The First-Time Bridesmaid’s Ultimate Survival Guide

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Photo: Courtesy of @ReemKanj

Imagine that, on a special day in the near future, you have to throw an enormous party that includes all your friends and family and celebrates your relationship with your significant other in a way that is entirely unique to you and your respective lives. Not only do you have to attempt to please and accommodate many other individuals on this day, but you must also be prepared to be the radiant and smiling center of attention. This is a lot of stress to place on one person’s shoulders, which is why the bride’s chosen bridesmaids have such an important role to play.

As a bridesmaid, your honored status comes with a side of assistance in that you must be willing and able to help the bride in any way she sees fit – and that can include suffering through a tantrum or two. As her loyal and trusted friends, bridesmaids are key in ensuring that things run smoothly. However, if this is your first time on bridesmaid duty, there are a few important things to know ahead of time with regards to expectations before and on the wedding day.

Pre-Wedding Duties


Plan Ahead

Start by buying a bridesmaid dress. Usually, the bride will not only pick out the dress according to her preferred style and vision for the wedding, but she’ll also pay for it. However, this is a conversation you need to have with her up front so that there is no confusion when it comes to the actual purchasing of the dress. You will typically be the responsible party when it comes to buying matching accessories, so be aware of costs ahead of time and plan accordingly.


Lend a Hand

The maid of honor usually does the majority of the organizing when it comes to important milestones like wedding-dress shopping, the bachelorette party, and bridal showers. However, you might want to check in with her and see if there is anything you can do to help out, like send out the invitations for the bridal shower or keep a list of RSVPs for various wedding-related events.


Be There

Attend the bachelorette party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, wedding, and the afterparty – yes, that is a lot of time and energy to part with, but there are a lot of expectations that come with supporting your closest friend on the happiest day of her life. Not only will you need to be in attendance at all of the above, but you must also be willing to pitch in – emotionally, financially, and physically – when needed.


Track Those Finances

As far as the bachelorette party and the bridal shower go, you must be willing to help pay by splitting the cost of each event with the other bridesmaids. Make sure they’re all in agreement with the details, from themes and locations to transport arrangements. We highly recommend using Google ‘Docs’ to keep track of these important conversations and decisions.

Bridesmaids Movie
Photo: Courtesy of Bustle

Wedding-Day Duties


Keep Calm and Carry On

On the day of, the most important thing you can do is be on time and stay calm. No matter what happens, bridesmaids that keep their wits about them come out as the heroes. Keep your phone charged and a spare phone charger on you, and have back-up plans for back-up plans. Things can – and will – go wrong. Anticipate this, and you will win the day.


Think on Your Feet

You are only a bridesmaid, not a wedding planner, but it’s still best to know the proper chain of command if things go wrong. If you want to avoid bridal meltdowns, handle the problem by involving the correct person in charge and asking them for their help in coming up with swift solutions.


Be Prepared for (Just About) Anything

Run any last-minute errands that the bride might need. This can range from sorting out a junk-food delivery if her mood is crashing to picking up a relative who got stranded at the airport because they couldn’t figure out how Uber works. It happens.


Look the Part

Stand in the receiving line with the bridal party, take all requested photos, and keep that smile going until the end of the night. Brides take the “look” of their wedding very seriously, so stay alert and pleasant.


Be Her Rock

Be the bride’s emotional support system, no matter what happens. Remember that it is a huge honor to be so integral to her important day.


Last but Not Least

Make sure the bride and groom get a chance to eat. This is often overlooked at weddings, but it can be a factor in preventing moods from crashing. The bride and groom are usually so rushed and stretched thin with greeting and entertaining guests that they often forget to eat, save for a bite of cake during a photo opp. Sneak them food if you have to or shield them from the guests for a quick 15 minutes of snacking before the dancing and festivities kick off. They will thank you later.

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