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8 Ways to Be the Best Bridesmaid Ever


Your best friend is getting married and you’ve been asked to be in her wedding. First you’re met with excitement, but then feelings of nervousness come into play. Whether you have been a bridesmaid before or this is your first time, there are small things you can do that show the bride you’re up to the job and that, most importantly, you’re there to help whenever she may need you.

Follow these eight tips and you’ll stand out as bridesmaid of the year at your friend’s upcoming nuptials!

1. Don’t make bridesmaid dress shopping a nightmare

Tagging along when the bride is dress shopping? You might have opinions on what’ll look best on everyone, but remember, this isn’t your wedding. You might absolutely hate the bridesmaid dresses that the bride chooses in the end, but she has the ultimate say on how she wants her bridal party to look, and you can help by being open-minded and down to wear whatever she has lined up.

Danielle Gorman, the owner of Magnolia West—an event concierge offering consulting and design services to brides—believes you should stay neutral while trying on bridesmaid dresses. “If asked your thoughts on the dress, refrain from nasty comments like ‘it’s ugly’ or ‘I’m not wearing it,’” Gorman says. “Instead, offer your opinion in a nicer way. You never want to upset the bride!”

If there’s a style you already know you won’t be comfortable wearing (for example, if a certain cut is too revealing), try to talk to the bride earlier on in the dress search. Ask her if she would be opposed to having the girls in different styles, but keeping with the overall color theme and material of the dress. The bride will appreciate you letting her know ahead of time instead of trying to switch things around when she’s already made a decision.

2. When asked to help out, pitch in wherever you can

There is a ton of work that goes into planning a wedding. Between looking for a reception venue to deciding on a wedding dress, there is a lot of pressure on the bride to make sure everything is perfect. Your friend may call on you to help put together wedding favors or stuff invitations into envelopes, but whatever it is, show her that you’re there to help when she needs extra hands.

“Prepare to be called on to solve anything (quickly!) that may lead to a meltdown,” says Krystle Park, a Rutgers University graduate who served as maid of honor in her best friend’s wedding a few months ago. “Minor mishaps are bound to happen as the bride will be understandably stressed on the days, hours and minutes leading up to the most important day of her life.”

Let the bride know you’re up for anything, in case she may need you to pick up the bouquets while she runs out to grab the marriage license or do anything else she asks—no matter how random the task!

“I was the same shoe size as my friend who got married in the Fall, so I broke in her heels for her,” says Meghan Miller, a 2010 graduate of The College of New Jersey who was a bridesmaid in her friend’s wedding last year. “I scuffed up the bottom of her heels so that she wouldn’t slip down the aisle as she made her way towards her groom!”

As for the bridal shower, leave the planning to the maid of honor and the mother of the bride—but do let them know you’re available if they need anything. You don’t want to step on any toes by joining the planning process uninvited, but if you’re called on for some help, don’t hesitate to step up.

“Make yourself available to do projects beforehand and assist in the set up and clean up the day of the event,” Gorman says. “Being prepared is super important and you don't want the bride to feel at all like she has to do anything at her shower.”

3. Lend a listening ear to the bride

She may have pre-wedding jitters or she may just need some advice on seating arrangements because her Aunt Judy doesn’t get along with Uncle Louis. Whatever it is, make sure you sit down and listen to her vent. Offer advice as best you can and try to help her solve the problem at hand—or, don’t talk about it at all! Sometimes a fun, girly chat is all she needs to be able to clear her head and move on.

“Make sure the bride stays happy,” Krystle says. “Remind her and her groom that this is their day. The two of them will appreciate and remember your support in the years to come following the wedding.”

4. Send her fun pins for her wedding board on Pinterest

Every bride-to-be has a wedding board on Pinterest. It’s a fun way to gather ideas that will fit with the wedding theme and the boards allow you to visualize what the finished product will actually look like.

