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A Complete Guide On The Duties of a Maid of Honor: Everything You Should Know

A Complete Guide On The Duties of a Maid of Honor: Everything You Should Know

This guide might be your lifeline for those who have wedding jitters and are bad organizers. We’ve compiled the duties of a maid of honour to help smoothen out the plan and share the details of what needs to be done pre-wedding and during the wedding. There’s a lot to unpack, but it’s not an impossible task.

If you need extensive and transparent information on topics such as wedding duties, you don’t have to look further than this article. There are plenty of experts who can help shed light on almost any topic. 

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10 Important Things Every First Time Bridesmaid Should Know

10 important things every first time bridesmaid should know

Being a bridesmaid for the first time is a thrilling experience. It is not to be taken lightly when you have been given the honour of being at the wedding party. This is only because the bride values you a lot and would love to have you by her side on the most important day of her life. But, when you think of it this way, it can also be daunting. So, don’t be surprised if you feel nervous about donning the role.

Here are some of the most important things that you should know. This will help you handle your role well, not have any nasty surprises, and understand what the bride will expect you to do. So, let’s begin!

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10 questions and answers about junior bridesmaids

Brides often have a young cousin or a niece who isn’t old enough to be a bridesmaid, but is too old to fit into the role of a flower girl. When this girl is dear to the bride, she usually wants her in the wedding party, but may not be sure of what role to give her. Fortunately, there is a perfect role to honor these not-so-little girls with, and it is “Junior Bridesmaid!”

If you have already chosen one or more junior bridesmaids, or intend to have them at your wedding, here is a list of all the things you need to know.

The bridesmaids

Image Credits: Adam Red, via Flickr, [CC BY 2.0]

1.How old does someone have to be to be a junior bridesmaid?

Anyone who fits the description of big girl, but is not yet a grown up woman, can be a junior bridesmaid. It is usually a role suitable for girls aged between 9 and 15. This role is perfect for girls from either your family or your groom’s, or for young girls who you are very fond of and would love to include in your wedding. Think back and you will realize how you wouldn’t have been too pleased to be a flower girl when you were say 10 years old. The same goes for your junior bridesmaids. They may not be old enough to take up responsibility as a bridesmaid, but consider themselves too old to be a flower girl. So, this is the in-between role where they will be treated as a grown up girl, but the demands on them will be appropriate for their young age.

2.Does she also wear the same dress as the rest of the bridesmaids?

This is left to your discretion, and depends on how the girl looks and feels. There are teenagers who prefer to dress much older. And then, there are others who look too young for their actual age. So, go with your intuition, and of course, consult the girl and her parents. This is very important, especially if the bridesmaids dresses are on the sexier side. If your bridesmaid dress choice is one that is suitable on women of all ages, and you can find one in her size too, go with it. Otherwise, you can choose a less complicated dress that matches the rest of the bridal party look and still looks good on her. Low-cut dresses and ones with long slits are not appropriate for a young girl, and her parents may not appreciate the idea if you choose to dress her in this on your wedding day. Either search for a dress in a matching or complementing color and design, or have a seamstress alter a bridesmaid dress to suit her. Simple changes like adding straps or moving the neckline up with an illusion design may render the same dress suitable for her age. The other option is to get a whole other dress made for her, that goes well with the rest of the wedding party attire. Just make sure that you consult her before you choose her look, and that she looks modest and feels comfortable in what you choose, and all will be well.

3.When do we buy her dress and from where?

It is better to get your junior bridesmaid’s dress closer to your wedding date, as these girls are at an age where drastic changes can alter their overall appearance in a matter of months. So, it may not be a good idea to shop for your junior bridesmaids dress, several months in advance when you buy the rest of the wedding party dresses. Don’t buy it before four or five months from your wedding day, and have it altered in the month leading up to the wedding to make sure it fits. Most bridal shops like Best for Bride will have Junior Bridesmaids dress collections, and you should be able to find ones that are similar to the bridesmaids dresses you choose from the same place. If you choose from the same collection and material, you should be able to find the exact shade for both your bridesmaids and junior bridesmaids dresses. Or, you can have your bridesmaid dress picked from the prom dress collection, if there is a suitable choice there. If nothing works, you can consider having her dress custom-made.

4.Does she get the rest of the accessories, hair and makeup like the other bridesmaids?

