The Ultimate Bridesmaid Guide: 7 Bridesmaid Dos and Don’ts

The Ultimate Bridesmaid Guide

Being a bridesmaid is usually a lot of fun – but it’s a role that comes hand in hand with certain expectations and emotions, too!  

If you’re wondering how to be a supportive member of the bride tribe, we’ve got you sorted. From understanding boundaries to staying organised and avoiding conflict, keep reading for our essential guide to bridesmaid etiquette below.

Photo via Ashlyn Cathey Photography

Do: Know What You’re Getting Into

So you’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid. Now what?

First things first, it’s important to understand what’s actually expected of you as a bridesmaid, especially if you’ve never been one before. From planning the bachelorette party and bridal shower to attending wedding dress appointments, there are certain responsibilities that you’ll need to take on board before the big day.

Knowing what to expect will make your bridesmaid journey much smoother, so read up on our bridal party roles and responsibilities here to wrap your head around what’s to come!

Don’t: Overstep Your Boundaries

One of your biggest roles as a bridesmaid is to act as a support system for the bride, but try not to overstep your boundaries! 

Remember, this is ultimately the bride’s big day, so her decisions need to be respected. Don’t provide unsolicited advice or be demanding when it comes to things like bridesmaid dresses, hair and makeup styles, or pre-wedding activities. 

With this being said, it’s completely okay to speak up if you have any concerns – for example, if things are getting too pricey, or if you feel uncomfortable with the chosen dress. Simply approach these issues in a polite, non-confrontational way to help you find a positive outcome that all parties are happy with. 

Photo via Natalie Bray

Do: Prepare to Contribute Some Cash

Being a bridesmaid will inevitably involve some financial expenses before the day. While the bride will generally pay her fair share of bridal party costs, you may still need to fork out some cash for your bridesmaid dress, shoes, hair and makeup, or pre-wedding events like bachelorette parties and bridal showers.

To avoid any last-minute financial stress, it can be a good idea to start gradually putting money aside after accepting your bridesmaid status. You may also want to have an upfront chat with the bride to confirm exactly which costs you’ll be responsible for, so you can budget accordingly. Read our guide to bridal party costs here for some key expenses to look out for!

Photo via Love and You Studios

Don’t: Cause Conflict With Other Bridesmaids

Ideally, you and the other bridesmaids will get along effortlessly and have a positive relationship. But, this isn’t always the case – and sometimes, different personalities and clashing opinions can cause tension along the way.

Our tip? Try your best to keep things friendly and civil, and steer clear of any conflict or unnecessary drama. Remember, your job is to ensure the bride has the best experience possible, so make an effort to get along with everyone (or at the very least, pretend to). You never know – you could end up making lifelong friends!

Photo via Angela Mae Photography

Do: Provide Emotional Support

Providing emotional support is one of the best ways you can be a great bridesmaid. Remember, wedding planning can be stressful, so expect a few bridezilla moments or nervous breakdowns in the lead-up to the big event!

Check in with the bride regularly, and let her know you’re there for her if needed – whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, a person to vent to, or a fun night out to de-stress. If you can sense she may be struggling, offer your assistance, and ask how you can help to reduce the load.

Don’t: Be Disorganised

Staying on top of your bridesmaid duties is an important part of your role. Don’t be the bridesmaid that never replies to the group chat, turns up late to the bachelorette party, or forgets to run an important errand the bride entrusted you with! 

If you know you’re not a naturally organised or punctual person, you may need to actively work around this. Make sure you add any key events to your calendar, set 10 minutes aside each week to catch up with the group chat, and schedule alarms as needed. Better yet – suggest a collaborative checklist (like our digital wedding planner here at WedSites!) where the bride can delegate tasks and set automatic reminders to keep everyone on track.

Photo via Christina Bernales

Do: Have Fun!

Yes, being a bridesmaid has its fair share of responsibilities – but it’s also a whole lot of fun! Help your bride have the best day ever by building excitement before the wedding, keeping the mood light and happy throughout the morning, and getting the dance floor started that night. You may only be a bridesmaid a handful of times in your life, so embrace the experience and enjoy every moment!

Wondering how to plan the perfect bridal shower? Read our ultimate bridal shower guide here!