From Favors to Food: Common Bridesmaid Duties

Let's assume you're here because one of your closest friends just asked you to be in her upcoming wedding. Exciting, right? Sure, the nuptials may be months away, but you still have a few bridesmaid duties you'll be called upon to do. Depending on the bride, she may or may not ask that much of you. On the other hand, she could have a long list of bridesmaids' responsibilities just waiting for you to complete.

In order to be prepared for the strain, hammering out some kind of a timeline and responsibility list well in advance is always a good move. As the day approaches, the jittery bride-to-be may get a little stressed and hard to reach. Here are some typical bridesmaid's responsibilities that may be asked of you.

A Bridesmaid's Responsibilities

1. Buy the dress: One of the primary bridesmaid duties is footing the bill for the dress you'll wear. Hopefully, the bride will have chosen something that fits within everyone's budget. However, you'll want to purchase your dress in advance in case it needs alteration work or something similar.

Occasionally, some brides choose one style of dress - not an ideal situation for bridesmaids with different body types. Embellish your dress with a cute jacket if sleeveless doesn't suit you or wear body-shaping undergarments for dresses that are too tight or too short.

2. Assemble favors: The bride may ask your help with putting together or dreaming up the favors. These kinds of bridesmaid duties are a great project for all the girls to help with! Based on the wedding's theme or colors, you can come prepared with some ideas in mind and share them with the group. If it's more of a project night, bring some goodies like cookies, wine, or popcorn for the group to enjoy while you assemble.

3. Organize gifts on the wedding day: Ideally, each bridesmaid should have unique bridesmaid duties on the day of the wedding. As part of the other thousands of bridesmaid's responsibilities that have to get done, the bride may ask you to organize the gifts as they are placed on the table and perhaps direct guests to sign the guest book or answer questions about the night's festivities and the venue's facilities.

4. Greet guests on the wedding day: Similar to the above task, a bridesmaid or two should stand guard at the front entrance, smiling and greeting guests as they enter. They should also coordinate these efforts with the groomsmen, who will then usher each new arrival to their table at the church, venue, or reception.

5. Arrive early or on time: In order to keep up with everything that's going on that day, make sure to arrive when the bride asks you to. It's obvious it's going to be a long day, but if you're rushing to the ceremony or reception with ten minutes to spare, someone else will have picked up the slack and performed your bridesmaid duties alone.

6. Carry the bride's essentials: Managing the bride's essentials is one of the most important bridesmaid duties. One of the bridesmaids should keep track of all the bride's essentials. The maid of honor ideally attends to her train while she walks around, perhaps even arranging it for pictures. The other bridesmaids should have tissues on hand, extra makeup, safety pins, and whatever else will keep the bride looking flawless throughout the wedding day.

7. Offer direction to wait staff at the reception venue: It's a given that everyone will be running around to make sure the reception flows smoothly. Part of the bridesmaids' responsibilities should include directing the wait staff in regards to table placement, the cake, the food (whether it be buffet or sit down), drinks, and any protocol. Make sure signs clearly delineate who sits at which table. Verify that the speakers aren't too close to any one table.

8. Collaborate with the other bridesmaids: The night before, create a game plan with the other bridesmaids to ensure you are all on the same page as far as each bridesmaid's responsibilities. Assign roles and duties so that everything goes off without a hitch during the actual ceremony and reception.

9. Ensure the bride's dress is ready to go: Someone will need to be in charge of making sure the dress is pressed, fresh, and ready to go. If it needs alteration work, take it and pick it up. If it needs to be dry cleaned, make a stop at the dry cleaners as well!

10. Provide moral support: Offering a shoulder to cry on or some friendly words will go a lot farther than you could think - and is often more valued than perhaps any of the other bridesmaid duties. She is stressed and tired of planning day after day - being a friend is the most important thing.

Carrying Out Bridesmaid's Responsibilities with a Smile

Sure, all these bridesmaid duties may be a lot of work and a little stressful to boot. Just remember that the bride decided to honor you with the responsibility of standing up for her at her wedding day. Cherish your bridesmaid's responsibilities and take lots of pictures!

About the Author

Cherie Johnson is the founder and owner of Creative Wedding Favors, the premier site for unique special occasion and wedding favors. Her wedding ideas have also benefited readers of many websites, including Women Of, Wedding Lenox, and The Wedding Guide. Before establishing the company in 2006, she was a professional wedding photographer, chronicling all the special moments of the nuptials and ceremony. Search for favors for your next event by visiting
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