I was a bridesmaid for the very first time this year! I was not the typical bridesmaid. I was on a completely different continent for months leading up to the big day! I was living in Spain, and one of my best friends was preparing for her wedding at home in the USA. As much as I adore my life as a traveler, I will admit it was hard to miss so many events leading up to my friend’s wedding day.
I flew home from Spain a week before her ceremony and arrived early to help with wedding preparation. I know that in the moment I was exactly what she needed, baking cupcakes for the reception and entertaining her Italian family members; however, there are some things I wish I would have done differently. I’ve been brainstorming ways about how a long-distance bridesmaid can still be present in the celebrations before the wedding, even though you may be oceans apart! Here are my tips.
Send Her Inspiration From Afar
Almost every bridesmaid knows the wedding color palette in great detail – mostly because you had to buy a dress in the appropriate color and you have probably been delegated to contributing to the wedding’s official Pinterest board. If you know her vision and her taste, send her photos of details that remind you of her big day! Whether that’s the night sky in your current city, fruit in the market, leather goods, hues of the ocean, or a cityscape, she will appreciate that you can draw inspiration from your surroundings and send the ideas her way!
Snail Mail – Duh!
If you’re miles apart in the same country, this will not be difficult, but sending international mail is a real pain. It’s delayed and expensive, which is why I suggest preparing some sincere snail mail in advance and delegate someone to send it when the time is right! Find some cute congratulatory cards for the events you are going to miss and leave them behind with someone to mail in a timely manner! (Parents are great for this!) And don’t forget postcards from your actual destination.
Buy Their Wedding Gift In Your New City
Even though nothing could replace your physical presence, make the bride and groom glad that you’re going to be there! I’m talking gifts here. Bring them something they can enjoy together that symbolizes the city you are living in. Food and beverages like coffee, wine, spices, tea, and chocolate make great gifts when “imported” personally. Other gifts like lavender, leather goods, soap, and plants are great too. For example, once I brought some newly engaged friends tulip bulbs from Amsterdam to plant together. It doesn’t have to be expensive! Just make sure to grab them a treat that shows you were thinking about them during your travels.
Technology is fabulous. Take advantage of it and delegate another bridesmaid to FaceTime or Skype you during the bachelorette party and bridal shower. As much as the bride loves her bridesmaids, she will be much too busy during these events to personally call you. So make friends with the other maids, set a time, and say “Hello, I love you!” real quick. It’s a small gesture with grand meaning.