Post # 1
Does anyone else have bridemaids that aren’t involved at all?
I am having a party of 6 girls, my Maid/Matron of Honor is my sister whom lives in the same town. 2 are cousins who are also local. 2 are FI’s sisters about 500 miles away and 1 is my BFF in Missouri.
Fiance and I have had a long engagement (20 months) so i have been planning this for a while. For the first I’d say month after the engagement everyone was super excited emailing me all the time talking about it all the time. But after that, nothing. and I mean NOTHING. The only person that has been involved at all is my MOH (sister) which is hard for her because she has 4 kids. But if it wasnt for her I really dont know what I would do.
Please do not take this the wrong way, I am not upset with my girls for the distance that is not their fault. But it’s hard for me to not have any input or involvement from any of my bridemaids. Even getting them to try on dresses was a chore, even more so to get them to actually ORDER them. (that’s a whole other post) It just makes me feel like they dont really care much to be a part of it. We are only 2 months away and the girls dont even want to discuss hair and make up plans. Hell even travel plans havent been discussed. I dont know what more to do.
Anyway, any other bees have bridemaids that were MIA during your entire planning process?
Post # 3
@MeadowsBee: My FW has had one Bridesmaid or Best Man just not do anything; skipped our engagement party, skipped our shower, took forever to order her dress (though I think that was a money issue, so fair enough). It actually bothers me way more than her, so I’m trying not to care, since I don’t want to point out any reasons to be stressed. And that’s just the thing – you can’t control other people, so don’t try. It’s probably way more stress and drama to kick someone out, than to just let them show up and act like guests with matching dresses.
Post # 4
@MeadowsBee: What exactly do you want them to be doing? Planning and DIY projects aren’t really their responsibility, if you need help it never hurts to ask though. You said they emailed you a lot in the beginning, maybe they are burnt out on wedding talk? I’m not really surprised they don’t want to talk about hair and makeup with two months out, it’s not really that big a deal that needs to be organized in advance.
Post # 5
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@MeadowsBee: 2 years is a long time to be excited for someone. That’s why we recommend picking a bridal party no more than a year before your wedding date.
Otherwise, nobody will ever be as exited as you. Nobody is going to want to work on your wedding as much as you. It’s your day, not theirs.
Provide everyone with a schedule of events for the day and let them know when and where they need to be for the rehearsal, ceremony, photos, reception entrance, etc… Let them know what you would like for their hair and makeup then trust them to get it done; they’re adults aren’t they? They can also take care of their own travel plans as well.
Chill. It will all come together and they will be excited for you for the rehearsal and wedding day, but other than that you probably won’t get much else out of them.
Post # 6
I also have 6 BMs, haven’t seen half of them since I asked in October. I don’t talk to them about the wedding at all as I know they have their own lives. I’m just going to send them a pic of their dress, order it, and my aunt will do any alterations. I don’t expect them to do anything more. If there’s something you need, just let them know. Otherwise just expect to see them at the rehearsal dinner and I’m sure they’ll be excited then!
Post # 7
@MeadowsBee: Whoa, that would stress me out that they can’t even answer questions. Maybe cut down on the number of questions per inquiry? I know some people I work with will only answer one question at a time. Annoying but true. I have no advice about the emotional fallout.
My BMs have been mostly uninvolved and that’s been fine with me. But when I had to make hair appointment decisions, they at least got back to me (after a little bit of badgering when they didn’t respond to email). But mostly, I haven’t asked anything of them (told them to get black dresses . . pretty sure one of them doesn’t have a dress yet . . . whatever, it’s a black dress). We told them a bunch of stuff but haven’t really asked for feedback or anything and so far we’ve avoided drama. Other than that, the only trick I can think of is to get as much of ‘noise’ out of your inquiries as possible. Maybe it will come off as rude, but hopefully if you say something like “Decision time! Do you want your hair professionally done? Get back to me by Friday” they can respond. In my opinion, it’s none of their business whether it really has be decided ‘by Friday’ or not. And there’s no reason they can’t answer a simple question like that or deal with the consequences of you making the decision for them.
But I think you are going to have rely on yourself and your Fiance to be decisive. Almost no one has cared about the details of our wedding and that’s fine. So maybe work on being ok with that?
@pixiecat: For me, the hair had to be organized in advance because the market is really small. One wedding I was in had our wedding hair done at 7 am for a 5 pm ceremony! I didn’t want that to happen to my BMs. So I think asking about hair 2 months out is possibly very reasonable.
