Things To Know About Being A Bridesmaid
Picture this: your BFF is finally engaged to the love of her life and everyone is cheering and celebrating — next thing you know, a bridesmaid invitation is being handed to you. Whether you’ve been a bridesmaid before or not, this role can be a pretty intimidating responsibility. Things like hen’s night or even angpao rules are just the tip of the iceberg for months of preparation.
For upcoming bridesmaids who are stuck in that “now what?” phase after being given the role, we’ve got you. Here’s a quick breakdown of things to know about being a bridesmaid, from pre-wedding prep up till the big day.
Quick disclaimer: many different wedding factors and expectations depend on the bride’s preferences, so this is just a general guide for reference. The most important part is to check in with what the bride wants for herself.
1. Plan a hen’s night or bachelorette party
Hen’s night or bachelorette party? TL;DR if these terms don’t ring a bell for you — it’s basically a party that bridesmaids throw for the bride before her big day. Think of it like a girl’s night out where there’s usually food, games and alcohol all night long.
It’s up to the bridesmaids to plan how the party goes and ensure that the bride has a good time, right down to the decorations and activities. Most brides will prefer to be surprised, but they tend to drop hints about what kind of party they would like so you’re not going into planning totally blind.
Some hen’s night parties include a yacht party or staycay for a more intimate setting, whereas others prefer chill activities like doing nails or going for a spa treat together. There are also external vendors experienced in throwing parties with fun activities like baking and pole dancing.
2. Assist in the pre-wedding photoshoot
A pre-wedding photoshoot typically takes place at any time before a couple’s wedding date. It may sound as if it’s all up to the photographer, which is true to a certain extent, but most of the behind-the-scenes tasks depend on you.
These tasks include taking care of props, shoes, changing of gowns and tidying her hair. Remember to bring some light refreshments too, because shooting for a whole day can be tiring AF.
Depending on the bride, certain bridesmaids even accompany her to go for dress fittings.
3. Be her minions for her wedding plans
Here’s the hard truth: you’re basically a minion for all the bride’s wedding plans. It’s all worth it at the end of the day, since you only want the best for your friend on this memorable occasion.
The theme of the wedding is up to the bride, but the small details all boil down to your responsibility. Ordering the bridesmaids’ dresses is one such example — though who actually pays for them also depends on the bride.
Some brides pay the full cost of their bridesmaids’ dresses and accessories, whereas some bridesmaids are expected to pay for it themselves. Make sure this is established from the start so there won’t be any miscommunication among the group of girls.
Other roles include ordering floral decorations, attending to wedding vendors, and even filming behind-the-scenes videos if there isn’t an official videographer.
4. Attend the pre-wedding rehearsal
You can’t expect to just show up on the actual wedding day and know what to do. Around two weeks before the wedding, make sure to clear your calendar for the pre-wedding rehearsal so that you’re familiar with the plan on the actual day.
Practice where to go and what to do, right down to walking in sync with the other bridesmaids too. It’s all very serious business, so it’s only appropriate to heed Troy Bolton’s advice here — get your head in the game.
On the big day
1. Plan the wedding gatecrash
To put the term “wedding gatecrash” simply, your role is to make the groom and groomsmen work for the bride with extremely tough games. Come up with your wackiest ideas and put the boys to the test — you have to plan everything from the logistics to hosting the actual games.
Tip: don’t forget to score a few angpaos too while you’re torturing the boys. All in good fun, of course.
2. Take bridesmaids photos
After the bridesmaids’ dresses have promptly arrived, it’s time for the bridesmaids’ photoshoot. More often than not, the shoot happens on the actual wedding day itself, meaning that this dress is also your wedding fit.
Put on your best smile and strike a pose! These photos will be some of the most unforgettable moments of the wedding day. To save time, brainstorm ideas for fun and creative poses you can do as a group before the shoot.
3. Check the decorations and make sure everything is in place
Setting up the wedding venue is one of the biggest tasks a bridesmaid has to do. With all the decorations and vendors arriving on the day, double check that everything is in its right position.
Things like floral arrangements, table decor and wedding favours should be perfectly set up before the guests arrive. Feel free to make a checklist of all the necessary items for efficiency.
4. Work closely with the groomsmen
Though not always necessary, sometimes the groomsmen and bridesmaids will have to pair up to do certain duties together. This includes pairing up for photoshoots, collecting angpao, and working on the wedding decor. You can even think of it as like a giant group project with the bride and groom giving you the final assessment grade.
5. Be her emotional support
A wedding ceremony is an emotional experience for everyone, especially the bride herself. But you don’t want a situation where wedding stress turns her into a bridezilla, aka someone who becomes demanding, obsessive and controlling because things aren’t working out.
As her BFF and bridesmaid, ensuring that she has proper emotional support means everything to her. It’s the biggest milestone of her life — things can’t go wrong. Calm her down if she’s panicking, give her encouragement and touch up her hair and lipstick. Every small action will let her know that you’ve got her back no matter what.
6. Host the reception
When the guests start streaming in, bridesmaids are entrusted to host the reception by directing them to their seats and signing in the guest book. Some bridesmaids also double up as the emcee for the event.
Once the guests are settled, it’s time for you to kick back and enjoy the wedding too. You deserve it, sis.
7. Help her use the toilet
No matter how chio wedding gowns are, it’s not exactly the most practical outfit to be wearing for hours. With countless buttons, zippers and ribbons, even a simple task like going to the toilet can be tough.
That’s where you come in — when the bride needs to do her urgent business, help her to undo the complicated dress. Who knows, your friendship level might be raised by quite a few points after this experience.
8. Your angpao should be bigger as compared to other guests
Here comes the question that nobody dares to ask too loudly: angpao must give how much ah? While there’s no exact amount, it’s more common for bridesmaids to give an angpao that’s 10% to 20% more than the prices you find on websites for hotel banquets.
Singapore Brides has done the math for us by compiling hotel wedding rates islandwide here, so your brain can thank you for easing the stress.
9. Get something practical as a wedding or housewarming gift
While angpaos are traditionally given during weddings, it’s also not surprising to see bridesmaids show up with wedding gifts too. If the couple has already secured a BTO, these wedding gifts can also double as a housewarming gift.
Personalised kitchenware, candles and couch cushions are some common examples of practical gifts for their new home.
1. Clean up
With the wedding ceremony finally done and dusted, there’s one final duty you have to fulfil before you call it a day — clean up. Do a simple sweep such as taking down the decorations that don’t belong to the hotel and returning rental items to wedding vendors.
Not every wedding has an after-party, but if the married couple is down for some drinks to make the night last even longer, this can come in the form of booking tables at a club or bar. Some bridesmaids may be tasked to secure a guest list or book a hotel room to celebrate while the night is still young.
These Duties Prove That Being The Perfect Bridesmaid Is No Easy Task
It’s true that being a bridesmaid isn’t easy — some might even say that the duties are downright exhausting, both physically and mentally. But at the end of the day, know that everything that you do is greatly appreciated by the bride for being there on the best day of her life.