For Better Or For Worse: 5 Ways To Enjoy The Bridesmaid Experience More

by Alex Schnee

Most of us, as members of Generation-Y, have now been through the experience of the wedding of a close friend.

We’ve also probably been in the wedding party at some point, as well, for better or for worse. I’m going to be honest: Unless you are Katherine Heigl in "27 Dresses," I sincerely doubt you enjoy the entire matrimonial process.

There can be some moments where it feels like pulling teeth -- your own teeth, that is.

Between shopping for the right shoes, getting your hair done and making sure you don't offend the father of the bride by telling raunchy stories about his little girl, being a bridesmaid is no walk in the park (or down the aisle).

As a certified bridesmaid, I'm here to offer some tips to survive as a member of your next friend's wedding party:

1. It’s not about you.

This may seem like a fairly obvious one, but it can be easy to get caught up in the fact that the dress someone else picked for you is going to accentuate all your worst features, or that you had a terrible conversation with an annoying groomsman. No one cares, and you shouldn’t, either.

It's all about the bride, your friend, who was kind enough to ask you to be an integral part of her day.

She could have chosen anyone out of her group of friends, but she ended up picking you. So when you have to take that groomsman’s arm, think about your friend and remember the reason you are there.

2. No one will remember what you looked like five minutes after it’s over.

Back to that bridesmaid dress I mentioned... Yeah, I know. You hate the ensemble you have to wear. It makes your hips look like a circus tent and you paid way too much for it. You know you’ll never wear it again.

Your hair should never have been worn in that style and you are aware it makes you look like a cartoon character from the early 90s. Even if you think you look like something out of a horror film (and the tagged pictures on Facebook will confirm it), no one will really care what you look like.

If people do comment on how you look anything less than beautiful, they need to get out more, meet more people and be in more weddings so they can sympathize. Plus, everyone knows you didn't pick the dress, so you're basically off the hook.

3. It’s okay to be single at a wedding.

Nothing is worse than going to a celebration of love when the last thing you want to do is celebrate love.

The good thing is, you know you aren’t the only one feeling this way. Find a single groomsman to dance the night away with, or a well-mannered, Alzheimer's-ridden grandpa.

I brought my best girlfriend as my plus-one to the last wedding I was in, and it felt good to have someone else with me who didn't care about catching that bouquet (has that tradition ever panned out, anyway?).

Plus, having secret conversation about the hottie best man with someone you have fun with can make the whole experience more enjoyable.

4. It’s only one night.

We should be so lucky that our American tradition only requires a wedding ceremony of a few hours. Indian or Russian weddings usually go for two days or more, and you know we all would have changed into flats at some point.

Part of getting married is recognizing adulthood, and that these two people are old enough to make a lasting commitment (no matter how much you would beg to differ as a friend).

So, being an adult yourself, even for just a few hours, can be one of the best ways to show your friend how much you care about her.

I know it’s hard, but I promise you can do it… and then you can spend the next day in bed recovering with Lucky Charms, watching "16 and Pregnant."

5. Have fun.

Every wedding has inevitable drama, but remember, they are supposed to be fun. This is a celebration of your friend finding the person she wants to be with for the rest of her life.

Have that extra glass of champagne during the toast. You’re not paying for it, remember? There’s no cover charge to dance all evening. You’re surrounded by some of the dearest and closest people in your friend's life, and you happen to be one of them.

Photo Courtesy: Tumblr