bridesmaid dresses on a rack
Brideside

After a year and a half of postponed weddings due to COVID, the rush of rescheduled affairs has officially begun! And if you’ve got a lot of couple friends jumping on the bandwagon, get ready: You just might be about to become a Multiple-Wedding Bridesmaid. It’s a status that can mean a lot of fun, a lot of laughs and a lot of good memories, but it can also be overwhelming—on your time, your stress, and your budget. But with this survival guide, you’ll sail through being a bridesmaid in multiple weddings and manage to have a great time doing it. Wedding season in overdrive? Bring it!

Tip 1: Make a schedule and stick to it. 

Once you say “YES!” to being a bridesmaid, those important event invites will start rolling in at breakneck speed—and you’ll be ready. That’s because you will (should!) plug each and every important date, brunch, shopping trip, party and wedding event into your Google calendar or planner immediately. Even if the weddings are seemingly forever away, all the must-do events that come before it will sneak up on you sooner than you think, and having a bird’s eye view of your next six (or even 12) months will help keep stress at bay. Plus, if important events between weddings happen to overlap, the sooner you catch ‘em, the better—you might be able to get the dates moved, or, at the very least, you’ll have plenty of time to prioritize and devise a backup plan. And don’t just schedule out those serious wedding events—add personal planning milestones to your cal well ahead of time, too, so you’ll chip away at all those important tasks (like getting your dresses tailored and finding someone to babysit Fluffy while you’re in Cancun) long before they become emergencies. With so much to do in the coming months, the name of your game is: Stick to the plan!

Tip 2: Budget, then budget again.

If all you see are dollar signs as soon as you sign on to be a bridesmaid in multiple weddings, you’re not overreacting. The average cost of being a bridesmaid can top out over a grand per wedding, and of course, that number only multiplies if you’re a serial bridesmaid. So, just like you’ll be planning ahead with your set-in-stone schedj, you should also set a budget in stone far ahead of time to ensure you have the dollars to do the job (without stressing out). Do some quick math to figure out the cost of each event and purchase for each wedding, add in some extra padding to be safe, then divide that total among the months you have leading up to the wedding(s). That’ll tell you about how much you should sneak into savings each paycheck. Worried about having enough? This is exactly what that rainy day fund you’ve been saving is for—take a little out to cover initial expenses and save your sanity, and replenish once the wedding madness is over.

Tip 3: Share the love. 

The multiple weddings you’ll be ‘maiding in might be totally different and unique from one another, but the individual components and necessities will likely be (don’t tell the brides!) basically the same. There will be bachelorette parties. Dresses. Glam. Champagne. You get it. So wherever you can, feel free to get creative with overlap. Can you reuse a dress (or borrow from a friend for one of the weddings, so you only have to buy one)? Can you at least use the same shoes for both weddings? Can you snag the bach party props from one and repurpose them for the next (the environment will thank you!)? Of course, whatever you do decide to repurpose, make sure you’ve discussed as much as you can with all brides involved, to get their OK. Just, you know, don’t reuse your reception speech.

Tip 4: Overcommunicate.

And speaking of discussing with brides, it’s a great idea to sit down with all of your brides long before the wedding chaos begins and set expectations. If you can get everyone in one room? Amazing. But even if you have to do this with each brides separately, and compare notes, it’ll be very helpful. Let them all know that you’re totally devoted to their weddings, but also involved in one (or two, or three) others at the same time. Share dates and important events and locations, set boundaries if you need to (e.g., “I can only be at the bachelor party for one day instead of the whole weekend) and be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Don’t be worried about upsetting anyone—they have a lot on their minds as they plan their weddings, and they won’t be too focused on your minimal limitations. Also, at the end of the day, everyone just wants everyone to have fun! So, your brides will be flexible to ensure you can do the best bridesmaid job possible, and have fun doing it, at all of their weddings. Keep the line of communication strong throughout, and don’t forget to keep all brides abreast of any changes or updates along the way. The more in-the-know they are, the easier your job will be.

Tip 5: Set boundaries and self-advocate.

Yes, alllll of these weddings are important, and yes, there’s a lot of pressure on you to be present and involved throughout the planning and execution of all of them. But? You’re also human. And you’re also a wedding guest! Like I mentioned above, what matters to your brides most of all is that you have a great experience—no one wants you to be super stressed, go broke or… end up in a Caribbean jail cell. Not to mention, weddings are fleeting, but your friendship with your brides will live on, and you don’t want them strained by this experience. So, put yourself first whenever you can. Say no to things you just can’t do, stick to your budget and do not go over, and check in with yourself periodically to make sure you’re OK. It can be so easy to say yes, yes, yes to every possible expectation and lose track of your own wellbeing in the process. And be open to leaning on other ‘maids (e.g, those who are only in one wedding) for help or coverage when you need it. Promise you: When you’re having an actually amazing time at each wedding, feel closer to your brides than ever and still have all your hair intact at the end of this wedding season, you’ll be glad you put you first.