(Closed) How to be a Good Bridesmaid?

posted 11 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 3
200 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I’ve been a bridesmaid twice and will not be having any for my wedding but here are some tips:

Discuss expectations and responsibilities early.  For example, does family want to host showers or should the bridesmaids be responsible.

If you have a problem with something, say it once, say it clearly, and if the bride doesn’t go with it, get over it quick. 

Take subtle cues from the bride, she might not be saying what she means so try to de-code and help. 

Allow some vents and don’t hold it against her.

Most of all, enjoy and have fun.  It’s a big stressful day that you are there to be a support for the bride, ENJOY!


Post # 4
4211 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

For the MOH  (but can apply to bridesmaids too)

Dont let the bride answer the phone on the wedding day – familiarize yourself with the area youre in as much as possible so that you can give people directions

Tell the bride when she needs to reapply lipstick, blush, has lipstick on her teeth, when her hair is out of place, fix her veil if needed, straighten her train when at the altar, have lots of bobby pins with you, bring tissues in case the bride cries and if it is hot to blot off any shiny-ness

INTERACT with the bride – the bride is going to be very busy with lots of things going on and people to see – grab her and dance with her!!

The weekend of the wedding (and especially the day of) – try to be as helpful as possible, ASK if there is anything you can do to help if you dont know what needs to be done, make sure the bride is doing okay and has eaten and drank enough

Post # 6
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

The other girls advice was really great. I agree that setting expectation early is huge. Find out who should be in ‘charge’ of what. If either of you should help plan the shower and/or the bachelorette. Having clear expectations of what is expected of you can help a great deal. If she doesn’t delegate, ask.

As plans are being decided give her some wiggle room. Some brides know exactly what they want and never change their mind, while others have to bounce ideas off their maids, see things, feel it out and may change their mind a few times before the truly decide. Don’t get set on anything before the bride is 100% set. Even then if she changes her mind, go with it. For instance, if you all go to find bridesmaids dresses, and you fall in love with one and she says it would work but isn’t set on the color. Don’t fall for it so hard that she will feel bad telling you she wants one that can be in the color that she would really like.

Also, all of the little touches are really appreciated. Adding something special and unexpected to her shower or wedding day that you know she would love. Maybe her favorite drink as a specialty drink, a very sentimental gift, watching her favorite movie while eating breakfast on wedding day… I think these things go straight to the heart and will be greatly appreciated.


Post # 7
1099 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

  I have been a bridesmaid three times. I agree with a lot of the things said!

1) Definitely talk about expectations. My first and second times being a bridesmaid happened within a month of each other and both brides had different expectations. One bride let us pick out our bridesmaid dresses, one sent out two choices and we voted on one, and a third bride sent us a picture of the dress and told us what to get. Costs can really add up when being in a wedding! I have always paid for my dress and shoes (although, I was able to use the shoes from Wedding # 1 in Wedding # 3, so that was a bonus!), but hair, make-up, nails (if they want you to have them done), all of that stuff changed each time. The more in advance you can find out, the better it is, because you can budget accordingly!

2) Be there to listen to the bride, not just with the vents, but for the planning excitement as well!

3) This may sound like a no-brainer, but know when to hold your tongue. In Wedding # 1, one of the bridesmaids commented on EVERYTHING. She told the bride that she spent way too much money on her dress and that she should just go to the Salvation Army to get one. She wanted straps on the bridesmaid dresses, so hers was the only one that had straps. She had a comment (mainly negative) on EVERYTHING. It really got to the bride–she told me that her and her now-husband nicknamed her “The Bad Bridesmaid”. This friend never says anything mean about ANYBODY, so for her to vent frustration about that meant it really got to her.

4) Ask what you can do to help, especially when it’s near the 2 months before the wedding mark. They may need help with programs, centerpieces, etc., and it’s always good to have helpers!

  I hope this helps! Have fun with it!

Post # 10
885 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 1996

Get excited about things. The bride is having to live eat breathe and sleep the wedding for quite a while in order to get all the details planned, and she will love having someone to talk to about all those things who will respond with positive emotions and enthusiasm. It will be really nice for her to have that outlet outside of just talking about the details with her groom, and the fact that you’re excited about her plans will make her feel special and loved. This is especially important on the wedding day. Make her feel like you are freaking ecstatic that she’s getting married. Hopefully this should be fun for you!

Post # 11
242 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

In my experiences, the engagement party is not the bridal party. The bridal shower is usually planned and paid for by the bridal party but sometimes the moms help out with the money. The bach party is usually planned by the bridesmaids but if other girlfriends come, they pay their own way.

