What girl doesn’t become ecstatic about being asked to be in her BFF’s wedding? After all, the next best thing to planning your own nuptials is helping your bestie pin down all the dainty little details of her own. Parties, planning, shopping and some pampering- being a bridesmaid can seem like a dream come true.
However, there’s a flip side to all of the excitement. If you’ve never been a bridesmaid before, and you don’t know much about about the logistics and formalities of a wedding, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. You may not even know what is expected of you!
We’ve been there, and we are going to present you with all of the information we wish someone had compiled for us before we waded through our duties, somewhat uncertainly. However, everything will be different for you! We’re shaping a list of everything you need to know as your bride’s right-hand gal and what is expected of you in the days leading up to the wedding, what is expected the day-of and what you need to know in order to tie all those loose ends up once the bride and groom make their final exit after the reception.
Compared to the duties of the maid-of-honor, the bridesmaid’s duties are much simpler. This doesn’t let you entirely off the hook, though, and you should still be dependable in order to make this experience the best that it can be for the bride-to-be. Be there for your friend and support her in any and every way you can! Whether this means entertaining her great-aunt Silvy at the bridal shower so the bride can mingle with other friends as well or tying satin bows on hundreds of tiny wedding favors until 3am, the bride needs your help and all of your dedication.
Check out our streamlined cheat sheet listing all of your bridesmaid to-dos below. Be inspired to go above and beyond the call of your bridesmaid duties, and to shine with confidence as you tick each task off your list!
- Assist the maid-of-honor however possible. Ask her what to-dos you can get of her plate.
- Offer to help with pre-wedding tasks. Be specific about what areas you want to help with and are able to help with. For instance, you can help collect wedding inspiration, help shop for bridesmaids dresses, assist with invitations, etc…
- Scout out bridesmaid dresses, shoes, jewelry, and other wedding accessory essentials.
- Purchase your own attire, transportation, and accessories.
- Help the bride plan day-of beauty and spa treatments… be sure the day will flow beautifully by having a plan, and a schedule, that will be simple to adhere to.
- Work alongside the maid-of-honor to plan, co-host and contribute to the cost of the bridal shower and bachelorette party, along with the other bridesmaids.
- If the maid-of-honor isn’t already handling this task, keep a record of all the gifts received at various parties and bridal showers (so that the bride/couple can write thank-you notes).
- Help maintain RSVP lists, if the maid-of-honor isn’t doing this.
- Help with any tasks the bride might need assistance with, from planning decor to preparing favors.
- Purchase a wedding present for the bride. Get the other bridesmaids involved to come up with one extraordinary knock-her-socks-off wedding gift.
- Be sure to prepare a Wedding Day Emergency Kit.
- Be a trooper, no matter how stressful the ordeal becomes. Try not to complain about the bridesmaid dress. Be gracious and tactful.
During the Event(s):
- Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Be punctual and polite.
- On the day of the wedding, run last-minute errands. Be on hand to confirm flower delivery times, meet and greet the ceremony officiant, or satisfy junk food cravings.
- Do your best to politely and helpfully keep everyone on schedule. This will minimize the bride’s stress levels and ensure that everyone is in the right place at the right time. If a planner is present for this purpose, then by all means, relinquish to the responsibility to the professional!
- Greet guests at the reception and encourage mingling. Introduce guests, make sure they know where the bar is located, and invite them to sign the guest book.
- If you have been asked to give a speech, be sure to have one prepared and with you for the appropriate time.
- Help ensure that the bride and groom have enough space to eat and enjoy the reception! If necessary, try to intercept some of the guests to give the bride and groom a moment or two to breathe.
- Assist the maid-of-honor in helping everyone get out on the dance floor.
- Provide plenty of emotional support throughout the entire wedding day process.
- Lead the way in sending the bride and groom off!
- Be sure that the bride has all of her accessories (clutch, wrap, bags, etc) with her when she leaves.
- Make sure that you know wether the bride expects you to take care of any last-minute items after she has gone. For instance, if certain items need to be returned to the bride’s home or if any special decor items may need to be safely stored.
- Ensure that gifts and cards are stored at the location specified by the bride so that she and her groom can return home to all the sweet well-wishes of their family and friends!