What Does a Bridesmaid Do?

Bridesmaid holding Flowers

Have you ever been a bridesmaid before? If the answer’s yes, then you’ll know everything about the duties and privileges of being in the bride’s corner. But if you’re yet to embark upon this exciting and often intimidating journey, you might wonder, what does a bridesmaid do exactly?

Your bridesmaids responsibilities will vary since there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to weddings. There are some universal rules to keep in mind for sure. The best way to be an amazing bridesmaid is to pay attention and pour your heart into the job.

Talk to the Bride and Other Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids talking

Excellent communication is the basis of every successful team endeavor. When your friend asks you to be her bridesmaid, your first question should be, “What do you need me to do?”

Of course, you’re going to convey your excitement first, but a bridesmaid’s job is primarily being there for the bride. So, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to go into details.

It’s probably a good idea to get in touch with the Maid of Honor. As the “Leader of the Bridesmaids”, she’s the one with the heaviest burden on her shoulders.

If no one has already organized it, you can suggest a get together of the whole bridesmaids’ team. You can create a text group and divide the responsibilities in a way that everyone gets to shine and focus on what they’re good at. It sounds like a lot of work, but it’s all about making sure that the lines of communication stay open.

Help with the Wedding

What does a bridesmaid do to help out the wedding couple? This might seem obvious, but you’re supposed to help with the actual wedding. That said, this could mean a lot of things to different people.

The soon-to-be-married couple may have every detail taken care of, but that’s rarely the case. If your friend doesn’t have a personal wedding planner, there’s a lot you can do to help.

You can make sure that the photographer has arrived on time or that the bride’s parents are correctly seated.

Even if you’re an introvert, do your best to talk to the guests on the day of the wedding. As a bridesmaid on duty, you can make sure that the vendors are paid at the end of the night. If there’s a problem, the bride shouldn’t have to deal with it.

You’ll help a lot by being there for your friend when she’s picking out her wedding dress too. Everyone knows, once that’s out of the way, it’s a big weight off the bride’s shoulders.

Try to Attend Everything

Bridesmaids throing flowers

The wedding isn’t just about the ceremony and the wedding reception. At least it’s not if you’re a bridesmaid. You’re not just going to show up for the main event and head home when you feel tired.

No, a bridesmaid is a trooper, and even if her legs are aching, the show must go on. As a bridesmaid, you probably attended the engagement party.

The next event you’re absolutely not allowed to miss is the bachelorette party. If there was a written code of Bridesmaids’ honor, this would definitely be in it.

Also, a rehearsal dinner is on the cards, and you can’t skip on that either. Because what do bridesmaids do? They attend everything related to the wedding.

Make a Toast

Yes, this particular and highly personal task is usually reserved for the Maid of Honor. But this doesn’t mean you won’t get an opportunity to say a few words. The Maid of Honor’s speech is a traditional part of the wedding reception.

But you might be called upon to speak at the rehearsal dinner. It could well be an impromptu situation. Therefore, it’s probably best to have a few sentences prepared, just in case.

Offer Emotional Support

Bride and Bridesmaids

A wedding is such magical event, the happy couple will remember it forever.

But let’s face it, they’re often incredibly stressful occasions which can take an emotional toll on the newlyweds. For that reason, you should try and offer as much emotional support to the bride as you can.

Pull up your sleeves and have a few inspiring words ready when things start getting a bit tense. Because what does a bridesmaid do in a crisis? She acts decisively.

Connect with the other bridesmaids and make sure someone always has an eye on the bride. If you see her looking worried, take her gently by the hand and ask how she’s doing. Also, make sure that the bride had something to eat, as most are so anxious, they usually forget to.

If she needs a break, buy her a few minutes by distracting the other guests. Or just have a girl’s meeting in the bathroom to regroup. Like we said, weddings are special and magnificent, but planning a wedding isn’t for the faint of heart.

A great way to be there for the bride is to have an emergency kit prepared if the bride becomes overwhelmed. A pack of mints in your purse, a paper fan to cool her down, come to mind.

Try Not to Complain

Everyone complains—even the people who say they don’t. And inevitably, a bridesmaid will likely have a thing or two to complain about.

But remember, the bride is under a lot of stress, and she might get a little cranky. Pointing that out on her wedding day isn’t the best way to go about it.

If you’re not happy with the bridesmaid’s dresses, this isn’t the time to complain, either. Whether the V-neck is your preferred choice or not is irrelevant. Just wear the dress and soldier on. And cut some slack to the bride. After all, coordinating bridesmaid’s dresses so everyone is happy is pretty much an impossible task.

On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that you can’t say anything. If you feel like your bridesmaid on duty tasks are a bit too much for you to handle, be sure to mention it. Naturally, it’s important to be tactful. That way, your friend is sure to understand.

Buy a Thoughtful Wedding Gift

Depending on what kind of wedding the happy couple has in mind, your expenses for the bridesmaid’s job will vary. As a bridesmaid, you’ll have to pay for the bridesmaid dress, shoes, and all the hair and makeup.

But you might also need to purchase some wedding accessories. If it’s a destination wedding, a plane ticket and accommodations might be a part of the equation too.

All of that can mount up. That said, most bridesmaids happily participate and want to do everything they can to make the day special for their friend. Here’s the thing, it most certainly doesn’t let you off the hook when it comes to the wedding gift!

Of course, you have to get them something, but it doesn’t have to be the most expensive item on the wedding registry. Something thoughtful that shows you’ve put in the effort will do just fine. What does abridesmaid do before anything else? She cares, and she wants to be there. Gifts are merely tokens.

What Does a Bridesmaid Do When There’s Nothing Else to Do?

You can be a perfect bridesmaid and do everything you possibly can for the wedding couple, but don’t forget to have fun.

A wedding is an opportunity to dance your heart out with the people you care about. The food is there, music, and all the beautiful decorations. Bridesmaids should be the ones to start the dance party if other guests are feeling a bit shy.

In this respect, you have an important role to play, and it’s only natural to act accordingly. Dancing with the groomsman they’ve paired you with is a nice touch, so too is asking others to dance.

When you see that everything is going smoothly, give yourself a moment to relax and take a mental picture of the moment. But don’t take too long, because you never know when you may be called upon again.

Send Off the Newlyweds

Escorting bride in car

What does a bridesmaid do when the night comes to an end? It’s one of your jobs to stay at the wedding party for as long as the newlyweds. At the end of the night, people are going to send them off and wish them well.

The Maid of Honor and all the bridesmaids are going to be there every step of the way. It can be a very emotional moment after a long day, and of course, you wouldn’t want to miss it.

You can make sure that they’re safely in the car. And if they’re going straight off on honeymoon, you can send them to the airport or train station.

Final Thought

So, what does a bridesmaid do? It sounds like she does everything, and then some. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the stuff you need to do, but it’s really not about doing it perfectly.

You’re going to make mistakes, that’s for sure. And there will be things that happen which are entirely out of your control.

What matters is that you stay present, ask questions, offer help, and be there for the bride and groom. Everything else will fade into insignificance.

Rebecca B. Lawrence

About Rebecca B. Lawrence

Rebbeca has been writing about weddings, jewelry, and fashion for years. Her favorite place to hang out, aside from this website, is Pinterest. She loves Art Deco Jewelry, beach-themed weddings, and anything related to the British Royal Family.