Bridal Party Responsibilities

Most likely there’s only one of two reasons you’re looking at this page: you’re either a bride in the middle of wedding planning, or you’re a bridesmaid.  Welcome bridesmaids!


Everyone knows when they accept the role of bridesmaid or maid of honor they will be expected to purchase a dress of the bride’s choosing and to walk down the aisle at the wedding.  Beyond that it can sometimes get a little unclear, so here we have listed the traditional duties of the bridesmaids and maid of honor.


  • Pay for own wedding attire, fittings
  • Perform tasks as assigned by bride
  • May attend showers and/or bachelorette party
  • Attend rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • Lead the dance party at the reception

Maid of Honor:

  • Helps bride with shopping, invitations and other details as requested.
  • Attends all or most pre-wedding events
  • May plan shower
  • Pays for own wedding attire
  • Takes charge of groom’s ring during ceremony (if no ring bearer)
  • Witnesses, signs marriage certificate
  • Helps bride in arranging veil and dress at ceremony and reception
  • Returns bride’s gown to designated place after wedding
  • Help to spread the word about the couple’s registry
  • Attends rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • May stand in receiving line
  • Toasts couple at the reception (after the Best Man)

Now how do you tell your bridal party what they’re supposed to be doing without coming across as demanding? Well the simple answer is that you don’t.  Most likely your friend has done some of her own research and has a pretty good idea of what is expected of her.  If she asks you then go ahead and let her know what the traditional responsibilities are.  Just make sure she leaves the conversation feeling comfortable by letting her know you are more than grateful for any of the tasks she decides to take on!

Bridesmaids 2

So what do you do if your bridesmaid is having a problem either buying the dress or being able to show up for the wedding?  Sit down and have a talk with her. Maybe she is going through a rough time, financially or emotionally.  Whatever it is, let her know you’re there for her first and foremost.  Then work together to come up with a plan so she can continue to be in the wedding as a bridesmaid, or if it would be better for her to participate in your wedding in some other way.  Don’t kick anyone out of your bridal party, if someone is leaving the role of bridesmaid or maid of honor it should be a decision that both of you make together and are comfortable with.

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