(Closed) What do bridesmaids do?

posted 8 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 3
3314 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

TBH while it’s nice to have bridesmaids help with things, their only true job is to order the dress, make sure it fits, and be on time the day of the wedding.  I ended up doing/planning pretty much everything myself.  I had some input from my hubby and he did go to vendor meetings with me, but I made all the DIY projects myself, I did the invites and STD’s myself, I set up the engagement shots and only gave him choice of days, etc.

As for your list, the bridesmaids dresses are probably something you need to get moving on if you are planning to get them from a bridal salon.  If you are being more flexible and giving them a color and letting them choose a dress they like in that color, then you might have more time since they could buy it off the rack at a department store.

As for floral arrangements, if you have a florist booked, have you talked to him/her about what they might suggest?  Have you tried google searches for arrangements in your color scheme?  If you don’t have a florist booked, I’d start looking for one and as part of your meeting with them ask them for their input.

Tux rentals can be made with very little lead time.  I found that out because at first my in-laws had wanted to rent tuxs here, but they live in the Netherlands.  I’d talk to vendors and figure out what they think is the latest time frame to order them and give your Fiance a deadline of a couple of weeks prior to that.  Then you have time to hound him if it doesn’t get done.

Engagement rings aren’t a necessity.  They really aren’t.  Some people don’t even wear wedding rings!  I can get that you want one, but I think this might come down to picking your battles.

The honeymoon and flights for it are things that now would probably be a good time to get done, however, unless it’s a majorly popular destination, you probably still have some time for that.

Engagement photos can be taken anytime.  If you are planning to use them in the wedding or invitations somehow, then I would find out what days your Fiance is free and then give him 2-3 options of days.  Don’t leave it wide open, give specific parameters.

Invites – unless you are sending out STD’s, then the invites don’t need to go out until mid-december to early January depending on how quickly you want RSVPs by.  I sent mine out just a bit before mid-July for my October 15th wedding and set an RSVP deadline of Sept 15.

I totally get that you feel anxious!  I was right there with you a few months ago.  Just take a deep breath and start figuring things out.  Don’t let it stress you out!

Post # 4
971 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

As a bridesmaid, I have helped organize the bachelorette party, helped plan, pay for, and throw the bridal shower, and helped the bride make favors.  And I was responsible for booking my transportation to a wedding.

Having two out-of-town bridesmaids is tough since you can’t have them around to help the other in-town bridesmaid w/planning. 

If you want ideas on bouquets/floral decor or just decor in general, start looking on-line.  That’s not a bridesmaid’s responsibility.  That’s  your job.  You can ask opinions, but as far as finding ideas, that’s all you. 

Booking honeymoon, sending out invites, and getting an engagement ring are  your and your groom’s responsibilities. 

If you are paying for anyone in your wedding party to travel to the wedding, then it’s your responsibility to book their travel.  You will need to find the flights and get the info. and ask which is best, then book and pay for it.  Unless you tell the wedding party that you will reimburse.  If you reimburse for travel, then they should book their own travel. 

Getting wedding invitations out is entirely up to you.  If your bridesmaid/MOH wants to help, she can but doesn’t have to.  It’s not like it’s a law.  Your bridesmaid is responsible for getting the shower invites and bachelorette invites out. 

The rehearsal dinner is entirely on your groom’s parents per tradition.  If they’re not going to throw it, then it’s on your shoulders, not your bridesmaid/MOH. 

As far as tux rentals go, that’s entirely up to your groom to handle! 

The bride paying for bridesmaid dresses is not tradition.  So, if you decide to take that on yourself, then do so but pleaes don’t hold that fact over your bridesmaids heads. 

Not to say this to be bitchy … but b/c it’s the truth and I’ve read it on here multiple times as well — your wedding is only important to you and your groom. 

Post # 6
971 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

My Darling Husband always says “If you want something done right and done on time, do it yourself!”  Another favorite saying is “Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed.” 

I don’t understand this statement: 

thatsvy (message)    March 5, 2011  
Actually, I just started venting with that list. I didn’t mean for it to be what the bridesmaids do.

when the title of this thread is “What do bridesmaids do?”

