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While many bridesmaids and maids of honor regret their decision when their best friend or sibling turns into a bridezilla, the case wasn’t so clear-cut for one bridesmaid.

Unfortunately, for bridesmaid Lucy Jollow, the bride had booked a destination wedding. While it might seem like a dream to some, staying overnight in an unfamiliar bed was simply out of the question for Jollow, who spent 15 hours escaping from the reception.

On top of that, Jollow had spent the entire wedding fretting about the timeliness of her departure. Would the car come on time? Would it come at all?

Jollow became agoraphobic in a non-traditional sense. While some agoraphobics cannot leave their house, Jollow is able to go about her daily business as long as she wound up in her bed that night. The thought of staying anywhere other than three select places ruled her mind and her schedule, particularly at her friend’s distant wedding.

“To me, that 15-hour coach ride meant freedom, while a hotel room [symbolized] being trapped,” she detailed at the BBC event “Ouch,” along with other disabled individuals.

Though Jorrow’s story is unique, many bridesmaids experience difficulties associated with their jobs. For the sake of her friend, she was able to get through it. And we all make sacrifices for our friends. Between befriending the other bridesmaids, offering moral support, buying expensive dresses, and planning events along with the maid of honor, there are a slew of challenges in the months leading up to the wedding.

The most popular wedding day of 2017 was on October 7. If you’re one of the lucky (or not-so-lucky) bridesmaids who need to plan for this date, here are some tips for overcoming the stresses of helping out your bride-to-be.

There are typically five main aspects to serving as a bridesmaid or maid of honor. These include:

  • Hosting and planning the bridal shower
  • Managing the bachelorette party
  • Working together to assist the bride with whatever she needs
  • Providing moral support
  • Helping the bride plan and prepare for the big day

The maid of honor is typically the ring-leader who directs the actions of the bridesmaids. However, you have to be ready to step in at any time, especially if the maid of honor gets wrapped up and has to shirk their duties.

Planning and prep is usually a breeze to manage unless your bridesmaid is serving as judge, jury, and executioner. Keep in mind that you need around 75 glasses per every 25 guests at the wedding. This will ensure you don’t run out of glasses if one person drinks more than another.

You should also help steer the bride toward easy decor solutions. Picking one central color and building off of that can streamline the process and make for easier decision-making. Try to max the number of colors to three; any more than that might make the reception look cluttered. Above all else, remind the bride to stay within her budget when she picks out the decor; while you don’t want to be controlling, opting for a caterer or party planning service might be the best choice.

You must keep your personal budget in mind as well. While some members of the wedding party will be able to splurge on a dress they’ll likely only wear once, you might not have that luxury. Additionally, the average bachelorette party costs around $472 alone. If you’re not able to afford the cost of being a bridesmaid, there is no harm in saying no to the role. Talk to your bride and hash out a budget that works for both of you.

While you might not have agoraphobia, being a bridesmaid can still be a stressful and scary task. This goes double if it’s your first time. But being there for your friend despite your struggles is one of the signs of a true friend. If your bride’s wedding is around the corner, keep these tips and tricks in mind to make the process a little easier.

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