Post # 1
I really hate to come off as sounding needy, ungrateful or like a “bridezilla” but I’m really having some issues with my bridesmaids not really being, well…interested. I only have 3 bridesmaids, my future SIL, my bestfriend since preschool and my close friend of 8 years.
My SIL is over the moon excited for the upcoming wedding, which would be awesome…except she lives in Alaska. Nothing that we can do about that until just before the wedding, but she’s been really great about bouncing ideas and has told me on multiple occasions “This is your day, do what you want and I will be there.”
So, I’m sort of having to rely on my two in town BM for the more hands on, active roles but having some issues.
My bestfriend is hard to stay in touch will – she’s usually not as plugged into the world as the rest of us and can take a really long time to respond, she had been super excited when I asked her to be in the wedding but hasn’t really been contributing much and that’s hard.
But currently my biggest concern is with my friend. She was the first person I asked, she immediately said of course and at the beginning seemed really into the whole planning idea. Now that we’re down to just over 7 months until the wedding day nothing seems to be good enough…least of all the dress. It’s too short, too purple, “unflattering” cap sleeves, too expensive, needs to be altered… the list goes on. And when I try to have her come with me to different things (dress shopping, bridal expo, ect) she has some reason or just doesn’t want to/isn’t interested. She’s recently engaged so I was very thrown off when I invited her to the expo and got a no because the tickets were too expensive ($10) and after I mentioned the potential in it being beneficial for her wedding I was told she’d just wing it.
I don’t know what to do, I’m starting to thing that I may need to ask my friend if she’d like to step down…but I’m afraid of it turning into a hurt feelings situation. I feel bad about feeling bad about not getting help with the wedding. With the expcetion of my mom and SIL, no one really seems to be interested in helping me plan the wedding. And it’s really starting to wear one me.
Post # 3
@danielle-barnett: My opinion is that you should not expect your bridesmaids to help plan the wedding. That is primarily the responsibility of you and your fiance.
The one thing she must do is wear the dress you choose, so I would expect her to be good about that. (Your BMs should also plan a bachelorette party (and hopefully bridal shower), but your wedding is a long way off so there’s no urgency there). But so long as she agrees to the dress – no you shouldn’t ask her to step down, yes it would cause hurt feelings if you did ask her to step down. If she doesn’t want to go to the bridal show she’s obviously a pretty casual bride, so you can’t expect her to do things she’s not even doing for her own wedding.
Post # 4
I think you’re asking too much of them. BMs are just supposed to put on a dress and stand next to you. I would try to compromise with her on the dress. Ask her how much she wants to spend and/or offer to buy it for her instead of doing a BM gift.
Anything else is icing on the cake. It doesn’t sound like your friend and you are on the same page if she said she’d just “wing” her wedding planning. I can’t imagine asking your friend to step down because she doesn’t have the time or money to put into your wedding when it’s 7 months away. She’s your friend, not your employee, right?
Post # 5
@paula1248: Agreed, although she should definitely be more supportive on choice of the bridesmaid dress! However if you are expecting her to pay for her dress then she should get some say in whether she likes it or not, and her comment about ‘too expensive’ could be perfectly valid in that instance.
Post # 6
It’s not all that I haven’t compromised with her many times over the dress, it’s just that everytime we do you come to a compromise something else comes up that she doesn’t like. She didn’t like knee length, changed to tea length. Didn’t like strapless, but doesn’t like cap sleeve or standard straps. Not long after I asked everyone if they would be in the wedding party I also ask them what they thought they would feel comfortable spending on a bridesmaids dress, everyone agreed that anything under $150 would be fine, is such an actually focus my searching and the dresses that were looking at are around $100. I have attempted to compromise and overcome every concern but there always seems to be a backup reason. The wringing it comment was only given 2 weeks ago, it’s not like I’m really asked her to do anything other than kind of bounce ideas back and forth with me.
As for my fiance helping with planning that’s not easiest for us, the graveyard shift from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. we don’t have any time to hang out in the mornings because I’m getting myself ready for work and her son ready for school and in the evenings he’s asleep by the time I get off of work and doesn’t wake up until about 8:30 at night. Being a guy who’s totally not into weddings, when I ever asked for his opinion I get the answer of whatever you would like, sweet but not really helpful.
I have not asked a single one of my bridesmaids to do a single thing yet other than come with me dress shopping, when I was trying on dresses and so they could try on dresses, and help me get ideas in order. Oh and asked in one single conversation about the expo.
Post # 7
It isn’t so much that I am considering asking her to step down, it’s more that I’m considering giving her the option to she chooses. I am trying to avoid coming off as if I have the attitude of if you don’t like it you can just quit, when in reality my thought is more if she doesn’t want to I don’t want to force her and potentially have her wish later that she had stepped down. But since we have to order dresses and then those dresses need to be fitted and altered 7 months isn’t really a lot of time before I need to know if she’s committed or not.
Post # 8
Sorry if my comments seemed choppy or like pieces are missing, my cell phone likes to delete things without me realizing it.
