Bridesmaids have always been integral parts of bride’s wedding planning and “Big Day”. When it comes to weddings it seems like having one or multiple bridesmaids is a part of the wedding culture worldwide. However, what is the point of having bridesmaids?
Bridesmaids are widely known to be part of the bridal party including the bride’s flower girls and junior bridesmaid. They are typically young women who are close to the bride and usually her sister, cousin, childhood best friend, school friends, colleagues, and others in her inner circle.
Historically, bridesmaids were usually chosen from young women who were unmarried but at marriageable age. However, not so much today as Millennials are more relaxed when it comes to this particular wedding tradition. 21st-century brides worldwide are appointing their principal bridesmaids – chief bridesmaid or maid/matron of honour position (official witness for the wedding license) to their wedded close friend/family.
We are also seeing a trend of at least five bridesmaids with a bride. In the past, the number of bridesmaids a bride has is significant to her wealth and social status. However today the number of bridesmaids a bride has is based on her preference and family size. Nigeria brides who come from a big family tend to have more than one bridesmaid. They try as much as possible not to offend any family member especially their aunties and uncles and also avoid drama. They are then forced to pick their cousins even if they will prefer not to to be part of their bridal party. So, as a bridesmaid what are your duties?
Their main job role is to attend the wedding and also tend to the need of the bride on her wedding day. Some are even involved in the planning of the bridal shower and also the actual wedding ceremony. The maid of honour has the most duties as she is expected to handle all wedding related logistics, her job is to take stress off the bride. For example, If the caterer is running late, the bride does not have to know about it. Her job is to keep all bad news away from her and ensure she is calm and happy throughout her entire big day. She is not only there to offer practical support such as dressing the bride, helping with the veil, bouquet, prayer book, train of her dress and also in charge of the groom’s wedding ring; but also provide her with emotional support too while she has last minute nerves to deal with.
You might also be wondering if you must say yes to being someone’s bridesmaid? No, you can turn it down. You are also not obliged to buy the bridesmaid dress, its meant to be part of the bride’s expense, especially juniors bridesmaid. All she needs to do is attend the wedding. A bride should not be obliging the little girl’s parents to pay for her dress. I remember even at my young age, I felt it was odd for my parents to be expected to pay for my flower girl/junior bridesmaid outfit. They didn’t ask for me to part of the wedding, the bride did. So why were they paying for it? I guess from the Nigerian culture point of view, it’s a way of supporting the couple, by assisting with one less expense to worry about.
Before turning down this lifetime opportunity, do remember that there is no wedding without the support of the girls. Have you had a maid of honor or bridesmaid duty before, what was your experience like, did you have to pay for your dress? Share your thoughts with us.