Congrats on being a bridesmaid! Not exactly sure what the task entails? Don’t worry, we’ve got answers to common questions about all of your bridesmaid duties and responsibilities as a member of the wedding party.
This can be a significant time commitment, so be prepared before you say yes to the role. If you’re wondering, “What do bridesmaids do?” you should learn about bridesmaid responsibilities before you agree.
Despite the time, being a bridesmaid can be rewarding, and you’ll participate in one of the biggest moments in your friend or family member’s life.
Table of Contents
What Does a Maid of Honor Do?
A maid of honor has a wide variety of responsibilities before the wedding, the day of the wedding, and even post-ceremony. Above all, the maid of honor should support the bride. Planning a wedding is an enormous task, and you’re here to make things a little easier.
As the lead bridesmaid, the maid of honor takes on any bridesmaid duties as well as some extra tasks. Both pre-wedding and on the wedding day, the MOH should make sure the other bridesmaids are on time and on task.
On the day of the wedding, be ready to escort guests and answer any of their questions. You may also help the bride as she gets ready. During the ceremony, the bride can ask you to prepare a toast. Then, get guests energized by joining them on the dance floor!
Despite the long list of duties, if you’re the maid of honor, don’t worry. Other bridesmaids should also be willing to pitch in where they can, and bridesmaids and family members can help plan events, like the bridal shower.
If there are any obligations you aren’t able to fulfill, let the bride know early in advance. Together, you can figure out what works best for the both of you in terms of planning and responsibilities.
That being said, the maid of honor is an important role, and this position shows just how much the bride values you! With your support, the wedding’s sure to be a wonderful day for the happy couple and all their guests.
What Does a Bridesmaid Do?
Bridesmaid duties include many of the same roles and responsibilities that the maid of honor has. If you’re intimidated by all the tasks, remember that you have other bridesmaids, friends, and family members to pitch in their time and skills.
We’ve broken down the most important things a bridesmaid should do. Use this list of bridesmaid duties to ensure you are helping the bride as much as possible!
- Support the Bride
- Assist with Wedding Planning
- Organize and Attend Pre-Wedding Events
- Purchase Your Bridesmaid Dress
- Help the Bride Get Ready
- Participate in the Ceremony
- Ensure the Wedding Goes Smoothly
Support the Bride
As a family member, friend, or loved one of the bride, one of the most essential tasks is to support her as she gets ready for her wedding day! Between touring venues, finding a dress, booking vendors, and more, the bride will need emotional support and potentially help with the planning process itself.
Assist with Wedding Planning
Though most of the wedding planning will fall on the happy couple, there are minor tasks that you can assist with, especially if you see that the bride feels overwhelmed.
Offer to send out invitations to the wedding or pick up some of the decor for the wedding venue. Join the bride as she shops for her wedding dress, and if she asks, give your input.
Since this is her wedding, let her take the lead when it comes to planning; the bride may have specific tastes, and you should not impose your own vision on the wedding. Plus, wedding planning is hard work, and bridesmaids aren’t expected to book a venue or find vendors.
However, there are certainly places where you can alleviate some stress off the bride, so offer up some help when possible. Ask your bride what help she needs or what tasks you can take off of her plate!
Organize and Attend the Pre-Wedding Events
From the bridal shower to the engagement party and the rehearsal dinner, there can be what seems like an endless list of events even before the big day. As a bridesmaid, it’s your job to attend all of these events or organize them.
The bridal or wedding shower is likely the one you’ll have to do the most planning for, but by dividing up the work between bridesmaids and family members, it becomes a much more simple task. Work with the bride’s mother, family, and other bridesmaids to plan the bridal shower for the bride.
Some brides prefer a surprise shower, so be sure to ask your fellow planners before letting the bride know any details! If the maid of honor and family do not need help planning the shower, offer to help set up the day of. If nothing else, it’s important that you at least attend the wedding shower as a bridesmaid and participate in bridal shower games.
Beside the bridal shower, bridesmaids can play an important role in planning the bachelorette party! This should be a fun and exciting time for the bridesmaids and bride to celebrate the wedding as well as a chance to blow off some steam.
Plan a fabulous girls’ night out that you know your bride will love, and tie it all together with the perfect bachelorette party hashtag.
Again, some brides prefer a surprise bachelorette party, while others want to make their own decisions for their last night out as a single woman. Ask your bride if she has any bachelorette party ideas and then work with the other bridesmaids to bring it to life!
Aside from the shower and the bachelorette party, it’s expected that bridesmaids attend any other pre-wedding events, including the rehearsal dinner, engagement party, and any other events the bride invites you to!
Purchase Your Bridesmaid Dress
It is typically the bridesmaid’s responsibility to buy their dress for the wedding. The bride generally picks a color for the bridal party to wear that fits her color scheme and overall theme.