This is again an individual choice. It is up to you to decide how she ought to look. Although most girls would rather prefer to look more like the bridesmaids than flower girls, how you dress her is entirely your choice. You can give her a bridesmaid bouquet, like the rest of your wedding party. Or, you could have a miniature version made specially for her. Be practical when you decide how her hair and makeup should be done on the day. A simplified version of your bridal party’s overall look should be fine. You can also choose similar jewelry, flowers or other accessories for her, so she blends in well with the crowd. If your bridesmaids will all be trotting around in high heels, you may have to get a low-heel shoe for your junior bridesmaid unless she is old enough to handle it. This will help you avoid any unnecessary accidents on the day. Again, it is a good idea to match it to the overall look of your wedding party, but do not choose something that is not appropriate for her age.

5.Does she have to participate in the bridal shower and bachelorette party?

She may not be able to contribute to the bridal shower or bachelorette party (as she obviously won’t have the finances for the same). Nevertheless, she can be part of the planning, help with setting it up and even with the clean-up afterwards. If you have a wild girl’s night out planned for your bachelorette party, she wouldn’t be of legal age to participate in it. So steer clear of inviting her. If it’s an appropriate event for her to participate in, welcome her in. Remember that this would also depend on whether she is comfortable with the rest of the bridal party. So, use discretion and take your stand.

6.How can she help with the wedding planning?

You may have a brilliant helper who is eager to do all she can to make your life easy, or your junior bridesmaid may be a fussy and emotional little girl who is yet to grow up and act her age. Depending on how the situation is, you can decide how involved she should be in the wedding planning. A junior bridesmaid’s main role is to be part of the wedding procession, and so anything beyond that is up to you to decide. If she is interested in helping and hosting the bridal shower, you can ask the rest of your wedding party to include her in it. You can also have her on your list to run errands, help with setting up wedding favors, purchasing the things needed for your wedding or even accompanying you to your shopping or dress alteration sessions. Young girls are usually eager to help with the tasks that others may find boring. For example, she may be the right person to help you assemble your wedding favors or to stick your wedding invitations. So, give her the responsibility to handle this task, and she will appreciate being asked for her help with the wedding.

7.Is there a pre-wedding function that she should be involved in?

Like we said earlier, it isn’t necessary for your junior bridesmaid to attend your bridal shower or bachelorette party. However, she should be invited to the rehearsal dinner, since she is very much a part of the wedding day ceremony. This will help you prepare her for her role on the wedding day. Since you will be having a rehearsal of what will happen on the wedding day, at the rehearsal, make sure she is there for it and understands her role well.

8.Does she need an escort when she walks down the aisle, and is there anything to take care of if she has one?

No! Your junior bridesmaid doesn’t need an escort for when she walks down the aisle. Unless you have an extra groomsman who can accompany her, it isn’t necessary to find someone to join her. She can walk all by herself and precede the rest of the bridesmaids in the processional, or else you can pair her up with another bridesmaid. Of course, there is nothing wrong in pairing her with an escort, if you have a suitable person for the task. The other interesting option is to have her and another bridesmaid accompany a groomsman on either side. This is not commonly seen, and so will be an interesting addition. When planning whether she should be escorted down the aisle, you can simply think of how the pairing will look. If it will be cute, it is alright. If it looks off or you are worried it may not be suitable to pair her off with someone who is several years older than her, let her walk down the aisle herself and enjoy those two minutes when all eyes are on her. The other option is to have her stand in the receiving line, if that is the best thing for her.

9.What is her role on the wedding day?

Apart from being part of the processional, she really has no other particular responsibilities to handle on the wedding day. If your junior bridesmaid is eager to participate and would love to help, you can always handle her responsibilities that she is capable of handling. She can be involved in helping the guests be seated, giving out programs or can help handle the gifts you receive at the reception. She can also be in-charge of handing out little bags with confetti or bubbles that will be used when the couple make their exit. Basically, this depends on the attitude and personality of the girl. If she would rather enjoy the party and mind her own business, let her be. Although she is a junior bridesmaid, don’t expect the same from her as you would with your other bridesmaids.

10.What do I gift her?

Like the rest of your bridesmaids, your junior bridesmaids also deserve a small gift as a token of appreciation for their involvement in your wedding. Since they are much younger than the rest of the group, it may not be a good idea to get them the same gift as the rest of the girls. Even when you have more than one junior bridesmaid, it is good to get them individual gifts that match their personalities. Go with their age and their taste, and you are bound to find something they will appreciate. Set a budget and shop like you would for their birthday. You can always customize your gift with a monogram or in the theme colors of your wedding, if you prefer. Or, if you are in doubt, it is best to consult their parents and find out what would be an ideal gift. For older girls, you can even gift a voucher to their favorite store, so they can pick whatever they like. Generic gift suggestions that usually work include personalized jewelry like necklaces with a pendant matching the letter of their name or small monogrammed tote bags with a small extra like a bridal Barbie doll inside.

