TO @allyouneedislove: IMO… this is a GOOD QUESTION… and I am glad to see someone ask it and be concerned about the issue
I think that every Bride (and Groom) should Review the Traditional List of Repsonsibilities & Expenses for themselves in regards to the Bridal Party BEFORE choosing their Bridal Party, so they are PRIMARILY AWARE of what is and isn’t the norm (lol, the old joke when an Upset Bridesmaid posts here on WBee, and says… “The Bride is being unreasonable, a real Bridezilla… she’s a frickin’ Slave Driver !!”)
AND I also think it is important that once the Couple can SEE what the costs will be for each Member of their Bridal Party that they budget out what is reasonable, and pick the number of Attendants based on what they CAN AFFORD… and not so much on a “dream vision” or some other concept
Budget wise, having Bridal Attendants are not a small expense !!
So once a couple knows what they can afford, ONLY THEN (and with much forethought) should one make a list of possible candidates.
Then rather than ASKING someone to be in their Bridal Party, they should have a heart-to-heart with the person outlining from the Traditional List of Responsibilities & Expenses what YOU actually anticipate them to do / pay for.
In this way there is NO MISUNDERSTANDINGS right from the get go.
As that does tend to be where the majority of the Drama / Trauma comes from in the various posts we see on the WBee BOARDS…
People haven’t communicated well upfront, and so expectations are out of line, misunderstandings happen, and feelings are hurt… sometimes irrepairably…
IMO something that could easily be avoided, if folks were more upfront with it all.
Here then the Traditional List of the Responsibilities & Expenses for both sides of the “partnership” (copied here from a previous WBee topic)
They can be followed-to-a-tee… or the Bride & her Maids can set out which ones they want to adopt, and whatever ones they want to drop (same with expenses… there is wiggle room too)
BUT the main concern is that things should be agreed upon by BOTH PARTIES UP FRONT
== snip ==
THE BRIDE – RESPONSIBILITIES & EXPENSES (to the BP)
* Bridesmaids’ Luncheon
* Thank-You Gifts for the Attendants **
* Accommodations for the Bridal Party (often 2 Nights if there is a Rehearsal Dinner / Party)
* Transportation of the Bridal Party from Accommodations to Ceremony Site – Ceremony to Reception – and Reception to Accommodations
* Bridesmaids’ Flowers
* Extending to any member of the Bridal Party over the age of 18 the courtesy of bringing a Guest to the Wedding (and that Guest can be anyone of their choosing… Hubby, Fiance, Long Term BF, random Date… or even their Mother IF that is who they wish to spend the Weekend with… it is THEIR CHOICE… and not yours to judge. This is one of the perks of being in the BP and giving of their time to your Wedding)
* Making sure that the Bridesmaids and their “dates” (see above) are included at the Rehearsal Dinner … or whatever form of Meet & Greet is planned before the Wedding
THE BRIDAL PARTY – RESPONSIBILITIES & EXPENSES
* Purchase of Wedding Day Apparel and necessary accessories ***
* Transportation to the Wedding Destination
* Contribution to a Bridesmaids’ Gift for the Bride (often a pooled gift with other Bridesmaids)
* Individual Gift to the Couple
* Attendance (and possible gift) for any Showers, or Pre-Wedding Parties for the Bride / Couple
* Reponsible for their Dress Fittings
* Assist the MOH whenever one can
* Attend as many Pre-Wedding Events as possible
* Possibly Co-Host a Party or Shower (not mandatory… hopefully at least attend)
* Assist Bride with errands when feasible
* Arrive to Appointments Promptly
* Arrive to Dressing Site on Wedding Day Promptly
* Participate in Professional Photo Shots
* Dance with Ushers & Single Guests (optional / courteous)
* Help gather people together where necessary (ie First Dance, Cake Cutting, Bouquet Toss etc)
* Help out with Elderly Guests if needed
* Pay for their Bridesmaid Dress and Transportation to the Wedding City
MAID OF HONOUR – RESPONSIBILITIES & EXPENSES
* Helps the Bride with selection of Maids’ Attire (if required)
* Helps with Addressing Wedding Stationery Items (Invites, Placecards etc)… if asked
* Attends as many Pre-Wedding events as possible
* Organizes Bridesmaids’ Gift to the Bride
* Makes sure that others in the Bridal Party are on-time for Appointments
* Holds the Groom’s Wedding Ring on the Wedding Day
* Helps the Bride get ready on the Wedding Day
* Arranges the Bride’s Veil & Train before Processional & Recessional
* Makes sure the Bride looks “Picture Perfect” throughout the day
* Holds the Bride’s Bouquet during Ceremony
* Is a Witness to the Marriage (signs documentation)…if required
* Is in the Receiving Line (if there is one)
* Keeps the Bride on schedule
* Helps the Bride into her Going Away Clothes (if necessary)
* Takes care of the Bride’s Gown and Accessories after the Wedding Reception
* Pays for her own Dress and “some” accessories ***
* Arranges for and pays for her own transportation to the Wedding Destination
— — —
Two of the greatest areas of misunderstandings is what is paid for by whom.
*** In North America, a Bridesmaid is only obligated to pay for the Dress that the Bride has chosen. She is to provide her own foundation garments, shoes and accessories.
BUT if a Bride wishes for everyone to be matchy-matchy beyond the Dress, then the Bride is supposed to pay for those elements… so matching shoes, accessories, jewellery, hair & make up etc.
** The Bride’s Thank You Gifts to the Bridesmaids should not be something that she has chosen for them as part of the Wedding itself… so Hair, Makeup, Jewellery, or other matchy-matchy items… ARE NOT THANK YOUS.
A Thank You Gift should be chosen for each individual member of the Bridal Party… as part of the friendship bond you share. It should never be matchy-matchy… it should be chosen with much more care. That isn’t to say that it cannot be earrings tho if that is something that EVERY Gal in your BP would like… just that they shouldn’t all be the same. They should be chosen to ONLY “match” the personality of the girl, and nothing else.
Hope this helps,
PS… Worthwhile Reviewing this List BEFORE someone chooses a Bridal Party (and also going over it with potential Maids BEFORE they accept the role)… because there are some serious obligations / responsibilities on here that can add up to BIG BUCKS for BOTH Parties… BUT particularly the Bride (ie. Transportation, Hotel Rooms, Maid & Guest, and Thank You Gifts) … and the bigger the BP… the more it costs.
== end ==