Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

April 2012

The Bridesmaid and Her Duties

You’ve been asked the big question, and you’ve said “yes” while wrapping the other person in a tight embrace. No, I’m not talking about a wedding proposal. I’m referring to the other big question where you’ve been asked to join in your friend’s wedding celebrations as a bridesmaid. Are you rubbing your hands excitedly and asking, “So, where do I start?”

Let’s begin by recalling that initial excitement, joy and honour you felt when asked. Feel it running through your veins yet? Good, remember how that feels – you’ll need it to survive through the next few (or more) months. Next, understand that as a bridesmaid, the bride-to-be’s emotional and logistical support, you may even be as busy than she will be. If you’ve been made the maid-of-honour, you’ll also hold a major share in most of the decision-making involved in the wedding planning.

Let me simplify that for you: you are the bride-to-be’s underling and you will do whatever she needs to be done for her.

What Makes a Bridesmaid

Calvary Baptist Church Singapore Wedding bridesmaids 53Germaine and Mitchell’s Glamourous Wedding at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore by Antelope Studios

Sounds scary and dictatorial? Look at it this way: the key to a successful partnership is to want what she wants. If she needs you to step in to talk to the florist about her bouquet, you do just that. Ideally, you should be organised, calm, enthusiastic, focused, co-operative and supportive during your stint a a bridesmaid because the bride-to-be will be, at times, anything but that.

It is up to you to cope with her stress-induced hysteria and lash-outs, and steer her in the right direction when she is overwhelmed with wedding jitters.

Duties of a Bridesmaid

Creating Memories Blessed-i Photography 1 Creating Memories with Blessed-i Photography

What the duties of a bridesmaid are could be a list longer than Rapunzel’s hair, depending on how demanding the bride-to-be is. To make your life easier, we’ve singled out some core bridesmaid’s duties to get the ball rolling. Our recommendation? Learn them as commandments before you embark on your journey as your mate’s bridesmaid.

1. Lending your ear to the bride-to-be is a common and core duty of a bridesmaid.

Who else could understand her stress-induced mood swings and reassure her that she’ll always have someone to turn to but her closest friend? Your job is to calm her frazzled nerves, offer solutions to her problems if you can find one, and keep her smiling.

2. Offer to help out in any and every aspect of her wedding planning.

Have you seen her wedding to-do list? Then you’ll know just how many things she needs to get ready within that short few months. Help out in whichever pre-wedding task she needs help with, such as addressing invitations or dropping by the florist to check on her bouquet. Offer your services to the maid-of-honour as well by involving yourself and taking initiative in the planning of pre-wedding parties such as the bridal shower or the bachelorette party.

3. Be a hostess to her guests at the wedding.

Give the bride-to-be a peace of mind by playing hostess to her guests during the reception and throughout the night. Greet and encourage them to sign in the guestbook. Show them where to deposit their gifts and ensure that these are kept in a safe place. Notify them of their table numbers and show them to their seats if necessary.

4. Maid of Honor duties.

If you’ve been asked to be the Maid-of-Honour, your duties are not limited to those of a bridesmaid. Possibly busier than the bride-to-be herself, you have to manage both her and the group of bridesmaids. Go along with her for dress fittings and learn how to wear the bridal gown. Chances are, you’ll be the one lacing or hooking her up on that day, and you need to know where the concealed hooks or buttons are, and where the laces should be.

Obligations of a Bridesmaid

Kaleidoscope Flower Field Hall Wedding At Gardens By The Bay 50Constance and Jason’s Kaleidoscope Flower Field Hall Wedding at Gardens by The Bay by Samuel Goh Photography

So, you know what you are expected to do as a bridesmaid but do you know what you are obliged to do as one?

1. It’s not for you to choose.


No, I’m not talking about the bridesmaid’s dress – I’ll get to that later. I’m talking about your attendance, whether it is at bridal luncheons, dress fittings or the actual day. As part of the bridesmaid troupe, you are obliged to say “yes” to every outing related to the wedding. So unless you have fallen ill, are bound by work commitments or struck by a family emergency, you will smile and promise your attendance to all.

2. Her wedding, her call.


You’ve probably noticed that since the first “yes” you’ve said to the whole bridesmaid shenanigan, there isn’t much room for you to say “no” to anything afterwards. Even (and especially) when it comes to your bridesmaid dress. Of course, your opinions and suggestions of a more flattering colour and silhouette that’ll suit everyone will be taken into consideration. But if she decides to go ahead with her choice, you still have to say “yes” to it. Remember, you’ll only be in the dress for 24 hours tops and what you do with it after is entirely up to you – there is no need to ruin your friendship with the bride-to-be.

3. Be prepared to part with some money.

Not every bride will pay for her bridesmaids’ dresses. Some will offer to sponsor fully or part of the bill, while those on a tight budget will send their bridesmaids off on a hunt with a specific theme or colour in mind. So don’t be too shocked when you learn that you’ll have to fork out a sum of money for her big day. If you should have some difficulties with this issue, you should pull the bride-to-be aside and discuss this quietly with her.

4. Plan a bachelorette party to die for.


Give the bride a fabulous send-off from singledom. For the more outgoing brides-to-be, arrange for a private bachelorette party (read: ultra-secret lap dances) or bring her out to paint the town red – without getting into serious trouble. Or, if the bride-to-be does not take to this sort of celebration, you could always opt for a calmer and more relaxing range of activities like a day at a spa, or a girls-day-out with brunch, shopping and stay-overs. Because the bachelorette party’s expenses will be covered by the bridesmaids, run your ideas by everyone to ensure a consensus – this makes splitting the bill easier.

5. Tie up the loose ends.


It’s the end of the night for the happy couple but not yet for you. Send the newly-weds to rest while you handle all the loose ends that needs tying up. Ask the other bridesmaids to chip in and ensure that vendors turn up to collect their respective items and all gifts and red packets are packed and delivered safely to the couple’s room. Make sure that no articles of belongings or guestbooks are being left behind at the banquet hall.

Navy and White Parisien Garden Wedding at Grand Hyatt Singapore bride and bridesmaids shotVivian and Josh’s Parisian Garden Wedding at Grand Hyatt Singapore by Bloc Memoire Photography

Remember, you are the bride-to-be’s right and left hand. Also, it would help to recall that immense joy and honour you felt when being asked, and you’re good to go.

Credits: Feature Image from Annabel and Weijie’s Dreamy Intimate Wedding at Food For Thought, Singapore Botanic Gardens by Bloc Memoire Photography