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FAQ: What Are the Typical Bridesmaid Responsibilities?

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I’m a first-time bridesmaid in a wedding this fall. What are some responsibilities along with proper bridesmaid etiquette that I should know?

We received this question from a Wed Society Community Member recently, and with so many ladies filling a bridesmaid role (many for the first time), we want to make sure we cover ALL the details for you!

So, what do bridesmaids do, exactly? We covered specific tasks for the bride’s BFFs in this blog, but if you’re looking for the bridesmaids’ general responsibilities, those can differ. A bridesmaid isn’t just a meaningless title – there’s actually quite a bit involved in the role! Let’s review below!

FAQ: What Are the Typical Bridesmaid Responsibilities?

Photo // Monica Roberts Photography

Bridesmaid Responsibilities + Etiquette: What to Keep in Mind

A bridesmaid’s duties start as soon as you are asked to fill the role (usually months before the wedding) and extend through the wedding night. Let’s go over all that’s involved in being a bridesmaid!

Show up!

Attend all the things. And there will be quite a few events! Engagement party. Bridal showers (try to at least attend one, if you can’t make multiple events). Bachelorette party. Rehearsal. Rehearsal dinner. Getting ready together. The wedding (a non-negotiable!). Being a bridesmaid will quickly fill up your calendar, but hey – lots of excuses to get dressed up and celebrate a person you love!

The bride may or may not ask all of her bridesmaids to attend dress try-ons and fittings, but if she does ask and you can make one or two trips, it’s a very nice gesture to tag along and offer honest but always supportive, positive advice.

Additionally, the bride may ask certain bridesmaids to take on certain roles within the ceremony or reception (reading passages, giving toasts, etc.). Do your best to cheerfully accept these roles, even if they’re a bit out of your comfort zone.

Budget for Certain Purchases

If you agree to take on the bridesmaid role, you’ll be expected to pay for attire, events and gifts. Realistically, the cost of being a bridesmaids can total several hundreds of dollars, so be prepared to budget wisely! Here’s what you’re expected to pay for and contribute to:

Bridesmaid dress – the bride may give guidelines and let you shop for your own, or she may have a specific style picked out. Either way, in most cases, bridesmaids are expected to purchase their own dress.

Shoes + jewelry – again, the bride may have a certain pair she’d like everyone to wear or she may give a general guideline (nude strappy, black chunky heel, gold earrings). Do your best to find items that fit her wishes.

Professional hair, makeup and nails for the Wedding – if funds for any of these services are an issue, be sure to let the bride know up front and ask if she’s ok with you doing your own. If she does want everyone to have a specific style – especially an updo or intricate hairstyle, it’s best to do all you can to spring for the pro service.

Shower gift – in addition to chipping in funds for the costs of the shower itself, it’s customary for bridesmaids to give the couple a gift at the shower, or contribute to a large group gift.

Wedding gift – don’t show up empty-handed to the wedding, either. Budget for all gifts ahead of time and remember, you can’t go wrong grabbing something directly from their registry!

Wedding weekend transportation + accommodations – be ready to pay for a hotel, flights and/or transportation if the wedding isn’t local, in addition to other travel costs. Lots to budget for, but often an excuse for a fun trip to somewhere new!

Pitch in with Planning (and Paying)

The Maid or Matron of Honor is typically the person to take the lead on planning pre-wedding events to celebrate the bride, but as a bridesmaid, you’re expected to chip in both with the logistics and the funds. Don’t leave all of the prep work to the MOH!

Bridal shower – offer to help the MOH as well as any of the bride’s family members who may also be contributing to shower preparations. You may offer to pay for certain items or chip in a fraction of the overall cost of the event.

Bachelorette party transportation + accommodations + gift – the hallmark event of the bridesmaid role! As a bridesmaid, you’re expected to pay your own way to the bachelorette party and also to chip in for costs of food, decor and activities. Generally, the bride’s costs for this event should all be covered by her bridal party. Budget for a bachelorette gift and if you absolutely can’t make it to the event, still offer to help cover the bride’s costs if you’re able.

