bridesmaidA bridesmaid is typically a young woman who is close to the bride – usually a close friend, sister, or sister of the groom. Depending on the size and scope of the wedding, a bride may choose one or several bridesmaids to be her attendants during the wedding ceremony.

The traditional duties of the bridesmaids are generally limited to the wedding ceremony itself; however, if you have been asked to be a bridesmaid or maid of honor, there are numerous things you can do to help the bride through this exciting, yet stressful time.

Customary Duties of a Bridesmaid

Bridesmaids typically remain with the bride directly before the ceremony, helping her to get dressed, running any last-minute errands, and providing moral support. In addition, bridesmaids may spread the word about where the bride and groom have registered for gifts. During the reception, the bridesmaids may check to make sure that the caterer and band or DJ are in place and direct guests to the guestbook. They should talk to as many guests as possible, in order to make them feel welcome.

Things a bridesmaid or maid of honor can do to make the planning and the event itself easier

The maid of honor, in particular, may offer advice and assistance on the details of the wedding; she may help the bride shop for her wedding dress and assist in choosing the bridesmaids’ dresses, wedding decorations, floral arrangements, etc. The maid of honor may, in conjunction with the mother of the bride, plan and host a bridal shower.

Throughout the process of planning, it is important for close friends of the bride to offer moral support, as well as helping her to remain calm during the ceremony. It is also customary for the bridesmaids to plan a bachelorette party and chip in toward the cost of the event.

What a bridesmaid is not expected to do

For more formal weddings, a bridal luncheon may also be part of the proceedings. However, while bridesmaids should of course be invited to this event, they are not expected to host or pay for it. The bride or her mother should be responsible for planning and hosting a bridal luncheon for the attendants.

In addition, a bridesmaid is not expected to purchase a dress that she cannot reasonably afford. While in most cases, the bride’s parents are no longer expected to pay for all of the bridesmaids’ dresses, the bride should help to pay for a dress if it is too expensive for a particular bridesmaid.

Being asked to act as a bridesmaid is an honor that should be taken seriously. The most important aspect of this role is being supportive of the bride and doing whatever you can to help her through her pre-wedding jitters and any small crises that may come up on the day of the event. Your friend will be grateful that you could be such an important part of her special day.