Some brides choose to have their bridesmaids wear all the same style gown, purchased from the same store. Others allow for their bridesmaids to pick their preferred style out of a few options. Some brides even give their bridesmaids the color and let them go out and find a dress that fits.
Regardless of how your dress is selected for the wedding, it’s typically on the bridal party to pay for their wedding day outfit.
Some brides may offer to buy the dresses as a gift to their bridesmaids for helping celebrate her big day, but unless stated otherwise you should expect to buy your own dress. The same goes for shoes, accessories and a makeup and hair stylist, should you choose to have your beauty professionally done.
Bridesmaid dresses usually cost around $200, but the price can vary based on the style and designer. If the bride gives you a color scheme, then you can hunt for a dress at a lower price that won’t require any alterations.
If you have any issues with paying for your bridesmaid dress, communicate with the bride beforehand. The bride may be able to pay for or chip in for the cost, but you should be ready to pay the full price of the gown.
Help the Bride Get Ready
The bride and her bridesmaids should all get ready together on the big day. Coordinate with the bride and the venue in advance to decide when you must arrive.
You should also predetermine if you’ll be doing hair and makeup at the venue, or coming ready to get dressed. Everyone typically gets in their dresses together in the dressing room.
When it comes to assisting the bride herself, help her as she’s getting ready. Packing an emergency kit with lipstick, makeup remover, bobby pins, and other beauty or sewing products may come in handy here. Plus, packing some snacks is also a great idea; between all the activities, the bride (and bridesmaids) will need plenty of energy.
Plan with your fellow bridesmaids to ensure that there are light snacks (nothing that will stain your dresses), champagne, water, and other snacks in your dressing room.
Try to get ready quickly on the big day so that you can help the bride get into her wedding dress and perform any other necessary last minute tasks. She may need help coordinating with vendors as they arrive, or checking on seating arrangements and other final details.
Participate in the Ceremony
The most obvious bridesmaid duty is to participate in the wedding ceremony! Bridesmaids role in the ceremony is typically to process down the aisle with the groomsmen before the bride’s big entrance.
Then, you should stand in your assigned place while the ceremony proceeds, until you process out! All of the details should be practiced the night of the rehearsal dinner, so you should be prepared to fulfill your role on the wedding day.
Ensure the Wedding Goes Smoothly
On the big day, you’ll need to support the bride more than ever. Between hair and makeup, photoshoots, putting on her gorgeous wedding gown, and the ceremony and reception, it’s going to be a hectic day.
Be there to listen to the bride and take care of any minor tasks that need to get done. This might include meeting any caterers and picking up flowers or being there for the delivery.
Many bridesmaid duties come during the wedding weekend, whether it’s picking up last minute decorations, setting up the venue, working with the wedding planner, or even just personal favors for the bride.
At the reception, interact with the guests and introduce them to one another. Welcome them to the reception and thank them for attending the ceremony. You may also need to direct guests to their seats or show them around the reception venue if it’s large.
After the first dance, grab a partner or some friends and join the newlyweds. Once guests see a crowd on the dance floor, they’ll join in on the festivities.
When the reception ends, help clean up and make sure the couple has all of their things. If there’s a wedding after-party, make sure guests have transportation to the right location. The bride may ask you to help her give tips to the caterers and other vendors. Finally, send off the happy couple on their way to their honeymoon!
What Do Bridesmaids Pay For?
Between the dress, shoes, and events, being a bridesmaid means you’re going to have to spend some of your own money. Being a part of the wedding party can get expensive, so consider your financial situation before you agree to be a bridesmaid.
Prepare to pay for your own dress, shoes, accessories, and any professional grooming needs for the big day. If it’s a destination wedding, you should also budget for your hotel room and travel expenses.
Bridesmaids also typically pay for the bachelorette party; this is a gift to the bride, so you should cover your own expenses and split the bride’s between the bridesmaids. This may include food and drinks for your night out as well as travel expenses and hotel rooms if you do a bachelorette weekend.
Bridesmaids may also be asked to chip in for bridal shower expenses, but this is not always the case.
On top of your own costs, there is also the question of gifts.
Do bridesmaids give a wedding gift?
Bridesmaids should absolutely give a wedding gift to the happy couple. You can choose something of the couple’s registry, or you can purchase a larger group gift with the rest of the bridesmaid crew or the entire wedding party.
Since you and the other bridesmaids are close friends and family members, you know the bride and her partner well, so feel free to personalize your gift and go off the wedding registry. The bride is sure to appreciate all the help you’ve given during the wedding planning process, and this gift just shows all your love to her as well!
Final Thoughts on Bridesmaid Duties
Yes, being a bridesmaid can be a lot of work, but it’s also a huge honor and such an important role. Bridesmaid duties and responsibilities can vary depending on the bride and wedding.
Overall, you will support the bride, pitch in with smaller planning details, and attend events like the bridal shower. Through this journey, you’ll make memories with the bride that will last a lifetime. Being a part of someone’s wedding party is a special responsibility, so enjoy it!
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