Look pretty? Check! Feel pretty important? Check! Bridesmaids are more than just gorgeous attendants – without them, the wedding day wouldn’t go as smoothly as it should. Here are some essential wedding day bridesmaid duties – in other words, ways your girls can be of help. Any volunteers?
On the very day of your wedding, the bride shouldn’t be the one taking calls and making last minute arrangements in case of any mishaps at the venue or with suppliers. In fact, her phone should be completely switched off… unless of course she wants to text her soon-to-be-spouse. This should be handled by another person of outstanding competence – most likely, that’ll be one of the bridesmaids. Just tell the relevant people in advance what number to call if they need to get in touch urgently.
And we don’t mean pyjamas, we mean some fab songs to get ready to! If you’re in need of suggestions, here are our top 50 favourites… and of course, adding songs the bride particularly likes is a must! We recommend getting the playlist ready in advance, and it’s fantastic fun. Really sets the mood for the whole day!
Ah, a key role here – give it to the girl who knows her way around laces and ribbons (ok, that sounds very Pride and Prejudice, but still…) If your wedding gown is in any way complicated to put on, at least one person should know exactly how to get you into it with a minimal amount of fuss and no damage to hair or makeup. Appoint this person not on the morning of the wedding, but as soon as you go dress shopping, and then to fittings. The store staff will show your appointed person how to get everything on without drama. Trust us, it makes all the difference between you feeling comfortable all day, or feeling like your dress is going to fall down at any moment.
Photo from Ashley & Michael’s real wedding by Peter & Aurelia – Fleeting Moments Photography
We don’t have to tell you, it’s an emotional day for everyone, and especially the bride! That would account for multiple layers of industrial-strength waterproof mascara, don’t you know. The bridesmaids need to be available to dispense hugs, comforting words, cups of tea, tissues and anything else the bride might need when she’s feeling overwhelmed. It’s definitely one of the most pleasant wedding day bridesmaid duties.
If you’ve asked other people to do a reading (for example, your young cousin, or your favourite auntie), a smart thing to do is to have a stand-in, just in case. People get nervous, they arrive late, or they feel unwell – things happen. It would be unfortunate if a meaningful message was omitted during the ceremony, simply because the chosen person wasn’t able to do it. Ask one of your bridesmaids if she won’t mind being a superhero and standing in just in case something happens. Make sure to give her the readings in advance, so she has time to look them over and prepare.
A bride is photographed all day long. If there’s one day to appoint someone to keep an eye on your face, the wedding day is it! One bridesmaid should be in charge of pointing out anything that needs attention – like smudged lipstick, shiny nose or runny mascara. It’s a very important task. In royal terms, this job would go to the highest-ranking lady in waiting!
People and photos
This could be a joint job between the guys and the gals in the bridal party. The photographer will need some very clued-in people to help him or her arrange those all-important shots with groups and specific people. He doesn’t know who all the parents, grandparents, aunties and cousins are, so he’ll be counting on someone to find the people he needs quickly among all the guests. And while on the subject of photos… one of the most important wedding day bridesmaid duties is to look awesome in photos!
Photo from Fabiana & Michele’s real wedding by Alessandro Mari Photography
One bridesmaid should carry your emergency kit – because a prepared bride is a happy bride! This means one larger handbag, to be stashed in a strategic place, out of sight, ready to be pounced upon at a moment’s notice. Here’s a handy downloadable checklist of suggested emergency kit essentials – feel free to amend however it suits you best.
When you’re having your first dance, that three minutes could feel like three hours. One way to make it more fun is to ask the wedding party to join you at some point – just be sure to tell them in advance. Also, when the dancing begins, ask the bridesmaids to be the first on the floor. Once someone is already dancing, everyone else will join in.
Ladies in the loo
Eek! You didn’t think we’d leave that one out, did you? Tis the truth – going to pee in a wedding dress is a skill, and it’s much easier when someone is helping, particularly if the dress is voluminous. Basically, you want to avoid dragging it across the gross bathroom floor (unless, of course, you have a private bathroom with a palatial sweep of space). Top tip: pee the other way around (facing the cannister), to avoid draping your dress around the whole toilet bowl. Behind you, your most trusted friend will hold the bulk of the dress off the floor. It also gives you far more privacy. Is it one of the most embarassing wedding day bridesmaid duties? Yes. But is it essential? Absolutely.
And finally – going away
If the newlyweds are going away on their honeymoon immediately, the best man will usually be put in charge of returning the suits and other things belonging to the groom and groomsmen. For the bride – it’ll likely be one of her bridesmaids. She’ll need to make sure the dress and everything else (like gifts and leftover reception decor) makes it back home safely, to await the bride’s return.
Photo from Elma & Michael’s real wedding by Couple Photography
Main photo from Niamh & Paddy’s real wedding by Marcella Doran, Your Dream Wedding in Spain
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If you think the bride should always have the last word, then Rachel is on your side! A devoted fan of everything quirky, unusual, colourful or crafty, she loves scouting WOL's real weddings for unique and fun touches. When not gazing at pictures, she's dispensing no-nonsense advice on everything from reception entrance songs to bridesmaid problems.