Bridesmaids not invloved at all? Advice? (kinda long)

posted 3 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 3
3249 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@MeadowsBee:  My FW has had one BM 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
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@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
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • 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
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

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
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@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 FI 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
239 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

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 # 10
2788 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@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 # 12
789 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

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.

Good luck!!!

Post # 13
6666 posts
Bee Keeper

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 MOH 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
30 posts

@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 MOH 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 MOH (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
6666 posts
Bee Keeper

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. 

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