#7. Offer Moral Support
Wedding planning puts a load of stress on brides, and the bridesmaid should be the best cheerleader for the bride. When planning their weddings, most brides become cranky and bitchy; that is when they complain about what they’re going through with the vendors, bicker about her ‘difficult’ mother-in-law, nag about the fight she had with her significant other. So, the bride is always looking for a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear to pour all her complains to. As a bridesmaid, expect to occasionally get distressed calls from the bride. Your role is to just be there for her, offer your shoulder for her to cry on, and give her a pair listening ears so she can vent to her heart desire. Be there also to calm her down when she feels stressed or cold feet.
In a situation like that, a bridesmaid should help cheer the bride up and bring back the positive energy she needs to bounce back to her good old, happy self. If you feel that she is super-stressed, talk her into taking a short break from wedding planning, and resume after she has recharged. Encourage her to go out on a bride-bridesmaid lunch date, once in a while – which is helpful for relieving her wedding planning stress. Even if you’re so many miles apart from the bride, you can still be there for her via video calls or face-time, everyone in a while.
#8. Save Money While Being a Bridesmaid: Don’t go broke while carrying out your bridesmaid role. Once you’ve agreed to be a bridesmaid, make a budget for how much it will cost you (see the bridesmaids’ expense list down below). Finally, start on early to save up that amount – keep away a specific amount every month.
MORE TIPS FOR BRIDESMAIDS AND BRIDES:
- Latest Bridesmaids Dresses Spotted at Nigerian Weddings
- Best Wedding Gown Style for Your Shape
- 17 Wedding Gown Shopping Tips To Save Money (and Time)
B: Wedding Day – Bridesmaids Responsibilities (Checklist)
#9. Help With Tasks During the Reception
On the wedding day, the bridesmaid’s duty is to carry out any task the bride assigned to her, such as coordinating some parts of the wedding reception, calling and following up with vendors to make sure they arrive at the wedding venue on time or helping to collect cash ‘sprayed’ on the couple when they dance. Other bridesmaids’ wedding-day roles include the safe-keeping of wedding gifts for later transfer to the bride. In some rare instances, such as in a low-cost wedding where there was not enough cash to hire ushers and servers, bridesmaids in Nigeria have been helping double up as ushers to direct arriving guests to their seats. Sometimes in Nigeria, if a wedding turns rowdy such as during meal-serving, some bridesmaids help serve food and drinks to guests, in order to keep the event organized.
#10. Help Bride Be Early and Dress Up Before the Wedding Event
Everyone knows that it is the responsibility of a bridesmaid to assist the bride get ready and dress up early on the day of the wedding ceremony. Since most weddings in Nigeria take place early on Saturday morning, the trend is that brides are staying together with their entourage in a hotel suite near their wedding venue.
- Why Many Brides Are Late to Their Own Weddings (and How to Avoid It)
#11. Help Oversee the Wedding Reception to Ensure Everything Goes Well
With the other bridesmaids, your duty is to help the bride coordinate the wedding reception, to ensure that she will have fun to the fullest, being confident that you and the other bridesmaids can handle any ugly, unexpected something that goes wrong in the wedding, behind her.
#12. Prevent Emergency
With the bride and the other bridesmaids, put together the bridal emergency kit.
#13. Keep Things Safe
On behalf of the couple, help collate gifts brought by guests and also assist to pack the cash sprayed at the wedding and keep them safe, then later handover to the bride. If the couple plans to leave for the honeymoon immediately after the wedding reception, the bridesmaid’s duty is to also help them keep their personal belongings safe.
#14. Have Her Back on the Wedding Day
Do everything to make sure that the bride is calm and looks like a princess on her big day (isn’t why they call them the “bride’s MAIDS”?
#15. Attend to Bride: Attend to the bride during the wedding – in case she needs anything.
#16. Entertain Guests: Part of the bridesmaid’s duty is to make the wedding not-boring by mixing and mingling with guests, sometimes joining ushers to greet guests, help keep the dancing floor busy.
That’s all there is on everything you need to know about the duties of a bridesmaid. Now that you know, if you’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid, do you think you can do put up with all the tasks? If no, the noble thing to do is to go back and say ‘ no’ to the bride. It’s better to say no than to destroy your relationship with the bride if she finds you not putting in your all to doing the bridesmaid duties.
- SEE ALSO: How to Make Party Doughnuts from Scratch (with Party-Size Ingredients List)
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The Expenses Involved: What Do Bridesmaids Pay For?
Being a bridesmaid is expensive. Not knowing who pays for what is the cause of friction and bad blood in brides-and-bridesmaids relationships that went sour. So, what should the bride pay for and what should the bridesmaid pay for? Below is a financial responsibilities breakdown and assignment between the bride and bridesmaid.
How Much Should a Bridesmaid Budget In Advance?
If you’re asking ‘how much does it cost to be a bridesmaid?’ or ‘what should a bridesmaid pay for and what should the bride provide to the bridesmaid’, the answer is that there’s no single, fixed price for every bridesmaid duty. Bridesmaids’ needs for each wedding will be different, depending on the choice of bridesmaid’s dress and fashion accessories that the bride picked (some outfits are more expensive than others).
Also, the bridesmaid is responsible for transporting herself to the wedding venue, and the cost will depend on how far the wedding is location is from where she lives For out-of-the-state or outside-the-country Nigerian weddings, bridesmaids are expected to pay their own hotel accommodation. A bridesmaid’s look will not be complete without fresh makeup and hairstyle, and those things cost money. [HINT: If you’re going to be a bridesmaid, you can save money by learning how to do your own makeup like a pro].
To help you make a budget for how much it will cost you to play a bridesmaid role, below is a complete list of typical bridesmaid expenses for a Nigerian wedding:
- A bridesmaid dress: The choice of outfit is usually made by the bride – could be a ready-to-wear dress or custom-tailored, which includes the cost of fabric and tailor’s sewing service charge);
- Fashion accessories: Includes shoes, hair fascinator, earrings, belts and more, as required to complete the look agreed with the bride;
- Hair, Makeup, Eyelashes, and Nails [Save money by learning how to fix eyelashes yourself].
- Transportation to and from the wedding venue (within the same state, in Nigeria)
- Travel and accommodation if the wedding is in a state or country different from where you live. Some brides are gracious enough to pay for transport-to-another-state or international travel/ flight and hotel accommodation for their bridesmaids. Some courteous brides make arrangements for out-of-town bridesmaids to stay with family or friends for free).
- Wedding Gifts for the couple: Yes, etiquette demands that you still need to buy the bride a personal gift. Where the cost implication of being a bridesmaid is high, some bridesmaids give a group gift to the bride. If money is tight and you’re giving an individual gift, it’s okay to give an affordable gift.
- Bridal shower contribution (the cost is usually split among all bridesmaids): All bridesmaids will organize/ plan and also contribute money to throw a bridal shower for the bride. (This is an optional expense, as not every bride in Nigeria has a bridal shower)
- Bridal shower gift (optional expenses, only applies if there was a bridal shower party).
So, how much in total will you spend to be a bridesmaid? That, you will know by going out to get prices for each above-listed expense, and then adding them up. And, if you discover you cannot afford the cost of being a bridesmaid for your friend or a family member, it’s okay to politely decline.
- READ ALSO: How to Make a Wedding Budget from Scratch