So you’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid or bridesman – congratulations! It’s a huge honour to be asked to stand by someone’s side for one of the the most important moments of their lives, but there’s some responsibility associated with the role too. You will wear so many hats on your bride’s wedding day that you’ll be surprised you hair is still perfect – you could be anything from photographer’s assistant to toilet assistant! But by accepting your bestie’s invitation to be her bridesmaid, you’re also signing up to be her go-to crew of helpers, so here’s how to rock the role (while looking cute af).

1. Help plan the hens night.

If you’re the maid/matron/man of honour, this is probably the hardest task you’ll face. If you’re a bridesmaid, offer to help the MOH. Find out what sort of party your girl would like (whether it’s a small and classy affair or a huge night out) and plan to suit her needs. You girls know her best, after all – she chose you to stand by her on the big day.

2. Pack an emergency kit.

Make sure you have bandaids (the fabric ones grip better than the plastic ones), pain killers, needle and thread, safety pins, scissors, drinking water, any medications your bride may require, lip balm, touch-up makeup, hairspray, bobby pins, nail glue, eyelash glue, and a crochet hook if her dress has a button back (and especially if you’re wearing acrylic nails). If you’re lucky, you won’t need any of it – but it’s better to have it handy and not need it than to need something and not have it. Make sure you have a towel handy to blot the stems of the flowers too – the last thing you want is water stains on dresses right before you leave for the ceremony.

3. Keep all the important items together.

Round up everything the bride and her girls will be wearing or carrying, from the dresses and shoes to perfumes, jewellery and anything special or significant, and keep them all in one place for the photographer before they arrive. You’ll know exactly where everything is, the photographer will have an easy time taking detail shots without having to bother the bride while she’s getting ready, and you’ll all have more time to chill, enjoy the moment and to get some great photos of you all looking your best before you head off to the ceremony.

4. Tidy up the getting-ready space as you go.

It will help with the bride’s stress levels if she isn’t surrounded by clutter, and help the hair and makeup team and photographer get all their equipment in and out. Plus the photos will look nicer! If need be, you can designate a junk room or cupboard to toss everything into as it’s no longer needed (like dress bags and coat hangers), then sort through it all later – as long as it’s somewhere you can hide behind a closed door.

5. Learn how to pin a boutonniere (or buttonhole flower).

There are tutorials for this on YouTube! You might need to pin it to the bride’s dad’s jacket/shirt/tux. Find out from the bride what he’s wearing so you can pin it correctly, and the hero who knows how to pin this elusive little flower on without it drooping, falling over or stabbing poor Dad in the chest.

6. Learn which side things should go on.

For instance, boutonnieres/buttonhole flowers go on the left lapel or left side of the shirt, wrist corsages go on the left wrist, and the garter goes on the right leg. The groom and groomsmen traditionally stand on the right as you look at the ceremony, and the bride and bridesmaids stand on the left. If you aren’t sure, Google it!

7. Monitor the dress and veil.

It is your duty to keep an eye on the dress and veil all day. If you see it sitting wrong, fix it – especially during the ceremony and during family photos. Constant vigilance! Your girl chose her wedding outfit carefully, and she wants to look her best all day. Don’t let her get her photos back and say “Oh I wish I knew my veil was twisted for the whole ceremony, I would have fixed it.”

8. Check in with your bride regularly to see if she needs anything.

If you know her really well you can probably even anticipate her needs. She’ll be juggling a million thoughts since she probably planned this whole day almost single-handedly, so if you can take ANY task off her hands, do it. Be ready to call her auntie about the cake, fix her lippie, hold her flowers, lift her dress so she can pee, help her get her shoes on or off, or follow her around holding her dress if she doesn’t want it to drag on the ground.

9. Pay attention during bridal party portraits.

The photographer might ask you to hold and or/toss the veil or train for a photo. While you’re grabbing a bite to eat or chilling with the rest of the bridal party, keep one eye on the photos that are happening and be ready to run in and grab the flowers, throw the veil in the air or just make your girl laugh while she’s being photographed.

10. Plan your speech ahead of time.

Winging it might sound like a good idea, but you’ll save yourself a lot of stress and panic if you go in with a plan – plus you owe it to the bride to do your best. Introduce yourself and how you know the bride, since not all guests will know who you are. Don’t talk about exes under any circumstances, and don’t get sloshed before you have to speak – no matter how nervous you are. The MOH speech is a relatively new custom, but generally you’ll be required to toast the groomsmen in your speech, and of course the couple at the end.

A great bridesmaid can make a girl’s wedding experience amazing, and your care and thoughtfulness won’t go unnoticed. Your BFF will be so glad she asked you to stand by her on her Best Day Ever, and you’ll have given her an amazing gift by contributing to her happiness. The fact that you’re seeking out advice speaks volumes – you’re going to be the Best Bridesmaid Ever! Now go rock it!