What Are A Bridesmaid’s Duties?
It is a huge friendship milestone and honour to be asked to be a bridesmaid. You get to be part of one of the most important days of their life. However, as well as making life-long memories, as a bridesmaid you do have vital duties to perform!
You are a crucial part of the bride’s support network. As well as being there for the bride, bridesmaid duties include various planning and organising roles before and during the wedding day. So, we have put together a handy checklist of the key bridesmaid duties so you can be fully prepared for your all-important role!
Before the Wedding
Be there for the Bride.
Planning a wedding can be stressful for the bride. So a key responsibility for any bridesmaid to take some of that stress on. Of course, you are not going to take over the planning of the wedding! But you can certainly lend a helping hand or attentive ear to the bride when she needs it. Smaller planning tasks, such as sorting through RSVPs, categorising menu choices or offering your opinions on wedding suppliers, are within the remit of a helpful bridesmaid.
You may also be asked to help with specific tasks depending on your individual skills. For example, if you’re good at crafts, the bride might ask you to help with DIY wedding favours.
Be there for the Maid of Honour.
While you may be helping out with the odd task as a bridesmaid, the maid of honour is the one who will be heavily involved with wedding prep. She will also have the most duties on the day. So, as well as being there for the bride, try to make the load of the maid of honour a little lighter when you can.
Go Bridesmaid Dress Shopping
Possibly the most exciting or daunting of your bridesmaid duties! Remember, while you’ll want to look your best on the day, it’s still all about the bride. Whilst you might have some creative input, she is likely to have the final say. Help the bride to achieve her vision and try to offer positive feedback. Remember it can be difficult to dress and coordinate everyone! So, if you have concerns, address them calmly with the bride as soon as possible.
Also, make sure you establish with the bride who will pay for the dresses, as well as any extras such as accessories or hair and makeup, from the offset. Traditionally, the bride pays for what she wants the bridesmaids to have, but this isn’t always the case. As a bridesmaid, it is your duty to be on top of everything, but especially your outfit!
Go wedding dress shopping with the Bride-to-be.
Another exciting duty! Many brides bring their bridesmaids as part of their entourage when going wedding dress shopping. Who better to help her pick her dream wedding dress than those who know her best? If you’re asked to join, it’s important to follow a few etiquette rules such as being supportive, non-judgemental and positive!
If you have any concerns about the dress they are trying, phrase your critique in a positive way. You want to bride to feel confident and have her choice, but it is important you express your opinions. The bride trusts your opinion and will want to hear them. For example, ‘the shape of this dress is gorgeous on you and I really like the lace detail here, but I’m not sure about this detail on the top’, is a positive way of phrasing your critique.
Help plan and organise pre-wedding events.
While the maid of honour plans most of the pre-wedding events, this can be overwhelming and where your support of the maid of honour would be most appreciated! These events can include a bridal show, hen part and/or rehearsal dinner. Clear a space in your diary for all of these! Also, be prepared with ideas to help the maid of honour plan the perfect event, from party games to menu suggestions.
Buy a Wedding Gift
In the midst of all the planning, don’t forget you are still a guest at this wedding! It’s proper wedding etiquette for guests to buy the couple a wedding gift. So, remember to head over to their wedding registry and pick a gift you think they’ll love!
On the Wedding Day: Pre-ceremony
We keep saying be prepared but this is the time when it matters most! A huge bridesmaid duty is to be punctual on the wedding day. Therefore, the preparation plans, from hair and makeup to wedding photos, can go smoothly! Also, make sure you’ve checked, you have everything you need for the day by packing ahead of time.
Keep the bride calm and happy.
This may be one of happiest days of their lives but this doesn’t mean the couple won’t be nervous on their wedding day! Keeping the bride’s stress low in the build-up to the ceremony is a key bridesmaid duty. Whether it’s telling a funny story, playing favourite tunes, or just keeping meddling mothers-in-law out of the picture, do your best to help the bride stay calm. Also, in the preparation rush or because of nerves, the bride may forget to eat before the wedding. Make sure you’ve got some of her favourite snacks and plenty of water to accompany getting ready.
Dressing the Bride
Getting into an intricate wedding dress can be challenging! There are often plenty of fiddly buttons or hooks to contend with. So that means all hands on deck to make sure the bride looks and feels her best. Also, if there are any younger bridesmaids or flower girls, bridesmaid duties include helping them dress and prepare for the big day as well.
The Wedding Day: The Ceremony
Know What To Do
There might have been a wedding rehearsal but if not, it’s important to know your cues for the actual ceremony to keep everything running smoothly. The bridesmaids traditionally travel to the wedding ceremony with the maid of honour and the mother of the bride, leaving the bride to travel with her dad. The bridesmaids should arrive at the ceremony ten minutes before the bride, so they can see her arrive. Then, know what order you are all walking down the aisle and where you will be standing or sitting during the ceremony.
Stand by the Bride’s Side.
This is the ultimate bridesmaid duty. While assisting with planning is great, the real reason you were asked to be a bridesmaid was to stand by the bride’s side. Stand up straight, hold your bouquet low, and smile (but don’t be afraid to get emotional!).
The Wedding Day: After the ceremony
Assist the Bride
Just because the marriage is official, doesn’t mean you can relax! The bride will need your support for the entire day. Just like getting ready, the reception can be a bit chaotic. Also, the newlyweds may not immediately make their appearance at the reception, in which case it falls on the wedding party members to make sure the guests are entertained. With the couple greeting and thanking all their guests for attending, they might forget to have anything to eat! If the couple isn’t having a formal seated dinner, it’s the bridesmaids’ responsibility to make up a plate or two for them. If there is a sit down meal, bridesmaids are typically not included on the top table. Instead, they are distributed across the table plan to host the guests.
Embrace the Party!
Once the couple performs the first dance, it’ll be time for guests to join in the fun. No one else wants to be first on the dance floor so a bridesmaid duty is to lead by example. If the wedding party looks like they’re having a blast, other guests will soon follow.
Send off the Newlyweds
Your final bridesmaid duty is to see the newlyweds off at the end of the night. Whether they’re going home or straight to their honeymoon, give them a send-off they won’t soon forget!
Want advice on how to be the best bridesmaid? Find everything you need to know here.
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