Post # 8
I have three girls who are absolutely MIA. Not one of them has even once brought up the wedding or anything wedding related. Getting them to order dresses took about 6 months, and that was letting each girl choose what dress they wanted out if 12 options. My shower is next week, and a family friend is hosting. No offer of help from any BM’s. one girl is maybe attending. The other casually mentioned “oh, i have work” and left it at that, and the last girl didn’t even respond. I’m so frustrated. At this point, I keep asking FH why we are even having a wedding party. They are supposed to help and support us through this, and right now the only thing they’re doing is planning on showing up in a pretty dress. Ugh!
Post # 9
OK, so i guess i need to address some things. The whole wedding party is family other than one of my BM’s whom lives in Missouri. She really has not been an issue at all mainly because I bought her dress and shoes so that she can afford to fly out here and be here for the wedding. My choice not hers.
@pixiecat – The hair and make up is actually something that needs to be planned in advance as I am booking a make up artist and a stylist to come to the hotel to do my hair and the girls hair. The stylist is amazing and she books very quickly, especially on a Saturday doing the hair of 6 people she pretty much needs to book her whole morning and book an assistant to come help her. So i’ve just been trying to ask the girls if they even are wanting to get their hair professionally done. And no answers. I dont expect them to help with DIY stuff, I have my mom and my Maid/Matron of Honor for that. But no one helped plan the Shower, no one is planning a Bachelorette party (which is fine) they just really have not been invlolved at all. And as far as wedding talk and them being burned out. One of the BM’s just got married last year and that is all she talks about STILL. lol I have only been talking to them about things that directly affect them.
@beachbride1216 I am sure everyone will be excited the day of. Thats expected. I know we have had a long engagement but we did not have our bridal opart picked out as sson as we got engaged. The reason i said they were all excited about it for the first month after the engagement is because the whole bridal part is family. We actually did not pick our wedding party until November last year. And even then I dont expect everyone to be as excited as i am. But i do exopect them to actually give a crap about the details that actually involve them.
Anyway. I’m not mad or upset with any of my girls. I know everyone has their own lives. But as family, i would expect them to care a little more about the things that involve them.
Post # 10
@MeadowsBee: They got tired of the wedding stuff being so dragged out. Don’t assume someone will realize you would like help, ask them and if they aren’t willing or able then leave it be and let it go. These girls are family, so its not like you can stop associating with them.
Post # 11
Ok they live 500 miles away, so I doubt they are tired of the stuff being dragged out because they havent been invloved in anything. I can’t exactly ask for help with them being so far away. That is not even what the original post was about. I am saying that they are not involved in the things THEY need to be involved in: Getting dresses, shoes, transportation, lodging ETC.
I am not trying to say my BM’s should be bride slaves, I know that because of the distance there isnt much else they can help with. But i mean they couldnt even help gather addresses from other family members for our invitations. And before i get attacked for that too, the reason we asked them to do it is because they all live down there in the same area and see and talk to the family alot more than we do.
@drummerbride What it my OP gave you the idea of me not wanting to associate with my BM’s anymore? I never mentioned anything about asking anyone to stand down, or not be part of it. I am simply asking advice for anyone who has been through something like this before.
Post # 12
I’ve been on the shitty end of the “bridesmaid doing nothing” conversation and it really, really bothered me. Here’s why:
1. If you have expectations – lay them out. If you don’t clearly explain what you expect of your BMs, don’t be surprised if they don’t pull through. Everybody has completely different expectations of their wedding, of what it means to be a bridesmaid, etc. Don’t assume everyone is on the same page.
2. Your BMs have lives too. Your wedding might be your focus, but they might have a million other things going on. That’s not to say they shouldn’t answer questions you need answering, but give people lots of notice and reminders when necessary – you’ll likely get better results. IMO, you’re better off to manage your wedding as a project manager than as a friend – it forces you to be more clear with what you want ahead of time.
3. I know it’s been said, but nobody will care as much about your wedding as you do. Having said that, your friends likely care about you. That sounds like a vague distinction, but it’s not. For example, sending out a broadcast message that says “Hey, can everyone tell me what they want for their hair” or whatever, is way different than “Hey SJ, I’m just organizing some details for the day of and was wondering what you wanted to do for a hairstyle? What were you thinking?”. Providing that personal attention will go a long way. I think this piece really makes the biggest difference in terms of improving outcomes.
I’m still a bit grouchy about the whole thing to be honest – I was really hurt that a good, close friend would have rather bottled everything up rather than just having an honest conversation with me about her expectations and how I was falling short. If she had, we would have saved a world of stress, and I would have followed through on everything she asked – rather than blindly missing expectations I didn’t know existed.
