After the bride, chief bridesmaid is the next important lady at the wedding! As a chief bridesmaid, you must always remember that you were chosen by the bride among, probably, hundreds of her friends and relatives; and that you are chosen especially for your special affinity with the bride. It is your responsibility now to repay the trust shown by the bride and assist her in all the pre-wedding preparations as well as during the event itself.
The chief bridesmaid’s role starts quite early (around 4-6 months prior to the actual wedding date, if there is enough time-gap between her appointment date and the wedding date).
Essentially, a chief bridesmaid is like a shadow to the bride. You’ll be with her, assist her, advise her, motivate her, and at times, be an agony aunt and trouble-shooter to her in the run up to the wedding day. While playing your role as a chief bridesmaid, you don’t need to toe the line of the bride. You can be a critic as well as long as your criticism is constructive.
However, remember that the bride is the decision-making authority here and you must respect her final decision on all matters. For instance, while selecting the wedding dress, your choice may differ from the bride’s choice. But you must give reasons for your divergence of opinion; otherwise, the bride will feel suffocated in your company and may end up ruing her decision to make you her chief bridesmaid.
You may be consulted by the bride and the groom on practically all matters leading up to the actual event. Your role is to give them your honest opinion backed by sound logic behind your choice/opinion.
You are also responsible for helping the bride in selecting your own dress and the outfits of the bridesmaids. Coordinating with the bridesmaids and informing them of their exact role is a part of chief bridesmaid’s responsibilities. Arranging for, and conducting, wedding rehearsals is also something that the chief bridesmaid needs to plan and execute. The chief bridesmaid will also need to coordinate and rehearse with the Best Man, since she will be walking down the aisle with him.
A day before the wedding is usually spent with the bride so that she remains relaxed throughout the day and doesn’t develop cold feet on the wedding eve. A positive and encouraging talk in the evening and motivating the bride with all the good things wedding will bring in her life is a sure way to set her mood for the occasion.
It’s a good idea to have an emergency kit in the car ready for the occasion so that the often miss-able chores can be adequately covered. Pack the bag with things, like tissue, baby wipes, safety pins, lipstick, comb, brush, nail filer, mouth-fresheners, hair spray, hair pins, hair grips, analgesics, spare earrings and/or other jewellery, and a switched off (but working) mobile phone.
You may be expected to make a speech at the reception. So, be prepared well in advance and if possible, do let the bride know in brief what you are going to say so that there isn’t anything in the speech, which the bride might disapprove.
Another exciting aspect of being a chief bridesmaid is to arrange hen party. Usually, hen parties are organised a good couple of months before the actual event. Again, a speech is something that you need to prepare well for the hen party. Essentially, the hen parties are meant to enjoy the last few days of bride’s single status. So, the idea of the speech is to goad the bride to hit the salon and pamper herself to look beautiful on the wedding day.