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How To Be a Bridesmaid in a Wedding Party: The General Expectations of a Key Member of the Bridal Party

How To Be a Bridesmaid in a Wedding Party

As a bridesmaid, you’re part of a long history of wedding traditions. Here’s what’s expected of you and how to make the bridal party successful and fun.

Wedding traditions have long dictated the roles of bridesmaids and maids of honour, changing from bride to bride. Here are the general expectations of the bridal party.

How to Be a Bridesmaid

The bridesmaid may help the bride shop for her wedding dress, accessories, shoes, and flowers. She may even attend cake tasting and facility renting excursions and help the bride research wedding traditions. In addition, the bridesmaid and the maid of honour may work together to help stuff wedding invitations into their envelopes, create wedding favours, and provide emotional support to the bride.

Great bridesmaids gently offer creative input and support the decisions of the bride and groom. Bridesmaids are also available for last-minute rescues, such as finding lost rings or mending torn veils. Members of the bridal party are there to support the bride and groom in any way they can.

bride and bridesmaids

Hotel and Transportation to the Wedding

Traditionally, the way bridesmaids decide to arrive at a wedding is totally up to them, as well as their lodging, since this way, they will be able to accommodate themselves to their own disposition, time, and budget. Their only duty is to arrive at the exact place and time that the bride tells them.

In destination weddings, we always appreciate the courtesy of the couples to provide rooms at preferential wedding rates to their guests. Since they will already pay attention to making an exclusive trip to accompany them that day, this gesture is always offered as a thank you for that action.

The Bridesmaid Look

The dress, shoes, makeup, hairstyle, and accessories are the responsibility of each lady. Unless there is something specific that a bride wants you to wear that day, the rest is totally up to them. 

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If a bride prefers to have it done professionally, in a specific style, and with a specific stylist, she will have to check first if it is within your means. If not, then the bride will have to contribute from her budget for this part of the process.

wedding hair

The Bachelorette Party with Friends

The bridesmaids usually organize the bachelorette party with friends, although it all depends on how much control the bride wants to take over the party. The decorations, activities, food, and drinks for the night are up to the bridesmaids. Remember that the bride will already have a budget and a lot of effort to invest in her wedding, so a night where she doesn’t have to worry about anything but having fun is always welcome.

The size of the party will always depend on the total budget the bridesmaids can contribute.

Family Bridal Shower

The role the ladies take in the Bridal Shower depends entirely on who is in charge of the organization. Normally the family is the one who takes control of this celebration. However, it is always appreciated if the ladies offer to contribute. If the financial contribution is not within your budget, then offering to help with the decoration and organization of the activities may be your main task. The enthusiasm of wanting to help and lend a hand in this type of situation is always something that is greatly appreciated and that the bride will never forget.

Bachelorette Party Gift

A wedding gift is usually enough, so a bridal shower gift is not something that is necessarily expected. However, if the ladies want to get creative by giving a gift that goes along with the shower’s theme or something that the bride can use on her wedding night, such as lingerie. They can decide between choosing this option or wait to give a nice wedding gift.

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Wedding Gift

By this point, you will have already invested considerably in the bridal shower, reservation, dress, and other details that come along. So brides, don’t feel offended if they don’t receive a wedding gift from you. 

Now, if the ladies still have the desire and the possibility to give a wedding gift, you can get together with all the ladies to make a collective gift.

The Wedding Parties

Bridesmaids are expected to attend – and often help plan – the engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and farewell brunch or tea day after the wedding. These duties do depend on the bride and groom. If it’s a destination wedding, for instance, the bridal party’s expectations will be different from if it’s a big traditional church wedding.

wedding party
Image Credits: Micadew, via Flickr

The Cost of Being a Bridesmaid

Usually, bridesmaids pay for their bridesmaid dress, shoes, accessories, accommodations and travel costs, and the bachelorette party or shower.

The time commitment can be fairly high for members of a bridal party. For example, bridesmaids are expected to shop for their bridesmaid dresses and participate in dress fittings.

Extra Special Things a Bridesmaid Can Do

If you want to go above and beyond the call of duty, consider these thoughtful touches:

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  • Create a PowerPoint presentation for the wedding speeches or bridal shower.
  • Take photos of the whole process, from wedding dress shopping to cake tasting.
  • Create a scrapbook of wedding planning and celebrations. Include photos, mementos, receipts, ribbons, wedding favors, and so on.
  • Send champagne, strawberries, and flowers to the bridal suite for the wedding night.
  • Write a poem, paint a portrait, or make something special that celebrates the bride and groom. Use your unique talents and skills to create something special for the wedding couple.
Bridesmaid Crew

Unwritten Things to Consider

  • When the bride tells you that she chose you as her bridesmaid. Celebrate as if she had won the National Team! Or, as if your favorite singer said your name in concert.
  • Her engagement ring deserves all the compliments in the world, so whenever you see it sparkle, admire it out loud.
  • Personal engagements? Haha, that’s a thing of the past: you must be available 24 x 7 x 365 to talk on the phone with the bride.
  • Remember when you and the bride used to talk about books, music and her other friends? That won’t happen again until after the wedding. But that’s okay because you’re excited too and you understand that it’s the most important topic, right?
  • The bridesmaid dress the bride chooses for you is the best dress you’ve ever worn, so wear it along with your best smile.
  • Your help is essential: if the bride and groom need you, come to the rescue!
  • Help her defend her tastes from the bad guys who contradict her: you’re her neighborhood and you’ve got her back!
  • If the bride is undecided between one or two or 25 options, contribute your opinion. But if she’s leaning more towards some flowers than others and still asks you, put her tastes above yours: everything should be as she has dreamed it and you are the guardian of that dream.
  • As soon as she shows you the wedding dress she chose, appreciate how beautiful it is and tell her the truth: it’s the most amazing dress you’ve ever seen! She’ll be the most beautiful bride ever! (And she will be).
  • If she doesn’t find what she’s looking for (the shoes, the souvenirs, the band, the flowers…), no problem because it’s sure to be in the next store. Don’t let her give up until she finds what she’s looking for. Just bring gel insoles in case they get tired.
  • Make sure she sleeps and eats. If it is necessary to be energetic.
  • If anyone knows her perfectly, it is you: plan the perfect bachelorette party for the bride.
  • Hand out the fans, the rice, the souvenirs, the children’s candy, and anything else that needs to be handed out.
  • Help the photographer and videographers to know who are the people who should not be missing in the wedding records and which are the moments that should appear in the album.
  • Carry an emergency kit with beauty supplies, first aid kit, sewing kit… If something is needed, your super bag will have it, for sure.
  • Prepare a speech in which you tell her how wonderful it is to be with her and how happy you feel for her new stage. And, if you give her a special detail or you are in charge of some detail, such as the bouquet, give it to her at the right time and with lots of love.
  • Have fun at the wedding and live the moment together: the pressure is over, she is the happiest bride and you are her perfect bridesmaid, it’s time to celebrate!

The most important part of being part of the bridal party – other than taking your responsibilities seriously and doing the best you can to support the bride and groom no matter what – is to have fun. So enjoy the wedding planning, and get into the joy of it all! You probably won’t be a bridesmaid for this friend again, so make the most of it.

About the author: John J. Gregg is an experienced writer on where he provides students with an opportunity to get high grades. Besides, He is fond of reading and playing the guitar. By the way, John dreams of travelling a lot and visiting as many countries as possible.

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