Being a bridesmaid means taking on a decent amount of responsibility! Bridal party planning, assistance with wedding planning, and complete availability to the bride on the wedding weekend are all expected as part of the bridal party. There are duties that happen before and during the wedding, so we’ve divided these tips up into those two categories!
Bridesmaids Duties Pre-Wedding
In the weeks and months leading up to a wedding, bridesmaids typically perform the following tasks:
- Shopping for a Bridesmaids Dress
Bridesmaids may be asked to visit a bridal shop as a group to try on and select dresses together, or each woman may be asked to do her own shopping and simply send her measurements and dress pick to the bride (or to a chosen shop). If the bridal party isn’t wearing matching attire, the bride may simply ask that each bridesmaid select her own outfit and share a photo to make sure it coordinates. If you’re shopping altogether as a group, make sure that you show up on time and with a great attitude! And if you’re in need of appointments to find the perfect bridesmaids dresses, book with us today so we can help!
- Help Plan Bridal Showers as Needed
There may be a shared responsibility for the bridal shower among the bridesmaids, the maid of honor, or the groom's parents—however, the bridesmaids must at least attend the shower, and help the MOH plan and execute the shower if no other hosts step forward.
- Help Plan (Or at Least Attend) The Bachelorette Party
Even though the maid of honor usually plans the bachelorette party, the rest of the bridesmaids should assist her wherever they can. In addition, each bridesmaid can share the expenses of the bride, such as travel, accommodations, activities, and transportation.
- Make Hotel and Travel Accommodations
A bridesmaid's transportation and accommodations should be provided by her own means. It's a good idea to plan your travel logistics in advance, so that you can be sure they are convenient to the event schedule and location. It is the bridesmaids' responsibility to figure out how they will get from place to place during the wedding if transportation is not already provided.
- Participate in the Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner
It is recommended that bridesmaids attend both the ceremony rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. This isn't just a practical issue—everyone involved in the ceremony must know where to assemble, where to enter, and where to stand or sit during the service—but as a member of the bride's support crew, you will need to be there during these final moments of preparation.
- Offer Emotional Support for the Bride
It is the bride's bridesmaids who carry the role of being her emotional rock as her best friends, siblings, and relatives during this big life decision. It can be stressful to plan a wedding, so bridesmaids should check in with her throughout the process, ask what she needs, and support her sensitively.
- Buy a Wedding Gift
In the same way that every wedding guest purchases a wedding gift, bridesmaids should have it shipped to their address before the wedding. In the case of a destination wedding, the only time this expectation may be exempt is if you're serving as a bridesmaid and your presence (i.e. travel expenses) count as a gift. Giving the couple something they really want by going in on a big-ticket group gift with the bridesmaids can be a lot of fun!
Wedding Day Bridesmaid Duties
It is the bridesmaids' responsibility to make sure everything goes smoothly for the bride, her maid of honor, and the majority of the wedding guests on the big day. Here’s how:
- Get Ready With the Bride
On the day of the wedding, bridesmaids should arrive at the designated getting-ready location on time with all of their gear (bridesmaid attire, shoes, jewelry, makeup, undergarments, etc.). In addition to getting themselves aisle-ready, bridesmaids should help the bride with any logistical phone calls, keep her smiling, pour champagne, and assist her with getting into her dress.
- Help the Maid of Honor
On the wedding day, the maid of honor has a pretty big job. It is the bridesmaids' responsibility to assist her with everything she needs-whether it is making a last-minute run to the drugstore, coordinating with the photographer or wedding planner, or providing (and keeping track of) an emergency kit for the wedding day.
- Snacks for Getting Ready
It is the bridesmaids' responsibility to provide sips and snacks during getting-ready if no other arrangements have been made. Food and drink will be appreciated by everyone, from the bride to her mother to the photographers and beauty stylists.
- Walking Down the Aisle
It is important that bridesmaids arrive at the ceremony venue on time, (most likely hidden out of sight), and are ready for their cues to proceed down the aisle. Respect the planner, officiant, or whoever is running the event by keeping chatter to a minimum. If you have been assigned a role during the actual service, make sure you fulfill it during the ceremony, and then process out as directed.
- Be Photo-Ready!
These group photos are usually taken right after the ceremony at the beginning of the cocktail hour, if the wedding party didn't pose with the couple before the ceremony. The bridesmaids should stay together and follow the photographer's commands rather than dispersing into the crowd. Gathering stray guests can be a tiresome process, not to mention take valuable minutes away from the couple's cocktail hour.