How to Be the Perfect Bridesmaid: Tips on Etiquette

When a bride chooses her bridesmaids, this can be one of the greatest honors bestowed on a friend. Once a bridesmaid is chosen to participate in a wedding, they may have no idea what to do next. There are many ways a bridesmaid can show the bride support. Knowing the bridesmaid etiquette is essential to keeping the bride, groom and wedding party happy.

Moral Support

One of the most important ways you can show the bride support is to be there for her to lean on during the wedding planning process as well as the wedding day. There are many emotions that can come up during these times and she will need her bridesmaids there to help guide her through the emotional maze of the wedding process. There are always issues that can arise such as a nuclear family issue such as step parents and where to seat them and how involved they will be. The bride must make many decisions that can sometimes be hurtful. Many times there is a tight budget and not all family or friends will be invited. A bridesmaid can provide much needed moral support that will minimize the bride’s stress. The best way to show her you are there for her is to check in periodically and make it a point to run special errands or bring her favorite desert when she is feeling overwhelmed. This can work wonders and will let the bride know that she has bridesmaids she can count on not only in her wedding but thorough her life.


The bridesmaids are typically expected to plan a bridal shower for the bride to be. It is important to obtain a list of people the bride would like to invite. Start the planning process by setting up a timeline for the bridal shower and then delegate responsibilities to the other bridesmaids. Many times a family member or office co-worker will throw an additional bridal shower for the bride. If this is the case, it may be a good idea to coordinate lists to be sure that no one is invited to more than one shower for the bride. It is proper etiquette to keep track of the gifts the bride receives and be sure to send personal thank you notes out to each person who came to the shower. The bridesmaids can help the bride by writing down each specific gift and attendee so writing the thank you cards will be easier to write. Offering to create the address labels and mail the thank you cards will be thoughtful and take some of the stress off the bride.

Planning the bride’s bachelorette party is another traditional bridesmaid duty. The maid of honor will typically take the lead on this one but the bridesmaids are expected to be responsible for duties in the party planning and day. Bachelorette parties should be kept within the limits of what the bride is comfortable with. Some disastrous bachelor parties can include planning a party in which the bride herself would not feel comfortable with. A fun an exciting time can include a crazy fun trip to Las Vegas or a nice relaxing day at a day spa. Whatever choice is made, the party should fit the style of the bride.


The bridesmaids’ dresses are traditionally chosen by the bride to complete the color theme of the wedding. Sometimes the bridesmaid dress that is chosen by the bride is not appealing to the bridesmaids. It is proper etiquette to graciously withhold any negative remarks about the dress. A nice way to offer friendly advice is during the decision making process. Offering advice in a non confrontational way is acceptable so long as the choice of the dress be made by the bride. It is a good idea to remember that this is the bride and groom’s big day and the bridesmaids and groomsmen are expected to be a supporting role and not the lead. Although the bridesmaid dresses are typically paid for by the bridesmaid and rarely worn again, the special day is for the bride and groom. More than likely there will be a bridesmaid or two that aren’t happy with the dress choice but keeping a positive attitude will really help the bride.