Wedding Etiquette; For The Bridesmaids

There may come a time when your best friend asks you the big question.

“Will you… be my bridesmaid?!”

After all the screaming, jumping, and excitement is over, you may be wondering what the duties are of being a bridesmaid. You know it means you wear a pretty dress and stand up next to the bride on the wedding day, isn’t that it?

If you don’t know all the duties of being a bridesmaid, don’t worry, we have your back!

Just like our Wedding Etiquette; For The Guests post, you may disagree with what we think, and that is okay! Just make sure to think about the bride! What does she want?

Here are our top 10 bridesmaid etiquette tips!


Check in on the bride and talk about wedding planning. Ask for details. Talk as though you are interested in the wedding, even if you are not sure why the bride insists that dusty blue is different than baby blue. Many times brides are planning the wedding on their own and want their friends to be a part of it, that’s why they picked you to be a bridesmaid in the first place!


When you sign up to be a bridesmaid, you are not just signing away your pretty face for pictures, but also your wallet! Make sure you know the expenses of being a bridesmaid. You may have to pay for your own dress, dress alterations, hair, makeup, shoes, travel, and to help with the bridal shower, bachelorette, and more! You should discuss what you will be expected to pay for and your budget, so that you can begin to save and so there isn’t a problem with the bride’s expectations.


Buy the couple a gift for each event. Yup you heard that right! You are supposed to buy a gift for the shower, bachelorette, and the wedding!

  1. For the shower, we highly recommend buying a larger gift off the registry. Have all the bridesmaids decide on a budget, and go in on it together. If there are 5 bridesmaids, that $500 espresso maker is only $100 per bridesmaid, and you can brag every time they make a fancy coffee that they can thank you for that!
  2. For the bachelorette, we recommend finding out her lingerie size and getting her something for the honeymoon. Another option is everyone can pitch in for a surprise during the bachelorette or plan the bachelorette and cover the costs for the bride. That could be going out for a nice dinner, spa day, concert, or weekend getaway!
  3. For the wedding day, you have to give the couple a card. Guests should give the couple money, however you have paid enough up to this point that a small gift is all that is needed. A nice picture frame with a photo from the bachelorette, a cute Mr & Mrs item, or a nice personalized or monogrammed item. You want to give them something small, that is easy to pack up at the end of the night, but also gives them a tangible gift to remember each bridesmaid.
  4. Another great option would be a nice gift they can use on their big day! Look into a monogrammed ring box, like these from Amoine Ring Boxes, or a sweet vow book from Wedding Story Writer!


Make a group chat with all of the bridesmaids. Check in at least once a month with a wedding question, a fun meme, idea for the wedding or bachelorette, or even just say how excited you are with a count down till the wedding. This not only makes the bride feel important, but it also gives everyone a chance to get to know each other over the length of their engagement so that when the wedding comes around, you are all great friends!


Help the Maid of Honor plan the bridal shower. Did you know that the bride and/or her mom are not supposed to plan the shower? That is the job of the friends or sisters! Make sure to put in effort and come up with a budget for each bridesmaid to pitch in. Show up early, help setup, and put a smile on to welcome guests!


Plan the bachelorette! The bride should not have to coordinate everyone together, pick a location, what to do, where to eat, etc. The bride may have some ideas as to where to go and what her style is. If she wants to do a classy spa day and a nice dinner, that’s great! If she wants a weekend trip, book it! If she wants a night out, make it the best night out! If there is a maid of honor, this is her job, however if nothing has been planned, step up and do it for the bride. She is your friend, she deserves it! Make sure to check in for a budget from the bridesmaids, and try to make it happen! If you want to do a get away, rent a house and get a few of her other friends to join, to cut down on costs! 


As a bridesmaid, you are not required to speak at the wedding. However, we do recommend speaking at the shower, rehearsal dinner, or even giving a small toast to the bride while getting ready on her wedding day. How often do you get to say something heartfelt to someone you care about? This is the perfect opportunity! Pop some champagne in your getting ready robes and say something sweet to the bride on her wedding day.


Bridesmaid. Brides – maid = maid.

Yup you signed up for it without even knowing it. On the wedding day, you are the bride’s maid. You are there to help her pee in that giant dress, get mud off her heels, grab her food, entertain guests, and look great whenever a camera faces your direction! One of the most important things to do is to stay sober. You are representing the bride and groom and need to be there anytime they need help. Stay nearby, stay sober, and smile for the camera! Once the main events of the reception are over, (cake cutting, speeches, special dances) then you can hit the bar.


Wear whatever the bride wants you to wear. Although the color or shape may not be your favorite, It is her day. Most bridesmaid dresses are meant to flatter all shapes and sizes so try to keep an open mind when shopping. If she picks a ball gown with shoulder pads, in hot pink, just roll with it. Trust me, the dress she asks you to wear will only be worn one day, then you can sell it on Poshmark the next day.


Be available for the big events. The wedding date is usually picked about a year out, put it in your calendar immediately so you do not double book that day. You should also reserve three days before the wedding for the dinner rehearsal and a relaxation day. As soon as you get the date for the rehearsal, make sure to take that day off. We recommend rehearsals be on the Thursday before a Saturday wedding. This gives everyone a day of relaxation before the big day. Some brides use this to go with her bridesmaids to get their nails done, get lunch, visit out of town family, and to go to bed early. As a bridesmaid, you should take off that Thursday night, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from work as soon as you know the wedding date. Usually the bridesmaids plan the shower, so make sure everyone agrees on a date and immediately asks for that date off of work once it is okayed with the bride and her immediate family.

We hope you found our top 10 wedding etiquette tips for bridesmaids helpful! We would love to hear your thoughts and anything we may have missed in the comments!

Make sure to check out our other etiquette post, Wedding Etiquette For The Guests!


Shelby & Zachary

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