The Bridesmaid Guide: What You Need to Know

When it comes to wedding planning, there is a lot to know! If it’s your first time in a family or friend’s wedding party, you may not be entirely sure of what questions to ask, what the expectations are or where to even begin. We celebrate all types of love and being part of the wedding party means you have a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. To prepare you for your new role, we’ve compiled “The Bridesmaid Guide: What You Need to Know.” Let’s dive in!

The Expectations

“What are your expectations for us?” This is a question you need to ask the bride or groom right off the bat. Their answer should give you a hint as to whether you’re expected to show up and enjoy the ride or if you need to prepare to be hands-on during the wedding planning process. We’ll run through what is typically asked of this role, but anticipate they may have some ideas of their own!

Right off the bat, you are committing to being present at:

—Engagement Party

—Wedding or Bridal Shower

—Bachelorette/Bachelor Party

—Wedding Rehearsal + Dinner

—Wedding Day

This could also include:

—Dress shopping

—Dress fitting

—Cake tasting

—Venue shopping

Beyond showing up, your role will certainly involve listening to the bride or groom about their ideas. Remember to offer your opinion in a way that is both constructive and supportive. It will also involve volunteering to oversee specific tasks. Whether it’s decorating for the engagement party or helping address the wedding invitations, make a plan to divide and conquer with the others so that no one person feels the burden.

Bridesmaid guide

Photo by Feather and Twine

The Do’s and Dont’s

This is most likely a very stressful time in your best friend’s life. Your presence is meant to remind them what is really important and what isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme. This doesn’t mean that your own needs and feelings are entirely out the window. You just need to remember that honesty and communication are key.

Do:

  • Speak up if you can’t commit to something due to a scheduling conflict or financial restraint.
  • Create a spreadsheet of who is responsible for what and track costs so they can be shared across the group.
  • Create a separate group text to work out some of the surprise details amongst the bridesmaids or wedding party.

Don’t:

  • Wait until the last minute to tell the bride you can’t make an event or complete a task. Be upfront with her!
  • Suck it up and pay for everything yourself. This role should not be a financial burden to any one person.
  • Involve the bride in every little detail. She enlisted you because she trusts your judgment!

Pre-Wedding Events

The maid of honor is typically in charge of organizing the bachelorette party, but they will require your input and help! This is when the separate group text should happen and is an opportunity for you all to get to know each other if you don’t already! After the introductions are out of the way, brainstorm destinations or activities that the bride will enjoy, while keeping a target budget in mind.

Whether the party is local or a destination event, costs like decor, games, food, and drink are typically shared. It’s completely appropriate to minimize costs by researching free games or offering to bake rather than spring for bakery-bought. While these events can surely be a financial stressor if you let them, know that creativity, thoughtfulness, and effort go a long way!

Wedding Day

The wedding day is your time to shine! For the lovely couple, wedding day is a mental rollercoaster. You feel like your constantly forgetting something; whether you have enough bobby pins or what time the actual ceremony starts! The day-of planner should be the head honcho in terms of the flow of events, but the wedding party’s objective is to keep the bride sane and her personal needs met. Volunteer yourself to be the errand runner and occasionally check-in with the bride to make sure she’s fed and hydrated!

After the ceremony, it’s time to have a little fun and have a good time alongside your best friend! After a few drinks, you should be ready to show off those new dance moves you’ve been working on. Once she’s safely in the car, setting off to her honeymoon or hotel — you can rest easy. After her belongings are all accounted for and the guests are departing, that is!

Share the Bridesmaid Guide with anyone who could use a little guidance!

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