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How to not hate being a bridesmaid

The first couple of times you’re asked to be a bridesmaid, you may treat your newfound role as something you accept with open arms and bottles of champagne. But the more and more times you say yes to the bridesmaid dress, the more times you may start to resent, even dislike, being a bridesmaid.

The role of being a bridesmaid is well-known for how expensive, time-consuming and even stressful it can be. By the eighth time I was a bridesmaid, I started to wonder why I wasn’t getting paid to take on a role that suddenly started to feel like it was a part-time job.

More: The number one thing no one tells you about being a bridesmaid

So in order to find yourself walking down the aisle with a smile on your face, let me help you not totally and utterly despise being a bridesmaid.

1. Set a budget

One of your first frustrations with your stint as a bridesmaid will be how much cash you’ll find yourself depositing in the upcoming wedding. Before I say yes to the bridesmaid dress and role, I plan out a budget. I list out how much I can spend on this wedding, and then I pinky promise myself I’m going to stick to it. That way, I won’t get mad at myself, the maid of honor or the bride for how much this wedding adventure will cost.

2. Get on the bride’s good side

Remember, being a bridesmaid is all about being Team Bride. So be sure to be there as a supportive friend and force for the bride-to-be. Avoid showing up to pre-wedding events late or taking two weeks to respond to an email. Getting through the wedding without tension between you and the main character of the event is key. You know what they say: happy bride, happy bridesmaid.

3. Don’t get sucked into all things wedding

After weeks and months of taking on unlimited bridesmaid duties, you may start to feel like you’re the one planning the wedding and getting married. Keep a healthy balance of personal time and wedding time so you don’t find yourself burnt out, stressed out or just going out of your mind.

More: A five-pronged plan to rejecting a bride who asks you to be in her wedding

4. Stay off Pinterest

You’ll find yourself spending every ounce of your free time pinning things on Pinterest you otherwise would never care about. Save yourself from a premature wedding pinning addiction by putting a moratorium on your Pinterest account and only forwarding the bride a maximum of seven wedding-related ideas, articles or tips a week.

5. Say no when you want

Get vocal when you can’t attend or afford something. Being passive and shelling out cash you don’t have will only make you resent the bridal party and the bride, leaving you with a less-than-pleasant wedding experience. Whenever I had an issue as a bridesmaid, I would find a lighthearted and easy way to say how I felt and even bring to the table a backup plan or suggestion.

6. Get buddy-buddy with the other bridesmaids

Whether you like it or not, these girls will be your teammates throughout the wedding experience. You’ll rely on each other to be peacekeepers, party starters and even just each other’s sanity. Get to know the other members of the bridal party before the wedding, so that on the day-of you have backup and support to push the day forward and the bride down the aisle.

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