Bridesmaid Duties: What to Expect from your Maids

Asking your BFFs to be your bridesmaids is a pre-wedding highlight after getting engaged. Whether you’re born sisters, soul sisters or met traveling on Contiki, your bridesmaids are a carefully select group of allies on the biggest day of your life. They’ll help you in and out of the car, they’ll lift the back of your dress so it doesn’t get dirty, they’ll make sure you’ve eaten (or drunk) enough. They are your wing-people (we’re gender-neutral here of course.)

But where do you draw the line with asking TOO much of your maids?

The key to a happy maid (and therefore a happy bride) is wrapped up in one, tiny, very important word: expectations. Managing your maid’s expectations early on in the planning process is so important. It means they don’t need to feel jilted last minute when they’re rushing to pick up a dress they didn’t know about or having to build up the nerves to do a speech they’re unprepared for, or worse – pay for things they hadn’t put in their budget.

Chatting about your expectations as a bride, and hearing what the maids expect is so important. Not only for on-the-day stuff but also for your friendship. Money, stress and lack of time can cause serious tension at the best of times. Mix them into a wedding cocktail and if everyone isn’t on the same page, some friendships may be stretched and tested.

First things first, the budget.

Attending a wedding in the bridal party can be quite expensive. Let’s roughly tally up the costs for a bridesmaid attending a wedding 2 hours from their house…

  • Travel – $200
  • Accommodation – $500
  • Dress – $300
  • Shoes – $100
  • Hair & Makeup – $150
  • Accessories – $50
  • Spray tan – $30
  • Gift – $200

TOTAL = $ 1,530

And that’s not including the Hen’s night, bridal shower or engagement party!

Sadly, there is no real formula or textbook answer as to who pays for what. And we get it – weddings can be expensive and you’re already paying thousands of dollars for everyone else to attend! But it is really important to have a clear understanding from the outset of what you’re paying for your maids, and what they’re comfortable contributing. The worst thing you can do is assume they’re OK with laying out $500 for a new dress and shoes. Discuss it openly, don’t be afraid to lay it all on the table – it will save you any issues in the long run.

What are bridesmaid’s actual duties?

Good question. Is it the bridesmaid’s job to put out the decorations? Pick up the flowers on the morning of the wedding? Meet the DJ at the venue? Or clean up at the end of the night?

No, not really. We might call them maids but they’re not actual servants! They are there to support you emotionally on the biggest day of your life. Having your maids schlep around in the heat, melting their makeup and ruining their curls while setting up decorations (that they’ve never done before) or being in charge of your vendors bump in times, is not your bridesmaid’s job.

See, the problem is when your maids are running around doing all that busy-bee wedding prep, they’re not spending quality time with you (A wedding coordinator could be managing those things for you!)

A bridesmaid is there to help you pick out your dazzling wedding gown, share input into your honeymoon destination, assist with the DJs playlist, plan an epic hens party and bridal shower, decide if the caramel or white chocolate cake is better and help you with your dress if you need it. Sure, on the day there are going to be things that arise where they can jump in and help out! But just remember they’re not there to work. They are there to support you.

Have a question or feedback? We’d love to hear from you.

Happy Planning!


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