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Guest: Surviving Wedding Season: A Simple Guide For Friends Of The Bride

Apparently, summer is the season of love. According to The Knot, June, August, September and October are the most popular months for weddings. With all the upcoming nuptials, it can be tough on friends of the bride. Navigating bridal showers, bachelorette parties, bridesmaid duties and even wedding guest planning can feel like a juggling act. Before you tear your hair out, take a deep breath and follow this simple guide to get you through wedding season.

Calendar Carefully

If you think a wedding is just one day of celebration, you’re dreaming. As soon as you hear your friend is engaged, it’s time to flip out the calendar and clear your schedule. Depending on your role in the wedding and how close you are to the bride, you’ll have to plan for the engagement party, dress shopping, bridal shower, bachelorette party, all those bridal shows she wants to drag you to, brunch dates to pour over wedding magazines and, oh yeah, the actual wedding day. All of this can get especially dicey when you have more than one friend getting married.

Gather dates and obligations as soon as you can to add them to your calendar. Be flexible, but also let your engaged friend know of any prior commitments you have on your schedule as early as possible so she can keep them in mind while planning. It can be helpful to print out a wedding checklist or scheduling template from The Knot, Real Simple or Pinterest. These are designed for brides, but can be handy for bridesmaids organizing their calendars.

Apps Are Your Best Friend

Keep your smartphone or tablet with you at all times (like you don’t already). It can be your best friend through the wedding anxiety. Some of the best wedding apps are for bridesmaids and groomsmen. Mashable compiled some of the most helpful apps:

  • InTheMo is a personal concierge for planning a bachelorette party or night out in any city
  • WedPics is a great way to share your professional wedding photos and invite other guests to view and share their own
  • WeddingSpeechBuilder can help you conquer your stage fright with a database of quirky jokes and one-liners that are perfect for your reception toast

Search your app store for other helpful apps to handle everything from searching the wedding registry to a mirror app that lets you check your face before the photo shoot starts.

Finances and Frugality

According to a survey by the XO group, it costs approximately $1,695 to be a bridesmaid. Your budget may not necessarily match the extravagance level of the wedding, but there are ways to save money while fully participating in the matrimonial activities. Glamour recommends voicing any financial concerns to your fellow bridesmaids up front. For decorations, accessories and bridal showers, work together to find bridal sales or take the DIY route with inspiration from Pinterest or Etsy. Skipping the professional hair, makeup and spa days can save a couple hundred dollars as well. Remember you don’t have to buy the most expensive gift on the bride’s registry either. A thoughtful or personal gift will be memorable and appreciated, or you can go in on a more extravagant gift with friends or other bridesmaids.

Offer To Help

While being a bridesmaid can be stressful, remember it’s your friends special day—and she is probably freaking out twice as much as you are. The Knot recommends being specific when you volunteer to help instead of simply asking “What can I do?” Offer to stuff invitations, pick up dry cleaning, help with decorations or chauffeuring relatives. No matter what role you play in your friend’s wedding, keep it simple and you’ll have a great time.