Helping your best friend get married - but from afar? Make it super-simple with these tips...
#1 Be honest from the off
Make it clear to the bride that whilst you might be a long way away, you're honoured to have been asked and will do your utmost to be as involved as possible with her big day.
#2 Make an effort to get to know the other bridesmaids
Sure, you might already know them; but if you don't, now's the time to get acquainted! A WhatsApp group is a great way to break the ice - and if you can/have time, a pre-hen meet-up with the other bridesmaids will allow you to meet IRL and get to know each other.
#3 Don't feel guilty that you aren't as 'involved' as the other 'maids
Whilst the idealised version of the bridesmaid experience is hanging out together as a gaggle, the reality is that life gets in the way. Whether you live on the other side of the country (or world), are bogged down by work or have a hectic home life, there are endless reasons why it's not-as-easy as you might want it to be.
#4 Ask if there's anything you can do from afar
Whether it's helping to hand-make something, collaborating on a Pinterest board or helping to find those really specific favours the bride has her heart set on - you might be surprised how many ways you can help from home. Ask the bride if there's anything you can do to help her out. Be her eyes and ears - send her pictures of things you see or ideas you love - and don't be afraid to make suggestions and share your thoughts.
#5 Plan meet-ups in advance
Whether it's for dress shopping, a weekend of DIY or - most exciting of all! - the hen party/bachelorette, it'll give you both something to look forward to. Get the hen party pencilled in as soon as possible to maximise your chances of being able to attend.
#6 Be as accessible as possible
Ignoring messages and accidentally-on-purpose forgetting about that group Skype session is not cool.
#7 Keep in touch
Whether it's a group on WhatsApp or Facebook or a catch-up on Skype or FaceTime, there are so many ways to keep up-to-date with everything that you needn't feel like you're missing out. If there's something big happening - for example, a dress fitting - ask if there's any chance you can be Skype'd in, so you can kind-of be there. The key is keeping in touch - and happily enough, it's never been easier.