After you get engaged, there’s a lot you have to start thinking about. You have to decide what colors you want, what theme you’ll go with, where you want to get married, when you want to say, “I do,” who will be in the wedding party, etc. While a lot of the decisions are based on the preferences that you and your fiancé share, things like choosing the wedding party require a little more thought. While your bridesmaids are often your best gal pals, dressed up in matching gowns and standing by your side in photos, there’s a lot more to them than that; the title of bridesmaid comes with certain roles and responsibilities.
When you’re choosing your bridesmaids, you’ll want to consider them purposefully. They have to do more than purchase a bridesmaid dress—they are supposed to help you with everything from emotional support to attending fittings and tours, planning the bridal shower, and making sure you look perfect on the big day. While some friends may want to, they may not be able to fulfill all of the roles of a bridesmaid; for example, if they’re about to have a baby or are working out of the country for several months. You may want to put a little bit of extra thought into who you ask to be your bridesmaid. Here are some of the roles that bridesmaids traditionally have:
Weddings are wonderful, but between the stress of planning, wanting everything to be perfect, and having to stay within a budget, they come with a wide range of emotions. Some days you may feel excited but at ease, while other days you may feel like you’ll never get anything done at all. You’ll want to make sure that you surround yourself with bridesmaids who know how to help you relieve stress and can share in the happy moments with you, keeping you as balanced as possible and giving you the emotional support that you need throughout the process.
Prewedding Event Planning/Hosting
The bridal shower and bachelorette party planning responsibilities usually fall to the maid of honor, but other bridesmaids can jump in and help as well. You’ll want to make sure that you choose a team of bridesmaids who know how to show you a good time but can also tone things down and host a classy gathering for the younger and more sensitive guests who may be attending prewedding events. Your bridesmaids can even help you plan the rehearsal dinner, so you’ll want to make sure your team is organized and knows how to plan.
Wedding Planning Support
There’s a lot of ideas for weddings out there, and sometimes it can be difficult to narrow it down to what you want. Even if you do get it narrowed down, you might have a hard time making the final call. Having a party of decisive bridesmaids can help you make final decisions and even get inspiration for things you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of. When it comes time to start collecting items and making purchases, you and your bridesmaids can divide and conquer to get more done more quickly.
Between the wedding cake tasting, catering samples, dress appointments, venue tours, and so on, there are a lot of appointments you’ll need to attend. While you and your fiancé should attend a lot of them together, it can’t hurt to bring some of your best girls along. And it’s always a good idea to have one or two bridesmaids at your dress appointments to help you find the perfect dress or talk you out of buying one that is less than flattering.
Dress, Hair, and Makeup Duty
Although you may be hiring a professional to help you get all made up for the big day, they likely won’t be there to follow you around and do quick touch-ups before photos. This means that the responsibility of making sure you look as good as when you walked down the aisle will fall to your bridesmaids. They can help you get wild hairs back into place, hold your train so it doesn’t tear, touch up your foundation to make sure it’s flawless, etc.
No, your bridesmaids shouldn’t double as wedding bouncers, but they can help control or pump up the crowd by getting the flower girl(s) and ring bearer to focus right before the ceremony, or to start kicking it on the dance floor after the ceremony winds down and the reception begins. Having bridesmaids that can help gauge and manage the crowd will take a load off your shoulders and let you enjoy your new spouse and mingle with guests without having to stress or worry.
Your bridesmaids are a bigger part of your wedding than you might imagine, so choosing bridesmaids who are up to the task is important. They’ll be your emotional support and your crowd control, so you’ll want to make sure that you put some serious thought before you start asking friends to be in the wedding party. Who will you ask to be part of your bridesmaids?