Create a secret board and invite the bride, along with the rest of the bridesmaids, to pin creative ideas like fun wedding day hairstyles, bridal shower ideas and even cute bridesmaid poses you can hand off to the photographer.

The bride will appreciate an extra set of eyes and bursts of creativity during a time when her mind might be bogged down with other wedding-planning tasks.

5. Make sure you have health and beauty essentials on hand during the wedding

On the day of the wedding, equip yourself with an emergency bridesmaid kit full of health and beauty essentials you’ll need access to during the day.

Jen Glantz, who is a professional bridesmaid (yes, there is such a thing) in her business Bridesmaid for Hire, says that if you come prepared, you won’t have to worry about stopping by the store to pick up something you might really need last minute, like headache medicine!

“All the things you think you won't need—or think someone else will bring, will probably be absent on the morning of the wedding,” says Glantz. “So when you, the bride, and the other bridesmaids are getting ready, be sure to have a kit of essentials with you so that no one has to take a last minute emergency trip to CVS. Some of those essentials include: phone chargers, bobby pins, and Advil!”

Don’t forget fashion must-haves like a travel sewing kit, fashion tape, a stain pen and static spray so that you avoid any fashion faux pas that might come up.

In addition to having all the essentials on hand, the morning of the wedding is a crucial time to be helpful to the bride.

“Keep her refreshed with drinks and make sure she eats throughout the day,” Gorman says. “Assist with a gift exchange if the couple will be doing one, run any last minute errands that might pop up and keep everything light and upbeat. The less she has to think about or do the better. Be a support system and stay positive!”

6. Follow the two-drink rule

You don’t want to be remembered as the drunken bridesmaid, so adhere to the two-drink rule and make sure you pace yourself when it’s time to party at the reception. Even though the bride and groom have said their vows and sealed it with a kiss, your bridesmaid duties aren’t quite over yet. Your newly-married friend may need you to help her bustle her dress so that she can walk around comfortably while greeting guests or help take care of last-minute guests who showed up without RSVP-ing.

“As a bridesmaid, you'll start getting ready early in the morning and if you pair that time frame with glass after glass of champagne, you won't make it to the part where you need to walk down the aisle!” Glantz says. “So limit yourself and pace yourself throughout the evening. Make sure to stay hydrated as well!”

Not to mention—following the two-drink rule will also keep you in good shape for brunch the next morning.

7. Carry along an extra pair of comfortable shoes

You want to make sure everyone at the wedding is having a good time, so be the first one out on the dance floor, and don’t let your heels and sore feet stop you.

“When the heels start to give you blisters and you want to kick them off and get low on the dance floor, having a pair of flats by your side will make you feel comfortable and relaxed and kick start you into party mode,” Glantz says.

Your feet will thank you for the much-needed break and your bride will be happy to see that everyone is having fun.

8. Become friends with the other bridesmaids

There is strength in numbers, so become friends with the other bridesmaids! Even if you don’t know who the other maids are, you all at least have one thing in common: the bride. Whether you’ve been friends with her for years or you’re her sister-in-law, make it a point to befriend the other ladies in the bridal party so that your personalities meld together when it’s time for the big day.

“You don't have to be friends with them for the rest of your life, but for the few hours you need to combine forces and make a shower happen, or during the morning of the wedding, [it will] make everything more fun,” Gorman says. “Be polite and friendly and bond with them when you can even if it is just over wedding stuff.”

Start a group chat with the ladies and plan a wedding-free night with the bride so you can all get to know each other. When the time comes to pose closely for photos, it won’t be super awkward. Plus, you can work together to make sure the bride has the wedding of her dreams.

Weddings are meant to be fun, so try your best not to get stressed out by everything that goes into planning the perfect day. Being a part of someone’s wedding day is an honor felt by both a bridesmaid and a bride, which you shouldn’t lose in the months, weeks and days leading up to the wedding. Let your inner event planner shine through and get ready to be world’s best bridesmaid!

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