Being a bridesmaid is an honor. However, this role is not easy.
You will have several responsibilities and expenses to take care of.
Besides that, bridesmaids also need to follow certain etiquette to ensure they make the bride’s day memorable.
But, Is It Ok for Bridesmaids to Leave the Reception Early?
It depends. A bridesmaid’s job is to help the bride with the wedding planning, dressing up, and during her big day until she and her groom depart. It means you cannot just leave the ceremony or the reception whenever you feel like it. You need to be there for the bride as long as she wants you there.
See Also: What Are The Roles Of The Wedding Party?
However, let’s face it. Sometimes emergencies can occur, forcing you to leave early.
Maybe you are pregnant and cannot spend the entire night partying.
Or you may have a sick person at home or another commitment you must attend to. In this case, leaving early may be acceptable. But let the bride know beforehand about your decision.
It is rude to disappear when the ceremony is underway or to inform her during the wedding day.
If you plan on leaving early, ensure they know about this before the big day.
Then, please find a way to tell her you’re going when you are ready to.
What Should You Do If You Need to Leave a Wedding Early?
You should wait until the wedding is over to leave, especially if you are the bridesmaid.
However, sometimes you may have a situation that forces you to leave a wedding early.
In that case, try as much as possible to avoid distracting the couple during critical moments like photo sessions and cutting a cake.
If they are too busy and you need to leave immediately, inform another bridesmaid or a groomsman that you are going and do so quietly. However, it’s best to tell the couple directly.
Also, it is better to leave during the reception as many people won’t notice since they are focused on food, drinks, and mingling. Either way, it is impolite to exit without informing the marrying couple.
Is It Ok to Leave the Wedding Ceremony Before the Reception?
Many people that want to exit a wedding early usually do so after the ceremony before the reception starts. But always let the couple know about your intentions beforehand.
We must also mention that most guests will only be present during the cocktail reception and exit the venue before dinner.
That is ok too, provided you let the bride and the groom know about this early.
Remember that wedding receptions are paid per person. So, couples need to know how many guests to expect to make their budget.
It will be a waste to pay for a plate for someone who won’t be available.
It might come off as rude or inconsiderate to inform the couple when the event is already going on or a few days before the wedding.
How Soon Can a Bridesmaid Leave a Wedding?
Ideally, bridesmaids should be the last people to leave a wedding.
Being a maid is a commitment to the bride, so you should think long and hard before agreeing.
You are supposed to be always there for the bride before and especially during the wedding day.
But let’s face it. Sometimes, you may have a situation that forces you to leave the wedding early. In that case, how soon can you exit?
Many guests usually wait until the cake-cutting is over to leave. Make sure you see the couple, congratulate them, and thank them for honoring you with this position.
That way, even if you don’t see them again, you can head out without saying goodbye.
Remember that after the cake cutting, the dances begin for the entire night.
Therefore, the couple might not be available even for their bridesmaids or groomsmen during this time.
As such, it is almost impossible to say goodbye when they are busy dancing. Some guests take this as a cue to leave quietly and politely.
What Other Things Shouldn’t Bridesmaids Do?
Once you commit to being a bridesmaid, you need to stand with the bride until her big day ends.
Your right to complain about certain things like money and time is thrown out of the window.
Some comments like this hotel is expensive, or this shower is taking too long will only bring negative vibes.
Here are the things you shouldn’t do to be a good bridesmaid.
1. Asking the Bride for Help All The Time
The bride has many responsibilities to take care of.
Therefore, some things, you will have to decide on your own. For instance, if she picks out the dresses, it will be upon you to fit the gown and order it.
Also, you will need to book your travel to the parties that will be held. Don’t nag the bride with constant questions about the things you should do.
If you need help, contact another bridesmaid or ask the maid of honor.
2. Disrespect the Bride’s Wishes
It is her big day, for heaven’s sake. Be courteous enough not to make it about you.
If she doesn’t want a wild bachelorette party, don’t plan on it even if you inform her.
Listen to what she wants for her shower, bachelorette party, and wedding and follow it when planning it.
Another thing is about her dress choice.
Even if you don’t like it, smile and don’t comment on it.
Remember, it is her day to be in the spotlight. So, please don’t take away this moment from her.
3. Fail to Buy a Gift
We get it. Being a bridesmaid can be costly. You will have many expenses, from the dress, travel, accommodation, etc.
As such, you may feel this is enough of a gift to the bride. But it is not.
Buying a gift that matches your closeness to the bride is usually advisable. The closer you are to her, the nicer the gift should be.
Since you are the bridesmaids, it only means you are close to the bride. Therefore, be ready to dig your pockets deep.
But, whether it will be considered rude depends on the reason for leaving and how you do it.
For instance, if you are pregnant, tired, and nauseous, that’s a good reason to go home early and rest. But ensure you inform the couple before exiting.