There’s no denying it. Wedding planning is no easy task. The maid of honor should be at the bride’s disposal at any time, but bridesmaids can be, too. As a bridesmaid, I do my best to stay supportive and lend a helping hand whenever needed. I’ve found that just being there makes a tremendous difference in the long run. Here are some things a bridesmaid can do to help:

•    Don’t be afraid to ask. Throughout the entire engagement, offer yourself up time and again to help out in any way possible. Even if the bride is totally hands-on and doesn’t seem to want or need your help, she’ll be extremely appreciative that you tried.

•    Be in It to Win It! Be ready to help during crunch time—meaning the week before the wedding. It’s such a stressful time for the bride, but she deserves to enjoy it. So, get ready to do anything and everything you can to help her, especially on the day before and day of the wedding. Maybe even surprise her with a massage early that week to help alleviate some of the stress.
•    Surprise Her with Bridal Magazines. The latest wedding trends are constantly changing. Buy the bride a handful of bridal magazines to help get her creative juices flowing. My tip: get the magazines in the back row of the shelf. Those are likely the ones no one else has thought to get her.
•    It’s all in the Details. Think of the small things that you can assist with. Does the bride want help putting together centerpieces? Does she need help ordering the favors for the guests? Think of all the small details she may be overlooking or she might simply not have the time to deal with. Then, take charge and tell her you’ll handle it for her. You may need some input from her, but she’ll be glad someone else is taking the reins.
•    Co-captain the Bachelorette Party. Help the maid of honor with all of the bachelorette party details. Planning a bachelorette party, especially an out-of-town one, is a daunting task that typically falls on the back of the maid of honor. Helping her is just another way of helping the bride. Ask if you can help with details: book the hotel, plan the games, make dinner reservations and put together a list of fun places to go and things to do in the city you’re visiting. Or even just offer up some cash. Planning a kick-ass bachelorette party can get pricey, so getting all of your fellow bridesmaids to pitch in a little will be appreciated by all.
So, as a bridesmaid, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Everyone will appreciate the effort, and you’ll be glad that you helped out the bride on one of the biggest days of her life.

Megan Lawler is a partner and vice president of account services at Dittoe Public Relations, and a bridesmaid in four weddings in 2011. She resides in Fishers, Indiana with her two cats.  

Do you have tips for others planning an event? We’d love to hear from you! Planning a bachelorette party and need a place to hold it? Visit our advanced search to find the perfect location!