My Bridesmaid! My Stress ball!

I am actually laughing out Loud at this title and really not sure why I have picked this title but I guess as I keep writing it may make sense.

So I got to work today and found that a stress ball was left on my desk. Not one that does stress ball but as the day progressed I found myself leaning to hold it and squeeze it and atlas a picture popped in my head hence this title.

I am sure a lot of you know what a stress ball is and for those of you who don’t I will give you a brief description of what it is. A stress ball is a round ball or object, usually smaller than a tennis ball that is used to diffuse tension. Many people who sit at a computer or desk all day use a stress ball to help prevent or relieve stress. When the stress ball is squeezed, you create a certain amount of muscle tension in not only your hand, but also your body. When you relax your squeeze, that muscle tension is released, thereby providing a sense of relaxation. With repeated squeezing and some deep breathing, the effects on your body will surprise you. Squeezing a little harder each time you wrap your fingers around the ball will produce soothing effects to the muscles of the arm, and then the shoulder.

Now the question in our head is how can a bridesmaid be compared to a stress ball? We will tackle this by first finding out who a bridesmaid is. A bridesmaid is first and foremost someone who the bride wants to be a part of her wedding. Perhaps she is a sister, or a very close friend; her friendship and support of the marriage is meaningful to the bride. More than that, a bridesmaid serves a practical purpose. During the hectic time of planning a wedding, she is a confidant, advice giver, doer of menial tasks, errand runner and more. A bride should have at least one bridesmaid who is reliable, cheerfully helpful, and organized.

The description above indeed tells you that a bridesmaid by virtue of the practical purpose she serves is indeed a bride’s stress ball. But how many brides today can say that? The role of bridesmaids today has been limited to looking pretty, gorgeous dresses, shoes, hair and makeup. They turn up on the day or night before the wedding just to join the line and hope to catch a hot guy. (No offense intended). This in turn leaves the bride stressing from day 1 till wedding day on every aspect of wedding including taking care of the bridesmaids!! The essence of this write-up is to put it to the bridesmaids that, as much as the bride wants them looking good on the wedding train; the day is not about them but about the bride.

You go to weddings and you see bridesmaids sitting down doing nothing while everywhere around them is in serious chaos, you ask them a question about the event and they are blank, some even have the guts to refer you to the bride!! They do not know any vendor or have a clue about the day, this my friends get me really furious because if you truly breakdown the word Bridesmaid it literally means being a MAID for the! The role of a bridesmaid amongst all other things include:

1. if the bride asks about helping her with ideas on where to have the wedding, help her with scouting around and going to the different places. It may be a great idea to drive so she can focus on each location. Believe me I have seen a bride drive herself till the morning of her wedding and guess what the bridesmaids were sleeping!!

2. If you have great penmanship it is always nice to volunteer to address at least some the invitations if the bride agrees. Many times a bride may outsource her invitations but if they need to be addressed by the family, your help will be key in reducing the load of tasks to complete.

3. Your friend may need help in ordering and choosing decorations and favors, your opinions may be helpful in making decisions for narrowing down choices and making sure the decorations are in on time for the wedding, shower and bachelorette parties.

4. It is a major treat to go with the bride when she is shopping for her wedding dress. She may even invite you to be involved in picking out the Bridesmaid Dresses. It is very important to help make sure the dresses are ordered and arrive in enough time for alterations! – Bridesmaids of today sit and wait for it to arrive and they complain all day long!

5. Help the bride in the seating arrangement. This can be a very difficult process with the more people coming to the wedding. Many times it makes it easier to draw out the tables and move people around until you have a close to perfect fit. Note: It is very helpful to bring this drawing to the wedding just in case there are any mix-ups, you will save the day!

6. Help Plan the Bridal Shower with the Maid of Honor! You should also attend the bridal shower as it is an honor for you to be there and hurtful if you cannot attend unless you have good reason. Oh my this is one event that I have seen people other than the bridesmaids plan for the bride and the bridesmaids do not even turn up.

7. Be a good communicator with information. Many times information prior to a wedding does not reach everyone. Friends will appreciate confirming plans of each shower and party as well as wedding day information.

8. Assist the bride in getting into her dress and makeup

9. Ask if the bride needs anything (food, water, etc) all the way up till the time she is walking down the aisle. She will really appreciate it!

10. Assist the guests to their seats and be social prior to the wedding. The guests love to see the bridesmaids and groomsmen out and about. I say this all the time, the bridal party are already uniformed so you do not need any other group but the lovely ladies moving through the halls and giving the guest a lovely view of their beauty

11. Always look for the unexpected since it is common for the most uncommon things to happen

12. Last, but not least, Provide moral support and be a great listener throughout the process since it is a very wonderful and "positively" stressful time for your friend. You can really make the difference!

Going by all of the above roles makes a bridesmaid the perfect stress ball for a bride because she knows she has people to help her out on everything be it those mentioned and those she only has in her thoughts. For the duration of the wedding plan and the wedding itself the bride can squeeze at her stress ball to get relieve, she will be apt to look for it anytime she feels she is getting stressed.

Yeah I know you are thinking, ‘What about those brides that love to do things themselves?’ Trust me I know a couple of those brides but the only way to be their perfect stress ball is to show your availability at all times. A bride needs to know that she can trust or depend on you to deliver and this she will definitely see in little task ( which most brides use as a test) she passes your way.

I will tell you of this bride who is the number one organized lady, everything goes to plan and she is willing to do all herself as she has come to a point in her life that she doesn’t expect so much for people to avoid disappointments. Good you may think, smiley she seemed but underneath she was indeed stressed as no bridemaid had made themselves available to her, to the point that they didn’t make her shower!!! The bride was all over the place while the bridesmaids were preparing for the wedding without the good sense to ask how they can be of help. But her stress ball came just in the nick of time which was a few days to the wedding, she was able to squeeze on it without feeling imposing and the ball was able to give back to her. That stressball was a Maid of Honour who suddenly stood up to responsibilities, however late that gesture was the bride looked amazing on the d day.

Most times you need to deliberately take things off the bride’s hands as most of them do not even know they are heading for danger just by stressing. Your just being there is ok and the fact that she knows she can count on you is key. SO JUST BE THERE!​​

Now Dear Brides you need to ask yourself this question when next you are picking your bridal train, do I want a bridesmaid for show or a stress ball? You potential bridesmaids if you have read the above and said to yourself ‘no I can’t do this, I do not have that time’ then kindly sweetly decline the request to be a bridesmaid you would in that little way relieve the bride of any potential stress you may cause by being on the train. Can I hear all the brides say this with me – ‘My Bridesmaid! My Stress ball!’

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