You now have all the necessary information you need to know about having junior bridesmaids in your wedding party. To choose the fantastic dress for these young girls, so they are a beautiful addition to your wedding party, visit our bridesmaids dress collection at Best for Bride. All the dresses featured above belong to this collection, and you can find even more fantastic dresses for your favorite young girls. Pick both your junior bridesmaids dresses and the rest of the attire for your wedding party from our fabulous bridal party collection and find the best deals possible.

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Expert answers to 7 tricky bridesmaid situations

Bridemaids

Bridesmaids are the women who share the stage with you on your wedding day. This is a position that you should confer after thoroughly thinking it through. This is because they have an important role to play at your wedding; it is one where they will have to handle several responsibilities.

However careful or calculating you may be when choosing your bridesmaids, you can still end up with unexpected surprises or awkward situations in this area at different stages of the wedding planning process. Sometimes, the issues may crop up right from the time you start choosing your bridesmaids, at other times it may be an issue that suddenly popped up when you thought everything was progressing beautifully.

Bridesmaids
Image Credits: Micadew, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

 

Here are some issues that brides have had to tide over, and let us look at the best way to handle each of them.

Q. Who to choose when you have more than one Bestie?

Enter Friends, with Monica who had to choose between Rachel and Phoebe, or Jules on Cougar Town with Ellie and Laurie! This is a situation we’ve seen time and again. If you have always been certain of who to choose as your Maid of Honor, and its been mutually agreed upon, lucky you! If not, do not worry, we have a few solutions for you to consider.

  • Leave it to the girls to decide among themselves, if you think that is the best approach. Of course, be prepared to go with whoever they decide to choose, if you take this route.
  • Ask them both. There is no problem with having two Maids of Honor, and it can perhaps be easier on them too as they can share the responsibilities and you needn’t feel guilty about your decision. This is the easiest and most practical approach, especially if you seem to be getting nowhere with making a choice.
  • If you have a sibling who you trust to take care of everything well, it is best to ask her and avoid stressing over it further. This will also save you from the problem of choosing between friends.
  • When considering your choices, give priority to responsibility, availability and organizing ability. Remember your maid of honor should be available and able to make things easier for you, and not just someone you choose so she is happy.

Q. What to do if a bridesmaid is pregnant or a new mom at the time of the wedding

Since you’ll be engaged for a long time, don’t expect all your bridesmaids to be in their current situations at the time of your wedding. They may or may not! However, having a bridesmaid who is pregnant or a new mom doesn’t have to change too many things. The best approach in this situation is to ask her what she would be comfortable doing. If your friend would still love to continue being your bridesmaid, trust her with it. If she is nervous and would prefer to back out, it is best to go with her choice. If your friend would like to continue in the role, make sure you do all you can so she is comfortable. You may have to make a few changes to plan when ordering her dress. It may have to be altered or you may have to choose it closer to the wedding. So, plan the logistics accordingly. Also, entrust her with light responsibilities, given her situation. She will already be handling a hundred extra things of her own, so don’t stress her out with more than she can handle. Just talk to her and find out all you can about how you can make things easy for her, and we are sure it will all work out well for both of you.

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Q. When your bridesmaids hate the dress you chose

It is impossible to make everyone happy, and yes, it is your happiness that ultimately matters. So, if your choice for the bridesmaids dress doesn’t find favor with the girls, you can still stick to it. All the same, remember that there are several ways in which you can work around this and find a choice that they can be happier about.

Many brides make the mistake of choosing bridesmaids dresses in unusual colors, that many girls find unappealing. The mix and match bridesmaids look is one of the best ways to tide over this issue and get you what you want, while your bridesmaids are also happy. You can keep two or three factors uniform, like the color, neckline, hemline or designer collection, and allow your girls to choose any dress they like as long as these factors are met. Find out how to do this right, by checking out this previous article of ours. The other way is to go with a neutral color or universally flattering pattern and step up the style with colorful accessories or bold fashion items. Here are some suggestions for some colors that work this way in this post.

Spend some time researching your options and be open to ideas that fit in with your wedding aesthetic. You may not only find a choice that everyone adores, but it may also give you something unique that sets your wedding apart. Also ask your bridesmaids if they have any suggestions and then make a choice that nobody can totally hate. This way, you’ll be happy and so will your bridesmaids.

Pantone colors

Q. Your bridesmaids think they are paying too much for everything

When a bridesmaid agrees to be one, she knows she signs up to spend some money for your wedding. So, it is part of the deal. Nevertheless, it is up to you to be reasonable about what you choose, so you don’t make your friends regret their decision later. This bridesmaid voices her concerns, in this post on Apartment Therapy, and she tells us how difficult it is for her to cough up all the money she is expected to spend for her friend.

