Being a bridesmaid is a really big deal and incredibly exciting. If one of your best friends is trying the knot and has asked you to be involved and stand by her side as she does, it's a pretty great honour.
However, it's also a lot of work. As much as you might like it to be a case of putting on a pretty dress, having your hair and makeup done, and looking great in photos, there's a bit more to it than that.
Even before the big day you need to be at the beck and call of the bride, helping her make decisions and stopping her from freaking out – which is bound to happen at least once. But on the actual wedding day itself, you need to be prepared for anything.
This is where your survival kit comes in handy. We've got the perfect list of things that you should have with you for the ceremony and the reception so you can be ready to deal with every emergency.
A plan for the day
You need to know where everyone has to be at certain times so you and other members of the wedding party can start herding them to the right places. This will ensure the day runs smoothly and things turn out as the bride had in mind.
Go through the plan for the day with the bride and print it up into a simple schedule. It helps if other people have this too so you aren't the only one dealing with it.
It isn't just a schedule that you need, you should also have a photo list on standby. Ideally, the bride will have provided this for the photographer but they aren't going to know who everyone is.
If you have one and someone from the groom's side also has one, you can help find the right people for the photos and ensure the happy couple get all the shots they need to remember their big day.
A sewing kit
While dresses breaking may be the stuff of nightmares, it does happen. Whether it's a bridesmaid or the bride herself who suffers a wardrobe malfunction, having the tools on hand to do what you can to repair things can make a big difference.
If you can't sew, having dressmaker's tape at the ready can also save the day and is an even quicker fix.
Whether someone's shoes are rubbing their feet or they take a tumble, plasters are one of the most important things to have in your bridesmaid survival kit. You don't need a whole box, but having a couple at the ready could make a big difference.
Stressful days coupled with long periods between meals and the odd drink can lead to things like headaches, especially for those in the wedding party. Having some mild painkillers in your bag can banish headaches and other aches or pains to ensure everyone can get on with enjoying the day.
Just remember to follow the instructions and avoid taking with alcohol!
Candid shots are some of the best when it comes to weddings and you want to ensure that the bride and groom don't miss a thing. Have a camera at the ready to take your own photos throughout the day so you can share them later on.
Your friend who you care about is getting married, be prepared to cry. Tears won't be relegated to the ceremony either, as you're likely to get emotional throughout the day.
Keep tissues in your bag ready for the reception and see where you can pop one or two on your person for the ceremony itself. Catching them early will stop your makeup getting too damaged and will avoid makeup or tear stains on your dress for the photos.
Vital items of makeup
If you do end up crying, you should have the essential pieces of makeup at the ready to fix the damage. It is also a good idea to have what the bride needs makeup-wise in your bag so you can help her fix her face if she gets tearful too.
You may end up with other bridesmaids and members of the wedding party coming up to you to have you sort their makeup out, but at least everyone will look good in the pictures.
Someone to help you
Of course, one of the most important things you can have in your survival kit is someone who can help you survive. You obviously can't carry your handbag down the aisle or deal with everything yourself, so having a friend or partner at the ready for bag holding duty and general help can make all the difference.
Not only will you have someone to lean on, you'll also have someone to ensure that you have fun too and enjoy your friend's big day. After all, you want to remember being a bridesmaid for all the right reasons.