Help Where You Can

Above all, bridesmaid responsibilities include being a source of emotional support for the bride! Even if she doesn’t need you to assist with DIY projects, offer to listen to her vent on occasion, offer advice where you can and provide encouragement along the way. As stressful as being a bridesmaid may be, planning a wedding can take a mental toll! It’s always helpful to bear some of that load.

Bridesmaid Etiquette to Remember

Go with the flow: Your suggestions are welcome, within reason, but the bride has the final say on bridesmaids’ attire. Even if it’s not your favorite style, it’s one night of wearing something that makes your friend happy. Worth it!

Make friends! This isn’t your reality TV version of The Bachelorette. Although your bride friend may have bridesmaid friends from many different eras of her life, which means you may not know everyone or immediately hit it off with everyone, it’s important that you do your best to be friendly and engage with the group.

Know the plan and help keep the day on track: the wedding day will follow an itinerary to keep things on schedule. Be helpful to the bride, her family and her vendors she’s paying quite a bit of money for by being on time, not complaining when it’s time for photos and having a cheerful attitude throughout the day. This means assisting with setup and cleanup as well, if needed!

Keep the dance floor going: there’s nothing more awkward for a couple (and their band or DJ) when the dance floor is noticeably empty. Take the lead as a bridesmaid, grab some hands and get out there and DANCE!

Looking for more guidance as you join your BFF in this special season? Our Community over on Wed Society is filled to the brim with helpful tips and tricks, do’s and don’ts, plus all the answers you could ever need from our expert team of wedding editors who have been there, done that! Whether you’re a bride or a bridesmaid, this Community is for you!

Join Us on a Virtual Tour of Breathtaking Venue The Grand Lady Austin!

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Austin is home to some seriously beautiful scenery but nothing quite compares to this stunning wedding venue where three families of designers came together to create a meaningful space just outside city limits where couples could come together to celebrate their love in a deeply meaningful way. Hidden on the eastern outskirts of Austin and already so iconic, The Grand Lady of Austin began hosting weddings in spring of 2020 and features a modern 250+ person event space. The mansion sits on expansive property, but it actually wasn’t always located where it stands now. Originally located in Bartlett, Texas, The Grand Lady later moved to her current home in Manor, Texas, where she now rests on nearly 20 acres and groves and groves of oak trees. Cared for by various families through each phase of her life, she serves as a truly grand backdrop for wedding celebrations big and small that embrace modern traditions of love, friendship and family. A small group of local architects and friends began the revival and transformation of the mansion and her setting in 2018 when they sought to create a unique and inspired space. In this renovation, they were able to retain the rich history of the venue while adding some modern touches that make it a perfect place to commemorate the poignant, meaningful celebrations of love that come with a wedding. We will let you explore the rest for yourself in this virtual tour of The Grand Lady down below! Cheers!

Featured Photo Courtesy of Kristin La Voie Photography

Like what you see in this mansion venue? Connect with The Grand Lady directly via their vendor profile here. Cheers!

Earth Toned Wedding Inspiration with Modern European Details

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As if straight out of a storybook, we are enchanted by this earth toned wedding inspiration featuring modern European design and chic vintage-inspired details planned by Lauren Field Design! Playing out in ocean blue hues and earth tones alike, these minimalist styled scenes come to life set with vintage-inspired décor like rattan chairs and mod amber wine glasses while a few fresh floral installations from Remi + Gold bring romance to the faux affair. This bride looks stunningly chic in a knee-length feather bridal gown from Serendipity Bridal featuring a strapless neckline and a dazzling cathedral-length veil. Our stylish couple models in romantic scenes around the venue where we could absolutely mistake them for royalty, and their wedding follows suit with al fresco tablescapes adorned with light and airy linens from Premiere Events that set each space with such tasteful touches – all captured by the talented Kristin La Voie Photography. Read on for a note from the planner about the vision and design behind this earth toned wedding inspiration. Cheers!

