What are a Bridesmaid's Responsibilities? - Schneider Photography

What are a Bridesmaid’s Responsibilities?

Yay! Your friend asked you to be her bridesmaid. You’ve said yes. Now there’s only one question, “What are a bridesmaid’s responsibilities?” Well that’s what we’re here to help you with today. Let’s put it this way. You’re the backbone to the wedding day. We’ve seen great weddings and difficult weddings. A key to what makes the difference is normally the wedding party, i.e. you.

What are a Bridesmaid’s Responsibilities? – Before the Wedding

The Details

Being a bridesmaid is a long haul. You’re a great friend and that’s why you were asked to be a bridesmaid. She’s got a ton of choices to make and you get to help out by being a confidant and advisor. Let her bounce ideas off of you. If you’re able and the bride wants you to, go to her dress fitting. When she’s between wedding colors you get to help her choose. You get to tell her about the fun ideas you’ve seen at different weddings. And what you’ve seen go bad. Volunteer to help with things like the cookie table, addressing invitations, seating chart, & etc.

The Dress

Of course being part of the wedding party means you get to buy a new dress. Make sure you budget in enough time to get fitted for the dress. And that there’s enough time before the wedding for any alterations. We’re always amazed by the coordination and creativity brides and bridesmaids pull off with their dresses and details.

The Parties

The wedding shower and bachelorette party are part of your responsibilities. This is where you can really use your creative side. The best wedding showers are when the bridesmaids all pitch in to help make them special. You get to make this a celebration everyone will remember as they shower her with support before the wedding. It’s also really helpful if you help record who brought which presents at the shower.

The bachelorette party is all on you. We recommend doing this 4 weeks to 1 week before the wedding. It’s always tempting to wait until the night before the wedding to do the bachelorette party. But trust us if you want it to be something more than just going out to dinner it should be planned ahead of time. We’ve heard of everything from winery tours to lingerie parties. Here’s a short list of ideas: backpacking, renting a cabin, spa day, broadway trip, boating for a day, glamour shots, museum trek, scavenger hunt, cooking class, cocktail class, craft party, road trip, music festival, and comedy club. Of course if it’s your thing you can always do the good old fashioned sleep over.

The Rehearsal

This might seem like a no brainer but you need to show up for the rehearsal. There are so many little details that you find out at the rehearsal. From which order you’re walking down the aisle all the way to where you’ll be seated at the reception and even where the bathroom is. Who’s going to hold the bouquet when? Where are gifts going? Normally the rehearsal is where you’ll find out all of the details for the wedding ceremony and reception.

What are a Bridesmaid’s Responsibilities? – At the Wedding

Getting Ready

You’ll want to arrive at the getting ready location. Whether that’s at the bride’s house, her mom’s, the venue or a hotel. You’ll want to get the address and get there early. Most brides will have you get your hair and make up done there or they’ll let you know the salon where you’ll be getting them done before hand. This  is a great time for you to just have fun and fool around a little. You can help with last minute details that the bride remembers that morning. Just be prepared emotionally that it’s going to be busy for everyone but the more you’re ready to help the more smoothly things will go for you and more importantly the friend who’s asked you to be with her on her most important day.

Food & Drink

Here’s a big one on the morning of the wedding. You need to encourage the Bride to drink water and eat. This is seriously a big deal. A lot of brides need to be reminded on the wedding day to take care of themselves. You also are going to want to be aware of the alcohol to food/water ratio. No one likes a nanny but neither do they like drunks at a wedding. Drunk patrol is no fun but someone’s got to do it.

The Details

There are a lot of details you’ll want to help each other with. From helping with jewelry to zipping up dresses you’ll want to help the other bridesmaids out as well. Of course these same things go for the bride as well. From helping her put on her shoes to clasping her necklace and bracelet these are all things you can help her with.

Once the bride is done getting ready this is normally the best time to give the bride any presents you might have gotten her. Here’s a great site with all sort of boutique and unique bridal gifts.

Ceremony

You’ll want to know what order you’re coming down the aisle. And as you walk you’ll also want to pace yourself. It’s amazing how nervous you might get when you walk down the aisle. Normally this nervousness shows itself in your pace. We can always tell who’s nervous because they almost run down the aisle. Slow and steady is best. If you walk a little slower than your comfortable with then it’s probably just right (another good reason to practice during the rehearsal). If you’re the maid of honor you’ll want to make sure you’re ready to hold the Bride’s bouquet during the vows and exchanging of rings. You might also be in charge of actually having the vows and the groom’s wedding band with you.

Obviously sometime during the day we’ll be getting plenty of pictures of you as well 🙂 Normally formal pictures with the whole bridal party happen between the ceremony and reception.

Reception

Okay. The number one thing you might be asked to do at the reception is give a speech. This is a HUGE topic. Instead of getting into the details ourselves here’s a helpful list of 10 dos and dont’s of wedding toasts.

At the reception you’ll want to make sure you know the order of events. When is the bridal party being announced? Do you know where you’re sitting? You’ll also by default be a go to person for people at the reception. You might be asked questions from where the bathrooms are to where the gift table is. Just be ready for some crazy questions. Another major responsibility you have is to help get the party started. Guests will typically look to the bridal party to see if it’s going to be a fun night of dancing or not.

What are a Bridesmaid’s Responsibilities? – After the Wedding

The night is almost done. Your BFF is about to leave. Here are a few last minute things you can do to help end out the night. If the bride is changing her dress before she leaves you can help by getting the wedding dress packed up and ready to be taken to where it should go. You can make sure the groomsmen actually took care of the bags and decorated the get away car. Lastly, you can help do any clean up and getting the gifts packed up.

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