Help me be an awesome bridesmaid.

I just found out last weekend that one of my dearest friends is getting married. It’s taken me a little while to get over the initial shock, as my friend only met her fiance because my boyfriend and I introduced them, and they’ve been together for a significantly less time. Plus, she’s my first close friend to get married. So when she asked me to be a bridesmaid, I realized that I know absolutely nothing about all of this wedding business.

Now, it’s my understanding that the real responsibility falls on the maid of honor, so technically I shouldn’t have much of a job. However, her maid of honor is a mutual friend of ours going to school in Arizona, which makes her pretty much incapable of doing much of anything. The future bride has asked me to try to take over the MOH’s duties, and that, my friends, is where I’m clueless. I know I’m supposed to throw a shower, I think. Or something.

For those of you who will complain that she should just make me MOH, please understand that we are all close friends, but the MOH is much closer to the bride and has been friends with her longer. If I were to be MOH, I would be putting myself in the middle of their friendship, so I would rather the MOH keep the title, even if I end up doing her job.

A couple of details: The wedding is in March 2004, and we’re all young, fresh college students. Budgets are somewhat tight, but we have even less time than money (given that we all have busy college schedules, and the wedding is in less than six months). And even though the wedding is pretty soon, no, she is not pregnant. I’m a huge fan of Etiquette Hell, so I know what not to do, but not much about what I need to do.

Surely we have some former maids of honor, bridesmaids, and even best men to give me some ideas! Not only do I need to know some of my basic duties, great ways to take on those basic duties would be very much appreciated. I’d like to go above and beyond the call of duty, but I’m not sure how!

My wife was a matron of honor a year or so ago and she used The Knot website. I was on it and it is probably one of the most widely used and most comprehensive nuptual site I know of…

BTW, one very good thing is recommendations for where to get registered…Mine would be:

Crate and Barrel
Pier One
Restoration Hardware
William Sonoma

Very nice.

Oh and throw a kick-ass shower and bachelorette party :slight_smile:

My attendants did not throw me a shower, and I did not expect them to. We still had lots of fun.

One very thoughtful thing that one of them did was to pack an “emergency kit” to bring to the wedding. She had prethreaded needles, safety pins, bobby pins, an extra pair of stockings, band-aids, Tylenol, Tums, etc. The only thing we ended up actually needing was one safety pin, but it was nice to know that we wouldn’t have had to look for any of that stuff if we had needed it.

The next most important thing will be listening to the bride agonize endlessly over wedding trivia. Whether you just nod and smile or tell her to get a grip on herself will depend on her personality and your relationship, but you have to listen either way. (If she’s the kind of person who would be horrified to realize that she’s turning into Bridezilla, then tell her when she’s getting out of hand. If she’s the kind of person whose shoes match her clothes even when she’s just running out to the grocery store, just put up with her and try to be nice to anyone she offends).

You’ll probably go with the bride to pick out dresses for all the bridesmaids. Be kind and pick something that will look OK on imperfect figures.

If she’s the kind that would like it, send the bride to And the bride wore… for some wedding humor.

I was a bridesmaid for the first time this spring. The one thing I took away from it was that the bridesmaid’s job is to be the biggest bitch necessary to get the job done, so that the bride doesn’t have to be mean to anyone or mad at anyone on her wedding day.

If the bride leaves her engagement jewlery at the tanning salon, and it is subsequently “picked up” by another customer, it is the bridesmaid’s job to threaten the salon with legal action so that the bride can waltz in, pick up the hastily returned jewelry, gush over how thankful she is, and leave. (Can you tell this actually happened?)

Things WILL go wrong. The bride shouldn’t worry about them. On the wedding day, you are the buffer between the bride and reality.

Have fun! I had a hoot!

I’ve been a bridesmaid once and a MOH twice. Each bride is different in terms of how much of a control freak she is, and how much she’ll allow herself to delegate.

Things you can do beforehand that are sweet are things like offering to help with the stamping & addressing of the invites & response cards.

The shower is only as big a deal as you make it. If you’re really that short on time, see if you can have it at a restaurant or tea house. That way, things like the burden of cleaning & decorating are not on your shoulders. An afternoon tea is a nice girly way to get together with the friends. Since money is tight, you might try pooling resources with all the bridesmaids.

My sister got married yesterday, and even though I was her MOH, she’s not a good delegator, so she’d already taken care of most everything. She did forget to bring her hair ornaments for her hair appt, and I filled in for her with the wedding coordinator at the sight when some last minute arranging needed to be done. Plan on being a stand in brain on ceremony day.

