Bridesmaid Guide

Being asked to be a bridesmaid is such an honor: one of your best girls is choosing YOU to stand by her side on her big day! But after the excitement wears off, you might begin to panic a little bit, especially if you’ve never been a bridesmaid before. A dozen questions are probably running through your head from what your roles will be, what you will have to buy and what is included, what gift should you get the bride, how to choose a dress style (if you get a choice), etc. It may seem daunting but we’re going to break down all you’ll need to know about being a bridesmaid so that you can simply enjoy your role and have fun celebrating!

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As soon as you agree to be a bridesmaid theres a few obligations that you automatically take on. Here’s a list of your no ifs, ands, or buts bridesmaids to do list.

  1. Buy your own dress. The bride is already spending a lot of money on her special day, and buying your own bridesmaids dress is your contribution. It is something that every bridesmaid (ever) has to do, so just put a smile on your face and don’t overthink it!
  2. Help plan (and pay for) the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Generally, the maid of honor takes the reigns on these two events but graciously and generously offer to help (and offer your time and creativity, too)! It will be fun and a chance for everyone to get involved in planning special treats for your sweet bride. She’ll be forever thankful for the ways your showered her with love during this exciting season.
  3. Attend ALL pre-wedding events. As a bridesmaid, this is another thing that comes with the job. These events should be fun and not put stress on you to attend, so go have fun with your girl friends!
  4. Offer as much help and guidance as the bride needs and wants. Planning a wedding can be stressful, offer your bestie to help with errands or offer her advice (if she wants it). Or maybe just listen to her vent over a bottle of wine!
  5. HAVE FUN!! It’s your girl’s special day, so let loose and have fun! Don’t let the potential stress and obligations that come with being a bridesmaid ruin your mood. It’s an honor to have been asked to be such a big part of the wedding, and be sure you’re being gracious, helpful, supportive, excited, and encouraging. Dance and enjoy time with your favorite ladies!


Now, let’s focus on gifts! It is more or less an unspoken rule that the bridesmaids get the bride a shower, bachelorette, and wedding gift but you might be stumped on what to get her (especially if you’re wanting to veer off the registry). Here are a few unique gift ideas that your bride will LOVE!

  1. A pre-wedding spa day! Wedding planning can be stressful, so treat her to a day at the spa getting pampered and relaxing before the big day. A mani/pedi date is another fun way to get pampered and spend quality time together.
  2. Something personalized. This can be anything, but just a little something with her new monogram or last name will be sure to put a smile on her face!
  3. A photo album. This can be from you individually or something all the bridesmaids do together. Gather all the pictures of the bride with her girls through the years and compile them into a special book. You can even add sentimental notes from each bridesmaid to add an even more personal touch!


Now, many brides like to choose one dress style for all of their bridesmaids to wear. However, a lot of brides give their girls a color and let them pick whatever they want! If you are faced with the task of choosing your own dress, take a deep breath, its not as daunting as it may seem!

You’ll want to start your search as soon as possible because you want to ensure you have your dress altered and in your hands with plenty of time to spare! It’s a good idea to start browsing on either Pinterest or bridal websites to see what styles you like and don’t like. Once you have a good grasp on what you’re looking for you can hit the stores! Once you start trying on dresses you’ll realize some are more flattering than others (that’s okay), so just keep trying on until you find the one that suits you.

When trying on dresses be upfront with your associate about color, price, and time frame so you can ensure you won’t fall in love with a dress that is out of your league!




Hopefully, whether you are a current bridesmaid or a potential future bridesmaid, this short bridesmaid guide can make you feel slightly more at ease about your role and all it entails! It is such an honor to be asked to be a bridesmaid, and be truly grateful and excited for the opportunity to stand by your dear friend as she becomes as a wife. How special is that?! It’s one of the most exciting days of her life, and think about how you can go above and beyond to love her, encourage her, help her, and be as selfless as possible during her engagement. And when it’s your turn, you know she’ll do the same for you!

a few more posts on all-things-bridesmaid:

Best Bridesmaid Gifts + A Berry Sweet Bridesmaid Brunch | Style Me Pretty + My Bridesmaid Luncheon at the Carolina Inn + Bridal Shower Soiree | Trendy Bride Magazine + Our Wedding

Renting Bridesmaid Dresses

As I mentioned here, I’ve been a bridesmaid a time or two – ha! Thankfully, my friends have excellent taste and are great at picking out relatively affordable bridesmaid dresses. But sometimes you just don’t need another dress in your closet. Enter… bridesmaid dress rentals!

I’m not sure why it took women so long to get on board with the concept of renting bridesmaid dresses, since men have been renting tuxes for decades. But it’s about time we utilized this market more. With online stores like Rent the Runway proving to be a raging success, I think bridesmaid dress rentals can be the next big thing. Bridesmaid dresses don’t have to be boring or expensive or a waste – they can be inexpensive, easy to order/receive/wear/return, and they can still be stylish and unique! And the cost savings to bridesmaids would be incredible, especially if you’re a chronic bridesmaid!

I’ve done some research and suggested bridesmaid dress rentals to some of my brides, and my two favorite bridesmaid dress rental companies are Vow to be Chic and Little Borrowed Dress.

 Vow to be Chic

With Vow to be Chic, an online designer bridesmaid rental shop, it’s easy to rent bridesmaid dresses for the big day! It’s a seamless, easy, stylish option, and they’ve thought through everything. Designer bridesmaid dress rentals begin at $95, and there are so many beautiful dress options to choose from., from Lula Kate (a Southern favorite of mine!) to Watters to Jim Hjelm to Nicole Miller.

Vow to be Chic has even outlined the steps to renting a bridesmaid dress (the styling is so cute!), and I agree with them wholeheartedly – why didn’t I think of that? What’s not to love?
vow to be chicvow to be chic2

Little Borrowed Dress 

Another great option for renting bridesmaid dresses is Little Borrowed Dress (LBD – how appropriate!). Similar to Vow to be Chic, renting bridesmaid dresses isn’t a chore, and there are fifteen versatile, popular styles to choose from with eighteen color choices. Long dress rentals are $75 and short dress rentals are $50. What amazing prices! You even have the option to purchase the dress, should you choose. There aren’t quite as many dress styles to choose from, but I like the selection of dresses here (all made in NYC!), and the prices and ease of ordering a rental is ideal.

little borrowed dress

So, what do you think? Brides, would you be okay with having your bridesmaids rent dresses? And bridesmaids, are you on board the rental train? It seems like such a sustainable, stylish, and easy option, and I’d love to see more bridesmaids using rentals for a friend’s wedding day!