I haven’t had many opportunities to be an attendant, partially because I choose to keep only a handful of friends, and partially because weddings are my jam, but I’m no good at being a guest. I was recently an attendant for a best friend/soulmate/ex-co-worker and I was actually scolded for trying to work. In fairness, I told them to slap me if I worked, so I asked for it. I have a hard time just enjoying myself in the traditional sense when it comes to weddings because I get high off of making problems disappear. Seriously, if some of the couples knew what problems I had to deal with at their wedding day that they never saw, they would be tipping about a kajillion dollars.
So while I may not have much experience as an attendant, I have worked with hundreds (literally!) of attendants and I’ve been able to see some gems! (As well as a few who maybe shouldn’t have accepted to the position.)
This should come as a no brainer but seriously, LISTEN. What does your person want for their wedding and wedding activities? If they don’t want their stag(ette) at a club , DON’T PLAN A NIGHT OUT AT THE CLUB. Sure, you and the rest of the attendants want it, but your person, the person you’re throwing the party for, said no. It’s like throwing a birthday party for someone allergic to fish at a seafood restaurant. And also –
2. Ask Questions
If you don’t know what they want from you or what they might like, just ask. “Do you like country music? No, great, we won’t go to the Garth Brooks concert”. Or “Hey, do we have plans the night before the wedding or am I staying at home with my hubby?”. Don’t make assumptions. Not everyone is top notch at communication. Maybe they forgot to tell you that they’ve booked a hotel room for an old fashioned sleepover.
Unless you’re the only attendant, you have other awesome people on your team with you. Communicate with them about activities. Ask them if they know the rehearsal date or tell them when you find out information about your person’s wants. If you have a solid communication stream going with the other attendants, you make less work overall for your person!
There’s planning on every front of a wedding and not all of it falls to the couple! Figure out where you’re getting ready the morning of the wedding and see if anyone is bringing snacks. No? No one is bringing snacks? Pack an awesome breakfast, maybe some mimosas! And every now and then, leading up to the wedding, check in, ask your person. Is there anything you can do to help out with the wedding plans or just to make their life easier. Planning a wedding is like having an additional full time job with maximum stress, so be there for your person to help negate stress where possible. Which brings me to the next point:
5. Be There
While you might not be into everything your person is into, do your best to attend all the wedding events you’re invited to. Some things may take precedence, but check your calendar and arrange it so you can be present for all the activities. And when you’re with them, check in and see if you can get them a drink, or a snack, or just give ‘em a hug. All these people are here for them and want to talk to them. They may find it difficult to care for themselves as they normally would. If you want to be a super awesome attendant, come up with a code word or phrase before wedding events. If they use it, you run interference so they can get out of a conversation or escape to the bathroom.
With all this being said, the most important thing is to take care of yourself and your friendship. If your person is asking you to spend money you don’t have, don’t take out a loan and hold this nasty grudge over them that makes you seethe each time you make a payment. Tell them what your limits are, where your boundaries exists, and be honest and frank with them. You should come out of the wedding with a stronger friendship, and you will if you treat each other with respect and love.