bridesmaid, being a bridesmaid

Your friend calls and says she has news. After a suspenseful pause, she screams “I’m getting married!” After telling her how happy you are for her (you are, right?), she says there’s more. “Would you be one of my bridesmaids?”

Your immediate response is yes, of course. But what are you really getting into? There’s more to being a bridesmaid than showing up for the big day in a peach taffeta monstrosity and walking down the aisle. It can be an extremely fun and memorable time for you and your engaged friend, but, before you commit, take the time to learn what it’s all about.

What exactly is a bridesmaid supposed to do?
“The basic principle behind being in a wedding party is general support and advice to the bride...calming her, helping with plans and sending her off into her new life and letting her know she’s loved (corny, but true),” says Catie Royal, 23, who has been a bridesmaid three times already and has two more stints on the way.

Most of the support you’ll be giving as a bridesmaid is emotional. Even the most organized brides might have a breakdown or two—and when she does, she’ll most likely call you to make her laugh and reassure her that the wedding will be perfect.

Aside from being a shoulder to cry on, another (potentially more fun) part of your duties as a bridesmaid is to plan the bridal shower and bachelorette party.
As a bridesmaid, you are also expected to provide some financial support by paying for your wedding day outfit (dress, shoes and jewelry) and travel expenses.

Wait, you mean I have to pay for things? Like what?
Weddings are expensive for everyone, including the bridesmaids. Christa Vagnocci, Senior Editor at TheKnot.com, says bridesmaids can expect to spend $1,000 to $1,500 on the wedding. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll be shelling out for: