Webster’s Dictionary defines a bridesmaid as “a woman who is an attendant of a bride.”

I will define for you what Bridesmaids are not.

Bridesmaids are NOT
…Your Personal Assistant
While bridesmaids are more than willing to track down a lost package of tuxedo socks, double check on your plane reservations or bring you a latte and cake pop when things get ‘cray cray’,  they are not your 24hr a day PA, so don’t treat them as such. They have lives of their own.

…Your Wedding Planner
As I am sure you have pieced together, weddings are big and have a lot of moving parts. That is why there is a whole profession dedicated to planning them. If you need a wedding planner, GET a wedding planner.   (“A cadre of bridesmaids does not a wedding planner make”- Wedding Yoda)

While bridesmaids are usually more than happy to help smooth over some last minute logistic snafus, if no thought has gone into how you will get your gear from the wedding location back to the hotel or how you will preserve your $900 bouquet while on your honeymoon, don’t take it out/put that responsibility on the bridesmaids.  

…Made of Money
We all know it costs a pretty penny to have a wedding, but it’s also not cheap being in one. In addition to the typical expenses of airfare and hotel, which are doubled for a bridesmaid because of the bridal shower AND the wedding, bridesmaids must also purchase their wedding ensemble. It’s more than just the dress.  The bridesmaids wedding ensemble includes: the dress, the shoes and sometimes specified jewelry and all necessary salon treatments.  
Brides should consider these expenses when picking out bridesmaid dresses and all of the accoutrements.   While that Vera Wang $800 bridesmaids dress maybe the exact replica of the dress from your favorite fairytale, remember your poor bridesmaid who has to buy it and then spend $200 getting it altered. Boutique sizes fit NO ONE!
RULE OF THUMB: Your bridesmaid’s ensembles should not cost more than your wedding dress. (“When bridesmaids dress cost more than yours, up yours!” - Wedding Yoda)

…Your Maintenance Crew
Bridesmaids don’t mind rearranging a few chairs or hanging a few decorations the day of the wedding, to help make sure that everything is JUST right, but they are not a maintenance crew. Do not expect them to set up/break down tables and chairs, move large pieces of furniture or hang new curtains or lights.  If any task you ask of your bridesmaids requires the use of a ladder or dolly, you need to hire a professional.  That is what they are for.

…Cooks/ Caterers
Bridesmaids are usually more than willing to help you stuff a few Jordan almonds into some sacks or pop open a few bottles of champagne at the rehearsal dinner.  But don’t expect them to bartend or ‘check the oven’ for some appetizers during the reception.

…Free Labor
You want help putting together your invitation packets?  Cool. 
Ask your bridesmaids. 

You want help creating the thank you favors for guests?  Great. 
Ask your bridesmaids. 

But do not ask your bridesmaids to spend hours sewing your grandmothers lace on to your wedding dress, just because you don’t want to pay the seamstress to do it, or to polish all of the special antique glassware for the reception.



It is not the bridesmaids’ job to manage your crazy family or keep them from killing each other.  YOU need to deal with them or suffer the consequences. 

Someone in your family is going to piss off one of your bridesmaids.  One of your bridesmaids will piss of some member of your family.  Be prepared for it.  You will need to channel your inner Dr. Drew (aka intervene), either on behalf of the bridesmaid or the family member, hopefully before blood is shed, but definitely before the cake is cut. 

They will stand up with you, on one of the most important days of your life wearing an ugly expensive dress that they will never wear again, uncomfortable shoes, too much makeup and running on too little sleep …because they love you.