Bridesmaids: What To Expect On The Big Day
 by: Leonard Uttecht

The role of the bridesmaid is partially decided by tradition, with some room for the bride's personal preference.First the bride is going to decide on the size of her bridal party. Maybe she would prefer just one attendant who will serve as a bridesmaid and maid or matron of honor. Or she may want something larger with a few bridesmaids. She may also add a flower girl or junior bridesmaid. Expectations will differ, depending on your role.

Flower Girl

Most flower girls are single-digit age - in other words, under the age of 10. Hopefully, she is old enough to take instructions about walking down the aisle and mature enough to sit still with her parents during the ceremony. The flower girl's parents need to know their roles, as well. They will usually be responsible for getting her dress fitted, bringing her to the wedding rehearsal and enjoying the wedding from the sidelines.

Junior Bridesmaids

While not a flower girl, a junior bridesmaid is not a full-fledged bridesmaid either. More than likely, she is a relative of the bride and groom that they want to honor. She will have to get fitted for a gown and she would probably enjoy a role at the bridal shower. She will have a full role on the wedding day - taking part in the rehearsal, marching in the processional and recessional - and probably a seat at the wedding party table.


There may be anywhere from one to a dozen bridesmaids, depending on the bride's wishes. But no matter how many bridesmaids are chosen, the duties remain the same - supporting the bride as she moves from someone freshly engaged to someone newly married.Various duties may fall to the bridesmaids - from traveling with the bride to check out churches, reception venues and disc jockeys. They may also be called on to help address invitations, select the decor and wrap the wedding favors.

One of the big occasions is the hunt for the dresses - both the bride's and the bridesmaids'. If you are asked to go, have fun, but remember that you need to make some important decisions quickly. Dress selection needs to be done fast so there is time for alterations. Also, beware that the final decision is the bride's. Try not to let personal taste interfere, speaking up only when there is a matter of fact to be considered.Bridesmaids may also be asked to help the bride register for wedding gifts.

As some grooms prefer to leave these selections to their brides, some brides will crave the assistance and advice of their best friends. Again, try to point out matters of facts - like if the bride registers for two salad sets.Two of the bridesmaids' biggest roles are planning a shower and staging the bachelorette party.Get all of the bridesmaids, as well as any junior bridesmaids, involved in planning the shower. Pick your date well in advance, and stick with it. Be sure to invite anyone associated with the wedding - from guests, to family, to flower girls. Do not include those not invited to the wedding, and be sure you let guests know where the couple is registered.

The bridesmaids themselves will often want to pool their funds for a special gift.If you are tasked with planning the bachelorette party, be sure you know the ground rules. Check with the bride to see if she wants her mother and mother-in-law-to-be on hand. And, if a wild night out is a no-no, plan accordingly. Maybe a weekend at the beach is a better idea than a night on the town. Do the bride a favor and schedule any bachelorette activity a month before the wedding. Her last few weeks are going to be jammed-packed with wedding activities.

Wedding Day

On the day of the wedding, you need to first take care of yourself. See that you are attired correctly and arrive on time. After that, it is all about the bride. Help her get into her dress and get her make-up applied. Ask her if she wants something to eat or drink - because she will not be thinking about that.

A few minutes before the ceremony starts, help the bride find some quiet time by herself. If she has the jitters, remind her of the things she has said about her fiance that made her fall in love in the first place.

When it comes time to walk down the aisle, go slower than you think is necessary. Concentrate on holding your bouquet at your waist and count your steps. When you have taken your place at the front, refrain from drawing attention away from the bride - such as sneaking a wave to someone in the audience. All eyes should be on the bride and groom.At the reception, the rule is to have fun and encourage those around you to do likewise.
About The Author
Leonard Uttecht is a freelance writer who writes about weddings and specific products such as bridesmaid dresses.

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