How Do You Do That?: Personal Attendant Edition

This past weekend I had the pleasure of being one of two personal attendants for a dear friend’s wedding.

I was a little nervous going into the weekend because you just never know what “personal attendant” is going to entail. I’ve heard of personal attendants setting up the table decorations at receptions, cleaning up at the end of the night, or just hanging around and doing whatever the bride comes up with in the moment.

This bride made a great schedule for the wedding weekend and that clearly spelled out what our main “duties” would be. Mainly helping during photos, and hearding everyone outside of the church after the ceremony so the bride and groom could do a getaway into her father’s car.

The a few days before the wedding I searched pinterest and found this list of supplies I should probably have on hand, courtesy of Crafty Pie.

wedding emergency kitI shopped my bathroom, and therefore didn’t have a few things. I wish I had remembered safety pins (although I found a few in my car). And I wish I had double sided tape, but thankfully found some in the bride’s home when we were getting ready.

The one thing not on this list, that we did need was anti-itch ointment. With Minnesota in the summer you are bound to get a couple of bug bites, no matter how much bug spray you put on. I would also recommend adding sunscreen to the list if you plan on taking lots of outdoor pictures or being outside for an extended period of time.

For my own personal sanity I also packed a can of diet coke, a can of sparkling water, and a liter of water. This kept me hydrated as well as caffinated. We also made a quick stop at the gas station before driving to the reception where I picked up a Starbucks Iced Coffee.

Some weddings are all about the celebrating (aka drinking) and you have to be able to go with the flow. For this particular wedding we stuck to coffee in the morning, had a beer when the groomsmen came over for pictures, and then didn’t have another drink until the reception. Other times when I’ve been in the bridal party we’ve started with mimosas, and moved right into beer up until the moment we walked down the aisle. Its important to know your limits and judge the situation. I had an equal amount of fun at both weddings, but the key is to go with the flow. Don’t have a drink just because everyone else is, but on the flip side don’t be whining for a drink if that isn’t what the Bride and Groom want.

One of the mistakes I made was putting on my heels too early in the day. I put them on at 11 am, so by the time the wedding was done at 4, I was in pain! I packed nice, flat sandals and changed into them before driving to the reception. However, the damage was done, and I now have multiple blisters (clearly I bought my shoes too small and didn’t realize it until it was too late.)

At the actual reception I had very few duties, but obviously stayed until the end just in case something came up. The bride has a wonderful extended family that I’ve known my whole life, so they covered getting the gifts out of the reception hall as well as the clean up!

While some people cringed when I mentioned I would be a personal attendant I really enjoyed it. I got to spend all day with my high school friends, and be a part of a lovely couple’s special day. Not only that, but the bride and groom didn’t leave until Monday morning, so I was able to get a little lake time with them on Sunday night and really recap the wedding events!

Have you ever been a personal attendant? Do you have other tips to add?


  1. I can identify with the need for anti-itch cream. My in-laws planned the rehearsal dinner. We had a cookout. It was fun and I enjoyed myself but being outside at night in August in Wisconsin the night before your wedding when you are wearing a strapless gown is not a good idea. I have some lovely bug bites in the wedding photos.

    1. Personal Attendants are basically bridesmaids that don’t walk down the aisle. Its a good way to incorporate friends when you’re wedding party gets large (there were 7 attendants on each side as it was!)

  2. I’ve never heard of a wedding attendant. It sounds so weird to me but I’m glad you enjoyed it! I will def make sure to have some anti itch cream at my wedding now!

  3. I’ve never been one, but my personal attendent was my life saver the day of the wedding! Sounds like you did a great job 🙂

  4. You were a life saver for me that day, Katie. Yes, the anti itch ointment was for me, the bride, after getting attacked by bugs during outside photos. You made an impact on every one that got ready with us in the morning and throughout the day. Even Peter’s mom and sisters were commenting how much they wanted to hire you for their personal assistant! 🙂 Overall, THANK YOU and I love that you were there with me every minute of the day. Really, Katie, you helped me as much if not more than even a bridesmaid could. I just saved you some money so you didn’t have the buy the dress and shoes. 🙂 LOVE YOU!

    P.S. Future brides out there? Have a great friend (if you’re lucky) lead you through a yoga session a few days before your wedding. It was perfect!!! Thanks again, Katie!

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