Wedding & Function
Wedding & Function

Etiquette: All things Bridesmaid

Who hosts the bridal shower?

Anyone from the bridesmaids to the mother of the bride, to the mother of the groom can host a bridal shower. In any case, the hostess should consult with the bride about the guest list, because shower guests should also be invited to the wedding.

Can I say the kind of bridal shower that I want?

You can discuss the bridal shower with bridesmaids, or whoever is hosting, but avoid making demands, especially those that dictate the budget. If you really don’t want games, you may express it but do not make requests that will add extra expenses to the host.

Who pays for the bridesmaids dresses?

Being a bridesmaid is a great honour, but it can also be expensive. There will be some evenings spent out planning the day, travel expenses, accommodation and the cost of the bachelorette party as well as the wedding gift. The bride may, therefore, help out by paying for the bridesmaids’ dresses.
Thus, include the costs in the initial wedding budget, if your budget is very tight, you could ask them to pay for their shoes and any accessories or you could offer to pay for these with hair and make up if they could pay for the dress.
Ultimately the best is to speak to your bridesmaids and make sure they are happy with the route you are looking into, also be sure to speak to them in advance so that they also have time to plan and budget.
When choosing dresses, always listen to their opinions and take into consideration different body types if you have mulitiple bridesmaids - just because you’re paying doesn’t mean that you can totally overrule their wishes.

Do my bridesmaids enter before or after me?

Different countries have different traditions, in England, your bridesmaids traditionally follow you up the aisle; in the US, it’s usually the other way around. Here in South Africa it is standard for the flowergirls to walk in first, then the bridesmaids and then the bride walks last. There’s no set rule so you can choose the order you prefer.

How do I back out of my bridesmaid or maid of honour duties?

If, for example, you find the financial or time responsibility of being a bridesmaid is too much for you, discuss it with the bride before accepting the role. Other than illness, family emergency, or an iron-clad work demand, it’s not proper wedding etiquette to back out once you’ve committed. Again, if you are cancelling, let the bride know as soon as possible.