Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Guest Author Rebekah Rolan on "The Role of a Bridesmaid"

I am thrilled to introduce to you today a guest author on From Miss to Mrs. {the journey}... Rebekah Rolan of Mesopotamia, Ohio.

The subject of interest? BRIDESMAIDS.

Based on some valuable feedback from my readership, I realized that some of you are interested in hearing what you can do to help your sister/cousin/friend as part of her bridal party on her special day. Since I have limited experience myself, I called upon a friend who has much more. So without further ado, here's what Bekah has to say about the bridesmaid's role.

Definition of bridesmaid: A girl or woman who accompanies a bride on her wedding day. (Otherwise known as servant and therapist!)

To all you bridesmaids, maids-of-honor, and personal attendants out there: Congratulations! You must be very special to the bride for her to pick you to take care of her both physically and emotionally on her big day! I have had the pleasure of being all three, and I will say that it has been a ton of fun, and also a boatload of work—but that’s okay!

My first suggestion to you is take a deep breath. (Or several, if one doesn’t help!)

Then go buy a planner or designate a notebook just for details, phone numbers, and schedules.

This is fun! Oh…but it’s a lot of work too.

If you are the maid-of-honor, be the leader of the pack! Keep the bridesmaids informed about all of the showers and pre-wedding events. Make sure they have gotten their dresses and their shoes. Make sure they have transportation and lodging settled if they are from out of town. Basically check up on their details so the bride won’t have to.

If you are a bridesmaid, be willing to follow the leader! Help out wherever you can and attend as many pre-wedding events as possible.

It is generally considered to be in poor taste for the bride’s family to throw the bridal shower, and it’s your job to keep them socially acceptable. Usually, the maid of honor is in charge of planning the party (sending invites and planning a theme, games, décor, and snacks), and she asks for help from the bridesmaids and other friends of the bride. Also, keep a list of gifts and givers at the bridal shower so the bride’s job of writing thank-you cards is easy-breezy.

This will definitely depend on the bride – but some will be okay with a bachelorette party. If so, that’s the maid of honor’s job to plan as well, unless one of her other friends volunteers.

You will probably be expected to go shopping with her while she finds all the elements to make her day perfect. At this point, just lend her your ears and listen. It is important to show interest even as she asks for the millionth time if this ribbon or that fabric is the right color. The last wedding I was in, the whole female side of the wedding party went shopping for shoes. It took hours. We went to at least 5 different stores, and at the end of the day, we still hadn’t found the right pair!

You can also win totally-awesome-friend points by scouring Pinterest or other idea sites so you have ideas to add to hers! She might not take your suggestions, but be supportive of what she decides. There’s actually a fine line here, because you also have to be willing to tell her when she’s gone off her rocker.

You might be asked to help write out invitations, especially if you have nice handwriting.

Attend dress fittings and tell her that she looks lovely in the dress and that her groom will be bowled over when he sees her. This is most likely true, so you won’t have to feel guilty saying it.

You might find that as you get closer to the wedding, the bride will be, shall we say, emotionally volatile. She will call you up at odd times—she’s wondering if she’s doing the right thing because she’s stressed out, her bedroom flooded and ruined decorations, and she had a fight with her mom. At this point, offer encouraging words and pray that she’ll have peace.

Day before the wedding:
Repeat after me: We will pull this off!

Your duties on this day are very versatile. You could end up decorating the reception hall, making a last minute run to pick up dresses, or going through the drive-through because the bride hasn’t eaten anything all day. Just BE AVAILABLE. Whatever she wants, whatever she needs – either do it, or make sure someone else does.

Day of the wedding:
Wedding bells are ringing – or is that just a buzzing in our ears? 

Finally, the wedding day has arrived, and so far everyone’s in one piece (hopefully).

When I was maid of honor, the photographer, hairdressers, and all the bridesmaids stayed at my house on the night before the wedding. It made things easier having pretty much everyone in one place, but because the rest of us were getting ourselves ready, the bride ended up putting on her own dress.

Make the bride’s preparation a priority: Make her eat something for breakfast – even if it’s just tea and toast! Help her dress and do her hair, if needed. Calm her nerves by chanting a mantra about how she’ll be happy forever. Also tell her that it’s not too late, and you’ll drive the get-away car if she needs it.

Finally, my specialty as maid of honor and personal attendant was being ready for ANYTHING. Pack a completely awesome bag of “emergency” things for the wedding day. Imagine every possible thing that she could want or need, and make a list of everything that could go wrong and how to combat it. (No problem, right?)*

Keep track of the flowers and make sure you have phone numbers for the photographer, florist, parents of the couple, caterer, and cake decorator. You may not need them, but have them anyway.

Arrange her skirt one last time before she walks down the aisle.

Maid of honor, hold her flowers while she says her vows.

If you’re maid of honor, give a speech at the reception and sign the certificate as a witness.

Watch them ride into the sunset, and sigh happily.

*Bekah has shared with me her personal list of must-have "emergency" items. I'll be sharing this with you in a future post dedicated solely to Wedding Day Emergency Kits!

What a great list of pointers and advice, right? If you found this post helpful, let Bekah know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!


  1. Absolutely loved this post! It will come in very handy.

    1. Glad to hear it! Thanks for the feedback.

  2. i hope you know that all these things that you post are very helpful to me, seeing as i'm as new to this idea as you are. :) ur the best. just can't wait til your day!!!!!!!!!

  3. c.smuckerphotography directed me to your blog and I've been loving all the helpful tips you give. I think it'd be great to see a post on types of satin or other fabric for formal wear. My mind is spinning with all the different possibilities out there and I wonder which is best! What are the pros and cons of each?

    1. Hi Andrea, thanks so much for your feedback! I love your idea for a post. Unfortunately, that's an area I don't have much expertise in. But I'm going to try to find someone who does, who I can enlist to write a guest post. Thanks again and best wishes!

    2. Andrea, don't miss the answer to your question in today's guest post, found at http://melaniesweddingservices.blogspot.com/2013/12/guest-post-wedding-dress-material-guide.html! Thanks again for your input!


Thanks for reading! Leave your questions or comments here.