Whether it’s the first or the 10th time for you, being a bridesmaid can be some intimidating territory. It’s an honor to be chosen as a bridesmaid, but the pressure that comes with that responsibility is real. Shake off that glow and start memorizing the following list of what your expected duties as a bridesmaid are, and how not to overstep.
1. It’s your decision to make
You are in no way obligated to say yes. If you feel like the responsibility is too daunting (financially, emotionally, or otherwise,) you won’t be the worst friend in the world if you say no. Many others would be ecstatic to take on the role.
2. Level of commitment involved
If you do accept the role, talk about the level of commitment, and make sure you’re comfortable with it. You will need to pay for your own dress and shoes. This isn’t exciting for the bridesmaids of people with expensive taste, but your bride might even let you choose your own dress, so talk it over with her before
3. Helping pick a dress
A bridesmaid helps the bride find the perfect dress – remember to support what the bride wants instead of subliminally choosing what you would want on your big day. Be honest with her, but not unkindly.
4. It’s her day, not yours
On a related note to not choosing a dress you want: remember that this is her day, not yours. Your time will come to be fawned over, and hopefully, your BFFs will support whatever odd decisions you make. Even if things get a little difficult, don’t make it harder by refusing to cooperate.
5. An assistant and best friend all in one
Be her right-hand woman for all showers, pre-wedding festivities, and the rehearsal dinner.
6.Keep track of gifts
You should keep a record of all the gifts the bride receives so that thank you notes can be sent out accordingly.
7. A toast to the lovely couple
You should definitely give a toast. Being chosen as a bridesmaid is a big deal, and it should be treated with respect. Try sharing a personal anecdote about you and the bride – perhaps a funny one, but generally, just a tale of bonding will do.
8. Assisting with styling, and the whole shebang
A bridesmaid makes sure the bride looks flawless on the big day – this means helping out with makeup, hair, and dress adjustments where needed. A bridesmaid basically doubles as a stylist on the wedding day, so help out the professionals where needed if there are some, and if not, get in there!
9. You’re part of a team, not a lone wolf
A bridesmaid should always have a team player mentality- after all, there are often multiple bridesmaids, and what’s better than female solidarity? Keep a good energy for her wedding day and stick the reason you’re all there: to make her day amazing. If you have beef with another girl, put it to the side.
10. Pay attention to her needs
A good bridesmaid should stay attuned to the bride’s needs – this doesn’t mean you she to be telepathic. Have a discussion with her beforehand on how active (and physically present) she wants you to be during the process, planning, and other aspects of the wedding.
11. What makes an appropriate gift?
Your role as a bridesmaid is more important than the gift – especially since your friend should realize how much you’re paying for other bridesmaid related duties, including bridal shower and bachelorette party expenses. Suggest pooling with the other bridesmaids to get a more extravagant gift.
12. Pow-wow on how the celebrations should go down
Speaking of all those parties – you and the other bridesmaids might have to plan them, depending on what kind of wedding it is. Meet with the others to weigh in on what will work, and always make sure to include the Maid of Honor if there is one. Remember, it should reflect her personality.
13. Tolerance is key
Every bridesmaid should cut the bride some slack – even the more laidback bride can temporarily turn into a monster. It’s a lot of pressure on her, and a lot of attention – both of these things, as a woman always under scrutiny, can make you feel like you’re going to implode. Be tolerant and she’ll love you for it later.
14. Don’t cross a line, but be ready to tackle everything
Don’t overstep on boundaries, but approach tasks enthusiastically. Don’t start or get involved with any gossip, and don’t offer unsolicited opinions on the groom or anything else. Good energy only!
15. Keep calm, and welcome others
Try to be as approachable and friendly as possible. With the bridesmaid role, people may be asking you for lots of things, and they also might ask you a lot of questions. Try to get comfy with small talk and mingling – encourage people to dance and act welcoming towards others.