What are the Duties of a Bridesmaid and Expenses Involved

The job of a bridesmaid doesn’t come with an information sheet or manual containing a list of duties, what the bridesmaid pays for or should budget for. The lack of such a guide is the reason why many brides and bridesmaids relationships end before the wedding day. Usually, a new bridesmaid comes not knowing what to do, and some brides even ask for too much from their bridesmaids, making it difficult for both of them to agree and also making the bridesmaid expenses too expensive for the girls. This post aims to bridge the information and knowledge gap for both brides and intending bridesmaids so that each party knows what is expected in advance and what not to expect.

Also, getting both bride and bridesmaids more informed on ‘who does what’ and ‘who pays for what’ will keep each party in their lane.  If you have recently said ‘yes’ to a bride, and are looking for a bridesmaid roles and responsibilities guide book, this post will provide you with answers and guidelines to what every bridesmaid needs to know. I’ll also touch on the meaning of ‘a bridesmaid’, and answer the questions: ‘what are bridesmaid’s duties’,  ‘how expensive is it, or how much does it cost to be a bridesmaid?’ and ‘what do bridesmaids pay for?’ Consider this article ‘the bridesmaid’s checklist’ or to-do list. Now, let’s get right into it.

bridesmaids duties and cost involved

What is Really the Purpose of a Bridesmaid?

By definition, a bridesmaid is a young woman or girl who is a close friend or relative of the bride, and who the bride has asked to assist her through the wedding planning, offer moral support and also attend to her needs on the wedding day.  The bridesmaid helps the bride to make the wedding more entertaining by mingling with guests and sometimes joins the bride to put up a dance show for guests.

The role of a bridesmaid goes beyond wearing a beautiful dress, carrying a cute mini-bouquet to pose by the bride in wedding pictures. The bride didn’t choose you just because you are a fine girl. The truth is that she chose you because she expects you to help her out with wedding-related tasks, before the wedding, and a few responsibilities on the wedding day. Read on for everything a bridesmaid is supposed to do and the list of expenses involved with being a bridesmaid.


What Does a Bridesmaid Do? Roles and Responsibilities List

Being a bridesmaid is a JOB, a part-time role. Like any other job, it has its job description to give the bridesmaid an idea of the responsibilities involved in the role you said ‘yes’ to. That’s what this section will give you – a list of everything a bridesmaid does. I have divided up the bridesmaids’ duties timeline into (a) before the wedding and (b) on the wedding day.  If you’re a bride reading this, make sure to share this post with your bridesmaid.

A: Before the Wedding – What Bridesmaids Do

#1. Be Available for Wedding Date and Important Pre-Wedding events

Immediately you accept to be a bridesmaid, your first duty is to mark out the dates for the bride’s wedding, bridal shower, traditional engagement party – and free up your time so that you will definitely be there. If you absolutely would not be free for any of those important events, ensure to inform the bride early.

#2. Assist Bride With Wedding-Related Tasks

Before the wedding day, assist the bride during the wedding planning. Be “the bride’s MAID” by being useful to take part in executing the bride’s wedding planning to-do checklist – that could mean you running errands here and there, following up on the vendors, advising the bride on matters she needs your input, and showing up every once in a while (if you live close to her).  Some wedding planning tasks the bride usually ask their bridesmaids for help include:

  • Help wrap and pack the wedding souvenirs.
  • Help write addresses on the wedding invitation cards.
  • Help send out final payments to vendors, on behalf of the bride, if she asks you.

#3. Help Organize, Pay for and Attend the Bridal Shower

If there will be a bridal shower, you should join the other bridesmaids to plan the party. The tradition is that all the bridesmaids contribute money towards organizing the bridal shower.

#4. Accompany the Bride to Shop, When Invited

If you live close to the bride, she may invite you to join her in shopping for her wedding outfits, to choose fabrics or style for her traditional wedding attire and more.

#5. Accompany Bride to Vendor Meetings

The bride may occasionally ask you to accompany her to meetings with wedding vendors and reception venue checks.

#6. Give an Honest Opinion When Asked

Wedding planning involves making a lot of choices and decisions – when shopping, when hiring vendors, choosing wedding colours, picking outfits and deciding every single detail. In these types of matters, brides need validation from their bridesmaids, closes friends or relatives, and their opinions too.  During shopping or choosing wedding colours, fabrics or venue decor colour combo, the bride usually relies on one or more trusted persons whose opinions she values to help her make the final decision for things like choosing the perfect wedding gown for her shape. Expect the bride to call you every now and then, asking for your opinion on wedding-related matters and conflicts with her fiance and inlaws. Ensure to be honest with her, as the trusted friend you are.


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About Stella Anokam

Stella is the founder and Editor of this blog (NaijaGlamWedding). Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Submit your photos to be featured - it's FREE, because we love everything weddings, bridal showers, engagement shoots.


  1. VERY late comment I know but I just stumbled on this link online 🙂

    This post spoke to me!! If I as the bride chooses to cover any of the costs, then fine but it should not be expected, and if the person being asked to be a bridesmaid feels they can’t spare their time or money they should say it from the beginning rather than making the bride feel uncomfortable when she’s already super stressed! I wish some bridesmaids had read this post before agreeing to be a bridesmaid hahaha.

    I wrote a similar post on this a couple of years ago but that was before my wedding so I’m much wiser now lol.

    Thanks for a good read 🙂

    • Hello Mimi,

      Thanks for stopping by. Lol – your comment is not late at all.

      You’re so right – some bridesmaids put up attitudes that stress out brides during the wedding planning. May be it’s for fear of saying “No” to the bride when asked to be a BM, or just didn’t bother to find out what a bridesmaid is expected to pay for. I know, it can be an awkward moment when the wedding day is getting close and the bride is getting a feeling that one or more bridesmaids may back out – that’s what informed the above post and I believe that if more bridesmaids know that accepting to be a BM comes with costs.

      I read your post on this same subject and liked that you shared own personal experience during your wedding planning. By the way, I love your style of writing – it’s fresh and friendly.

  2. Blaque Pearl says

    Story in bundle Stella! Sorry to bust ur bubble , call me whatever but I’m doing away with that whole bridesmaid thing.. I don’t have the energy for all their razzmatazz . my pictures won’t look any less pretty without them! My maid of honor is well off ok. Abeg I no do!

    • Hahaha. go for it girl! I feel you – it’s your wedding jare. That’s exactly what I tell brides – it’s not by force to have bridesmaids. Many weddings in Nigeria and abroad look amazing without them. My dear, your wedding pictures will still look great.

  3. It OK. What if the braidsmaid is not working?

    • Hi Promise. If a person you want to make your bridesmaid does not have a job, the bride MAY decide to help that bridesmaid pay for her bridesmaid dress, shoes, hairstyling and more – because if the bride doesn’t help out, that bridesmaid may start dodging to attend the wedding (not knowing how to tell the bride she can’t AFFORD the expenses required to be a bridesmaid. If the bride cannot help her out, it’s better to choose someone else who can foot the bill. I wrote more tips about this in the above post under the sub-heading “how to be a bridesmaid on budget”.

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