Being a bridesmaid is a huge responsibility. It’s a lot of work and can be expensive, so it’s important to understand what you’re signing up for before saying yes!
Some of the biggest duties include helping with wedding planning and assisting her on her big day. There are also smaller tasks like addressing envelopes and hosting the hen party.
1. Help the bride get ready
The bride or Maid of Honor will give you specific instructions on the day of the wedding, but if there’s anything else that comes up, don’t be afraid to ask. It’s important to keep things running on schedule and help out with whatever tasks the bride needs you to do. This could include helping her get ready, holding her bouquet during the ceremony and reception, or assisting her in any other way she might need your help.
It’s also important that she has someone there to help her get into her dress and out again should she need to make a bathroom run. After all, those big billowing dresses aren’t easy to maneuver in. And lastly, don’t forget to offer her some snacks and water, especially if she’s going to be spending a long time in her dress!
2. Be a sounding board for the bride
Wedding planning is stressful, and bridesmaids are often on hand to help with this. This can include anything from listening to her rant about her mother-in-law or sour relationship with her groom to offering helpful advice and encouragement.
She may also need you to help her with DIY projects like addressing invitations or making favors. Additionally, she will likely want you to attend dress try-ons and fittings, although the final say on bridesmaid attire is usually left up to her.
She may also ask you to be a part of the rehearsal dinner or speak during the reception. This can be a fun and rewarding experience, but you need to remember that it is the bride’s day. If you’re asked to do something that makes her uncomfortable, you should politely decline. You can always offer a different suggestion instead.
3. Be a cheerleader for the bride
A bride’s besties should be supportive during the planning process and on her wedding day. If she or the maid of honor asks you to do something, such as hold her bouquet a certain way or be in a specific spot after the ceremony, make sure to follow through.
At the reception, mingle with guests and introduce friends and family members to one another. Attend and applaud any speeches, including the bride’s own, if she gives one. If the couple has a dance floor, join in and boogie down (tastefully!). Help out after the reception, if needed, such as helping people find shuttle buses or their cars, handing out pre-addressed vendor tip envelopes, and sending off the newlyweds on their way to their honeymoon. If you’re unsure of anything, always ask the bride or her maid of honor for clarification.
4. Attend the rehearsal dinner
The maid of honor takes the lead in planning pre-wedding events, but bridesmaids should offer to assist where they can. This includes helping with tasks like addressing invitations, maintaining the RSVP list and similar wedding-related activities.
Attending the rehearsal dinner is an important part of bridesmaid duties and responsibilities. It is also an opportunity to get acquainted with other members of the bridal party and any out-of-town guests.
On the day of the ceremony, make sure to arrive at the venue on time and be ready to fulfill your assigned role. Whether it’s to be in the wedding party, hold up a sign or greet out-of-town guests, your presence will help the bride feel confident that the ceremony is running according to plan. And don’t forget to keep the dance floor going! If other guests see you and your friends enjoying themselves, they’re likely to join in.
5. Be a part of the bachelorette party
A big part of being a bridesmaid is providing emotional support throughout the planning process. Whether she needs help picking out her dress or just needs someone to listen to her wedding-related anxieties, be there for her.
If there are any unforeseen events that occur during the day of the wedding, the bridesmaids and maid of honor should be ready to jump into action. Whether it’s an issue with the seating chart or a ripped pair of tights, they should be on top of things.
They can also help hand out food and drinks to guests, if needed, and prepare party favors for the event. Plus, they should be there to cheer on the newlyweds and boogie down (tastefully) when it’s dance floor time!
6. Be a guest at the wedding
Depending on the couple’s wishes, bridesmaids may be asked to assist with guest lists and seating arrangements. They should also be available throughout the night to help the bride with anything — whether it’s a makeup mishap or ripped pair of tights.
The final bridesmaid duty is helping the newlyweds on their way at the end of the night. If they’re heading home or off on their honeymoon, make sure they have all of the things they need to be successful in their journey!
Other duties that bridesmaids might be expected to take on include making a toast at the rehearsal dinner (or during the wedding itself, if they aren’t the maid of honor) and collecting gifts or other items at the end of the evening. If you do these things, the bride will be super grateful!
7. Help the bride get ready the morning of the wedding
A major bridesmaid duty is to be ready the morning of the wedding. This means arriving at the venue early enough to help the bride with her last-minute details. It’s also a good idea to bring an emergency kit with items like lipstick, makeup remover, bobby pins, and a sewing kit in case of any unforeseen emergencies.
It’s proper etiquette to buy the couple a gift, so make sure you head to their registry and pick something they’ll love. You can also help them collect official and unofficial photos after the wedding and create a digital montage for them to treasure.
Lastly, make sure you’re prepared to cover any expenses related to the wedding weekend (transportation, accommodations, etc.). This is especially important if the bride lives far away from you!
8. Help the bride walk down the aisle
As the big day approaches, it’s important to keep in touch with the bride. This means checking in with her regularly to see how she’s doing and offering to help out if necessary. Bringing her a cup of coffee or Facetime call can make all the difference in her day.
On the day of the wedding, it’s customary for the bride to be escorted down the aisle by her father or another close family member. If you’re asked to do this, practice your walk ahead of time. This will ensure you’re at the right place to start the ceremony on time and also gives you a chance to get familiar with the length of your dress.
It’s proper wedding etiquette to buy the couple a gift, so be sure to pick out something they’ll love! This is a great opportunity to show your friend how much you care.
9. Help the bride get ready the morning of the reception
The day of the wedding can be stressful, especially for a bride. As the maid of honor, it’s your job to help her feel calm and confident on her big day. This can include being her designated bathroom buddy (going to the bathroom in a wedding dress isn’t always easy), keeping tissues and blotting paper on hand, and providing emotional support throughout the day.
Also, don’t forget to give her a snack! In all the excitement, she may have forgotten to eat and will definitely appreciate your help. You should also be prepared to assist with any post-wedding tasks, such as returning hired clothing and helping with the cleanup of the venue. You might even be asked to give a toast during the reception! If so, make sure to practice ahead of time. A few dry, practiced speeches will help ease the nerves of speaking in public!
10. Help the bride get ready the morning of the reception
Weddings are chaotic, and bridesmaids can be the first ones to notice and step in to help with any unexpected occurrences. Whether it be a mix-up with seating arrangements, a dropped veil or just meddling mother-in-laws, it’s your duty as a bridesmaid to take charge and keep the day running smoothly.
You’ll also want to help the bride if she has any issues with her dress (it can be difficult to maneuver in!), and make sure she can get to the bathroom for that all-important pee break.
Lastly, you should help the bride collect gifts and return hired items after the reception and ensure any guests make it onto the right shuttle buses or to their cars. You can also help the bride and groom collect their overnight bags if they’re heading to their wedding night hotel room.