I don’t ever recall looking for wedding information (flowers, decor, bridesmaid dresses) with my bride friends.  They made all those decisions.  As far as bridesmaid dresses go, you usually present the girls with an idea or two and if they say they like one and you agree, you go with it.  Otherwise, what they wear is your decision!  And, as far as looking at websites goes, did you ask them if they looked?  Maybe they did look and didn’t find anything they liked, so didn’t show you anything.  I can only speak for me, but if my friend asked me to look for flower ideas, I wouldn’t know where to start because I wouldn’t know what type of arrangements she was looking for or what flowers she liked or what colors she wanted.  Did you give specifics like “Can you find some cute, small arrangements that use oink peonies and gypsophilia?” or were you more generic like “Look for floral arrangements”.  Because, without specifics, there are thousands of ideas to sort through.  Just because they haven’t come running to you doesn’t mean they haven’t been looking.

And I never said you DID hold anything over anyone’s head … i just said you SHOULDN’T!

Post # 7
6 posts
  • Wedding: June 2011

I would be so upset if my Maid/Matron of Honor and bridesmaids didn’t help me…Aren’t they supposed to be some of uor best friends or even family? Someimes I have trouble getting my fiance involved, but he is helping a lot with the food and DIY projects. I think your right to expect some help…AND an engagement ring!!!

Post # 8
5797 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2011

Your wedding is just over three months away, I think you need to assume youre going to have to do the bulk of the work and move forward. My BMs did not do any research for me. At most I would send them a couple pics to bounce ideas off of them.

You don’t really need engagement pictures. Go to the Gallery section of weddingbee and look at flowers. The girls need to buy their Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses now, if you’re paying I’d just pick something. Maybe I’m reading into your last post too much but wedding planning is stressful and feeling sorry for yourself will not get anything done. If someone is supposed to come over to help you and they don’t show up CALL THEM.

Post # 9
971 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

@tammyd:  Three of her BMs live out of town.  Far away enough that the OP’s’ mother is flying the OP and her MatronOH to town to go on a dress hunt with the other 3 attendants.  What kind of help can they be to her being so far away?  And one person can only do so much! 

OP – where is the bachelorette party going to be?  B/c if it’s in your town, how can the 3 out-of-towners help plan?  And, the poor MatronOH has zero help to plan it.  That’s a lot of work! 

My guess is that the out-of-towners are waiting for the Matron of Honor to take the lead.  Since she’s in another town, she probably isn’t quite sure of how to handle all of this, either. 

Post # 10
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I totally feel for you… I know how frustrating this can be and also how disappointing. My Bridesmaid or Best Man don’t do anything either and when it isn’t frustrating it just makes me a little sad.

Traditionally these are BM’s responsibilities:

Assist in the selection of the bridesmaid dress.
Provide your measurements to the bride for the bridesmaid dress.
Host/co‐host the Bridal Shower and/or Bachelorette Party.
Help address and stuff the wedding invitations.
Help the bride get dressed and ready on the wedding day.
Attend pre-wedding parties, if feasible
Pay for their dress, shoes, and accessories
Pay for transportaion and/or lodging
Help the bride in any tasks or errands, when requested
Participate in the bouquet toss, if single

Hope that helps!

Good Luck!

Post # 11
4 posts

You must have some pretty bad BM– to date I have helped find (online) 20 smething venues to see if they met criteria, call all 20 by myself and on my own dime to check availability, prices, and he miscellaneous things the bride wants, print/pick up and address about 100 invitations, made 300 something flower decorations by hand, search the internet to find the cheapest vases/ tulling/ etc, come up with a gift idea, pick out bridesmaids dresses and get opinions, convince the one girl who didn’t want to wear that it wouldn’t be that bad, tell the girl who is really tall that it’d be nice not to wear heels (because the bride doesn’t want her to), organize a shower, organize a bachelorette party… All from a different town than her, while I am in med school. 

The list goes on but I think you get the idea and MY venting…  but really? I think that if you reason with your bridesmaids and ask them to pretty pretty please do one thing at a time for you, they shouldn’t complain. Also, make sure you show gratitude for what they do. I am helping her out to be a good bridesmaid, but I can guarantee that we won’t be friends after this wedding because she ignores the fact that I am busy and never thanks me. 

Post # 12
10287 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

@tammyd: It’s her wedding. Noone NEEDS to help her with anything. Their job is to simply show up the day of and look presentable. If they are able to throw you a shower or bachelorette party then great, but these things are not a necessity. Anything additional is just a bonus. 

