Being asked to be someone’s bridesmaid is an honor often reserved for siblings and close friends. It is the choice of the bride and groom as to how big the bridal party is, but the number of bridesmaids can range from one to twenty (or more!), which means that the role of bridesmaid and its jobs can differ depending on the size of the bridal party. But, there are certain expected duties that fall to the bridal party that can be broken up into two key segments: Pre-wedding and Wedding Duties.
While you are there on the wedding day because of the relationship you share with the bride and groom, the real work happens well before that walk down the aisle. Part of sharing that special moment means that you’ll be providing the bride with assistance in planning and organization.
- Dresses – this not only means your bridesmaids dress, but most brides will ask their bridesmaids to accompany them on their search for the perfect wedding dress. This could mean visiting multiple bridal stores and watching the bride go through countless gowns – throughout which you’ll be expected share your opinion. This will then be followed by helping to decide on appropriate bridesmaids’ dresses. Finally, expect to have several dress fittings to attend – it is important to be available for most of these.
- Hair and Makeup – be present for any hair and makeup trials in the lead up to the wedding. Usually there will be two or so in the months leading up to the wedding. While it’s up to you, the courteous bridesmaid won’t plan a radical hair change once the hairstyle has been decided.
- Decorations – this includes everything from flowers to colour schemes, helping to make any decorations, bouquets or table arrangements.
- Invitations – often it will be the bridesmaids that will assist in the writing (or possibly the creation!) of the wedding invites. This task can also include keeping track of the invitees.
- Deliveries/Scheduling – It’s not uncommon for bridesmaids to pick up any last minute details or items before the wedding day such as the wedding cake or floral arrangements. This is one of those case-by-case basis duties, though.
Party Planning Duties
It’s not all work to be a bridesmaid! The real enjoyment comes from the pre-wedding celebrations and parties that the bridal party get to enjoy as a part of the bride’s VIP party. While it tends to fall on the shoulders of the Maid of Honor, many times it’s all the bridesmaids who get to have the fun of organizing the bachelorette party (!!!) and bridal shower.
Wedding Day Duties
All that preparation is now finally going to pay off when the wedding day arrives, and many bridesmaids will find that their main duty on this day is simply to keep the bride focused and calm, easing any nerves she may have and ensuring that things run as smoothly as possible.
In addition to keeping the bride’s nerves under check, the bridesmaid will usually have to:
- Arrive early to get all hair and makeup completed
- Assist any younger bridal party members (such as the flower girl) in their pre-wedding process
- Maintain contact with the groomsmen to confirm arrival times
- Be ready for the processional by knowing the order and timing
- Keep track of all bouquets and any other decorative details such as the brides gloves or flowers
- Mingle at the reception and ensure that all guests are caterer for and introduced
- Pay attention during the reception and alert the vendors (caterers, photographers) of anything they need to be aware of
- Dance with the groomsmen
There’s a lot of work that comes with being a bridesmaid, but a lot of fun too… so, I’d love to hear any tips that you have for bridesmaids-to-be! Be sure to comment with your advice or any questions that you might have – we have a great group of readers who are happy to help.