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Help the Bride stay Stressfree-Duties of a Bridesmaid

Basic Bridesmaids Duties

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So you have been asked to be in your friend’s wedding.  No big deal you’ve been a bridesmaid before, you buy the dress, show up for the shower, throw a bachelorette party that’s not too tough, right.  Well stop and think for a moment;  Your friend asked you to share in one of the most important days of her life.  It is a big deal and it is more than just showing up for things.  I cannot tell you how many brides get stressed out over so called friends in their wedding.  They don’t order their dress on time, they wait too long to get shoes and then the shoes are out of season, they don’t confirm their hair appointment, they show up late for the rehearsal, they leave the reception and we can’t find them for pictures… the list goes on and on.  I always think to myself, “Wow nice friend!  If you didn’t want to do this you should have just said no.”  Why make it any more stressful for the poor Bride and her family just cooperate or don’t agree to be part of the wedding party.  So here are some Do’s and Don’t for Bridesmaids:

Bridesmaid Dos:

1. Buy your bridesmaid dress, shoes, and any other accessories. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE! Dresses get discontinued and colors for shoes change with seasons! What you saw in the store in March will most likely not be there in August. If you can’t afford the dress, talk to your friend but certainly DO NOT EXPECT THE BRIDE TO PAY FOR YOUR DRESS!

2. Be there for your friend through this whole process, especially during the final weeks when things really get crazy.

3. Offer to help the bride with planning tasks, don’t wait to be asked! Try to volunteer for specific duties, like scouting for bridesmaids’ dresses, stuffing invitations, or helping with favors.

4. Help plan, co-host, and pay for the bridal shower and bachelorette party, don’t just leave this all on the Maid of Honor.

5. You MUST attend and show up on time for the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

6. Try to attend as many other pre-wedding parties that you can. Obviously schedules will conflict but do the best you can to be there for your friend.

7. Be prepared to arrange for your own transportation to and from the wedding and pay for your accommodations. Don’t expect the bride to reserve and pay for your room or for your ride.

8. Yes you have to buy a wedding gift, I don’t care how much that dress cost you! If you need to go in on a gift with a friend to save money so be it!

9. Help out at the shower, record gifts for thank-yous, make sure guests have seats, if you see something that needs to be done-DO IT!

10. If you are the Maid of Honor be prepared to give a toast at the rehearsal dinner or wedding, if this is your tradition.

11. Be there for your friend on the wedding day. Have a good time, but don’t sneak off to check your Facebook, if you do go off let someone know where you are, what if you are needed for a picture. I will say, not being able to find someone in the Bridal Party the Day of is very upsetting to a Bride! (the planner Too!)

12. Help the bride get ready before the wedding, if she needs a Kleenex, chapstick, whatever try to be their for your friend.

13. Help bustle the bride’s dress before the reception.
14. Stand in the receiving line at the bride’s request.

15. If you need to take on back-up hostess duties at the reception if necessary – help the guests by introducing them, finding their tables, here is usually the best help directing them to the bar.

16. Fill dance floor at the reception – the guests will take cues from the wedding party.

17. Above all – be a good friend!

Bridesmaid Don’ts:

1. Don’t show up late – for anything.

2. Don’t barrage the bride with tons of last-minute questions. If possible, point any questions or concerns to the maid/matron of honor or another bridesmaid, or planner-Me Margaret!

3. Don’t make a spectacle of yourself by drinking too much. This is a wedding/rehearsal dinner/luncheon – not an After Bars Party. Having a good time is fine but still be careful don’t embarrass yourself or your friend!

4. Do not complain about the style of bridesmaid dress the bride chooses (even if you hate it).

5. Don’t procrastinate with things that need to be done or purchased. A bride needs to know her Bridesmaids will be ready. Did you get your shoes? Did you get the accessories that she asked you to get? When you pick up your dress does it need to be pressed? Don’t just wait until you get ready for the day to look at it make sure if you have to take it to the Dry Cleaners to be pressed JUST DO IT!

These are little things that will make the day run so much more smoothly! Your friend asked you to be part of her Memory don’t make her regret that decision.

So, you’re getting married? Keep it in perspective, enjoy the Moment!

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By Margaret Moore of Simple Elegance Events and Wedding Designs, serving Central Illinois. More information you can use at Simple Elegance Events & Wedding Designs.


  1. Margaret Moore

    Thanks so much for your thoughts. I know isn’t it crazy! Brides ask their friends to be part of their day so they can enjoy it not regret it.. I think it comes down to selfishness.

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