Planning your wedding is a lot of work. From rehearsal dinners to bridal shower, and the bachelorette party, there’s so much to research and reserve. And we haven’t even gotten to the actual wedding yet! Before getting overwhelmed—or maybe after getting overwhelmed, and calming down—know that you don’t have to do it alone. Your bridesmaids can help plan; they are there to support you not just at the alter, but every step that gets you there.
Ask each of your gal pals to be in charge of one or two things during the process. This will ensure everyone feels important, and no one is overwhelmed (including you!). Below, we have eleven different ways they can help make your journey to the aisle a little smoother. Some of you may ask the bridal party to plan all of the shower or bachelorette party—that’s very common. But in case you want to be a little more hands-on, there are still ways that friends and family can help out during those events.
1. Centerpieces & Favors
When: Bridal Shower & Wedding Day
It’s usually much cheaper to make your own centerpieces and favors—but you can’t do it alone. Invite your friends over, grab some wine, and get crafty! This is an especially good get-to-know-you opportunity for those in your party who have not already met.
Bonus Tip: Don’t save this for the night before! Do it at least three days in advance, in case you run out of materials.
2. Second opinion on venue
It never hurts to have a second opinion when choosing your venue, especially if you’re torn between a few options. Ask someone who can see both sides to every story, so you can trust them to give you the good and the bad to any venue.
3. Set-up & Clean-up
When: Bridal Shower
This is usually only relevant for at-home showers, but it’s still important. Even if you were to plan the whole event, your bridesmaids can help prepare or pick up the food, decorate, welcome guests, and take coats. There’s plenty for everyone to do! And once everyone has gone home, let’s all help clean up so the future bride can take a rest.
4. Keep other bridesmaids on track
When: Pre-wedding & Wedding Day
Not everyone is detail-oriented—and there’s nothing wrong with that! What there is something wrong with is pestering the bride because you forgot what color shoes you need, or where the rehearsal is, or what type of hair-do you should have. Appoint a ‘maid (perhaps your maid of honor) to field those questions and make sure everyone stays on track and orders dresses or skirts on time.
5. Manage Wedding Website
It’s increasingly common to have a wedding website with all the details for guests, along with photos, “how we met” stories, and other important dates. If you don’t have the time to put one together, ask a friend to create one on your behalf—with your direction on the details and photos, of course!
6. Tipping Vendors
When: Wedding Day
We’re not recommending anyone actually cover the tip for vendors, but we do recommend writing a check and asking someone to pass it on. That relieves you of the pressure to keep track of the check—often, you don’t have a purse or pockets in your dress to keep the check on hand during the reception.
7. Song List for Wedding:
This is an easy way your bridesmaids can help! Set up an email chain or share-able file that the group can add to. This brings a personal touch to the dance floor, so your entertainer doesn’t play only stereotypical songs.
Bonus Tip: Be sure to give the list a look-through, though, to make sure no one sneaks in any surprises!
When: Bachelorette Party & Bridal Shower
This task can go two ways: You can ask your bridesmaids to choose both venues, or you can choose yourself and enlist them to book it. Either way, it’s still something off your plate, and a simple way for everyone to feel involved in your special day.
9. Holding onto rings, vows, etc.
When: Wedding Day
This one is very important, and we recommend choosing your ‘maid with care. Like we mentioned before, you’re most likely not going to have a purse, or anywhere to store items. Entrust anything crucial with a bridesmaid who has pockets, or easy access to a purse. She’ll need to be ready to hand out the rings, vows, and tissues as needed.
10. Goodies for wedding morning
When: Wedding Day
In most instances—even the evening weddings—the bridal party starts getting ready hours before anyone needs to even be at the venue. Nerves will be high, and there will be a lot of moving parts. Ask a few gal pals to bring champagne, water, and snacks to keep everyone hydrated and fed. We recommend light snacking foods like fruits, a little cheese and crackers, and nuts. Try to avoid too many breads, as that will make the bride and bridesmaid feel bloated.
11. Driving & Carpooling
When: Wedding Day
If you have a large wedding party, ask if a few bridesmaids can help drive the group to the venue. If everyone gets ready together, or meets at a central spot, this should be easy. Often, bridesmaids will meet family or a date on the other side and not need a return ride.
Of course, there may be people in your circle who have strong opinions, or take offense if you don’t choose their suggestion. Remember that this is ultimately your special day, and not theirs. Don’t be afraid to ask if your bridesmaids can help—and consider giving the opinionated friends more concrete tasks, like creating centerpieces.