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Know Your Bridesmaid Duties and Bridal Etiquette!
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What Are the Bridesmaids Duties?  

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It is a great compliment to be asked to be in a bridal party.  Bridesmaids are usually family members or close friends of the bride.  Being asked to be a bridesmaid is a thoughtful honor, and one that many women feel very happy to experience.

A bride knows that her bridesmaids will be her supporting cast, before, during and after her wedding.  Bridesmaid duties and bridal etiquette is to be taken seriously.  The bridesmaids responsibilities are usually delegated to them by the maid of honor (the main bridesmaid) and the bride.  The number of bridesmaids can depend on the size and cost of the New Jersey wedding.

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Bridesmaids Duties

Bridesmaid duties vary according to the number of bridesmaids you have.  If you have three bridesmaids, you can delegate different bridesmaid duties to each one of them so that your NJ wedding planning can run smoothly.

Bridesmaids responsibilities may include some or most of the list provided below to suit your wedding requirements.  The bridesmaid responsibilities can differ because each New Jersey wedding is unique.

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The Bridesmaid Responsibilities

  • Assist the bride with the planning of her wedding
  • Assist the bride with errands on the wedding day.
  • Help to decorate ceremony location if needed.
  • Assist with bridal hair and makeup.
  • Help with table decorations and DIY wedding crafts.
  • Help with arranging wedding favors.
  • Help maid of honor with the bridal shower and attends prewedding parties.
  • Bridesmaids pay for their own bridesmaid dresses and accessories.
  • Bridesmaids pay for travel expenses and accommodations.
  • Attend ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
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Bridemaids Duties the Morning of the Wedding
The bridesmaids usually get dressed wherever the bride is getting ready.  This is a fun experience and gives everyone the chance to make any last-minute adjustments.  If you are the Maid of Honor, your role is of utmost importance to the bride and the other bridemaids. You must be as helpful and organized as possible and maintain a calming influence throughout the day.  On the morning of the wedding, it is your job to make sure all the attendants know when and where they should be.  Your other duties in the morning include: arriving early at the bride's place for the bridal hair and makeup artist, being on hand to help dress younger attendants, making sure the bride's purse contains tissues and a lip gloss for touch ups throughout the day. We recommend you pack an emergency kit, too – containing items like rescue remedy and a sewing kit in case any clothing rips occur.

The bridesmaids and other attendants often travel to the ceremony with the bride’s mother. Their calming influence may be tested as everyone will be excited and emotional about the upcoming events.
Once all the bridesmaids are assembled, the photographer may want to snap some pictures before the bride arrives. The Maid of Honor will elp organize the other bridesmaids, particularly very young ones.

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Bridesmaids Duties at the Ceremony
When the bride arrives, the Maid of Honor will need to get everyone ready for her entrance.  She will make sure that the bride looks absolutely gorgeous for her big entrance!

Bridesmaids also have very specific bridesmaid duties.
  • Bridesmaids walk down the aisle ahead of the bride during the wedding procession. 
  • They need to know their line-up order.
  • Bridesmaids stand up front during the ceremony.
  • They are photographed as part of the wedding party.
  • Bridesmaids may receive a wedding gift from the bride.
Once the bride has joined the groom, the Maid of Honor takes her bouquet and holds them for the duration of the service.  If in a church, when the couple sign the register, the Maid of Honor goes with them into the room, accompanied by the best man, to witness the signing.  On leaving the ceremony venue, the maid of honor and the best man take their positions behind the bride and her new husband for the recessional.  The bridesmaids then will be escorted back by the ushers.  Once everyone is outside, the photographer takes more photos.  The bride may want the bridesmaids to be a part of the receiving line. The purpose of the line is to allow the guests to meet the bridal party, and to ensure that the bride and groom say at hello and thank you to each guest.
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Bridesmaids Duties at the Reception

Once at the wedding reception hall, make sure that the guests are enjoying themselves and don’t need anything. In this way you act as the bride’s back-up; she will have only limited time to spend with each guest. Although the speeches at the reception are generally made by the Best Man, it is becoming more usual for the bride and/or the Maid of Honor to make a speech.  Then, the first dance is exclusively reserved for the newlyweds. The bridemaids duties continue:

  • Be seated at your chosen table.
  • Be photographed as part of the wedding party.
  • Have a dance with the groomsmen.
  • Assist the maid of honor when needed.
  • Help decorate reception beforehand if asked.
  • Help load gifts into car with the help of the groomsmen.
  • Help with with any clean-up at the end of the night, if needed.
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Bridesmaids . . . Did You Know?  

The facinating history of the bridesmaid varies across time periods, cultures, and religions. In early Roman times, bridesmaids formed a bridal troop.  They marched alongside to accompany the bride to the groom’s village. This protective shield of similarly outfitted bridesmaids was supposed to intervene if any vengeful suitors or thugs tried to hurt the bride or steal her dowry.  

The Western bridesmaid tradition however; seems to have originated from later Roman law, which required 10 witnesses at a wedding in order to outsmart evil spirits believed to attend marriage ceremonies.  The bridesmaids and ushers dressed in identical clothing to the bride and groom, so that the evil spirits wouldn’t know which couple was actually getting married.  Even as late as 19th century England, the belief that ill-wishers could administer curses and taint a couple's marriage still existed.  For example, in Victorian wedding photographs, it can take quite a bit of inspection to pick out the bride and groom!

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Planning a Wedding in New Jersey?

So you’ve got the ring, you’ve thrown the engagement party; it’s now time to set your wedding date and actually start planning your wedding.  When planning a New Jersey wedding, you’ll look for inspiration and suggestions along the way.  That’s where BestWeddingNJ.com comes in!  Discuss your personal New Jersey wedding planning with Reverend Diane, a FREE service available at BestWeddingNJ.com. Just contact us and she will answer any question concerning your New Jersey wedding planning and New Jersey wedding ceremony.

Getting married is one of the great joys of life.  May you begin a lifetime of love and happiness!

Infinite Love,
Reverend Diane Cuesta

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