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Bridesmaids Guide for a foreign bride

Hello everyone, 

I have a silly little question about bridesmaids :) 

I'm from Germany, where we traditionally don't really have bridesmaids at our weddings and just one "witness", and I am getting married to my British partner in August (in England, festival wedding style).
I personally love the whole concept of bridesmaids, especially as emotional support on the day and hopefully for a little bit of help before the wedding as well. I have chosen 3 wonderful friends of mine as well as my sister, 2 of which live in Germany (sister and bridesmaid 1) and two of them live in London. The distance situation might potentially be a little bit tricky, as I'd feel really bad to constantly ask my German bridesmaids to come over to London for dress fittings, hen do, etc. 

And that's exactly the problem I'm having right now:

1. I really don't know much about the actual roles of bridesmaids which makes me feel a little bit insecure right now, I have also never been a bridesmaid so I have no point of reference really as to how this all works. 

2. I'm awful asking people for favours. I'm the sort of "do it all yourself" person because I don't want to put lots of work on other people and potentially piss them off. On the other hand, I also don't want them to feel left out and like they can't contribute anything to the wedding. 

It would be amazing if a few of you could give me a little bit of bridesmaid education :):) 
What exactly is the job of a bridesmaid and what are the general traditions? What are good jobs to give to your bridesmaids, who pays the bridesmaids dresses, did you give your bridesmaids little gifts afterwards as a thank you? 

It would be amazing to hear a few tips of what to look out for and I seriously hope I didn't make myself sound like I am a person with no human interaction skills, haha. I'm just learning, and at the same time I also have to somehow "educate" my two German bridesmaids about the whole thing who also have no clue :):) 

Thanks so much!!


  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    These days the BMs can be as involved or as uninvolved as you like :)

    A good rule to go by is if you're choosing it then you pay for it. So if you are picking their dress, you pay. If you are happy for them to wear whatever shoes they like, you could ask them to sort it.

    I am combining the thank you presents with what I want them to wear on the day. I have bought their dresses, I am paying for hair & make up, I have bought robes to wear while getting ready and I have bought matching ted baker earrings and necklace to wear. The official thank you present is a bracelet that I will also have one of, though again this is being given in the morning so they can wear it if they like for the wedding.

    I haven't asked much of my BM, but my MOH is my sister. I have asked her to research various bits for me (research dresses, research entertainment options etc) for me to look through and see if any are what I want, but both my BM and my MOH have their own lives and also live between 5 and 8 hrs away, so trying to keep it simple :) on the day I just want them to keep me chilled, grab me a drink if needed, pass on any messages I have and if a problem occurs, help fix it before I hear about it haha :D

  • Sounds like you have the hang of it already !having been b.m. 3 x  I would say.... Emotional support for you, helping you get in your dress etc.keeping an eye on your make up for touch ups, perhaps any setting up of your venue.  As Sadieee has said if you choose the dress you pay for it, as well as flowers and hair and make up if you're getting those done. jewellery is often given as a present but it could be any kind of small sentimental thing. 

    The bridesmaids also organise your hen do, probably the biggest task. In terms of organising stuff for the actual wedding bridesmaids don't have to necessarily be involved...I never did for my friends however was always there to listen!  All the best, you will love having your friends there on your big day ! Don't worry too much about the tradition just do what feels right for you 

  • Thanks so much both of you, that's a huge help and I'm feeling a little bit more relaxed about everything now :) I love the ideas of the bracelets as presents too, as well as the matching jewellery for the day!! I will definitely have a look into this. 


    Thanks so much again, 


  • MrsJ2017MrsJ2017 Posts: 3,017

    Mine were only asked to look pretty on the day, walk and smile, and carry flowers.

    I did have a messenger group with them all in, and when I was stuck and wanted an opinion or advice I would ask them. It was a good way to get them chatting a bit as well before the day.

    Then 2 of my bridesmaids wanted to be more involved. One came dress shopping with me, one went to a wedding fair and a venue dresser appointment with me.

    Then in the last few days before the wedding the ones who wanted to help helped me put together decorations for the venue and shop for last minute bits.

    They only did it because they wanted to help though, i have been a bridesmaid before and knew I wanted to put no stress or pressure on the girls at all, I wanted it to be an enjoyable experience for them.

    The 2 helpful ones also organised me a weekend away and then a night out hen do.

  • Hi Nadine

    Relax with that, at the venue they will say everything that the BM need to know in the day, you can choose the colour of dress and flowers before the wedding if you want it to match. Just up to you. They will be with you at the time of your preparations, helping you to get ready.

    What a cool festival wedding!!! Good luck with all the preparations! If you need someone very cool who loves festivals, to take care of your photos give me a shout!

    Carine Bea X 

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