Again, this is my experience…it varies a lot.

Post # 12
4107 posts
Honey bee

i have been a bridesmaid 3 times and always loved it. i loved helping out however i could. i love getting all dressed up, buying my dress, etc.

and i guess i had the same expectations for my BMs, but i soon discovered that not everyone is as excited about being a Bridesmaid or Best Man as i was. i mean my friends are happy to be there for me, but they are not into all the details etc of wedding planning. and that is totally fine. in fact, the way i see it, they are allowed to like or not like wedding planning to whatever extent they desire.

but here is my advice, everyone says the ONLY thing you can really expect of your BMs is to get their dress and show up on the day of.

well my BMs are having some trouble with this, i have had to send emails, call around to get info, go with them, place the order etc…JUST so they can order their dresses so they arrive on time for the wedding.  it has been quite the huge stress for me.

i sent an email out in early October with detailed info of the dress, color, designer. i said they are free to pick their style and material, just get it by this designer in this color. i gave them the address of the store where they can try it on. i gave them the info of how to order from netbride.com so they can save money.  i wrote in bold and underlined – order the dress by the end of December!  and here i am Dec. 28 going WITH 2 of BMs who otherwise would not be going to try on dresses.  another one i called a week or so ago and she said “oh i thought we had TONS of time” (as in another few months to order the dress!).  

anyway, sorry i feel like i turned my advice into a vent.  bottom line – get the dress info ONCE, order it on time (in advance would be better), and let the bride know you did it – without her ever having to remind you or chase you!!

other advice, like things i appreciate are when people ask me about my planning and what the wedding is going to be like. this is not required, but i sure it appreciate when other people are genuinely interested since wedding planning has become a significant portion of my life right now!!

Post # 13
2385 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

1. Don’t complain. If the bride is asking something that is really unreasonable, be straight with her and tell her why you can’t accommodate. If you’re venting just to vent, talk to someone who won’t tell the bride, and don’t let it get back to her that you’re not happy about something. There are always enough people who are unhappy about something; don’t add to her stress if it’s not really important. Provide support to the bride rather than requiring it from the bride.

2. Find out what her expectations are and figure out if you can meet them. If you know that you can’t, don’t accept, or tell her early what your limitations are. If you can, don’t flake out later.

3. Be clear about your budget, if that’s an issue. While you shouldn’t be adding to the bride’s stress if at all possible, the financial demands made on you shouldn’t be unmanageable, either. Be as honest as you need to be to prevent resentment (see #1!).

4. Show up, and show up on time!! To everything you attend!

5. Forgive her! She might go a little crazy. She might not be the most attentive friend right before the wedding. Remember it’s a crazy time and don’t hold it against her if she messes up a little.

Post # 15
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

@MissBoPeep: the engagement party is usually done by the family of the bride and/or groom, but some families don’t know that. Being a bride right now I didn’t want to tell our parents “hey through us an engagement party.” and they didn’t know they should so we never had one. I don’t think it would be bad if you or one of the other brides maids talked to the family about it to make sure that it happens, weither you put it together or them.

For shower usually the bridesmaids and sometimes the mother of the bride put that together. Talk to the bride about it and see what she would like. Who does she want to handle getting that together.

For the bach. party that is almost always done by the bridesmaids. Find out what she would like to do, and what she would deffinitly not like to do to get some ideas. I made sure that I told my girls what would be fun and what I would be uncomfertable doing. That way I know I will be happy no matter what they decide and they have some room to suprise me too.

Hope this helps!!

Post # 16
191 posts
Blushing bee

I’m a bridesmaid for a close friend and am trying to make sure she has the best and easiest experience possible. I’ve been a bridesmaid in weddings where the other bridesmaids don’t care and things fall behind or don’t happen at all which is very upsetting and disappointing for the bride. 

     1. Communicate with the other bridesmaid and make sure things are coming together (without stepping on too many toes. Avoid drama 😉 )
     2. Be thoughtful. Offer your help, ask her how she is, and offer the family help with any showers/parties they may throw. The Mother-In-Law is throwing the first bridal shower and I sent her an e-mail offering her extra help and the bridesmaids are throwing a seperate shower and I’ve made it clear that I am up for anything they may want to do.

     3. Be excited! it’s really special to be a bridesmaid! The bride is a friend and she is thrilled to be getting married. Don’t damper the mood! Let her squeal and gush over her wedding planning and help where you can.

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