Being asked to be a bridesmaid is a tremendous honor. If you have ever been to a wedding, the bridal party seems like a natural part of the ceremony. But why do we have bridesmaids? What does it mean to actually commit to being part of this time-honored tradition? What responsibilities do bridesmaids have?
There is a lot of work that goes into coordinating a wedding. It is only natural that you would want to thank the people that choose to be by your side during this momentous occasion. We have come up with some answers to your top questions.
Let’s discover why we have bridesmaids, what their responsibilities are, and the five best bridesmaid gift ideas to make your people feel as special as possible!
Why Do We Have Bridesmaids?
When we think of a bridesmaid, it typically stirs up thoughts of parties, teas, and other ways to celebrate the beloved bride-to-be. Ideas of dress fittings come to mind, the perfect hair and makeup, and lots of glitz and glamour.
This wasn’t always the experience that a bridesmaid had. There was a time in which the maid, or female attendant of the bride, actually served her in the time leading up to the ceremony. The bridesmaid wasn’t a family member or friend like she is in modern times.
Here are some things you may not have known about the early history and traditions surrounding bridesmaids.
Protect and Serve
Back in the day, bridesmaids dressed in a similar manner to the bride. This was to confuse any wrongdoers that might be seeking to harm the actual bride. Bridesmaids were expected to ward off anything that may disturb the ceremony.
There was also a point in time in which the bridesmaid, or highly favored attendant, was meant to be ready to carry out any desire or command of the bride. These responsibilities had to be carried out all the way up to the day of the wedding.
Those that were placed in the role of maid of honor were also to handle the monetary part of the bride's dowry. This was a risky business and attracted the attention of thieves and other troublemakers.
Bouquets Were Not Always Beautiful Flowers
In the old days, bouquets were more focused on superstition and function. They served purposes such as covering the stench of body odor. The idea of cleansing your body daily had not been widely accepted at that time.
They were also made up of things like garlic or other pungent herbs to deter evildoers. Queen Victoria carried a small floral arrangement on the day she got married. This eventually inspired other brides, and bridesmaids, to do away with the pungent garlic and carry something lovely and awe-inspiring.
Responsibilities of Bridesmaids
In the modern wedding, the relationship and responsibilities of all of the people involved have certainly changed over time. Gone are the days where you are required to have a set number of witnesses. Some states don’t require any witnesses at all.
Thankfully, the only garlic you will find at a wedding these days would be in the food. In today's time, the wedding party is a way to incorporate friends and family into your celebration. If you have been asked to be a bridesmaid, congratulations are in order!
After you receive your invitation you may wonder what to expect. We have you covered! Here are some things to anticipate when it comes to being a bridesmaid.
Be Her Hype Woman
Bridesmaids are the ultimate hype women. Whether the bride has a case of the jitters or needs to vent, lending an ear or a hand is part of the job. Brides can be pulled in a million different directions. The bridesmaids are there to help lend some comfort, logic, and support.
Help Her Select the Perfect Gown
As a bridesmaid, you probably know the bride-to-be pretty well. She will likely need an opinion when she is second-guessing herself. This is where a bridesmaid can help make all the difference. You know her style and can help her point out the pros and cons of her choices.
Be Sure You’re Dressed To Impress
The bride selected you as a bridesmaid for a reason. She trusts your sense of style and has faith that you will represent her accordingly. It is important to remember to make sure you have your entire outfit, all the way down to accessories, planned to arrive in time.
Party Planner Extraordinaire
It is also the job of bridesmaids to assist in planning all the festivities that take place prior to the wedding. This includes the rehearsal dinner, the bachelorette celebration, and the bridal shower.
Prior to the ceremony, you will likely be offering the bride last-minute encouragement, snacks, and helping her look and feel her best.
At the wedding, it is your job to stand by her side, dance your face off and send your favorite couple off in wedded bliss!
Best Gift Ideas for Your Bridesmaids
Unique bridesmaids’ gifts can feel hard to come by. There are so many things to choose from and you want to really show your tribe how much you care! We have come up with a list of five bridesmaids’ gifts sure to give them all the feels.
1. A Gift Set To Pamper Her
After all of the hard work of being a bridesmaid, we cannot think of a better way to say thank you than to pamper her. Who doesn’t love products that make you feel like you’re at a spa?
We love products that are vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, like our bath sponges. Eucalyptus Rain or Bourbon Vanilla, anyone?
We also love a product that can accomplish multiple goals at once: makes you feel like you’re at a spa, smells amazing, and can be used more than once. You can include things like luxurious moisturizers and fragrant body buffers. The goal is to include items that make them feel like they are having a five-star experience.
2. Monogrammed Weekend Tote
Offering a gift with a personalized touch is something your bridesmaids can use time and again. A weekend tote is something they can use to take to the gym, their next vacation, or can pack up and take on a picnic. You can add their favorite snacks, gourmet chocolates, and travel-size cases to hold their products for their next overnight stay.
3. Memory Book
A touching gift for your bride tribe would be a book filled with unique memories of the two of you.
A wonderful part of a memory book is that you can write personal captions and include dates, times, and your thoughts on the meaning of each memory.
4. Monogrammed Robe
In keeping with the theme of personalization, we love a monogrammed robe! Pampering your bridesmaids is a nice way to show your appreciation. You can go with cotton, satin, or anything in between.
5. Initial Jewelry
Jewelry featuring the initial, birth flower, or the birthstone of your bridesmaids is a thoughtful gesture to make them feel special. A timeless gift of jewelry can be worn again and again.
If we’re being honest, we love the idea of combining all of these gifts into one gigantic gift basket! We realize that everyone has a budget, so we’ve given you some great options to think about. Here are a few remaining suggestions when thinking of gift ideas.
Prior to your special day, you could arrange for a brunch in honor of your bridesmaids. Allowing them to get to know each other before diving into wedding festivities can help them feel more comfortable throughout the process.
As an extra thank you, you could offer to set some time for individual snapshots of each of the bridesmaids to have from your special day. Try to keep in mind how unique each person is and customize their gifts accordingly.
A handwritten note from you will set your gift over the top. Telling each person, in writing, how special you made them feel and how grateful you are is something your bridesmaids won’t soon forget.
Your maid of honor deserves some extra special attention. Being chosen as a maid of honor comes with extra responsibility. It is likely you have an extremely strong bond and that deserves recognition.
Without this entire team, you might be at your wit’s end by the time your big day rolls around. It's so important to let your tribe know how fiercely you love them. Make sure to mention their contribution during at least one toast. Lastly, make sure that the people you care about know how much they contribute to your life and the experiences you get to share!
The Bridesmaid Duties Checklist Every 'Maid Needs | WeddingWire
The History of Bridesmaids | WeddingWire
Bridesmaids and Groomsmen: The Unromantic History | Reader’s Digest