If your BMs are not acting as you expected, just be honest with them. If not, you’ll end up getting crabby and bitter and letting it ruin your day. Your wedding is just one day.. your friendships will hopefully last long, long after that. It’s likely going to be a tough convo, but better now than on your wedding day.
Post # 13
I think the only reasonable expectation is that your BMs show up dressed on the day and attend rehearsal, if there is one. Anything else that has to be done or decided is on them. Dress has to be ordered by such and such date? Fine, just say that. You need to book a hair and MUA in advance to ensure availability and time? Tell people that hair and makeup is available for anyone who lets you know by this date, or you’ll assume that they are doing their own. Share travel dates, hotel information and assume everyone is responsible for themselves. If someone screws up, that’s on them, and the show goes on.
I’m not sure what your issue is around a shower. It sounds like your Maid/Matron of Honor is doing one. Maybe the rest of them just assumed she’s taking care of that. If she wanted more involvement or help in planning, she is the one who should reach out to see if anyone else is interested or available. I don’t know why you should have been made aware of any of this though.
Post # 14
@MeadowsBee: Hi, I wanted to reply because I think some of the bees have been a bit harder on you than necessary. You sound like a totally reasonable bride with normal expectations, and it’s very generous of you to pay for the hair and makeup of 6 other ladies. I have both perspectives since I was the Maid/Matron of Honor last year and a bride this year (just got married aug. 17th!). I think the issue may be the number of bridesmaids and the fact that most are family. I had one Maid/Matron of Honor (my BFF) and one bridesmaid, and even then I had issues with decisions getting made. Both lived out of state and had families of their own, so I totally understood them not being that involved. With that said, even though it was was last-minute, they still came through and planned a bachelorette outing for me, got all their travel plans arranged, and their dresses and accessories ordered. And on the day itself, they could not have been more awesome and helpful.
Anyway, enough about me! We’re talking about you. With 6 bridesmaids, I think what happens is that each bridesmaid assumes that someone else will be handling xyz, or that someone else will respond to your question. Also, it’s been my experience that family often takes stuff for granted in a way that your friends wouldn’t. If my sister asked me to do something, I might take a bit longer to get it done than I would if a friend had asked simply because friendships are about choice, and family, well, it’s not like she could stop being my sister. 😉
I’m not sure how often you email or how the questions in the emails are phrased, but it’s generally really helpful to ask for a firm yes or no rather than, hey, what do you think about this idea? Make it as easy as possible for your girls to respond. And if you don’t email too often, then they know that when you do, it’s about something important that requires a decision and not just, what cake flavor should I choose? (Not that you’re doing that.)
There’s a big difference between demanding that your bridesmaids make you the center of their lives and simply wanting them to show some interest and support. You know that they’re busy and have their own lives, but you’re just trying to get some logistics out of the way. It can feel disappointing. Maybe you need to call them individually to ask the makeup/hairstylist question. It’s easy to dodge an email, not so much a phone call. In the end though, it will work out! They’re big girls and they will figure out how to get there because they have to. Good luck!
Post # 15
I agree about making a phone call rather than relying on email. . My email gets flooded with ads and offers. If I am not careful to delete every day, it would be very easy to have an email get buried. Just realize you can’t require this, even if you are offering to pay.
Post # 16
@seachange – Thank you for all of the wonderful advice. I really appreciate it.I agree that it kind of felt like i was being attacked and I really wasnt even ragging on my maids or anything. Lol just saying that they aren’t involved. I will try some new tactics as you mentioned. I think another phone call is in order. It’s getting too close now.
@sanjessica – Great advice. It’s nice to hear it from someone who has been on the other end of it. It’s niice to have that different perspective so thank you! 🙂
@weddingmaven – The dresses and shoes are ordered. It’s not a matter of getting them to do it, simply asking if any other bees out there dealt with the same thing. As for my shower. It already happened Aug.10th. My Maid/Matron of Honor (sister) and my Mom planned the whole thing. The other maids were not involved even after many attempts to contact them by my mother and Maid/Matron of Honor.That’s ok though i still had a wonderful amazing shower. As for the hair, please dont take me as a control freak. I am not requiring my girls to do anything other than show up in a dress and shoes in the colors i chose. I am not requiring for the girls to get hair and make up done. I am just simply offering to them, just like i am offering for us all to go out for mani-pedi’s the day before the wedding. Am I requiring it? No, but i thought it would be something nice to do for my girls. But what is required is appointments and the number of people that are going to that appointment. That was my point about the hair and make up as well. It’s not required but if they are going to participate I need to know.