10 things every bride wants her bridal party to know

Being a bridesmaid can feel like both an honor and a balancing act, so we asked ten real brides what they appreciate most about the women standing by their side.

Stuart McClymont | Getty Images

In the months and weeks leading up to the ceremony, every couple needs a support system to lean on: their bridal party. But, if you’re not given specific instructions, sometimes it can be hard to know what’s required of you, or what tasks will be appreciated. So For Her asked real brides to share the most helpful gestures and cherished guidance they received in preparation for the big day. (And, hopefully, they’ll give you plenty of gratitude in return.)

We appreciate when you flex your crafty muscle for us

“I was a DIY bride so I self-addressed every save the date and invitation. It was a lot of work, but my maid of honor helped me out by hosting a wine night for the two of us to watch chick flicks and address all of the invitations. Then on my wedding day, she took the lead on checking in with the church, photographer, D.J. and reception servers and staff to keep everyone on track. If there was a problem on my wedding day, I sure didn’t know about it because she addressed every issue or question so I could enjoy it with my husband and family.”—Kayelene, 25

A little organization (and cheesiness) is always welcome

“I had a long engagement so the planning process wasn’t too stressful at the beginning. Toward the end, though, I became a bit of a basket case running around to get things done. She checked in as often as possible to see what she could help with. The day of my wedding she was by my side the whole time, getting table settings placed together, making nail appointments, tweaking my vows so they sounded amazing, but the best part was when she stayed with me the night before and we had our ‘last’ sleepover. We danced around and talked way too late, but it really helped me calm my nerves about what lay ahead. She gave me the confidence knowing that she was by my side to marry the man of my dreams!”—Kelsey, 24

We love that you want to be involved

“My bridesmaids were not nearby while I planned, but my sister had the idea to set up a private wedding Pinterest board and invite my bridesmaids to pin to it. I was planning a winter wedding on a serious budget, and it was so helpful to see what they found, and then it was fun all over again seeing which ideas became part of my wedding day. I loved their excitement, but even more I appreciated being able to get input from my bridesmaids even with all of us being in different states.”—Kathleen, 27

It’s amazing to see you all get along

“I wanted my bridesmaids not to be strangers on my wedding day. One of my bridesmaids is my best childhood friend of 19 years, she’s been such a major part of my life, so I really wanted her to meet all the other bridesmaids. She was flying in for my bachelorette party and unfortunately missed her flight because she was incredibly sick. Long story short: she finally caught a flight 10 hours later and hung out with all the other bridesmaids even though she was sicker than a dog. All my bridesmaids wanted to make sure she was feeling better. I felt so fortunate to be with a group of women who made hanging out feel so easy, despite them not knowing each other.”—Lauren, 24

Your help is valuable in every way we can get it

“I’m still very much in the middle of planning my wedding, and for table numbers I bought some unpainted, disassembled numbers from a craft store. I thought it would be a fun DIY, and a great way to save some money. This project turned out to be way more work than I anticipated, so I called my sister (my maid of honor) and my sister-in-law (bridesmaid) to help me paint them. They were very helpful and we made a fun day out of doing something that had previously been stressing me out. I honestly don’t think I could have done it without them!”—Abbey, 24

Just offering your help often goes a long way

“I think the most helpful thing a few of my bridesmaids did was offering their help or time before I even had to ask. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re in the middle of planning such a big, impactful day, it’s good to know that the women you chose to be by your side are willing and excited to help. There are so many things that need to be done, and it can get overwhelming to have to order people around, especially if you don’t know if they really want to help.”—Kara, 25

This is the easiest way to give us peace of mind

“One of my bridesmaids is amazing about responding to all my emails and texts right away, and it has made my life so much easier. She might take a little while to respond to my messages about other random things, but any time I send her anything about the wedding, she apparently drops whatever she’s doing, comes up with a thoughtful response, and writes back right then. Sometimes she might not be able to make an immediate decision, but she’ll at least let me know that she got my message and is working on it. It’s a small thing, but it really makes a huge difference. Planning a wedding involves wrangling and following up with so many different people, so it’s nice to know that she’s one person I don’t have to worry about!”—Chrisanne, 27

It’s so appreciated when you help diffuse family drama

“My bridesmaids totally came through when it came time to keep everyone at peace at the wedding, and mostly, keep my mother (the MOTB) calm. I had a destination wedding, which meant three times the opportunity for family drama, but my bridesmaids were always on mommy-patrol, making sure the MOTB felt just as special as I did (it’s important!). They also kept my step-mother away and made sure her glass was always filled with Cabernet, and anytime a sassy attitude started, they were their to diffuse the situation before I even caught on.” —Katie, 29

Your resourcefulness saves our day

“Twenty minutes into my wedding revelry, my bustle broke leaving me with two options: carry on the rest of the night in a dress I couldn’t dance in (heaven forbid) or rig some makeshift (albeit ugly) contraption so I could enjoy my night. My resourceful bridesmaid had in her survival kit some rubber bands, extra hair ties, safety pins and some fashion tape—none of which I thought was necessary at the beginning of the evening. She was able to MacGyver me a new dress. You can never be too prepared!” —Brie, 31

Speak now, or forever hold your peace

“I had a destination wedding in the Dominican Republic so I didn’t know much about my photographer before I booked him besides the fact that he seemed to take a pretty decent snap. But on my wedding day, the only pictures he wanted to stage were super quirky ones. I’m way more about weird, silly pics than I am about those generic poses, but one of my bridesmaids quickly realized that if I didn’t get at least a few shots that weren’t ironic I would totally regret it—and she was right. I’m so glad she spoke up to the photographer. While the strange ones are amusing, I’m so glad I now have a few ‘normal’ ones for posterity.” —Caitlyn, 32

Allison Berry
Allison Berry
Allison is a New York City-based writer and editor who enjoys covering all things women's interest. You can find more of her work at allisoncberry.com, or see what she's up to by following her on Instagram.

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