I'm going to be a bridesmaid. Now what?
I have never been in someone's wedding. I don't even like weddings. I like the person and she is my inlaw so I guess it will be fun on some level, but what are my responsibilities? I am not the maid of honor? What should I know? I guess I will be having this talk with her, but I feel really clueless about this whole thing.
When I did it, I had to pay for my dress and show up for alterations etc (she lived 90 minutes away) I also helped the maid of honor with some shower games and whatnot. You'll also have to purchase shoes and have them died to match your gown usually. Otherwise, anything the maid of honor needs help with, you help with that. You'll also participate in rehearsal dinner and may have to pick up some of the bachelorette party if she has one. At least that's the basics in most traditional weddings.
I've been a maid of honor a few times and I can tell you a few things that your bride may be thinking but not say to you.
First, she will probably depend mostly on her maid of honor. But she will delegate a few responsibilities to her bridal party if need be - so make sure you can help her out if she asks because that is part of the responsibility of a bridesmaid.
Also, you will probably have to buy your own dress, pay your own way to functions (bacherolette party, dress fittings, hair appointments, any other get togethers of the bridal party). It will cost you some money to be in her wedding, for sure.
Perhaps the biggest thing is to realize that she is going to be stressed out (from costs, planning, things going wrong) and may turn into a crank pot. This is normal, don't take offense, just try to help her get through it and support her.
At my age, I can assure you, I've been a bride's maid, Maid of Honor, Mother of the Groom, Hostess, and guest......NUMEROUS times. There are "traditional" duties & practices, as well as various chosen and/or planned expectations from the Bridal Party Attendants. I recall being "involved" in planning and supporting a Bridal Shower. In another case, the attendants, both male and female, assumed responsibility of hosting an "engagement party" for the special couple.
Sometimes, the maids of honor, etc, will offer to help with decorating and preparing the Reception Hall......and or throwing a Rehearsal Dinner......although most often this is done by the Bride & Groom or their parents.
Your best move is to speak openly with the bride and simply ask her what her plans and ideas are. I think you'll enjoy this experience. It usually results in fun and strengthening an already positive friendship. It's an honor to be asked to be in the Bridal Party. Best of luck to all of you!!
Although it varies depending on the bride, a bridesmaid typically pays for her dress and shoes and participates in rehearsal dinner, bachelorette party, and a shower. It can seem like a lot, but a key is to remember it's an honor to be asked to be included in someone's big day. She may ask for help regarding planning. I would suggest letting her know you're honored to be a part and just asking her what her expectations are for your responsibilities. By being clear on expectations from the beginning you can avoid miscommunication or disappointment later!
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