that I spent the evening flirting with the deejay, and wasn’t concentrating on the music (I was in charge of that) so instead of the lovely Pachelbel’s Canon in D, the bride ended up being given away by her father to the tune of MC Hammer’s ‘You Can’t Touch This’! The crowd had a good laugh but my sister-in-law’s face turned beet red. I apologised profusely and thankfully she forgave me after a few years. My mother still brings it up from time to time though. I may have been struck off the bridesmaid list for good!”

If you’ve got specific instructions on how you want things done, you’d better let that be known straight from the start! Don’t think that everyone will know what they’re supposed to do. And please, do enrol people you know you can trust.

6. The Reluctant Bridesmaid

Real estate agent Cheryl Tan, 32, had just been jilted by her long term boyfriend when she was asked to be her friend’s maid-of-honour. “Corrine and I had been friends since we were 10. Much as I was happy for her, it was hard for me to immerse myself in all the preparations because I was still down and needed time to heal. But she insisted and I said yes because I felt obliged due to our long friendship. So I held back tears at her wedding gown fitting sessions, remembering my own.”

Cheryl ended up seeing the wedding through with Corrine, but the relationship between the ladies became strained and finally ended. “Corrine felt that I was a sour puss throughout and kept asking ‘Why can’t you just be happy for me?’, and I couldn’t understand how she could be so dense. Yes, it was her big day, but the world still needs to go on revolving!”

Do spare a thought for your friends. You would, of course, love for them to be part of your happy occasion, but they may be going through a rough patch. When in doubt, simply ask. They’d be grateful for your concern, and who knows, they might even offer their assistance in other ways if they don’t feel up to the role of a bridesmaid.

If you’re lucky enough to have good bridesmaids, remember to be nice to them. Keep in mind that these girls have been with you through thick and thin, and have probably known you longer than your new husband has!