I’ve been asked to become a bridesmaid (or in other words: maid of honor, since I was the only one accompanying my friend) once in January 2011. However, until today, I still don’t quite get what a bridesmaid is supposed to do other than helping the bride on the big day itself and just be her emotional support. Isn’t that enough? I did some research before writing this and I was overwhelmed by the fact that in Western cultures, a maid of honor is supposed to lead a group of bridesmaid and do all these following things, as mentioned here.
This partial list will give you an idea of some helpful ways you may be pressed into service:
- Scout wedding locations.
- Select invitations and help with invitation prep.
- Explore floral options and other decorative choices.
- Help the bride shop for her wedding dress and choose bridesmaids’ dresses.
- Oversee delivery of the dresses, monitor fittings and assist with other wardrobe functions.
- Encourage the bride to register for gifts, spread the word about where the bride is registered and answer any gift questions that may arise.
- Help with honeymoon planning (seriously?)
- Help with seating chart details.
- Attend the cake tasting and make recommendations.
- Attend the catering meetings or tastings and make recommendations.
- Host the bridal shower.
- Host the bachelorette party.
- Maintain timetables and be of general assistance to keep things moving forward.
- Attend the rehearsal dinner.
- Keep a list of gifts received.
- Help the bride dress and deal with her hair, jewelry and the unavoidable wedding day jitters.
- Check the last minute details, like instructions for the photographer and deliveries to the hall.
- Act as a messenger between the bride and groom (and various and sundry family members).
- Handle dress and veil issues. Maneuverability could be important here, even in the restroom, so this is an important and sometimes unexpected duty involving lifting, fluffing, arranging and rearranging.
- Hold and protect the groom’s ring.
- Hold the bride’s bouquet for the duration of the wedding ceremony.
- Witness the marriage license signing.
- Be part of the receiving line at the reception or act as a greeter.
- Toast the bride and groom.
- Participate in the first dance at a formal reception (partnered with the best man).
What a ridiculous long list of duties!! And I thought most of them can be done by the bride and groom alone, together as a team. From what I remember, 3 years ago during my 1st bridesmaid duty, I didn’t have to do all these things. Most of the time, the bride, groom and family members will settle all the details. I just flew over to Jakarta for both bride and bridesmaid dress fitting once (around 4 months before the big day) and then went there again to be with the bride since the morning of her big day, helping her move around with her huge dress and cracking some jokes to lighten her mood. That’s all.
When I told my Mom that I was going to serve as a bridesmaid in so-and-so wedding, she was less than excited to hear that. That’s because there’s this ridiculous myth and superstition surrounding it. According to this website,
5. As the friend of bride, do not be a bridesmaid more than three times. Doing so creates a negative effect on your own marital luck, causing you to have difficulties finding someone to settle down with. Obstacles will manifest. They never said anything about the best man? Why is it always the bridesmaid who will have a negative effect on her marital luck? Very hard to believe this. Anyone can debunk this myth?
6. Persons born under horoscopes that clash on the wedding day are not invited as bridesmaids and bestmen, or invited to the wedding day activities. However, they can attend the wedding banquet. Oh really?
7. It is unfortunate when a person is born under a star sign that clashes with the wedding date. They are not allowed to attend the wedding ceremony or be a part of the wedding party. The Chinese people pay close attention to the horoscope when they are picking auspicious wedding days so they do not want a sign that would clash. How to identify every guest’s star sign?
Another source here, mentioned these,
Third time lucky? Not according to superstition, which decrees that “Three times a bridesmaid, never a bride”. It is believed that if a woman is exposed three times to the evil spirits from which she is intended to protect the bride, she herself will not be pure enough to marry.
There is an antidote though being a bridesmaid seven times will apparently reverse the effect and this valued friend will once again be as likely to marry as other single women.
Well, all the myths and superstitions aside, when my other close friend asked me to become her bridesmaid last two weeks, I still said a BIG YES on the spot. She’s my closest friend since my University days and is my current housemate. How could I say no? Besides, I’m happy that she’s going to tie the knot and feel honored that she considers me to be the best person to accompany her on the big day, giving emotional support and cracking some jokes along the way. I might not need to do the long list of duties that they said a bridesmaid must do *thankfully*.
So, when I serve as a bridesmaid for the 2nd time, I’ll make sure that I’m there with my sincerest heart, enjoy my best friend’s big day, help her out when she needs me, be happy for her and just be her friend, as I always do.
To: H and I, good luck for your wedding preparation! I can’t wait to read your love story and be a witness on your big day:)
Bonus pics –> me as a bridesmaid in my friend cum big ‘sis’ wedding (3 years ago, 30 Jan 2011)
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