BRING WATER & DRINKING STRAWS to the wedding site.

Lastly, I made little gift bags for all the out of town guests. Each bag had a bottle of water, a small snack, and most importantly a MAP and directions to the wedding site with a reminder of what time the ceremony started. This was helpful for the folks that forgot to pack the invitations that had the info.

Hello Again, will you be my bridesmaid?

Only if I don’t have to buy another dress. :wink:

Don’t “forget” that the bachelorette party is a sleepover where you’re going to watch 80s movies and drink frozen blender drinks and then back out, claiming you had no idea and you have to go home at 6pm. ::grumble grumble::

Or if you do, think up a better excuse than the one my (only) bridesmaid fed me.

aww, Motorgirl that sucks.

And as of yesterday, I’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid in another wedding. Which makes 3 for next summer. I know that this is when most people complain about buying a dress and yada yada, but right now I’m just feeling so flattered that these women all consider me to be such a close friend.

There’s lots of good advice on thie thread, but here’s one important point that hasn’t been mentioned:

Don’t have sex with the groom.

–Cliffy

But do have sex with the Groomsmen.

You will have many duties at the reception. Do you think it is easy to go potty in a wedding dress? No, it takes a team and you are on that team. Also try to make sure the bride gets to eat a little. Say Uncle Fred wants to dance with the bride but since she was having some photos taken she is just sitting down to eat the main course served 20 mins ago. Say no to him so she doesn’t have to.

Also talk to her before hand and ask her if there are any special persons she wants her photo taken with at the reception. Make a written list if necessary and then make sure those photos are taken. The bride does not want to get her proof book back and realize that she never took her photo with the cousin that was her first babysitting job ect.

The basics of being a bridesmaid:

No matter what the bride wants you to wear in the wedding, keep the stricken look off your face. It is permissable to blink several times and say, “Oh, what an unusual dress!” but it is NOT permissable to gag, retch, faint, or yell “Good God, where’s the rest of it?!” as this will lead the bride to think you do not like the dress. You will, in point of fact, hate the dress, but you are still required to smile and nod when told how it’s only $300, and you really can wear it again.

When the bride’s FSIL shows up at the shower wearing ass-shorts, a crop-top, and no bra, and has yet to wrap her present, it is your job to drive her somewhere to buy wrapping paper and to change her clothes. You are not allowed to complain about missing half the shower because of this task, nor are you allowed to defend yourself when the bride complains that you missed half the shower. To do so will open you to accusations of jealousy and not liking the groom and his family.

Remember, you will be on-call for all wedding-related emergencies. This includes nights, weekends, and major holidays. You might not feel that the personalized napkins being the wrong shade of fuschia is an emergency, but you are wrong. The sooner you come to grips with this, the better. You will be allowed one (1) chance to say, “It’s 2 am. Couldn’t it wait till morning?”, provided this happens a minimum of three months before the wedding. Any complaints in the three months immediately prededing the wedding are grounds for immediate decapitation.

When the married groomsman you are paired with attempts to fondle you during the processional, you are not allowed to shriek and pelt him with your bouquet. You are, however, allowed to dig your fake nails into him until he releases you. When performing this maneuver, it is considered poor form to actually draw blood, as red will ruin the color scheme.

When raising the back of the bride’s skirt so she can use the restroom, you may not fall backwards yelling, “My eyes! My eyes!” Not even if the bride is wearing a g-string, or indeed no underwear at all. The other attendants may be amused, but the bride will not find it funny at all.

I didn’t have a traditional shower. Instead, my MOH hosted a co-ed cookout with volleyball, hotdogs, and homebrew. It was a blast–much more fun than the usual girly stuff and my fiance and male friends could attend.

You may also wind up planning the bachelorette party. You have plenty of options, so don’t automatically assume strippers and drinking til you puke. A close friend had hers at a hockey game. My sister-in-law, who is more sedate, had a nice luncheon at a wine bar. My girlies and I went to a baseball game and then dancing. I have other friends who’ve gone camping, done movie marathons, etc.

Closer to the wedding, there will be lots of errands that need to be run. If you can help make wedding favors, drop things off at the printers, etc., it will be much appreciated.

The most important advice I can think of is to remember that your friend’s inevitable insanity is temporary. I was MOH for a very dear friend and a great person who was very much the frilly bridey-bride. I’m not at all like that, and there were many times when I had to grit my teeth and tell myself, “This will be over soon, and she’ll be back to normal.” And she was.