Kate Chynoweth, author of The Bridesmaid Guide, knows that being a fabulous bridesmaid calls for much more than dyeing your heels to match your dress. In her new book, she shares how to be the very best bridesmaid possible. Leave a comment to win a copy of the book for every bridesmaid in your favorite wedding party—we’ll give away up to ten copies!
Monika, the lovely bride, and her bridal party. Photo credit Amanda Ringstad.
When my book The Bridesmaid Guide first appeared in bookstores back in 2002 and sales started to take off, I felt a sense of happiness and relief. I had bet the farm that this practical-yet-inspirational handbook that I’d so desperately wished existed during my first (clueless) tour of duty as a Maid of Honor would turn out to have an audience—and, luckily, those ladies showed up. Brides gave it to their bridal parties to put them in the spirit and get a leg up on planning, and mothers gave it to daughters who called to say, Mom, do I really have to invite our relatives to the shower? From a writing perspective, I felt pleased to be covering a timeless, traditional topic like weddings. Unlike books about, say, technology or politics, my book wouldn’t be instantly rendered out of date after publication. Now that I have spent the past year updating my bridesmaid book for a new edition, I realize just how wrong a person can be. When I first penned The Bridesmaid Guide, there was no such thing as Facebook, people didn’t text, and phones and cameras were two distinct items. Of course, everyone emailed and shopped online a little, and wedding sites like The Knot had a foothold, but technology still seemed like a backup dancer. These days, it’s an undeniable star of the show. As I researched, I realized that I’d need to write new text for nearly every page to address new challenges for brides and bridesmaids. To start, there’s the new etiquette around social media. (For example: Should friends of the bride post details about a shower or bachelorette party that anyone can see? No. Someone who’s not invited might view it and feel left out.) In terms of choosing the bridesmaid dress, comparison shopping online is essential to finding the best price and style, ditto for shoes and even Spanx, so I decided to add a “Resources” section to the book that lists helpful sites. Yet as much as things have changed because of technology, there are some things about weddings that never change. One of those is the very basic inspiration for my book—that showing up for a best friend on the day she gets married is worth knowing how to do right.