Bridesmaids play an important role in weddings. If you've been asked to be a bridesmaid in a wedding and it's your first time, you may not know all of the duties that are attached to having that prestigious title. If you have been a bridesmaid before, use this as a refresher course and a reminder of what your gal pal needs from you to prepare for her big day.
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- Assist with pre-wedding tasks. Planning a wedding involves a lot of details, and a bride can easily become overwhelmed with the list of small things to accomplish before the wedding. As a bridesmaid, you should ask the bride how you can help. Suggest things such as helping to pack for the honeymoon, alphabetizing escort cards, tracking RSVP's, help to stuff and mail invitations, and of course, offer help when she's shopping for her dress and the bridesmaids dresses!
- Assist with planning or co-hosting the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Whether you spearhead the planning process, or offer to handle one specific aspect, the bridesmaids and MOH (Maid of Honor) should handle the bridal shower. This includes sending invites, planning games and activities, decorating, and contributing funds to buy the supplies and food.
- Pay for your bridesmaids dress & accessories. Part of being a bridesmaid is paying for your ensemble. Dress, shoes, accessories....keep that in mind and start saving as far in advance as you can, if need be. Of course, as they always say.....you can get more use out of it by wearing it again! ;)
- Buy a shower gift and wedding gift. While you're saving, budget in buying a couple gifts. A good idea is to partner with one or a few other bridesmaids and combine your funds to get one really amazing gift!
- Attend the ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. As a member of the wedding party, you'll be required to be present at all pre-wedding functions, most importantly the ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
- Participate in the receiving line. These days some brides choose too nix the formal receiving line for a more relaxed type of guest greeting at the reception. However, if your bride is doing a formal receiving line at the church or reception, be prepared to stand in the line and greet guests with a smile (maybe a hug) and introduce yourself. You should also be prepared to tell your story of how you know the bride and/or groom, because it will be asked!
- Lend a helping hand on wedding day. Helping to wrangle the train, bustle the dress, bring the bride a drink, or anything else to help the MOH make sure the bride is comfortable and happy.
- Dancing! You may have to participate in a wedding party dance with one of the groomsmen. Some brides opt for a more modern option of allowing you to dance with your own husband or date instead of a groomsmen, but be prepared to dance either way. It's also a good idea to coax others onto the dance floor, because some people may need some encouragement to get started!
- Keep the complaining to a minimum. This may sound harsh, but when a bride has six ladies complaining about the color of the dress, or the expense of being a bridesmaid, or the headache of planning a shower, it takes all the wind out of her sails. Try to keep the complaining to a minimum, make constructive suggestions instead.
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If the bride has a wedding planner or day-of coordinator, they will also be watching these small details and making sure they get done, and assisting to make sure the bride has everything she needs. If this is the case, your to-do list may not be as heavy. However, you should still offer the help and be there for emotional support. You want to make yourself available and accessible to your friend for anything she needs, even if it's as small as finding her a tissue when she reads a note from her husband-to-be before the ceremony. Have fun being a bridesmaid!
Up next......What's involved in being a Groomsman. We haven't forgotten the guys!