Photo by Sarah Culver Photography
We have a special treat for you today, Junebugs! Andrea Eppolito, top Las Vegas wedding planner, is here to help us better understand the duties of the bridal party, including both maid of honor and bridesmaid responsibilities.
“Have you been asked to join a friend or family member’s bridal party? This spectacular honor calls for more than just a beautiful dress and a toast that elicits both laughter and tears. Accepting a position in a bridal party requires commitment, dedication, a level head, and a bit of responsibility. But with the ever changing rules, what exactly does it mean to be a part of the bridal party?
The Maid of Honor
“the Maid of Honor is part Bridal Party PR, part press secretary, and part admin. She’s responsible for knowing what needs to happen, when it is happening…”
Photo by Becca Rillo Photography
Traditionally speaking, the Maid (or Matron) of Honor, will shoulder the greatest amount of responsibility, both before and after the wedding. With this attendant being the closest to the bride, she will be expected to lead the charge of all bridesmaids and bridal party activities, including helping to plan and host the bridal shower and bachelorette party, as well as helping to wrangle the girls and organize dress fittings, shoe shopping, and any DIY projects that the group undertakes. When various personalities come together, and everyone has an opinion and a perspective, it is the Maid of Honor who is responsible for making sure that the bride’s desires are heard, keeping the rest of the team in check, and giving the bride the support she needs to find and use her voice!
Photo by Holland Photo Arts
On the day of the wedding, and in all the days leading up to it, the most vital thing that a Maid of Honor will do is to be supportive of the bride as she experiences all the emotions of the day. The Maid of Honor often times spends the night before the wedding with the bride, and is with her through out the wedding day, helping her dress, adjusting her accessories, and being by her side right up to those final moments just before she walks down the aisle. Once there, the Maid of Honor will hold her bouquet, present the rings, and ensure that her veil and train are laid out beautifully while she takes her vows. At the reception, the Maid of Honor will make a toast, and handle any needs the bride may have in terms of bustling her dress, collecting personal items, and leaving for the honeymoon.
“These attendants, often time sisters, in-laws, cousins and friends, are there not only to lead the processional down the aisle, but also to provide the bride with the emotional support and to assist the Maid of Honor in fulfilling all of her duties.”
Photo by Heather Elizabeth Photography
In addition to a Maid of Honor, a bride will also select a number of bridesmaids (or men, as the rules are much more flexible these day!) to join the bridal party as well. Planning the bridal shower and the bachelorette party are often times group efforts, with the bridesmaids dividing the duties amongst themselves, each handling a separate task such as reservations, food, transportation, entertainment, etc.
Photo by A Fist Full of Bolts
All members of the bridal party will be responsible for paying for their own formal wear, beauty, and shoes, unless the bride is able to generously provide those. Bridal party members are also responsible for attending the pre-wedding celebrations and the wedding, and for presenting the couple with a gift.
Of all the things a bridal party can do, however, the most vital and most appreciated is simply giving the bride and groom a place where they can be unabashedly happy. Allowing your newly engaged loved ones the freedom to talk, text, and obsess for hours on end over the merits of one shade over another, peonies or roses, stretch limos versus party buses, will be the most valuable and the most appreciated gift you will give. This is a once in a lifetime experience for the engaged couple, and they have chosen to share it with you. There is no greater honor. So the next time someone invites you to join their bridal party, give an enthusiastic “yes!” and enjoy a front row seat to wedding planning.”
Photo by Paul Morse
Thank you so much, Andrea. Your words of wisdom are spot on and extremely helpful! For more expert advice, check out what Marisa from So Eventful has to say about Who Pays for What? when it comes to wedding expenses!