It seems like the concept of bridesmaids has gotten seriously skewed lately. These girls are not there to be at your beck and call. If they want to help you then great but that dont NEED to. I helped my friends with their weddings but thats because I wanted to. I do not expect the same thing in return and frankly, I dont want it. I have the mentality that if I want something done correctly, I’ll do it myself. Hence why we are having a 16 month engagement.

Your bridesmaids dont NEED to help you with your invitations. They dont NEED to help you make masks. They dont NEED to do anything. As much as most (I say most because there are a handful of brides on here who actually get this) brides dont want to admit it, your wedding is nowhere near as important to your bridesmaids or really anyone else for that matter, as it is to you and your Fiance. I know my friends are happy for me but I dont expect them to loose sleep over my wedding.

Its your wedding and your the one reaping the benefits of the day so you really cant expect anyone else to do the work for you. Do I think your Fiance should step up and do a little more? Probably, but there may be a good reason why he hasn’t been able to (i.e. work, other commitments, health reasons, etc..). If there is no excuse for his lack help then its sheer laziness and its your job to address that. 

I’m sorry if this sounds harsh but at the end of the day, you can’t blame anyone else besides yourselves for not getting these things done.

Post # 13
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@UpstateCait: I have to disagree. Traditionally, bridesmaids were the brides sisters and other unwed females and it was their job to help plan and make decisions for weddings. I think that is extremely skewed to say that a bridesmaids only duty is to buy a dress and show up?! what would be the point of having bridesmaids if that was the case???

Edit: I obviously don’t think that your Bridesmaid or Best Man should lose sleep over your wedding or even make decisions for the bride but they should be a part of the planning process (whether that means helping plan a bachloretter party, showing up for DIY projects once in awhile, or just being there to listen when you need to vent). If they don’t care enough about you and your relationship to feign interest then perhaps they are the wrong bridesmaids.

Post # 14
1267 posts
Bumble bee


I think you’re being taken advantage of!  Sounds more like an indentured servant than a bridesmaid!

Just because you’ve been saddled into doing all of the things that the lazy bride and groom should have done themselves (why are you calling venues for them?  That’s ridic!) doesn’t mean that hers are ‘bad bms’ at all.  They should be doing the things that they said they would and not flaking out but please, I hope you know that the stuff you are doing isn’t the norm and it isn’t particularly even being a ‘great bm’ or anything – I think in the long run its just going to make the bride into a lazier/more needy woman.  You even said she probably won’t thank you.  When you do everything for some people they start to expect it.

Post # 15
10287 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

@Miss_Pura Vida: I have been a bridesmaid a number of times and I was never asked to do the things that I helped with. I did them because I love weddings and I wanted to be involved. I would never ask my bridesmaids to “help plan and make decisions for weddings” because its not their wedding, its mine. Its my responsibility to make the arrangements and if I fail to do so, then its no-ones fault but my own. I’m not going to get into a discussion about “tradition” because that would take all day…

Maybe its a regional thing, but where I’m from the bridesmaids are not expected to help with projects, go to vendor meetings with you, scope out venues, etc. If they want to help then great, but all of those jobs are for the bride and groom and/or their wedding planner.

I think its great if the bridesmaids want to help but I would never in a million years assign my girls tasks to accomplish when they have their own lives to deal with. To me, its just not fair. 

OP: If you’re truly unhappy with the lack of interest put forth by your bridesmaids, then cut them loose. Also, if you’re committed to getting everything on your list accomplished, you can certainly do so in 3 months. My friend put together her entire wedding in 3 months while working full time, going to school part time and raising her daughter…

Post # 16
971 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

@babybee:  I am not buying this at all.  You are an out-of-towner planning someone else’s entire wedding!?  You are researching and calling on venues for a wedding that isn’t yours in a town where you don’t even live?  You’re picking up, printing, addresssing, stuffing and mailing invitations for someone else’s wedding?  So, the Bride has no idea what the invitations look like?  And you’re making all the  decorations? 

Why the heck would you do this?    Especially when you know that 9/10ths of this stuff that you allege you’re doing is the bride’s job.  I hardly believe that you are in charge of wedding planning.  If anyone asked me to do all of this (which who even would?), I would tell them to pay for a wedding planner. 

Ahhhh …. after a little research on BabyBee … it’s her sister’s wedding that she’s doing all of this for.  So, BabyBee … is your sister demanding you do this or are you doing it because you want to?  There is a difference!   Because nobody can make you do anything you don’t want to do ….


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