This past weekend, I was a bridesmaid for the first time ever. I've known the bride since my freshman year of high school, and I was beyond grateful to be part of her special day. Of course I was also nervous. No one's focus would ever really be on me, but if I messed up, they'd definitely notice.

Thankfully, I made it through, mostly unscathed! I'd call it a 90% success. But, with wedding season officially upon us, I figured it couldn't hurt to pass along a few things I learned to anyone who might be part of a bridal party for the first time.

  • 1

    Watch your step

    Okay, don't literally WATCH your step, but be aware of your footing. My big concern was tripping down the aisle and luckily that didn't happen. I did trip though, thanks to a small step up to the stage where my table was located.

    Heels can be hard, even for pros. So just be sure to hike up the dress to the ankles or so, and that way you can see where you're walking without the worry of tripping on fabric.

  • 2

    Remember EVERY essential

    This is particularly true for outdoor weddings. In my case, it was a lack of bug spray and sunscreen that got me. Not only did I get two big bites on my shoulder, right where the dress strap landed, but I also got sunburned on top of them.

    Then, to really drive the lesson home, I got a mosquito bite ON MY FACE. Thanks to the wonders of makeup, I was able to hide it pretty well, but the itching was miserable with the heat.

    Always remember the circumstances of the venue and bring all the essentials, even if you think you might not need them.

  • 3

    Bring a change of clothes

    No matter how gorgeous the bridesmaid dress is, you will just want to get out of it at the end of the day. Of all the things I packed for the wedding, I was most grateful for the tank top and shorts I brought along.

    I was comfy before the craziness started and then when the festivities were over and it came time to clean up, I was able to do a quick change and get to work – and more importantly, cool off. People love outdoor weddings, and with as hot as its been lately, having loose clothes nearby will be seriously helpful.

  • 4

    Check in with everyone

    Obviously, the bride and groom are the most important people of the day. Making sure their needs – big or small – are met is important. But when everything is running smoothly, they might not need anything but time to prep.

    At that point, check in with other important people. There's almost always a task that needs to be done, maybe for the mother of the bride, or the wedding officiant, or even a fellow bridesmaid. You can never be too helpful at a wedding.