So you’ve been asked and have accepted the job of being a bridesmaid…now what? A good starting point is to know what you are getting into. Knowing this information upfront, you need to be willing to meet these expectations or else possibly reconsider your participation.
Traditionally, bridesmaids have a wide range of duties that are meant to assist the bride-to-be on and before her wedding date. The “maid” part of bridesmaid is there for a reason!
Here is a list of duties a bridesmaid is generally expected to do:
- Assist the bride in selecting the bridesmaid attire. This includes the dress, shoes, and any agreed upon accessories. Usually the bridesmaid is expected to pay for her dress. The bride will generally select the style and color of the dress, unless she is open to getting ideas from her bridal party.
- Hosting the bridal shower. This entails planning the shower and also paying for it. Often times you will split the cost with the other members of the bridal party.
- Attend bridesmaid meetings, engagement parties, and any other bridal party gathering.
- Host the bachelorette party. The bride is expecting fun, fun, fun, so you have a tall order to meet here. Some brides want destination bachelorette parties (like a cruise or a stay in another city), so think about whether or not this is something you would be able to/want to do. This is another event where you will usually split the cost with the other members of the bridal party.
- Assist the bride with wedding errands, including before the wedding, on the wedding day, and possibly after the wedding. This may include set-up before the wedding and clean-up after the wedding. The job of a bridesmaid is to make the day relatively smooth and easy for the bride. Thus, the bride should not have to worry about last minute set-up or even cleaning after the wedding—the bridal party is there to pick up the slack.
- Participate in the rehearsal dinner. This is where you’ll be doing a practice run of the wedding ceremony.
- Get hair, make-up, and nails done with the bridal party.
- Be a part of the wedding ceremony (walking down the aisle, etc).
- Participate in the receiving line after the ceremony, at the start of the wedding reception.
- Participate in the reception, which may include helping the newly married couple in playing host.
- Be there for the bride on the wedding day. Offer your support in whatever way needed (for example, emotionally). Often times this will include
- Give the bride and groom a wedding present.
If these are all jobs you feel you can devote energy and time to, then you may be the perfect bridesmaid for the bride-to-be.
One last consideration before you make your final decision. Do you have the money to pay for everything that is involved in being a bridesmaid? Being a bridesmaid can be a costly endeavor, so take a look at your finances before giving the bride your final answer.
Being a bridesmaid can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially when the bride and groom are dear friends. However, being a bridesmaid can be a torturous affair if you don’t have the means or heart to participate. Therefore, for the sake of everyone involved, make sure it’s a decision you think carefully about.