We're not going to sit here and say being a bridesmaid is the best role at a wedding... but it's definitely the best role at a wedding.
You get to be front and centre whilst one of your best mates gets married but without all the stress and anxiety of having to make a speech (unless you want to), having all the eyes on you, or having to be sensible in any way.
Your primary duty as one of the bride's righthand gals is to be supportive, enthusiastic, and kickstart the party when the time comes.
Doesn't sound too bad, does it?!
1The Bridesmaid Dresses
Yes, you may be invited along to help pick out the dresses, however, you may just end up having to wear what the bride wants (and it has the potential to be hideous!!). Just remember: it's her big day. Remember also, you may be expected to pay for your own dress – bear this in mind in advance before accepting the honour of being a bridesmaid!
2Go Wedding Dress Shopping
The bride-to-be may just want a couple of close people with her (mother, sister, maid of honour), but if she does want you there, be enthusiastic and helpful. Let her know how stunning she looks and reserve overly negative criticism (there's being honest, and there's being too honest).
3Help Plan the Hen Party
Though this will mostly fall on the maid of honour to arrange, be prepared to chip in with ideas and help out by bringing some great party games (like our insanely popular and completely free Mr and Mrs Questions). Most importantly, you just need to be your fun, excitable self. Nothing can kill the mood at a hen party more than someone who seems like they don't want to be there. Read more on our How To Plan A Hen Do page.
4 Get the WhatsApp Chat Bouncing
Whilst we're on the subject of the hen weekend, nothing can dampen excitement levels quite as much as having a drab, dull and decidedly downbeat hen party WhatsApp chat. This is your chance to get everyone pumped up and raring to party, so be active, set the tone and get ready for a memorable weekend. Check out our hilarious Hen Party WhatsApp Chat Names to start out on the right foot.
5Be a Friend
Ok, at certain points, the nearly-wed may (will) turn into a bit of a 'Bridezilla', and you may feel the urge to ignore her irrational WhatsApp messages, but try and remember she's under a lot of stress. Just keep reassuring her and be an outlet for her to vent to. Also, it helps to stock up on wine!
Not everyone has rehearsals these days, so this one may not be applicable, but if it is, don't just flake out on them – they arrange them for a reason. If people don't know what they're doing on the big day, it can turn into one humungous, disorganised, Bridezilla-inducing mess. Put the time and the effort in that you would want them to put in for your wedding..
Know where you need to be, where you need to stand, when the photos are, where the photos will be, what time the ceremony is, when you need to get there, how you're getting there... etc. etc. etc. Again, if you don't know what's going on, it can be a royal pain in the neck for everybody!
On the day, you'll be getting ready with the rest of the bridal party. Now, the bride is probably going to be nervous, so be on hand to diffuse the tension, get the laughter flowing and possibly top up the fizz (though, don't go too overboard, you guys have a long old day ahead of you!). .
9Emergency Bridal Kit
Decide between the bridesmaids and the maid of honour who will look after the emergency bridal kit. Make sure you have all the little things needed to patch up something if it goes wrong. We're talking safety pins, we're talking make-up, we're talking sewing gear, tissues – the works. Everything you might need if things go awry on the big day.
10Walking Down the Aisle
If the happy couple are having the traditional wedding setup, you'll have to walk down the aisle on the day. Find out who you'll be paired up with, try not to trip over, and then take your place stood by the bride. Easy....
And that's the lot! Not too much to deal with, just remember the key points: be a friend, be organised and be as helpful as you'd want the bridesmaids to be at your wedding.
It's not tradition for the bridesmaid to give a speech at the wedding reception, however, this is the 21st century and to hell with tradition. If you want to get up and say a few words/sensational heartfelt speech that will have people simultaneously laughing their heads off and weeping tears of joy, you do so (with the happy couple's blessing, of course).
12Get the Party Started
Your time to shine! People can be timid at the start of wedding receptions (before the alcohol has penetrated their bloodstreams), so you and the rest of the bridesmaids are going to need to kick things into gear. Make sure everyone's having fun and prepare to hit the dance floor straight after the bride and groom's first dance.
13Look After the Gifts
Decide between you who will be in charge of the gifts when the bride and her partner quickly whizz off on their honeymoon. Be sure to pick someone organised and reliable – if you're neither, sometimes the truth hurts, but, in this case, it saves you a fair amount of hassle.
14Help Clean Up!
Yes, you may have a banging headache and, yes, you may detest tidying up (particularly after other people), but the bride and her partner have just had the most important day of their lives and are off sunning themselves somewhere hot, so someone has to do it. Have a hearty breakfast, pop on some tunes and get cracking.
And that's your lot!
Not too much to deal with, just remember the key points: be a friend, be organised and be as helpful as you'd want the bridesmaids to be at your wedding.
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