By Erin Kametz and Jessica Pope
As a bridesmaid you play a huge role in the bride’s big day. She picked you, out of all the people she knows, to stand by her side. You may be wondering, what exactly does a bridesmaid’s job include? Let’s break it down into two categories: The Requirements and The Recommendations.
Bridal showers and bachelorette parties are primarily planned and hosted by the bridesmaids. They do not have to be extremely expensive, but they do cost money. You are required to pitch in and assist with all aspects of these events. Luckily, there are many sites, such as Pinterest, that offer design ideas as well as recommendations on how to keep these events budget friendly. Something may come up which causes you to miss an important function, but you should at least try your best to be there. If you can’t attend, make sure you are still offering your assistance and contributing to the cost.
Say Yes to the Dress
When it comes time to shopping for the bridesmaid dress, the bride may either choose to pick out the dress herself or enlist the help of the bridal party. Either way, the final decision belongs to the bride and complaining will only stress her out. You should be open to the dress that is chosen, even if it is not your style or something you would have picked out. The bride most likely has a vision and the dress she will choose matches that. Paying for the dress is also a financial responsibility of the bridesmaids. This includes the timing of the purchase. Some bridal shops only keep a particular style on the racks, or available to order, for a short amount of time. This means you should be prepared to purchase the dress as soon as it is chosen.
Show up and Have Fun
This is a given. A bridesmaid needs to be there on the day of the wedding. You should also have fun and if needed, initiate the fun. If the dance floor is looking empty, grab a partner and get out there and dance. If the photo booth doesn’t have many people jumping in to get their picture taken, head on over and recruit others along the way.
If at all possible, the bridesmaids should try to make hotel accommodations. You will most likely be partying hard all night and if alcohol is served, you may have a few drinks. This is a safe option as you should not be worrying about how you are going to get home. It will also help out the bride if the newly married couple are staying at the same hotel. The bride will need help transporting her belongings, left over food, gifts, etc. all while wearing her wedding dress! This is a big task and your help would be greatly appreciated.
Most brides need someone they can vent to. Whether it’s over a difference of opinion when it comes to flowers (her mom wants roses and she wants lilies) or her partner is driving her crazy. As a bridesmaid, you should be there for the bride and offer her support.
Get Dolled up
If the bride is not paying for hair, makeup and nails, the bridesmaid can still choose to get their hair, makeup and nails done. You are getting all dolled up to not only attend a special event, but to look good in pictures that the bride will cherish forever. If you are tight on cash, you can always opt to have your hair done and apply your makeup and nail polish yourself.
Help Her Say Yes to the Dress
Some brides want to shop alone, with just their mother, or with the whole bridal party. Either way, try to be available and offer your honest opinion, while still keeping the bride as your first priority. This may not be the dress of your dreams, but if she is in love with it, try to support her as much as possible.
This is an optional but fun item. It’s always great to reflect on your friendship with the bride in front of close friends and family. If there is an appropriate time during the rehearsal (not while you’re doing the ceremony run-through) or rehearsal dinner, tell a story about how you two met and add words of encouragement, as she is probably starting to get a little nervous for her big day.
The Final Stretch
The week leading up to the wedding is always hectic. There are so many last minute items that need to take place and the bride may need the help of her bridesmaids. Try to be available as much as possible and offer your assistance. Whether it’s dropping off bows at the ceremony location or holding onto the officiant’s final payment, assisting the bride will only make her wedding less stressful.
Now that you are aware of the responsibilities of a bridesmaid, we hope you will feel more comfortable by knowing what to expect when you accept the role. Although being a bridesmaid comes with a significant commitment of both time and money, many consider it worth it to share this special moment with the bride and crew. Enjoy it!