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5 Things Every Bridesmaid Needs to Do at the Wedding Reception

Weeks of planning have passed, the wedding dress fits perfectly, the vendors are booked, and the big day is arriving soon. Now, you can finally think about the part of a wedding that is a party, the wedding reception! It is the time of the night where you get to boogie down, drink up, and celebrate the bride and groom; however, as a bridesmaid, you still have responsibilities. Here are 5 things that every bridesmaid needs to know they are responsible for at the wedding reception.

  1. Have Fun and Liven Up the Party

First things first, it is a party, and as a bridesmaid, you have to make sure it looks like one. Do your best to mingle with guests, some may be close and are familiar with many people at the wedding, whereas others may be there solo and very uncomfortable; do your best to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves and feels welcomed. You can start to include guests by sharing a dance with them, (even if they are a stranger to you) if their foot is tapping you just might be able to get them on the dance floor (they could even steal the show.) Get guests to participate in all of the wedding activities including signing the guest book, using the photo booth, or leaving best wishes messages for the newlyweds if there’s a video diary being filmed. Most importantly, you need to have fun and make sure you get the opportunity to enjoy all of the wedding activities as well.

  1. Dance and Get the Dancefloor Grooving

An easily avoidable awkward moment is when the dancefloor is empty because guests don’t feel comfortable getting out there. After the formal slow dances between the bride and the groom, and the father-daughter dance, the dance floor can empty really quickly, and stay that way. Don’t let it! Grab the rest of the bride tribe and the groomsmen too (they need a cooler name) and get your butts to the dance floor right away. If possible, have a dance floor anthem prepared for the DJ to start things off with, make sure that it’s one to make everyone want to join in with you. You don’t have to feel stuck to the dancefloor forever (especially since you have other responsibilities), so hopefully, the DJ has the perfect setlist to keep the party going.

  1. Make Memorable Toasts and Take Memorable Photos

If asked, and when it’s appropriate, you may be required to make a toast to the bride and groom; make sure it’s personal, nostalgic, kind, and wishes them the best for their future. Keep your toast short and sweet because you most likely won’t be the only one speaking, but you will likely be keeping guests from their dinners if your speech is too long. You also want to make sure you’re in many photos, whether it’s selfies from your phone, professionally taken by the photographer, or in the photo booth make sure you have a bit of everything. Remember that the bride chose you to be in her bride tribe, and she’ll want to remember that you were there when she looks back through all of the photos, so make that easier by taking lots of them.

  1. Be Available to the Bride and Groom and the Maid of Honor

Leading up to the big day, you may have been solely focussed on the bride, but it’s important to recognize it’s a special day for both members of this wedding, so make sure you’re available to help each of them. You’ll also need to be available to the maid of honor as she has quite a few responsibilities to take care of on this day and can definitely use a helping hand. Some things you’ll want to look out for when it comes to the bride and groom is making sure they actually eat something (since they will likely be too busy to even sit and think about food), keeping track of their belongings (at the end of the night they will need these, but they will be preoccupied with making a glamorous exit), and ensuring they always look their best. You can also assist the maid honor with tasks including keeping the bride’s bouquet safe, thanking and paying any vendors, entertainers, or coordinators, and making sure the bride and groom are happy and smiling throughout the entire evening.

  1. Ending the Night Off Successfully

If you make it through the evening, the end of the night may involve some of the most important work. It will require the entire bride tribe and possibly the coordinators, and bride and groom’s parents. Help to pack any decorations or memorabilia that may be used for post-wedding events (such as the post-wedding brunch), any unused or extra memorabilia the couple may want to keep (including personal signage and photos), and of course the wedding envelopes and gifts that guests brought for the newlyweds. Gather all of the items that were used by the bride and groom and have them taken care of or sent to their honeymoon suite. This may include the wedding gown/tuxedo, makeup and hair tools, and extra shoes. Most importantly, you want to make sure all of your guests get home safely, so arrange any rides for those who may be unable to drive, or direct guests to the after-party safely if there is one being held.

The final items to remember to pack:

Unopened alcohol (that’s been paid for)

Containers of leftover food from the caterers (the bride and groom are probably starving)

Slices of the wedding cake

The top tier of the wedding cake

Toasting flutes

Cake serving set

If you thought the role of the bridesmaid throughout the planning process was a lot, it is on the actual day of the wedding when you truly get to shine, show your support for the bride and groom, and help to make their wedding unforgettable. For all things bridesmaid related, visit The Ultimate Guide for Choosing the Perfect Bridesmaid.


Photo by Gift Habeshaw


Photo by Thomas AE

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