Updated: Jul 18, 2021
The personal attendant (PA) role can really take a lot of different shapes, depending on your situation.
Traditionally, the PA is someone who helps with decor, managing the timeline, and making sure the bride is as happy and stress-free as possible on the big day. This is a great role for a friend that is organized, detail oriented, and great at calming you down!
Things a personal attendant might do:
Set up table centerpieces, escort cards, & other decor
Make sure vendors have arrived on time and know where to go
Pick up breakfast/lunch orders
Help corral family/friends for photos
Stick around during photos to help fluff your train, fix your veil, and help with makeup/hair adjustments
Distribute floral and help the guys get their boutonnieres on
Hand out tips to vendors
Check on bride before walking down aisle for final adjustments
Replenish dessert table
Move gifts/card box to a safe location once the dance starts
Ensure everyone is on time/following the wedding day timeline
Making sure the bride is eating/drinking throughout the day
Help bustle the bride's dress after the ceremony. Note: if your PA will be helping with this, make sure they come to your final dress fitting to take a video on how to do it... they are confusing, trust us!
Run last minute errands: Maybe you forgot your shoes at home or didn't bring enough napkins. Your PA can come to the rescue on getting these last minute items.
Help clean up at the end of the night
Considering the PA role can take so many different shapes, be upfront as soon as you can about what you are expecting your PA to help with.
If you’ve chosen to hire a day of coordinator (DOC) then do you NEED a PA? Probably not, your coordinator will be in charge of taking care of most of the traditional duties that your PA would have done. Now you can certainly still choose to have a PA as a way to include a close friend, cousin or aunt in your wedding day.
Things you might have your PA do when you already have a DOC:
Hang out with and get ready with the bridal party
Snap pictures of everyone while you're getting ready
Set up portions of the decor (if the DOC needs assistance or PA wants to help)
Help keep dress, hair and makeup in check during photos
Check on the bride before walking down the aisle for final adjustments
Do a reading or other special part of your ceremony
Checking in on the bride and making sure she is eating/drinking throughout the day
Help bustle the bride's dress
Help manage going to the bathroom in your dress
Help corral family/friends for photos
Possibly run last minute errands day of... Most DOC will do this for you but if they are swamped, your PA help out with this.
Regardless of what you decide to have your PA help with keep these things in mind
Make sure you are clear about your expectations: It is important to have a detailed list of your expectations for your PA. Make sure they know what you expect of them and that they are up for the role. Day of, have a detailed to-do list ready, so there isn't any last minute scrambling on your big day.
Make them feel special and important in your day: If there is time, have them get ready with you. Give them a nice gift for helping you... and don't forget to get them something to help them stand out, like a corsage.
Don't require them to buy a specific expensive dress: Remember this person is essentially agreeing to help you for FREE. They are there to make sure you have a great day and that everything goes as planned... Don’t add the stress of an expensive dress onto that. Plus, traditionally PAs aren't in many wedding bridal party photos or standing up with you during the ceremony, so a matching bridesmaid dress may not be necessary. A better option would be to request they wear a certain color in the style of their choosing.