Being part of a bridal party is an exciting honor! It means that you are the support group, hype-people, and on the front line of a wedding day. It also means you have big responsibilities and the couple has selected you out of all their friends to stand with them on their big day. That’s a big deal. Remember: the couple went through a lot to select their wedding party and it is your job to be the best bridal party ever!
How to Choose Your Bridal Party
Picking a handful of people to stand up with you on what is most likely the most important day of your life is no easy task. A couple has to weigh all the details before selecting their wedding party—the size of the wedding, expectations for the bridal party, including family members, etc. It’s best to think carefully of who you want to be a part of your bridal party before asking them because it’s not something you can take back. Here are a few of our best tips for couples choosing their bridal party:
Do not include someone just because they asked you. Make sure you actually want them to be there for you on your special day—no need to “return the favor.” Just because your friend wanted 8 bridesmaids and included you does not mean you have to include her, especially if you only want 2 bridesmaids. Everyone’s circumstances are different. Good friends will understand.
Don’t let “rules” hold you back from choosing the people you do want to stand up for you. Here is your permission to be non-conventional! Just make sure you are choosing the people who truly mean a lot to you and support you.
Select bridesmaids and groomsmen that have supported your relationship, not necessarily the people you always imagined standing in your wedding.
Talk to your partner about including siblings.
There are more roles to fill on your wedding day. Make sure to select friends or family members as attendants, ushers, or for any other role.
What are the Duties of Bridesmaids?
So you’ve been selected to be a bridesmaid! Congratulations! Bridesmaids have an awesome role to fill leading up to and on the wedding day. Here is a list of duties that you have so you can be the best bridesmaid possible:
Before the Wedding
- Help to plan the parties! If the couple is having showers, engagement parties, or a bachelorette party, offer to help out. Mention specific tasks you could perform to help the couple.
- Make sure the bridal party has a group chat to share ideas and plans. If not, create a group chat for the bride and bridesmaids to communicate.
- Be available for wedding dress and bridesmaids dress shopping. LISTEN to what the bride wants and offer helpful feedback. Make sure you’re not inserting only your own opinions—it’s not your wedding day.
- Check in with the bride regularly to see where she needs your support most.
- Offer to help with any DIY wedding projects.
- Make sure there are plenty of fun outings planned—cocktails, pedicures, facials, etc.
- Be there for the bride through the good and the bad.
- Take a couple days off before the wedding if possible to be available.
- Make the rehearsal and wedding set-up a priority in your schedule.
- Pack an emergency kit.
- Make sure you have everything you need for the wedding day packed ahead of time.
On the Wedding Day
- Keep a copy of the wedding day timeline on your phone so you know where you need to be at all times.
- Be ON TIME.
- Bring snacks and champagne to enjoy with the bride.
- Make sure the bride’s hair and makeup is prioritized.
- Take questions or issues that arise yourself so the bride and groom can have less stress.
- Fix the bride’s dress, veil, hair, and makeup when she needs it.
- Help to round up the bridal party or family members for photos.
- Encourage dancing and be on the dance floor as much as possible!
- Make arrangements for there to be rose petals and champagne in the honeymoon suite.
What are the Duties of Groomsmen?
Groomsmen also have an exciting job in the months and days leading up to the wedding. Here’s a list of duties to keep in mind as a groomsman:
Before the Wedding
- Support the groom by listening to him!
- Help the groom to select what he and the groomsmen will wear. Make sure to respect his opinions.
- Get measured for your suit and make sure everything fits well before the wedding day.
- Have good communication with the couple and the rest of the bridal party to make sure everything gets taken care of.
- Offer assistance with pre-wedding events. Attend all the parties and the rehearsal dinner.
- Help plan and pay for the bachelor party.
On the Wedding Day
- Coordinate with the bridal party to decorate the getaway car.
- Make sure to bring all items you will need in the morning.
- Be ON TIME and help the rest of the bridal party stick to the timeline.
- Keep the bride and groom fed and hydrated.
- Cooperate while photos are being taken; don’t add stress to the couple.
- Help with any duties like showing guests to their seats.
- Bring a gift to the wedding.
- Stay on the dancefloor as much as possible! Dance with the bridesmaids and other guests.
- Help clean up at the end of the night and load the couple’s car with gifts and personal items.
The Roles of Honor
If you have been selected to be the maid of honor or best man, you have a special role to play! It’s likely you will be a witness that signs the couple’s marriage license. The couple has selected you to play an incredibly important part on their day, but your role also comes with added responsibilities. To be the best best man or maid of honor possible, take care of these things:
- Take charge and plan the bachelor and bachelorette parties. Enlist the help of the rest of the bridal party to make sure it’s a special event.
- Help the bride and groom to plan showers and engagement parties. Ask them about any requests and details.
- Advocate for the couple’s wishes! Get to know their preferences for colors, decorations, and cakes and help to implement them.
- Ask the couple how their planning is going and regularly offer practical help and emotional support.
- Make sure that the couple (and yourselves) eat and drink on the wedding day to avoid being hangry.
- Carry tissues, lipstick, and ibuprofen in case it’s needed throughout the day.
- Make sure to focus on the couple’s needs and wishes on the wedding day over your own. It’s their special day!
- You will likely be asked to carry the wedding bands down the aisle. Take extra care when handling the rings.
- Sign the marriage license if you’ve been selected to be the legal witnesses.
- Enjoy the celebration by joining the dance!
- Last but not least, make sure clean-up is taken care of and the couple has all of their personal belongings before heading out.
Being a part of a bridal party is incredibly fun and comes with special duties. If you have been selected to stand for a couple, take those responsibilities seriously and help to make the day a success. Listen to the couple’s wishes and give support where they need it. Then you can be part of the best bridal party ever!
Your Chicago Wedding Photography Team
Hey—we are Jacob and Amanda Rousary, married Chicago wedding photographers. We know that a lot of planning goes into your big day, so we created this as a resource for bridal party members and for couples to share with their bridal party. Need someone to capture all the incredible moments of your special day? Contact us here!