The Origins of the Role
In the past, the idea of a group of young girls, similarly aged and
similarly dressed to the bride, was a strategy designed to confuse evil
spirits, preventing them from identifying the bride and wishing her ill.
Our early Anglo Saxon ancestors also believed it was immodest for a girl to
willingly enter marriage and custom decreed that she had to be captured by
her aspiring bridegroom. In theory her friends gathered around her to
protect her from the unwanted attentions of the bridegroom and his friends,
in reality the bridesmaids were often encouraged by the ?reluctant? bride to
aid the groom, making sure the capture was successful.
Choosing Your Chief Bridesmaid
Chief bridesmaid or, if married, matron of honour is a position that
should be filled with care, it is her duty to provide the bride with much
needed practical help and moral support throughout the complex planning and
emotional demands of the wedding.
Before the day
It is usual to hold a meeting between the main organisers of the wedding at
an early date; this is when the chief bridesmaid and best man will be
introduced, if they do not already know each other. It is important that
there is a good relationship between the chief bridesmaid and the best man,
so forming a reliable channel of communication between the bride?s and
groom?s families during the preparations for the wedding.
Helping to choose the bride's dress
The fun of helping to select the bridal gown is one of the joys of being
chief bridesmaid. Being selected as the one to help and admire, offer
supportive comments and advice as she chooses that most important of
dresses, also demonstrates great trust.
Helping to choose the bridesmaid's dresses
The word here is TACT! The more bridesmaids there are, the less likely it is
that everyone will be happy with the choice of dress. Different sizes,
different colourings, different tastes, how can everyone be kept happy.
Planning the hen night
As chief bridesmaid, making the arrangements for the Hens? Night is down to
you. The first stage, however, is to find out what the bride would like.
Informing guests and booking venues, transport and accommodation are your
The bridal shower - an American tradition
A rather nice idea from the U.S. is the bridal shower. A special party,
often kept as a surprise, is organised by the bridesmaids for the bride and
her female friends and relatives. This is an opportunity for an elegant
luncheon or tea, providing an opportunity to dust off the best bone china.
The room may be decorated with white balloons, silver ribbon and banners
wishing the bride luck.
- Offer to undertake specific tasks, so she may cross them off her
list of things to do
- Arrange a ?get together? to help write the invitations
- Take photographs and collect mementoes of the events leading
up to the wedding
- Remind her of dress fitting appointments
- Compile a contact list of all the main suppliers, guests and service
- Offer to keep a record of wedding gifts as they arrive
- Co-ordinate with the bridesmaids and keep them advised
- Check what hairstyles the bridesmaids are planning
- Make sure any hired dresses are to be collected in good time
The bridesmaid is usually a sister of the bride or groom or a close
friend of the bride. Older bridesmaids will liaise with the bride and chief
bridesmaid during the wedding preparations and help with the choice of
dresses. Children will not be expect to take part in the planning stage but
their mothers may get involved instead.
Discuss the plans with the bride, groom and best man and chief bridesmaid
Discuss the dress or outfit with the bride, especially if being made.
Ascertain who will pay for the outfit.
Attend the wedding rehearsal if required.
The Day Before
Collect any hired clothing and accessories.
On The Day
Receive any final instructions from the chief bridesmaid.
Get dressed and help any younger attendants.
Leave for the ceremony 10 minutes before the bride.
At The Church
Follow behind the chief bridesmaid or matron of honour up the aisle.
Leave the church after the chief bridesmaid.
Depart for the reception with the chief bridesmaid and any other
At The Reception Later
Stand in the receiving line and greet the guests, if required, distribute
slices of the wedding cake to the guests.
Civil ceremony Church
Documents required Costs
Best man Bridesmaids
Matron of honour Something old
Veil Threshold Third Finger
First On The Dance Floor Why The Bride Stands On The left Bridal flowers Leap year Proposals Throwing confetti Diary Page Boy, Flower girl Photographer Ushers Speeches Stationary