Whether you're a first-time bridesmaid, or have 27 dresses hanging up in the back of your closet, it's good to keep in mind bridal-party faux pas. So we chatted with real brides to find out their pet peeves. Here are nine things you didn't realize were annoying the bride in your life, plus practical tips for avoiding these mistakes.
1. Being MIA
Why it's annoying: By not responding to emails, missing showers, or skipping out on favor-making night, you are slacking on your duty to support the bride and might make her regret asking you in the first place.
How to avoid it: You don't need to drop everything else in your life to be a bridesmaid, but you should make it a priority. It doesn't take much effort to reply enthusiastically to her emails with wedding details, and if you can't make a shower or bachelorette party, go the extra mile and send along a gift or card after picking up the phone to tell her why you won't be able to make it.
2. RSVP'ing For a Plus One Who Wasn't Invited
Why it's annoying: As VIPs, bridesmaids should have leeway to invite a guest. But it's not respectful to just assume if your invite is addressed to just you.
How to avoid it: Talk to the bride about it. Explain you have a guy in your life you think would get along well with everyone. If he's someone you're hoping to take things to the next level with, she'll likely support your quest to find love like she has.
3. Asking About the Same Details Over and Over Again
Why it's annoying: The bride has a long to-do list, so she doesn't want to tell you over and over that she doesn't care what you do with your hair or what the name of the hotel is. Once she's passed on some information, do her a favor and don't keep asking her about it.
How to avoid it: Don't make the bride your go-to resource for information. Check her wedding website, reread emails she's sent, and check in with other bridesmaids before bombarding her with questions about minute details.
4. Waiting Until the Last Minute to Buy Your Dress
Why it's annoying: The bride will stress that the dress will sell out, or she'll worry your dress won't work with the others. If you accepted being a bridesmaid, you're prepared for the fact that you'll have to buy the dress, so what are you waiting for?
How to avoid it: Bite the bullet and buy it as soon as she gives you the details so you don't forget. If you can't afford it at the moment, be honest with the bride and see if there's a solution you can come up with together.
5. Not Getting Along With the Other Bridesmaids
Why it's annoying: The drama distracts from the bride's moment and casts a negative light on the wedding. Keep in mind that she values the other bridesmaids and she won't appreciate you complaining about them.
How to avoid it: Vent to someone else, preferably someone who is not connected to the wedding. And try to keep an open mind about the woman who seems controlling in the bachelorette email chains or the other one who can't seem to get her act together on paying you for the hotel.
6. Being Hungover While Getting Ready
Why it's annoying: When you're hungover, all you want to do is go to bed, and that's not how the bride wants you to feel on the morning of her wedding. Plus it's not a great look for the pictures.
How to avoid it: Of course, the bride wants you to enjoy yourself at the rehearsal dinner or welcome party, but save some of your energy for main event. Make sure you don't drink on an empty stomach the night before and alternate between booze and water all night to slow you down and keep you hydrated. If you do end up hungover, you need to fake it till you make it. Get your hands on some Gatorade, coffee, and Advil and hope the mimosa does the trick. And don't complain in front of the bride.
7. Telling Her Nonstop to Eat on the Wedding Day
Why it's annoying: It's likely everyone is telling her "don't forget to eat" leading up to walking down the aisle. You'll just add to the repetitive chorus.
How to avoid it: Don't overtly demand the bride eat. Instead, offer her a bagel when you're getting yours, grab some fruit salad for everyone to munch on, and keep a granola bar handy. Don't monitor her food intake, just do what you can to make sure some is available.
8. Making a Mess in the Bridal Suite
Why it's annoying: The bride doesn't want to worry about getting your makeup that's lying out everywhere on her dress. Nor does she want to come back to your rotting lunches on her wedding night.
How to avoid it: Keep your stuff neat. If you're getting ready in her room, make sure you do a final sweep of the room before you leave so she and her husband don't come back to a disaster zone.
9. Uploading Photos of Her on Social Media
Why it's annoying: You run the risk of having the groom see the bride on social media before the first glance. It's also likely the bride doesn't want poorly lit photos taken with your iPhone to be the first impression of her wedding on social media.
How to avoid it: Ask before you post — and never post before the groom and other guests have seen the bride. If you snap a quick shot on your phone, ask the bride if it's OK to share. And if you can't do that, at the very least make sure the photo is undoubtedly flattering.
If you're a bride, be sure to check out eight things you didn't realize annoy your bridesmaids, and 30 things that will drive your guests nuts.