Being a bridesmaid is a huge deal. You’ve been asked by the bride to stand with her on her wedding day, and help to support her in the run up too. But what are bridesmaid duties, and how to they differ from the Maid of Honour/Chief Bridesmaid? Here we’ve made a run-down of all the duties you may be asked to take on as a bridesmaid.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about bridesmaids is dress shopping. You’ll need to be available to try on dresses and attend fitting and alteration appointments too. It’s important that everyone feels comfortable on the wedding day, so be honest if a certain style or colour isn’t for you. At the same time you’ll need to be a little cooperative with your fellow bridesmaids.
When it comes to paying for the dresses, make sure you’re clear on who’s spending what. Some brides pay for the whole outfit, some have a smaller budget and can only pay a percentage, and in some cases the bridesmaids will pay for themselves. Being clear on who’s paying for what before you start shopping will stop a lot of upset in the long run.
Wedding tasks before the wedding can be anything from making invitations, to giving honest opinions on things like menu options and evening entertainment. The bride may ask you for your opinion on certain aspects of the day, or need someone to vent to if things aren’t going quite how she’d planned. Be there, be honest and be kind.
The hen party organisation is usually taken on by the MOH, but she may ask for your help. Be on hand to help send out invites, work out dates and help organise on the day itself too. She’ll welcome your opinion on ideas for games, cocktails and things the bride would love to do, so make sure you’re communicating with her through the planning process. The more you work together, the better the hen will be for the bride.
Setting Up The Venue
If your bride to be is having more of a DIY wedding, expect to be at the venue the day before helping set up. There’ll be lots to do, from place settings to chair sashes and centrepieces, more hands make light work! Just make sure you listen to whoever is coordinating the set up so you’re helping in the most needed place.
The Wedding Day
On the day itself, you’ll be on hand for the bride all day. From walking down the aisle to circulating the room talking to guests on behalf of the newlyweds, anything the couple ask you to do you should be there for. Make sure the bride doesn’t have to worry about her hair or makeup by checking in on her every so often and giving her a top up if needed. You’ll also want to make sure that the guest book has found its way around the room, and that there’s always someone on the dancefloor!
Maid Of Honor/Chief Bridesmaid
The Maid of Honour or Chief Bridesmaid is the bridesmaid in charge. The titles are simply a matter of nationality – a Chief Bridesmaid was traditionally the UK term where Maid of Honour came from the US. Nowadays they’re interchangeable, but mean the same thing.
Along with the duties of a bridesmaid, the MOH or Chief Bridesmaid has a few more things to consider.
Finding a day and time that the bridesmaids can meet for dress shopping usually falls to the Chief Bridesmaid. Make sure that you have everyone’s contact details and work schedules so that this becomes an easy task. If there are flower girls to consider you may also need to work around school and bed time.
You’ll also be in charge of the Hen party, so make sure all the bridesmaids are free on the same date for that too.
As the Maid of honour, you’ll be in charge of organising the hen party. The most important thing here is to listen to the other bridesmaids, and the bride. See what everyone can help with and utilise them. By building up a good relationship with everyone prior to the hen party, everyone will be willing to help with anything you ask on the day.
You’ll be in charge of telling the other bridesmaids where they need to be on the wedding day and when. If they need help organising transport or reminding of addresses make sure you’re on hand. You’ll also need to make sure everyone has packed what they need, and have some extra things in case anything is forgotten. (We find a couple of mascaras, make up wipes and body tape are always good to have!) The less stress the bride has to deal with on the wedding day, the better.
If bridesmaids are paying for their own outfits, hair or makeup, make sure you’ve collected all the cash in advance. The couple will have enough to think about without counting money from bridesmaids, it’s much simpler if they receive everything in one lump sum. If the groomsmen are paying for their own outfits too, coordinate with the best man to make it even simpler.
Get the other bridesmaids to add to a wedding playlist for the hen party and the morning of the wedding. Make sure you use an account that nobody else has access to though – we’ve had some interesting wedding mornings where significant others have played ‘Tragedy’ through the joint music account and creeped out the bride to be!
Make sure that the other bridesmaids are clear on what their bridesmaid duties are for the day. If none of the other bridesmaids are having a bag, make sure you do. Even if it’s out of sight, you’ll need lipstick top ups for everyone, mascara, nail glue, eyelash glue, body tape, and sanitary products. You’ll also want to have some tissues on hand, and anything else you could possibly think of to make the day run smoothly. The more prepared you are, the less stress there will be for everyone on the day. .
When you’ve chosen your bridesmaids, take a look at our Bridesmaid Proposal Ideas.