Serving as a bridesmaid may be an honor, but it is not without responsibilities. Bridesmaids are expected to participate in certain activities, both before and during the wedding. They are also expected to perform certain tasks to help the bride and other members of the wedding party. It is wise to learn about basic bridesmaid responsibilities before you decide to accept the position.
Many individuals believe serving as a bridesmaid simply requires giving time and support to the bride. This is a misconception, as being a bridesmaid can be quite costly. Bridesmaid responsibilities include paying for wedding attire. This may include a bridesmaid gown and shoes, chosen by the bride, and any required accessories. In some cases, bridesmaids may also incur the costs of having their hair professionally styled and their nails manicured according to the brides wishes.
Bridesmaid responsibilities also include paying for the cost of traveling to the wedding. The cost of traveling may be negligible when a bridesmaid lives near the wedding location. However, bridesmaids often travel to out of town weddings, racking up transportation costs. For some destination weddings, the cost of travel and accommodations for just one bridesmaid can reach more than $1,000 United States Dollars (USD). Sometimes, the bride may offer to assist with these expenses, but etiquette doesn’t require her to foot the bill.
Before the wedding, bridesmaid responsibilities include running errands for the bride and assisting with making or choosing favors for the wedding reception. Bridesmaids may also be called on for help with making table decorations. Bridesmaid responsibilities also include helping the maid of honor with planning, hosting, and paying for a bridal shower. Bridesmaids are expected to attend pre-wedding parties, wedding rehearsals, and a rehearsal dinner as well.
At the wedding, bridesmaid responsibilities include walking in the processional and recessional. In some weddings, bridesmaids walk single file. In others, they walk in pairs or escorted by an usher. During the ceremony, bridesmaids stand near the bride. Bridesmaids are also included in formal photographs taken of the wedding party.
Gifts are given to the bride at her bridal shower and to the happy couple at a number of pre-wedding parties, as well as at the wedding reception. As part of her bridesmaid responsibilities, a bridesmaid is generally expected to give the bride one shower gift and one wedding gift. A bridesmaid is not expected to give more than two gifts, even if she attends multiple parties.