Photo // Kristin La Voie Photography

From the planner, Lauren Field Design: “An elopement weekend set amongst the Texan meets European heritage of The Commodore Perry Estate, inspired by the sophisticated architecture of the estate and the nostalgia of leisurely travel. It was important for us to capture the experience of the signature spaces and landscape of the property and transport the couple to a one-of-a-kind oasis with a European vibe. Tones of blue, shades of peach/terra cotta, taupe, and golden ivory are surrounded by grand old-world architecture and finely crafted details.”

Modern Elegance Wedding Inspiration at The Woodbine Mansion

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This modern elegance wedding inspiration planned by Middleton Events makes for a breathtaking juxtaposition of whimsical design influences with the grand, historical setting that The Woodbine Mansion provides! Both bride and groom look chic and ready to be wed, with our bride modeling a sheath-silhouette bridal gown covered in 3-D appliqué details before switching it up with a nontraditional pink gingham gown that definitely spells out modern southern belle. Her simple, wispy low updo styled by Crown of Glory Beauty pairs perfectly with the flawless, pink-toned bridal makeup that their team of artists create so well. Planner Middleton Events lets the venue speak for itself, designing an interior that is simply stunning and keeping it organic with minimal springy florals throughout. Any other décor was saved strictly for tabletops and a modern velvet lounge area made the perfect cocktail hour hotspot on the lawn. We’re crushing just as hard over outdoor scenes that showcase a creeping floral altar install by Remi + Gold whose centerpieces, installations, and bouquets add so much whimsical variety and fun to each and every scene they grace. From delectable-looking desserts to the dreamiest outdoor ceremony set-up, we’re enthralled with this modern elegance wedding inspiration. Keep scrolling to see the stunning shots captured by Mint Photography to document the whole whimsy-filled day. Cheers!

Photo // Mint Photography

Get lost in more dreamy Austin wedding inspiration here, or check out our real, local weddings here. Cheers!

Style School | Determining the Right Wedding Size

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Are you wanting a more intimate, personal affair or a grand celebration with all of your family and friends, plus some? With the terms microwedding and elopement coming to the forefront of the wedding scene in the past year, it can get confusing on just who and how many people are included within each size – and what even are the benefits of having one wedding size over the other? In hopes to clear up any uncertain guidelines when it comes to the size of your wedding, the experts at Eclipse Event Co. are here with all the details on determining the right wedding size for you and your spouse in the fifth lesson of our style school! Scroll to determine the right size for your big day with the help of Eclipse Event Co. and to read how they can help you with just that – cheers!

Photos // Becca Lea Photography

Style School | Determining the Right Wedding Size

What are the guest counts for these wedding sizes: elopement, micro, intimate, small, average and large?

Elopement: 2 + photographer 

Micro: 20 or fewer

Intimate: 21-50

Small: 51-100

Average: 101-175

Large: 175+

What are the benefits of each of the wedding sizes?

Elopement: There’s no distractions! You definitely will be able to be more present in the day since it’s just you and your fiancé. Also, it’s very affordable – outside of attire and grooming, all you need is a photographer and (optional) floral! 

Micro: This wedding size is for just your immediate friends and family! The must-haves are all there to witness your commitment to each other. It keeps the day very special.

Intimate: Intimate weddings allow you the benefit of having all of your closest friends and family present plus a few special guests! You can have everything you want in your wedding while also keeping the budget manageable. You won’t have to compromise, but you won’t have to overspend, either!

Small: This wedding size stretches your budget, but not by much, and allows you to focus on the priorities you and your fiancé have set forth. 

Average: Average sized weddings allow you the flexibility of filling most venues with an appropriate size guest count without squeezing too many in and without leaving gaping spaces of having too few guests! You also won’t have to spend a lot of extra money to fill the space with additional decor.

Large: No one misses out! 

How do you work with couples that have scaled up or scaled down their wedding size?

Typically, these days we are scaling down weddings to accommodate the guest count mandates associated with Covid-19. While we are still responsible for minimums and money already spent, we are able to add in more luxurious food options and upgrades, additional fun rentals and, of course, more flowers! 

A special thank you to Kristi Depew and Lauren Chumbley from Eclipse Event Co. for sharing their insight on different wedding sizes! Visit Eclipse Event Co.’s Brides of Austin vendor profile to see all the incredible services they offer for your celebration. Cheers!