Updated: Feb 9
Being a bridesmaid is an honor, but it's also a big responsibility. When it comes to the responsibilities of a bridesmaid, there are two distinct categories. There are the duties that you’ll be expected to perform before the wedding and then there are the duties that you’ll be expected to perform on the wedding day. Let’s take a look at each in detail.
There are some common ideas on this list like planning the bachelorette party and keeping the bride calm on wedding day, but there are definitely a few things that I didn't even know were a "thing"....so read on and be armed with the information you need to make the best decision for you.
One of the most important responsibilities of a bridesmaid is attending pre-wedding events such as the bridal shower, bachelorette party, and the rehearsal dinner. The bridal shower and rehearsal dinner are important for the bride and groom, as well as the bridal party, because they give everyone a chance to come together and celebrate and get on the same page for the big day. As a bridesmaid, it’s your job to not only attend these events, but also to help with the planning and execution if needed. You’ll likely be asked to help with decorating and coordinating some of these events. However, if they have a planner, they should be able to help with this as well.
Attending the bridal shower is one of the most important duties of a bridesmaid. This is an opportunity to celebrate the bride prior to the wedding day. The shower is wildly different than celebrating a bachelorette party because parents and grandparents of the couple will likely attend. We will talk about the differences between a wedding shower and a bachelorette party below.
Photography: Andi Bravo Photography
Assisting with Wedding Details
The bride will likely need your help in the many months leading up to the wedding. This can include anything from helping her pick out her wedding dress to maybe even helping her make centerpieces for the reception tables and go shopping for other wedding details (think getting ready outfits for wedding day and bouquet drop-off for preservation). It’s important to be available to help out when you can. You don’t need to take on the entire planning process, as the couple will likely have hired a planner, but you do need to be there for the bride when she asks for your help and be willing and able to be there for her. Besides, asking for help is hard in general, so pair that with the stress and pressure of planning a wedding and it's even harder to ask for help. If she's asking, she likely really needs it or really values your opinion.
Bachelorette Party and Wedding Day
The bachelorette party is another important event that the bridesmaids are expected to attend and plan. The bach party is one of the most anticipated events of the entire wedding process. They are usually celebrated between the bridesmaids and the bride separately away from the bride's partner. These parties have more of a wild, lighthearted, and sometimes a little raunchy vibe and matching tshirts and swag. This is a chance for the bride and her besties to let loose and have some fun before the big day. Ya know, one last fling until the ring. As a bridesmaid, it’s your job to make sure the bride has the best time, feels truly loved, and is excited for wedding day.
On the day of the wedding, the bridesmaids have an important role to play. This includes helping the bride get ready, keeping the bride calm and collected, and helping with any last minute details or emergencies. Making sure all the bridesmaids have their getting ready robes or pjs, their dresses, accessories, etc is vital! You do not want someone to forget something and cause any extra stress. It’s important to be on time to your getting ready location, hair and makeup appointment, and to be prepared to handle any unexpected issues that may arise because I promise, there will be some.
Photography: Rachelle Lynn Co.
Being a bridesmaid also means being a support system for the bride. She’ll need your help and guidance in the weeks leading up to the wedding and you’ll be expected to be there for her. This means being an ear for her ideas and concerns and helping her stay on track with her wedding planning while remaining calm.
It’s also important that you encourage her in the lead-up to the wedding. Weddings can be stressful, so it’s your job to make sure she’s feeling supported and loved. This doesn’t need to be a big gesture, it can be something as simple as sending her a text message to let her know you’re thinking of her.
Weddings can be expensive, and as a bridesmaid, you will likely be expected to pay for certain expenses throughout the entire wedding planning process. It's important to understand what costs you will be responsible for so you can budget and plan your finances accordingly. However, if you cannot afford these extra costs it is completely okay to thank the bride for the gesture, but politely refuse. She is one of your best friends. She will understand. It's not like weddings cost the bridesmaids $27.85 and that's it. They can be pretty expensive, especially as a bridesmaid with dresses alone ranging between $100-500 depending on style and material. Other costs are: professional hair, makeup, and accessories, the bachelorette party, lodging, the wedding gift, etc.
Are You Ready to Be a Bridesmaid?
Being a good bridesmaid isn’t just about fulfilling your duties, it’s also about being supportive and understanding. This means being respectful of the bride’s decisions, being patient when things don’t go as planned, and being a shoulder to cry on when needed. It’s also important to be respectful of the other bridesmaids. This means not gossiping, not competing for the bride’s attention, and not trying to one-up each other. Weddings can cause friction between friends because they bring together people that may not typically interact or might not mesh well together, so there is likely going to be a bit of conflict. Remember, you are all adults (usually) and should handle any issues like so.
Being a bridesmaid is an important role and it’s not one to be taken lightly. Before you accept the role, you should consider if you’re able to fulfill the duties and if you’re up for the challenge. If so, it’s time to say "YES" and help your bridal bestie start planning!
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