Everything a Bridesmaid Needs to Know

A bride with her bridesmaids outside

Have you recently been asked to be a bridesmaid in an upcoming wedding? First, congratulations! You’re going to be a very important part of a day your friend or family member will remember for the rest of her life. While you have great cause for excitement, it’s important to realize that being a bridesmaid isn’t all fun and games. Yes, you’re going to have a blast, but it’s vital you take your role seriously as well. Every bride is different, but here are some things you should know to help you be the best bridesmaid possible!

Wedding Planning

Typically, brides select their bridesmaids well in advance of the actual wedding. This isn’t just because it takes time to order your dress; it’s because they need your help. Once you’ve accepted your role as a bridesmaid, it’s important that you make yourself available to assist with wedding planning and preparation as much as possible. Your bride will likely need a hand with a large variety of tasks, including preparing invitations, decorations, and favors for guests. Not to mention any necessary emotional support as the big day approaches. While being available is important, don’t offer more help than you can handle. Even the most demanding brides don’t want their loved ones burning themselves out.

A bride opening gifts at a bridal shower with friends

Pre-Wedding Events

Often, there are a variety of pre-wedding events leading up to the big day. The first being a bridal shower, which is typically planned by the maid of honor and the rest of the bridal party. This is the perfect time to get to know some of the other girls involved, as well as some of the wedding guests. Bridal showers vary in size and scope, so make sure you work with the other party members to create an event your bride will love!

The bachelorette party is another important part of any wedding. Similarly, you and the other bridesmaids will need to plan a party that is appropriate for your particular bride. Not everyone loves bar hopping and strippers! Talk with the other ladies about options well in advance and make sure to keep your bride informed about the date.

You’ll also need to take part in the rehearsal dinner. While this is often planned by the bride or family members, keep the date in mind and plan a toast if appropriate. It’s also a good idea to offer additional planning or decorating assistance.

Being a bridesmaid can get expensive. Apart from purchasing your dress, travel expenses, lodging, and food can add up quickly, especially if there are numerous pre-wedding events to attend. If you’re concerned about finances, make sure you speak with your bride as soon as possible. It may be possible for you to skip some of the less important events if needed.

Bridesmaids wearing matching green dresses during the wedding ceremony

The Wedding Day

Before you leave home, make sure to pack any items you or the bridal party may need. Some great suggestions include a small cooler with waters and snacks (and maybe a few other drinks), as well as bandages, safety pins, bobby pins, deodorant, and any other small items that may be useful. Remember, you and the rest of the bridal party will be spending a lot of time in the bridal suite getting everything ready.

Once you and the bride are all set and the ceremony is under way, the hardest parts are done. Be sure to follow directions outlined at the rehearsal, however, and remember any special jobs you might have been given.

Some couples prefer the photo shoot to take place prior to the ceremony, but many schedule it just before the reception starts. In either case, you are expected to participate in this as well. The photographer should provide all the instructions needed to have a smooth photo session.

The reception is where you can finally enjoy the fruits of your labor. It isn’t just a celebration of the bride and groom, but also of all the hard work everyone put in to create a successful event. Be sure to enjoy yourself, you’ve earned it! Remember, however, that you’re still there to help support your bride. It’s entirely possible the bride and groom won’t get much time to sit and relax, so offer assistance where you can. Grabbing your bride a plate of snacks or refilling an empty drink can be a lifesaver.

The most important thing to keep in mind is the fact that you’ve been chosen by the bride to be part of her support system. Make sure you provide her with the assistance she needs throughout the process so she can experience her wedding day with a smile. Always be honest with your bride, and yourself, about how much you can commit to and remember to have fun! You are there to help create memories that will last the bride and groom a lifetime.

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