If you're been focused on being the bride, how do you successfully take on new  duties as your friend's bridesmaid?

The Kentlands mansion in Gaithersburg, Md., is available for rent for various events, including weddings and parties. Credit: Estate Weddings & Events (Baltimore Sun / April 9, 2013)

One of my best friends (and bridesmaids) recently got engaged and wonderfully asked me to be a part of her big day. I’m so excited for this experience because, so far for me, it’s been “always a bride, never a bridesmaid.” So as I wrap up my experience as a bride, I want to make sure I transition smoothly into being a bridesmaid and making my friend's experience as great as she has helped make it for me.

Some of the things I’ve already thought about in this transition, especially since our engagement time overlaps slightly, are:

  • Not talking about my wedding when we’re doing something related to hers
  • Not being a know-it-all when it comes to wedding planning
  • Sharing advice and vendor info, but not pushing it on the bride-to-be; simply offering to share if it’s wanted
  • Having positive stories and inspiration ready to share when the stress starts to build
  • Keeping my personal opinion to myself when it truly is personal (not pushing my opinion on others)
  • Remembering it’s not my wedding, so my main role is to support the bride in whatever she needs or wants

I’ve seen and heard stories of bridesmaids over-stepping or saying more than they should, even resulting in torn relationships, when really the point of a wedding is to bring everyone closer together. That means that just because I am a bride (and will soon have been a bride) that doesn’t mean that I should act like anything more than a bridesmaid and a shoulder to lean on for the next bride, who in this case happens to be one of the sweetest people I know.