Being a bridesmaid can be a daunting task or an easy one, it all depends on how you tackle it.

But what exactly makes a ‘good’ bridesmaid? Here’s what some of you said when I asked for your opinion on the Wedding Obsession facebook page.

[photo credit: Chad+Anastasia photography - see feature]

I Just Said Yes - A good listener, available to assist last minute and pick up things, keep the bride calm and make sure she gets to the church on time.

Heather - Being understanding, considerate however honesty goes along way. Nothing goes further than a bridesmaid that can tell the bride wether the dress she has to wear and buy is ugly and over priced.

Abby - Not being honest about ur opinion…go with what the bride likes n keep opinions to yourself!

Sarah - Check in with the bride often to see if there is anything she requires assistance with and order the dress when she asks, the bride has enough to worry about without you not ordering on time

Chrissy - Show that you care!! Actually ask the bride if she needs help or even how eveything is going. Don’t just go dress shopping and then never contact the bride until almost the wedding!

Debby - Don’t worry about yourself or how “you” (bridesmaid) look that day, how your dress fits, hair looks, make up etc(don’t get me wrong-look presentable;))…realize it’s the bride’s day and be helpful in any way-even if it takes your get-ready time:)

I know that when I was first asked to be a bridesmaid, I was in my early 20’s..just getting into the groove of being an adult and enjoying (and hating the studying part) of school. My friend Manda was marrying the love of her life, Shaun and even though I was in a group of three, I don’t think that we were at all helpful. I’ve confessed this to Manda ever since and although she says it didn’t matter, I sheepishly feel deep down that I should have knocked my head out of my books and done more. We’re still best friends - I love her to death. So I’ve been there and I’ve also been a bride, so I’ve seen both sides.

[photo credit: LOVE BUNNY Photography - see feature]

So taking into light the suggestions above and with the experience of getting married myself, I thought I’d share some of my tips of being a great bridesmaid or maid of honor.

Be Honest (but know when to reel it in).

She trusts your opinion or else why would she choose you to stand by her side on her wedding day? When she asks you to join her for a visit to choose wedding dresses, be honest but be sensitive of her feelings. If you don’t think the dress is right for her, consider explaining that another style might look better. But if she’s had her eye set on a specific dress, don’t crush her dreams and say you absolutely loathe it. Help her find an alternative. Help her see that there are other options.

Be present (in person and in spirit)

If she asks you to join her for a vendor consultation, bridal shop or just go out to release wedding planning stress, consider it a compliment! She wants you there for advice, a shoulder to lean on and in the case of visiting a bridal shop, she wants YOU to help her choose the most important outfit of her life. If you can’t make it because you’re out of town or your schedules don’t work out, help her out prior to the day and don’t forget to ask her how it went afterwards. Like Chrissy said, ask her before she even has to ask you. Offer your help and let her know she can count on you.

Understand that there will be costs

Realize that being a bridesmaid might not be free. You may be required to purchase the dress, get your hair/makeup done and contribute to the bridal shower. You might not like the style or color of the might not wear it again, but smile and own it! But of course, be honest if you can’t afford everything. The bride doesn’t want you to be strapped for cash and go bankrupt because of her wedding.

[photo credit: JAG Photography - see feature]


I can’t stress this one enough. I guess you could say it fits in with being ‘present’. Sometimes all she wants is an open ear to vent or bounce ideas off of. And when you’re at the bridal shop and you’re being taught how to bustle the dress, make sure you know how to do it so that you aren’t confused when you’re asked to do it.

Smile on the day (and always)

On the wedding day, the most important person is the bride and her groom. Realize that she likely has a lot on her mind and if you have questions, try to turn to the wedding planner or maid of honor. Don’t ask her too many questions about what’s going on or what’s next on the schedule. The last thing she needs to do is have another person chase after her for attention. Just smile and be prepared to help her if she needs anything.

So if you’re a bride, you’ll want to kindly hint for your bridesmaids to read this because likely they’re not going to pick up that “Bridesmaids 101″ book before they take on the task.

But keep in mind that you should also give lee-way to your bridesmaids because in the end all they want is for you to be happy and help you make the day special. Don’t forget that!

Do you have anything you’d like to add to the list?

xoxo, M

// check our wedding gallery for bridesmaids photos //

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Categories: Bridesmaid4 Comments


This needs a follow up post: What makes a Good Bride!

1) Not expecting unrealistic things of your bridesmaids.

They’re not your slaves, they are your friends. The only thing that should be expected of them is to be happy for you and to be there and support you during your wedding. Everything else is a bonus.

And, finally, making invitations is not an honour. Unless you are going to be truly grateful for their effort, rather than critical about how they do it, do it yourself!

my honest answer on December 12, 2011

@my honest answer - agreed! Like I said at the end, brides need to cut their bridesmaids some slack. You’re right..I should have a follow up post haha!

Sounds like you had a bad experience with helping out with invites! Totally agree with what you said though..appreciate the help or don’t ask for it!

Melissa on December 12, 2011

Thank you for sharing these tips, Melissa. I think you highlighted some really good points. It goes without saying that every bride is different, therefore it’s important to consider this element when interacting with the bride. When I was the Maid of Honour for my sister’s wedding, she asked for my opinion for almost everything and I always gave her an honest but gentle response. Of course, always siding with what she wanted and validating her thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

I’m currently engaged, and for myself, I haven’t really asked my bridesmaids for their opinion, simply because my fiancé and I want to plan this wedding together so we run everything by each other first and we ultimately make the decision. My bridesmaids have been helpful in terms of asking questions and hearing me out, but I don’t ask them what they think. For example, I didn’t take anyone dress shopping with me because I feel like I know what kind of bride I am and how I want to look on my wedding day, that I didn’t want anyone’s opinion affecting my decision. I believe some brides need more reassurance and validating while others know that they want and need their bridesmaids to JUST support their decisions.

I agree with the point about being present in person and in spirit. I think that’s so important. For myself, it’s more important that we keep up with the friendship and stay connected. Thanks again. I think this was a great post!


Carrie on December 12, 2011

    Thanks for the comments Carrie! You’re right, it can definitely be different for every bride. Great points!

    Melissa on December 13, 2011

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