Forget eclectic arrangements - let a single bloom be the focus of your bouquet. Read more »
Just like the bride, you've said "yes!", but what are the
official bridesmaid roles and duties? Crucially, what exactly have
you really let yourself in for? Being a bridesmaid is all about
supporting your best friend on the biggest day of her life: from
helping her into her wedding
dress on the day to throwing an ace
hen party and providing invaluable moral support to tame any
bridezilla moments. But not all bridesmaid roles and duties are
silk and pink roses. In some cases, it can be like having your own
Plan the hen party
The maid of honour is technically in charge of planning the hen party and bridal shower, but as a bridesmaid you will be expected to bring ideas to the table too. From coordinating guests to ordering catering - this is where your fantasy as a party planner can come true. Remember: this day is all about the bride and what she wants, so (as goes across the board), if you don't like it, you may just have to go along with it.
Pay for bridesmaid paraphernalia
Bridesmaids dresses, hen party, bridal shower… the costs can add up. The average wedding costs over £30,000, so don't be offended if the bride-to-be can't stretch to fund your gown. 45% of Brides readers will buy their own bridesmaids dresses (but not bags and shoes) - so it's worth bearing in mind that you may have to cough up for the dress. Similarly, in your duty to help plan the events, comes the duty to help pay. And with many hen parties taking place across a weekend or abroad, it can get pricey. You'll inevitably split the bill, but as it's often a surprise for the bride, you may have to fund some of her portion, too.
Attend the engagement party and rehearsals
As a bridesmaid, you will be expected to attend all pre-wedding
events. That means: bridal shower, hen party, wedding rehearsal,
rehearsal dinner… not to mention wedding dress shopping and general
weekend crisis planning meetings. See, we did say it was like a
Be one step ahead - and handle a bridezilla
If you're a maid of honour or chief bridesmaid, this is where your friendship really comes into play. From being constantly reachable on the phone (yes, last minute panics over whether white roses really are the right choice do happen) to pre-meditating the bride's needs, you'll be. But take it in your stride: create an 'emergency kit' bag for her complete with plasters, paracetamol, tissues and rescue remedy and keep a note of her wedding-day make up so you can have extras in your clutch to touch her up if she forgets.
Take on a supporting role at the wedding ceremony
Those pre-wedding nerves are inevitable and on the day you'll be a calming influence for the bride. Have a few nostalgic stories up your sleeve to help her relax as you help her into her dress. After getting the bride out of the car and making sure her dress looks on-point, you'll follow her up the aisle and sit or stand to her left at the front of the congregation. If you're the maid-of-honour, you'll take her bouquet and look after it until the leaving procession. It's a good idea to keep tissues in your bag should there be any tears of happiness near you!
HOW TO CHOOSE BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES EVERYONE WILL LOVE
Be the life and soul of the reception
You may be asked to be in the 'receiving line' (where the bride
and groom greet guests going into the reception). In this way
you'll act as the bride's back up, making sure guests are having a
good time and everyone is seated where they should be. There'll
inevitably be a bonding moment of holding the bride's dress when
she goes to the loo. But after all that: you've earned that glass
of Champagne. To the dance floor!
Smart brides treat their wedding like a part-time job - this is why! Read more »
What happens when two bridal heavyweights come togehter? Iconic wedding dress designer Oscar de la Renta has answered our invitation dreams: they've launched a wedding stationery range with Paperless Post!
The range is Oscar de la Renta's first stationery collection for two years, and it certainly doesn't disappoint. Three different suites of designs are available, all with Oscar's signature glamorous edge. Both flat designs and embossed formats are possible. We love the flecked metallic details - the navy and gold save-the-date design gets our seal of approval.
Invitations can be fully personalised and are available in both email and traditional hand-held paper formats. Prices start at just £1.50 exclusively at paperlesspost.com