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Being asked to be bridesmaid, whether the relationship is that of a sister, a sister-in-law to be, a cousin or a best mate, is a privilege.
It is a role that is sparked with a balance of enjoyment and responsibility, particularly in the case of the chief bridesmaid. She is the bride's right-hand lady, assisting her with her gown and in many other ways to ensure her day goes smoothly.
As well as helping the bride to dress she sees that the veil and train are in place at the church. She holds the bride's bouquet during the exchange of rings and is normally one of the two witnesses to sign the register.
Her duties continue through the photographic sessions and at the reception. Other bridesmaids might be assigned a special duty, such as compiling a bag of ``just in case'' requirements that may come in handy during the day or making sure the flower girl, if there is one, is happy in her role.
TIP: While the presents are being opened write the gift on the gift-giver's card to ensure the couple know who gave what.
Although not mandatory some chief bridesmaids give a speech at the reception. Here are some tips
. Keep it entertaining and no more than five minutes.
. Introduce yourself, as not everyone will know who you are.
. Humour is an ideal way to warm the crowd, but don't embarrass the bride or groom in the telling of anecdotes.
. Compliment the groom on the great relationship he has with his bride that you've seen develop and thrive.
. Add a touch of nostalgia, maybe going way back to the beginning of the bride and groom's friendship, or how you first met the bride and became friends.
. Hunt out a thoughful quote that is a good ``fit'' with the couple.