The bridesmaid’s guide to new-age weddings
BFF getting married? Forget everything you know. You’re now the handholder, ringleader and Chief Solutions Officer
Bridesmaids of yore had it easy. All they had to do was hold the bride’s train, produce handkerchiefs when guests cried at the ceremony, and catch the bouquet when it was tossed at the reception. Today, weddings across the cultural spectrum have maids of honour and main groomsmen. Both are likely to have specific duties when a close friend or relative is getting hitched.
What are those, exactly? Remember the wild night-outs in the movies. Where do phallic-shaped cakes and edible underwear fit in when groom is part of the hen night? Here’s what to keep in mind.
Start early: If you know that your friends are planning to marry, prep for the proposal. Help the groom with his big gesture, make sure the yet-to-be-engaged bride looks her best when she is surprised, shoot the video without becoming the third wheel at a special moment.
Get grouping: You’ll need multiple WhatsApp groups -- for bride and friends, bride and family and likewise for the groom, sangeet gang, the office gift pool. It will make sharing instructions, locations, schedules and photos easier.
Be the travel agent: Who will arrange for Ubers and coordinate with those driving for directions? Who will give out-of-town relatives landmarks and dinner recommendations? You, of course. So make sure you’re part of all reconnaissance trips.
Pick a side: It doesn’t matter who you’ve known longer. When two friends are getting married, you will be doing things baraatis do as well as the things the ladki waale do. That means two mehendis, dancing in the baraat, checking on the bride, conveying to the groom that she’s annoyed by the delay. For dance performances, and entry, pick a side – and concentrate on responsibilities there. Don’t leave out the parents. You don’t want the mother-in-law to-be belatedly added to the Besharam Rang troupe on D-day.
Grab a bag: Safety pins and battery backs, yes. But also water and packs of PartySmart so that no one is hungover the next day. And a bit of chocolate to calm a nervous bride. You’re not holding the veil and train, you’re holding the couple’s phones, and possibly the groom’s shoes and his secret vape. If either of them has a pet that they want at the wedding, be ready to babysit. Add treats and such to the bag.
Shopping spree: The family will accompany the to-be-weds for all the big purchases – the lehenga, shoes and jewellery. Your job is to find time for lingerie buying in the midst of it all. If the family is conservative, it will be you who suggests buying intimate toys too.
Redirect the presents: Why make guests wrap and lug a microwave to the reception only for the busy couple to lug it back home? If the couple doesn’t have a wedding registry, it’s your job to subtly ask them what they’re hoping to receive and circulate the list among friends. With money transfers and home delivered presents everyone will breathe easier.
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From HT Brunch, February 25, 2023
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