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

My Bridesmaid Luncheon at the Carolina Inn


Over the next few weeks, I’m ecstatic to be sharing all about our wedding and the festivities that came along with it! Though our wedding was about three months ago, it still is so fresh in my memory, and I love remembering how special every single event was. It truly was the perfect, perfect wedding weekend in every way, and Rob and I know how deeply blessed we are.

all of my beautiful bridesmaids!

Our immediate families traveled into town on Wednesday and Thursday, and we were so glad to have everyone in Raleigh to celebrate a few days before our wedding! The first big event to kick off the wedding festivities was for the ladies, and it was my bridesmaid luncheon. The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill graciously hosted this beautiful event for me, and they went above and beyond to love on us well! The Carolina Inn is an incredibly special place: I lived just across the street from it my senior year of college, it’s a beloved place to any UNC grad, my sister and her husband were married here four years ago, many of my friends have celebrated their wedding festivities here, and I even plan many weddings at the Inn! I was so incredibly grateful to have the Carolina Inn play a part in our wedding weekend, and I’m so glad the ladies in my life were able to experience (or re-live!) its charm and beauty.


I invited all eleven of my bridesmaids, my mom, Rob’s mom, my new sister-in-law, and my aunts and cousins to attend the luncheon, which is a definite Southern tradition! I know my dad and Rob were a little jealous they didn’t get to partake in the delicious fare of the Inn (though I know some of Rob’s family enjoyed the Inn’s restaurant while we lunched!). Even though I chose the menu and the linens for the bridesmaid luncheon, it was even more beautiful than I imagined when we walked into the Club Room! It really took my breath away, and I definitely cried a happy tear or two. It was definitely a “pinch me” moment… knowing I was celebrating our upcoming marriage with the ladies closest to me, that everyone had traveled from so far for us, the love, support, and encouragement of my family and friends throughout my entire life, and that the Carolina Inn was the stunning backdrop of this special luncheon!

my sister/best friend/MOH + me!

I wanted this to be an uber-girly, fun luncheon to celebrate how special my bridesmaids and our moms are to me, and I wanted to spoil them! The Club Room at the Carolina Inn is picture perfect, oh so Southern, and quintessentially “Carolina” with the blue walls and white trim. I wanted one big table for all of us to sit it, and it was adorned with a salmon pink linen, topped with blue and white hydrangeas, and I even added in my own gold pineapples to the centerpieces. I set out hand-calligraphed placecards for all my guests, thank you notes for all the ladies, and their bridesmaid gift bags, filled with all their goodies. (You can see what I gifted them here!) This is also when I gave our moms their special gifts, as well. The pink, white, blue, and gold decor made me so happy, and it was even better when all of my bridesmaids arrived for their celebration!


We dined on baked brie with berries and honey, chicken salad with biscuits, fresh fruit with a trio of amazing dips, sweet potato fries, and then beautiful key lie pies that were adorned exquistely! There was also champagne, of course! The Carolina Inn definitely outdid themselves with the menu, the food, and the service. It was absolutely delicious, the staff was impeccable, and I know we were all so full and satisfied!


It was the perfect Southern meal, and I loved being surrounded by all of my best friends, our moms, and some of my family. They are the best of the best, and it’s hard to put into words how blessed I am by these friendships! I know how lucky I am to be surrounded by the most loving, fun, thoughtful, kind, wise, supportive, and encouraging women in the world!!

A huge, huge thank you to the Carolina Inn for hosting us for my bridesmaid luncheon – y’all are the best!!


Wedding Season Gift Giving

engagementgiftA roundup of all of my favorite gift giving inspiration for wedding season…

Favorite Engagement Gifts

Favorite Bridal Shower Gifts

Favorite Bridesmaid Gifts

via Southern Weddings
via Southern Weddings

 And, of course, don’t forget the handwritten notes and the love, prayers, support, and encouragement throughout the engagement season & wedding planning process… and beyond!

What are your favorite gifts to give for wedding-related events? And brides, please share your all-time favorite (and most meaningful or unique!) gifts you’ve received! I’m always looking for new inspiration and ideas.