So, you’ve agreed to be a bridesmaid; now what? Your duties may include anything and everything from food tasting to being a professional shoulder to cry on. Being a bridesmaid isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s a rewarding job. Like with any new position, it’s always best to know what you’re getting yourself into so you can put your best foot forward. Here’s what to expect from the months ahead of the big day.
You Will Have to Go Shopping—A Lot
From wedding dress shopping to tasting potential wedding cakes and food menus, the sky is the limit when it comes to purchasing things for the big day. While the maid of honor will be at the side of the bride for most of the pre-wedding planning, every bride is different. She might prefer her entire wedding party to be a part of certain experiences such as shopping for the wedding dress or bridesmaid dresses. The bottom line: don’t be surprised if you find yourself eating a lot of cake for a few months.
You Will Have to Buy Your Own Bridesmaid Dress
This is probably the most expensive and time-consuming part of your role. While you and your fellow bridesmaids might have some input when it comes to the fit and the color, don’t totally expect it. This is the bride’s day, after all, so she most likely has a vision she wants to fulfill. It’s generally expected of bridesmaids to pay for their dresses within reason, so start saving those pennies!
You Will Plan and Help Pay for the Bachelorette Party and/or Shower
There are many tasks to tackle in preparation for a wedding, and the bachelorette party and bridal shower is all you. While most of the pre-planning and organizing will fall on the shoulders of the maid of honor, you are still expected to offer planning assistance, which means offering feedback and helping out whenever you can whether such as booking the venue and/or accommodations, and making sure everything runs smoothly. You’ll also be expected to pay for some of the expenses. If you have a tight budget, it’s best to let the bride and maid of honor know ahead of time.
You Will Attend All Pre-Wedding Events
From the bachelorette party and the bridal shower to the rehearsal dinner, it’s expected that you attend most pre-wedding events. The bride can’t demand your attendance, however, attending these events is an unspoken part of the deal when it comes to being a bridesmaid so you should do your absolute best to show up. Of course, there are special factors to consider like time, distance, and job and family commitments. But if you can go, then you should wear your best smile and join ’em.
You Will Have to Pay for Your Own Transportation and Accommodations
Weddings are not cheap and that goes for wedding party members, too. Whether you live in the same city or state of the betrothed couple or live half-way across the world, chances are you will have to pay for your means to attend the wedding and your accommodations. This also includes destination weddings. While the bride can’t expect her wedding party to spend a week in Hawaii with her, it will be up to you to pay for your overnight stay. Again, be upfront with the bride on what you can and cannot afford, and try to seek a compromise if there’s an issue.
You Will Keep the Bride Calm and Positive
A bride’s wedding party is her team of support. She needs you. Wedding planning is stressful, which is why she requires her reinforcements—AKA you and the rest of her squad—to be there for her. This doesn’t just include the logistics of event planning and dress fittings. Probably the biggest and most important role of a bridesmaid is to provide emotional support to the bride. Whether it’s talking through a tough day, treating her to a spa day to alleviate stress, sharing a funny story, or just keeping her company, do your best to support and uplift your friend.
Being a bridesmaid is a special job that requires a lot of time, energy, and financial investment. While it’s an honor to be asked, it’s also important to know your limitations. If you cannot commit to most of the duties above, then you might want to reconsider being a part of the bridal party. However, being a part of your loved one’s big day can be a wonderful and memorable experience. If you know what you’re getting yourself into, then there shouldn’t be any surprises (unless you catch the bouquet!).