By Shalese Kocher with Madison at the Mill

If you’ve ever been in one of those group texts with a bridal party, you know that organizing everyone’s schedules and keeping so many people on the same page is a Herculean task! Over-communicating (in a kind way!) is always a good idea to make sure that everything runs smoothly. It will also help keep your texts clear of a LOT of questions before the big day.

Shalese Kocher Madison Mill bridal party ready appreciated richmond wedding
Aniko Levai Photography

Give Everyone the Schedule
Put that group text to use. Text everyone the schedule on rehearsal day so that they know where to be at what time. It may also be helpful to include some notes on what to wear in case your rehearsal dinner is more formal. Here are some times you may want to highlight:

• Rehearsal start time + location

• Rehearsal dinner start time + location

• What time hair and makeup starts + location

• When and where the groomsmen should arrive to get ready

• What time the groomsmen should be dressed

• What time the bridesmaids should be dressed

• Any photo times available (groomsmen, bridesmaids, group shots, family, etc.)

• Ceremony start time

• Bridal party introductions

If your bridal party is staying in a nearby hotel, it’s a nice idea to leave a printed schedule with their welcome box.

Shalese Kocher Madison Mill bridal party ready appreciated richmond wedding
Paige Stevens Photography

Remind Them What to Bring
Being a bridesmaid can come with a lot of requirements. Here are some things you may need to remind your girls about:

• Having a fresh mani/pedi and any specific colors

• Shoe color or style

• Heel height

• Cost of hair and makeup services

• Their robes or button-up shirts (we all know how popular those matching robe photos are!)

• Snacks and beverages, especially if those won’t be provided

For the guys, it’s important to remind them to bring ALL parts of their suit or tux. It’s so easy to forget the socks, ties, cuff links, cummerbunds, fancy shoes, etc. Sending a gentle reminder can’t hurt, especially if some of the guys are coming from out of town.

Here’s another thing to think about: did you and your bridesmaids get ready in the hotel where ONLY you and your new spouse will be spending the wedding night? You’ll need to make sure that everyone has their belongings packed up in their own vehicles/rooms.

Shalese Kocher Madison Mill bridal party ready appreciated richmond wedding
Hayes & Fisk Photography

Stay Thoughtful
If you’ve been a bridesmaid or groomsmen in the past, you know that it can require a lot of time and funds. Now that you’re on the other side, it’s important to make your bridal party feel appreciated. Traditionally, the couple gives a gift to their friends who are standing by their side, but there are some other thoughtful ways to say, “We appreciate you!”

Feed them! Wedding days are long, especially for the girls, so be sure to have some substantial food and drinks available.

Handwritten notes. Never underestimate the power of a handwritten note!

Gifts that travel. Especially if you have bridal party members flying in, remember that gifts need to travel well. Breakable glasses or engraved pocket knives for the guys may not be the BEST idea.

On a wedding weekend, a little over-communication and a lot of appreciation go a long way! Your friends and family will be grateful for a wedding day that is organized instead of overwhelming.

Shalese Kocher is the Venue Coordinator and Marketing Director for Madison at the Mill, an industrial-chic wedding venue in Orange, VA. To learn more about Madison at the Mill, please visit