Remember that this applies to your bridesmaids too. They have to pay for a dress which they may never wear again, pay for the bridal shower and wedding gift, hair, makeup, accessories, and these things can quickly add up. So, if you value your friendship, it is only right that you are understanding and either stick to reasonable plans where they have to pay only what they can afford, or volunteer to pay for anything extravagant. The best approach is to have options for everything from the dress to the gift, and allow them to pick from the choices based on their comfort. Your wedding shouldn’t leave any of your friends in a financial crunch, and unless you have been on the receiving end with the same friends previously, it is only wrong if you do. If you think the dress price exceeded your idea, or if they have paid more than they expected to, you can always buy them their accessories like shoes or jewelry and take that burden off them. They deserve it for all the hard work (and money!) they are putting in to make your day extra-special.

Q. What to do when one of my bridesmaids just doesn’t get along with the rest

Your bridesmaids are a team, and they do have to spend some time together to plan their roles and responsibilities properly. Having a bossy bridesmaid or one who always seems to disagree with the rest can throw the entire situation into chaos. So, the first step is to recognize the likelihood of any such problems arising, before you pop your question to your bridesmaids. If there is a difficult friend in your list, consider whether it is more important that they be a bridesmaid than avoiding arguments among your bridesmaids. If you think it is, you may have to take on an active role to avoid potential problems. This article on Huffington post gives some practical solutions in this regard. Firstly, avoid tricky situations that can lead to friction.  You can delegate responsibilities like the shower to a particular person, even outside the bridesmaid group to avoid arguments. Delegate only specific responsibilities to her, so she won’t have to cross paths with an opponent. Pair her off with those who can handle her with tact. Finally, before your wedding day, sit her down and personally ask her to put aside her differences and cooperate, so your day goes well. If she cares even an ounce for your happiness, she will handle it well and make sure that the excitement of your day is not ruined due to her petty and unnecessary problems.mix ‘n’ match bridesmaids dress

Q. What to do when a bridesmaid can’t keep the wedding planning details a secret

Whether it is because she is super-excited about your wedding, or simply jealous of what you have, it is simply wrong to tell others your wedding planning secrets. If your bridesmaid does this by mistake, let it go, but make sure to ask her nicely to never repeat it. Despite this, if she continues with gossiping, it may be better if you act immediately. If you wait too long, she can cause your wedding surprises to be ruined by her inconsiderate behavior. Aim for a solution where you involve only those who can keep their thoughts to themselves, in the planning. Don’t make it into a bitter problem and spoil the entire mood by arguing with the person who spills the beans every time. Be discrete and don’t give any details if she keeps asking you for what’s going on. If you want to handle it diplomatically, and not create any unpleasant situations, assign a generic project to her and leave her with it. Make sure it is one that won’t make a difference even if she goes around telling the town what is involved, and it’ll keep her busy from interfering with the rest.girls-685787_1280

 

Q. Is it alright if my bridesmaid lives far away and will be arriving just in time for the wedding

This isn’t too rare these days. After all, you may have friends right from the time you were a little girl, who are close to you despite the physical distance. Although it may not be easy to shop for the bridesmaid dress or plan the shower from long-distance, it is still possible. Where dress shopping is concerned, you can simply mail her the options or share links to the collection online, and ask her for her opinions. Once the choice is made, you should order it for her, along with the dresses for your other bridesmaids. For this you need to know her dress size. Make sure that your bridesmaid is measured by a professional seamstress, so you get the measurements right before ordering the dress. Since you will mostly be ordering all the bridesmaids dresses in one go and from the same dye lot, make sure you know this before you place the order. Once the dress arrives, ship it to her right away. This will allow her to get the alterations done, so it is ready to be worn when she travels for the wedding. Where the bachelorette parties and bridal showers are concerned, it is up to your maid of honor and other bridesmaids to plan it. If you would like her to attend, see if it is possible to move these events closer to the wedding date. Since you want her to be involved in the wedding as much as the rest of the wedding party is, you can consider designating some day-of tasks to her. Nevertheless, remember that she may be tired from the journey and so accommodate that factor into the plans as well.

Now that we have most of the tricky questions addressed here, we think you are covered for most scenarios. If you think there are any more likely situations that you want help with, write to us and let us know.

For your bridesmaids dresses, we suggest you take a look at our extensive collection of bridesmaids dresses here on Best for Bride. With exhaustive collections in all sizes and designs from leading designer brands, you are bound to find the right dresses for all your bridesmaids by visiting us.

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