Planning 101 3rd July 2014

What To Expect Of Your Bridesmaids

There' a fantastic story floating round the internet of a 26 year old American lady who is offering her services as a 'professional bridesmaid' on the free-ads website, Craigslist. It's slightly tongue in cheek and honest wit had us in hysterics as we read through her experience and services on offer:

pro bridesmaid2

It also got us thinking about the things we expect of bridesmaids, and what may be a touch too far. As a bride, knowing what is reasonable to expect from your bridesmaids is a tricky line to tread. Do you want them available at your beckoned call 24 hours a day leading up to the wedding? Are they there for emotional support? Do you want them to just look pretty, or to time keep on the day? Who you ask to be bridesmaid can also have implications on what may be expected. Different relationship dynamics can provide for different things in your gang of maids, from silly hen-do games, to fiddly DIY duties. If you yourself are a bridesmaid, or if you're looking for a list of things to sit down and discuss with your motley crew, we thought that these duties are a good place to begin...

1. Become a Merry Band

Make sure all bridesmaids get to know each other in the build up to the wedding. Not only will this make it more fun for them, but they'll also work better as a team and look more natural in photographs!

2. Who's Paying?

Discuss up front who is paying for the bridesmaids dresses. As a bride, if you're going to be very picky and know exactly what you'd like the girls to wear, it's probably best if you pay. However, as a bridesmaid, it's always a nice gesture to offer to pay for the dress yourself, and then be able to choose something you'll wear again. 

3. Hen Havoc

Even if the bride wants to plan the hen-do alongside the bridesmaids, or even entirely alone, it's nice for the bridesmaids to organise some little surprises like games, a little memento, a stripper... 

4. DIY Duties

It's often a nice bridesmaid bonding exercise to do some DIY with the gang. However, just because you've chosen to DIY everything for your wedding, it does't mean you should expect your bridesmaids to give up all their free time to help you out.

5. Flower Keeping

Assign one bridesmaid to look after the bridal bouquet, and potentially those of younger maids too.  She can hold it whilst you say your 'I do's' and make sure it's kept in a safe place when you're not holding it.

6. Loo Duties

Pick a maid you're particularly close to who can help you with going to the loo if your dress is particularly large! It's quite an intimate task, and no mean feat, so choose wisely!

7. Timing Is Everything

As a bridesmaid, make sure you know the times things are supposed to happen throughout the day. This way the maids and groomsmen can work together to move people along and usher them to where they're supposed to be. Also, whilst on the topic of time, try and be punctual! Get to hair appointments, dress fittings, the wedding day(!), all in good time, and allow time for disasters. A stressed bride is a beast to be reckoned with.

8. Hostess with the Most-est

As a bridesmaid, it's fair to assume a certain element of hostess-ship on the wedding day. We don't mean serving drinks and thanking people for coming, but be on hand to deal with anyone's problems, call taxis, chat to a lonely singleton and generally make sure everyone's happy. The bride will be on cloud 9 and oblivious to anything going off around her - let's keep it that way!

9. Spinach Teeth

A bridesmaid should try and keep the bride looking fabulous, that includes telling her if she has food in her tooth, keeping her veil straight, bustling her dress up, attending to mascara runs and the dreaded wine on the dress spillage. (Fabric depending, be armed with baby wipes and chalk on the day to at least cover stains if you can't get them out with a spot of white vinegar/white wine)

10. Post-wedding Care

It's quite likely that at the end of the night (or next morning if you still have access to the venue) there will be quite a lot to clear up. A lot may end up being thrown away, but if the bride has spent years collecting her assortment of tea lights and china cups for the tables, she's going to want them back! Bridemaids should hang about to help pack all this stuff up, so that the bride can scurry off with her new husband to the marital bed. Tonight is their night, let them have it!

Bridesmaid Duties Image Via Tahoe Wedding