Proper Etiquette and Attitude of a Bridesmaid

Bridesmaids
The goal of a bridesmaid should be to help make the wedding day a special one. Daniel Sheehan Photographers/Photodisc/Getty Images

Have you been asked to be a bridesmaid  or maid of honor in a friend or close relative's wedding? Congratulations! This is quite an honor that she thinks so highly of you, and now there are some things you need to consider.

After the initial glow of being asked to hold the honor of being a bridesmaid wears off, you may feel overwhelmed by the expectations. In most cases, that isn't what the bride intended when she asked you.

Do everything you can to maintain a positive attitude throughout pre-wedding events, wedding, and reception.

Loyalty

Remember that your first loyalty is to the bride. You need to be help her with some of the most important decisions she'll make for her special day. Even if you don't agree with some of the things she wants, you should remember that your loyalty is to her and to make her feel good about herself. There might be a time when all she needs is someone to listen to a vent session. Do everything in your power to be there for her during this stressful time. She's likely to make a few mistakes, and it's your job to help her deal with them.

Know Her Needs

Every bride is different, so find out what she wants or needs from you. If she isn't clear, don't hesitate to ask. She might only want you to show up for events related to the wedding, or she might expect you to have an active role in planning.

Be a Team Player

Chances are there will be more than one bridesmaid, so make sure you put on a united front, even if you don't agree with the other women. You are all there for the same reason – to help ensure that the bride's day goes well. If you can't get along with the other bridesmaids, you take a chance on ruining the wedding.

She doesn't need to hear gossip or little tidbits about how you can't see eye to eye on things. There may be a few personality issues that make you cringe, but keep them to yourself.

This Isn't About You

As a bridesmaid, remember that this wedding is about the bride, not you. If she chooses the most hideous dress for you to wear, you can voice your opinion in a very nice, calm manner. But if she still wants you to wear it, that's what you should do.

When the bride asks you to do something do it if at all possible – even something as difficult as walking through the sand in high heels. She has a vision that may have started as a childhood dream. Don't ruin it by not cooperating.

Your Opinion

The bride may ask your opinion about various things throughout the planning process. It is okay to be honest, but if you see that your response is causing distress, back off and ask what she thinks.

Groomsman Pairing

The bride and groom will probably discuss which groomsman will walk with each bridesmaid. This is strictly their decision, so accept it. If they ask your preference, tell them, but ultimately, it is their choice, even if you don't care for the guy.

Most brides will be kind and avoid pairing a bridesmaid with a guy who dumped her.

But if the bride is clueless and sticks you with your ex, grin and bear it. If it bugs you, think of it as a way to make him regret his action by looking your best and being the life of the party at the reception.

Bridesmaid's Duties

In addition to participating in bridal showers, preceding the bride down the aisle toward the altar, and being introduced at the reception, bridesmaids have duties. The bride should be the one to let you know what she expects.

Here are some typical duties of the bridesmaid:

  • Purchase your dress and shoes.
  • Pay for styling – hair, nails, facial.
  • Help the bride find the perfect dress.
  • Host and attend pre-wedding parties, showers, and rehearsal dinner.
  • Help record all the gifts so the bride and groom can send thank you notes to the correct people.
  • Assist the bride with grooming before the wedding and bustling her dress before the reception.
  • Help with whatever is needed during the wedding and reception.
  • Offer to give a toast to the bridal couple.

Maid of Honor

The main bridesmaid is the maid of honor. She carries a few extra responsibilities in addition to those listed above, and she should do them with pleasure and a positive attitude. She is the bride's strongest advocate during the entire engagement – from helping select the flowers to listening to squabbles between the bride and her future mother-in-law.

Here are some of the maid of honor's extra duties:

  • Attend dress fittings with the bride.
  • Be on call from the engagement announcement until the end of the wedding.
  • Coordinate the bridesmaids and make sure they have all their fittings and appointments.