There's a lot more to being a bridesmaid, and the all-important Maid of Honour, than wearing a frou-frou dress and being paired up with one of the groom's best mates.  Being part of the bridal party is usually a lot of fun, and an opportunity to share some fabulous and often hilarious memories with one of your best friends.

There is, however, a slightly serious side to the job with certain things expected of bridesmaids and the Maid of Honour. After all, no one wants to be remembered as the bridesmaid who stepped on the veil or passed out at the reception.

In the spirit of helping you make the most of the day, and do the very best job possible to ensure your bride has a stress-free and superb time, we've put together a few pointers to keep you on the straight and narrow. Feel free to share it around!

Money

Bridesmaids Dresses

Collin Hockey Photography

There's nothing like money woes to mess with the romantic spirit, but not all bridesmaids' budgets are equal.

According to a recent poll on i-do's Facebook page - we are split as to whether bridesmaids should pay for their dresses, some brides feel it's ok to ask her bridesmaids pay their way as she had to when she was playing the bridesmaid, and other brides wouldn't dream of asking for her bridal party to foot the bill. 

We feel that it's best to be honest from the start. If the bride insists on Vera Wang and the bridesmaid's budget is more Target, the bride really should pay the bill or at least meet somewhere in the middle. So long as each side approaches the topic with caution and care, we're hopeful no bride is going to force any bridesmaid to splash cash they don't have for her big day.

Shopping

Bridesmaids Dresses

Shopping is a big part of being a bridesmaid - yippee! You're expected to make yourself available to shop for the wedding dress, shoes, bridesmaids' outfits, accessories, underwear and more. So cancel all your Saturday plans and invest in some comfy walking shoes - and yes your job on these shopping trips is to be supportive, not sarcastic.

Party Party Party

Bridesmaids Hens Party

One of the best aspects of being a bridesmaid is helping the Maid/Matron of Honour organise the pre-wedding parties, from the hen's night (or weekend if you can muster the stamina) to the kitchen tea or cellar tea (that some brides are preferring) to the night before the big day (soppy romantic movie with Thai takeaway and champagne, face masks and pedicures, last supper somewhere swish).

Moral support

The Maid/Matron of Honour, and the bridesmaids, are the bride's lifeline. You're there to reassure, help shoulder the load, listen to her whine about seating plans and her new in-laws and to generally keep it together.

Attend crafternoons

DIY Wedding FavoursDIY Wedding Favours

Leila Brewster Photography

Depending how hands-on your bride, you may be asked to help address invitations, make bombonnieres, or keep Great Aunt Gwen away from cousin Frank at the reception.

On the day

Bride Getting Ready

Curly Tree Photography

You'll need to be organised and attentive. On the wedding day you'll need to be on hand to help the bride get dressed, reassuring her she looks amazing along the way.

Don't hit the bubbly too hard before you've gotten through the formalities as you'll be expected to stick close to your bride, preceding her down the aisle, making sure her veil isn't a tangled mess, helping her go to the bathroom if her dress is difficult (yes, really), holding her flowers during the exchanging of rings, sometimes greeting guests in the reception receiving line and ensuring that all family members are gathered up for photos.

And don't think your job ends there. You're most likely expected to join the newlyweds in the first or second dance of the night, and if your bride is a modern kind of girl, the Maid/Matron of Honour may be asked to give a speech (just remember which funny stories are worth sharing and which are for best girlfriends' ears only).

In short

1. To go bridesmaid dress shopping, attend dress fittings if you are having the bridesmaid dresses made, go shoe shopping.

2. To be by the brides side for major events such as wedding dress shopping, venue hunting, bomboniere searching.

3. To make yourself available for DIY crafternoons, if your's is a Martha Stewart bride there'll be plenty of them!

4. Be an emotional support and sounding board in times of a pre-wedding crisis; let's face it, weddings can be stressful - there may be a few.

5. To plan a fabulous hen's party and bridal shower.

6. To smile, wear a pretty dress, walk down the aisle, carry a bouquet, remove lippy marks from brides face, dance and be in the photos.

To-Do-List For The Best Man

To-Do-List For The Groomsmen

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