What are the roles of the bridesmaids?
Updated: Apr 2, 2019
Participate in the Planning.
This could mean helping the bride find vendors, get waist deep in some DIY, sourcing ideas for dresses, hair and makeup etc. Now each bride will be different and so will the level of responsibility she wants you to take, but if she asks you for ideas, find some. If she asks you for a list of vendors, create one. Being part of the bridal party means you are part of the planning process.
Accommodate the Bride.
It’s her day and she really does get to make the final decision on things. This includes your dress (even if you are paying for it) , color schemes (even if they don’t suit your skin tone), her ideas for her bridal shower and bachelorette etc. Now obviously we hope that the bride will not be unreasonable, but for the most part, you have likely known this person for years, and you should know how to raise any concerns you have in a way that she will understand and be open to discussing. You don’t really get to bombard her with refusals, or, try sway her opinion in a different direction. Hear her out on every topic first, if it won’t kill you, just go with it.
Smile and Wave.
The Bride is dealing with A LOT on her plate, between having her favorite vendors already booked to the weird family issues that always crop up the minute a wedding joins the conversation, she really needs a support structure to help keep her sanity. This means that if you are selected as the team to help her pull though, that’s what you have to do. She cares about you, but she wants to hear solutions not problems, trust me, she has enough of her own that is busy trying to solve right now. So, give your bride the support she needs by keeping the drama to a minimum and making sure she’s hydrated with a snack. She really will appreciate it in the long run!
Attending Wedding Related Functions.
This includes shopping for bridesmaid dresses, shopping for a wedding dress and accessories, wedding ‘meetings’ the bride may hold, the kitchen tea, the bachelorette party, the rehearsal dinner, décor setup and of course, the wedding. These will be located all over the place, often including a full days commitment. They will include travel and may get in the way of your personal life a bit, but these are part of the experience that you’ve signed up for. She will likely only be doing this once so take it all in and enjoy the experience!
Cough Up Some Cash.
Weddings are not cheap and no one knows this better than your bride right now. Being a part of the wedding party means that you are going to have to incur some expenses as well, so if you are feeling strapped for cash, it’s important to let your bride know early. Some of the things you can expect to pay for are your dress, accessories, bridal shower, bachelorette party, accommodation, travel etc.
Check out my article here of what bridesmaids pay for: What should your Bridesmaids pay for?
Plan Some Events.
The Maid of Honour and Bridesmaids are expected to plan the bridal shower and bachelorette party (and cover the costs). This can be done with the help of the mother of the Bride and the mother of the Groom however this is not always the case. You will need to find a venue, organize décor , entertainment, games, food and invitations. You will also need to co-ordinate the day and probably help clean up after.
Give a Speech.
This is more commonly becoming a trend, most often done by the maid of honour. So expect to possibly have to say a few words at the wedding or even the rehearsal dinner.
Give a Shower and Wedding Gift.
This is very much dependent of the other expenses you have incurred during the wedding planning process but generally it is good to give a gift, even if it is a small one.
Carry the Brides Dress, and Veil, and Bouquet…
...and drink, and lipstick and bobby pins and emergency kit and anything else she may quickly need to hand over to you for a photo or want in short notice. In my case, my bridesmaids also spent a large amount of time laying my dress down nicely for photos and about half an hour trying to pin the dress up so I could dance in it. It’s really not all glamour on the day of the wedding and the bride needs her squad nearby at all times when these things come up.
Be the Best Damn Guests There.
You will also be expected to be the first on the dance floor, and the last. And the first to get in and participate in any other wedding day activities. Consider yourselves the party starters and the guide for the rest of the guests, have fun, jump in if the crowd seems slow to participate and even give them some encouragement if it's necessary.