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What Does it Mean to be a Bridesmaid?

September 22, 2011

What does it mean to be a bridesmaid? What do I have to do? Wait, what do I have to buy?!? What if I’m honored that I was asked but I don’t know if i can be or want to be a bridesmaid?
These are common questions that we as coordinators are often asked by brides and their bridesmaids.

Or sometimes questions that run through a girls head if she has not been a bridesmaid before!

Bridesmaid defined: Someone the Bride wants to be a part of her wedding. Usually she is a sister, cousin, or a very close friend. However she knows the bride, she was chosen because she is a great friend and supportive!

It isn’t as easy as it seems. No, you do not just show up, walk down that pretty aisle and just stand up there while look cute for some pictures. Being a bridesmaid is a big honor! You have been chosen to help your Bride prepare for one of the most happiest days of her life.
The Expenses of a Bridesmaid: There is a expense involved in being a bridesmaid which includes:

  • Dress & shoes (jewelry usually purchased by the Bride)
  • Any travel and hotel room
  • Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party
  •  Shower gift and a wedding gift.

Now for the duties, yes there are duties!


  • Depending on the bride- go dress shopping! Help her find that perfect gown.
  • Attend bridesmaid dress shopping! This is a huge bonding moment for the bride and all of her chosen gals!
  • When asked, giving advice on decorations, center pieces, favors, music, etc. (key word- when asked)
  • Helping the MOH (Maid of Honor)  plan a bridal shower! The costs of food and decorations are to be split between all of the bridesmaids.
  • Help plan a Bachelorette Party (again splitting the cost with the other bridesmaids and even the attendees)
  • Help stuff-seal-label-stamp all of the invitations, put together favors for guests, go shopping for decorations, help her stay organized!
  • Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
  • Helping the bride get ready before the ceremony, make sure she is cool, calm, and collected!
  • Provide moral support! You may see a side of your Bride that you have never seen- be there for her and try to make everything run as smoothly as possible!
  • Do not get over served.. Especially before the ceremony! It is ok to party and celebrate- hello your friend JUST GOT MARRIED, but no one should have to take care of you during the reception- that’s not fun for anyone!

There is going to be a lot of stress for the soon to be bride and groom, especially if they have not hired a wedding planner/ coordinator! This means you have more work ahead of you!

How to decline:

Yes! It is ok to decline! Just be sure to let the bride know as soon as possible so she is able to ask another family member or close friend to be a part of the Bridal party.
You might wonder, “Why wouldn’t someone want to accept the honor as a bridesmaid”? There are several reasons and to mention a few… Not everyone is comfortable with being a bridesmaid and standing up in front of a bunch of people. Perhaps it isn’t the right timing for their wallet. {You will need to consider the amount of money you will be spending before you take on this role.}
Or maybe it is not the right time…you just took on a new career, you have a hectic family life, you live far away or you just realize you don’t have the ability to dedicate the amount of time that your good friend deserves.

Don’t worry! If you can’t dedicate to being a bridesmaid, you can offer to help in some other ways:
helping her set up her new home, create a stress free package {think spa} for her the week before the wedding, or invite her to get a mani-pedi before the big day (paid by you!), affirm & encourage, ask to be the guest book attendee, or to be a candle lighter before the ceremony. Think of how you can help and also where your strengths can be used so your friend sees how happy you are for her big day!

If you have any other questions that we did not address leave a comment OR shoot us an email at

We look forward to your comments!
We hope you have an {inspired} day!


Danielle & Cecily



From → from the heart!

  1. i enjoyed reading this.<3 there are many things that I didnt realize entails in being an MOH until the planning began. you mentioned good things to think about. =]

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