Being asked to be someone's bridesmaid is an honour, and something most women feel privileged to be asked to do. But it can also be quite expensive and it's a big responsibility to have such an active role in someone's wedding. So, what is to be expected of you?
Maid of honour/chief bridesmaid
Of the bridal party, the maid of honour will have the most work to do in the lead up to the wedding, as well as on the big day.
Helping pick the wedding dress
Most brides don't go wedding shopping alone. This is one time when a second or third opinion is vital. The maid of honour regularly accompanies the bride on the search for her wedding gown, as well as any subsequent dress fittings.
Planning the hen night
While the bride may have some say in what happens on the night, the main details are down to the maid of honour, as well as the other bridesmaids. The maid of honour's task is to organise it, invite the guests, collect payment, and execute it on the day.
Dress the bridesmaids
Not physically dress them on the day, but help the bride decide on an outfit for the bridal party. The other bridesmaids should be included or at least have some say.
Be the bride's right hand woman on the wedding day
On the day, it will be your responsibility to look after the bride's belongings, help her get into her dress and hold her bouquet during the ceremony. The maid of honour is also the witness when the bride signs the marriage licence after the ceremony.
Join the couple in the first dance
Traditionally, the maid of honour and best man will be the first "couple" to join the newlywed couple for the first dance, but every wedding is different.
While you may think the maid of honour is the most important member, the other members of the bridal party have important roles to play in preparation for the wedding as well.
Help plan the hen party
The maid of honour will look after the administrative side of the events, but there are plenty of other ways you can help organise the festivities. Hen nights need themes, so put your heads together and try to come up with a fun theme, or help pick a place to hold the hen night.
Organise a gift from the bridal party
Give the maid of honour one less thing to worry about and find a gift from the bridal party for the newlywed couple. Find a card as well for everyone to sign and present the bride with both on the day.
Help the bride get ready
The morning of the wedding will be chaos, so help smooth it over by setting out the bride's accessories, help cooking breakfast or organise a routine for hair and make up appointments. She might also want someone to vent to on the day to calm her nerves, so be there with an open ear.
The bride may come to you for advice on table names, or what readings to have on the day, or what stationery to use. Whatever the task, giving a helping hand will make everything much easier for the bride in the lead up to the wedding.