There are many websites dedicated to the duties of the bridesmaid before, during and after the wedding, but what duties above and beyond this, make for the perfect bridesmaid?
What makes the perfect Bridesmaid?
Ancient Roman law required 10 witnesses to be present at a wedding, which is considered a precursor to the bridal party tradition. Bridesmaids and groomsmen had to dress just like the bride and groom to confuse vengeful spirit presences (or real-life jealous suitors) who might try to harm the newlyweds.
The only official duty of the bridesmaid, is to participate in the wedding ceremony, however, the extent of duties outside of this will depend upon the level of friendship between the bride and the bridesmaid, the number of bridesmaids, the organisational skills of the bride, the level of financial commitment and the hierarchy of the wedding party.
Don’t forget, a bridesmaid can always decline the initial offer and choose to resign at any point, although this might be the end of a lifelong friendship!
Help keep stress levels down and be the calming influence.
If the bride needs a fitness buddy prior to the wedding, dust off the gym membership, or head to the park for long walks and helpful chats.
Dress shopping is a must, you need to be honest, but supportive of the bride’s decisions.
Invitation writing, guest lists and seating plans can be a military operation, with a bottle of wine and a good sense of humour.
Be an intermediary, in case of disputes or differences of opinion.
The Hen Party! Consider what the bride wants, keep everybody in the loop and set a budget everybody can afford.
Wedding rehearsals, dinners and pre-wedding events, be there for the bride. Take notes, ask important questions and help things run smoothly.
Planning, put your knowledge of Excel to good use and help with the planning of the big day.
Help with your honesty on make-up and hair styles. This will include many sessions in beauty and hair salons (all in the name of research of course).
Consider that you may be asked to pay for your dress, shoes, make up, hair, transport, gifts, meals and the hen party. The Office of National Statistics, has the cost of being a bridesmaid topping out at a whopping £1,700! Obviously this is the top end and in many cases none of these costs will be asked of you.
On the big day your focus must be on the bride. How does she need your help? Getting out of the car, holding her bouquet, looking after her purse, straightening her dress, a last minute pep talk and even holding her dress while she has to use the loo (what are friends for?).
Being a bridesmaid can be a fantastic experience, you will be there for your friend on one of the most important days of her life, but from the moment you are asked to carry out the duties associated with the role, you must always realise that you are there for your friend at all times.
One last thing…
Pack an emergency kit!
Spare earring backs
Mobile phone (switched off)
Pain relief tablets