Post # 9
@danielle-barnett: The dress thing sounds frustrating. I would just choose a color and let them find their own dresses. If that’s not what you’re going for maybe ask her to find a few dresses she likes.
It’s not about the actual requests but what you expect from your girls. It’s easy to expect BM to care a lot and feel upset when they don’t. I think we’ve all been there. It’s tough but no one cares as much about weddings as the bride. It doesn’t mean your friends and family are bad BMs, they’re the same people you’ve always known and loved. You’re going through a stressful time but they might not understand how you’ve changed into a bride and need help. Try to think of them as your friends, not your BMs. Best of luck.
Post # 10
@danielle-barnett: I hope we didn’t all come across as negative. Wedding Bee can be a great help and I see you’ve hardly posted, so welcome!
From what you say, I think you should just say about the dresses, “This is what’s we’re doing and that’s that”. So long as the dress isn’t too offensive (i.e. too short or too revealing), too expensive or too uncomfortable, a bridesmaid should really suck it up and wear whatever style and colour the bride chooses. It is your day, you choose the look. Perhaps remind her that she will also get to choose her BMs’ dresses.
As for your fiance, even if he lets you choose he can still help. For instance, we printed our own invitations and programs. My fiance didn’t care about how they looked at all – he left that 100% to me. But he still did the work of collecting the paper and printing them. I’m not sure how much he cared about the reception venue, but he still drove me to all the venues we looked at.
Post # 11
@paula1248: I had considered letting them choose their own dresses as long as there the right color and length, unfortunately that fell out the window because the color that I have my heart set on (slate blue) is incredibly difficult to find in the same shade or attractive dresses. Most recently what I’ve found is an Etsy shop with two colors of their fabric very close to the color I’ve been looking for so I’ve ordered swatches. If the color works they’ll be able to choose which ever style of dress they’d like from that shop so that all the colors are the same and the lengths can match, all the dresses compliment each other yet are varying styles.
My fiance would love to help more with the planning but the 2 hours in the morning, and the 1 in the evening, that we have together doesn’t allow much time for good morning and goodbye while getting ourselves and son ready for the day/night. On the weekends it’s not much better, our sleep schedules are still opposite each other. If I stay up really late (like tonight 2:53am here) then we have some time to talk, but so much goes into that and with him currently at work there’s only so much we can do over chat.
*Edit: My fiance and I also have different days off, so our time to plan together is even more limited.
Post # 12
@danielle-barnett: I’m sorry you’re feeling kind of alone at a time that can be very overwhelming AND super exciting – you just want to feel supported and like there are people super excited along with you! I wonder if there is something more going on with your friend. Dress situation aside, you might want to go for a coffee and just feel her out a little. Let her know that you’re picking up on a vibe and you want to make sure she/your friendship is ok, and if there is anything YOU can do for HER. Maybe there is more to her perceived lack of enthusiasm than you know at this point.
I agree that the planning isn’t part of the bridesmaids’ job. Rather than expect their help in planning, why not just ask for their advice on certain key things? I have 3 best women and 2 of them are married (and don’t live in my city), so I text them questions as I start to put my wedding day together…how they did their invitations, what things they would leave out if they could do it all over, etc. It involves them and makes them feel important, and they are more than happy to offer their advice and experiences – which is so helpful to me!
For the dress, I feel strongly that BMs should be allowed to choose their own dress with some guidance from the bride about colour, fabric, and length. I actually want my girls to be in different shades of my chosen colour – I think it will add a lot of interest and dimension to photos. Maybe you need to consider changing the slate blue expectation for the dresses to something easier to find, and instead incorporate slate blue in other ways, like table cloths or decorations.
And finally – I hear you on how difficult it can be to have different schedules with your fiancé and not wanting the wedding planning to dominate every moment together. Try this: make a list of everything you need to do – leave nothing out! Show your fiancé the list and ask him to check off items he can take care of. This is his day too, and while he may be happy to leave a lot of the decisions in your hands, you still need his support in pulling it all together.
Is a wedding planner or day-of coordinator in the budget?
Sorry to have written a mini novel here! Lol
Post # 13
Even with your FI unable to help it’s not your BMs job to go to the expo or to your dress appointments with you. It’s not their job to help you plan your wedding at all, even though it would be nice if they did. She clearly doesn’t. Your FI working night shift certainly doesn’t shift his role in planning his wedding to her or anyone.
I think its really important that you realize that no one cares about your wedding as much as you do – not meant in a harsh way but it will help to avoid hurt feelings.
For the dress, she just needs to suck it up.
Post # 14
Personally, I think that your BM is being sucky. I don’t care what anyone on the bee says about girls just showing up in a dress and standing next to you and that they should also get to pick that dress – we call that a guest and they can sit in the audience. Read any site on how to be a good bridesmaid and what is traditional etiquette for a bridesmaid and all that and you will NOT find those answers.
I know your FSIL is in alaska – but how about sending her emails back and forth to get her opinion? And instead of asking your friend to step down, tell her, “I know not everyone is going to be as interested and excited in my wedding as I am, but I really need some help with the details in the planning and I was hoping we could schedule some time to go over some things.”
That said, I didn’t go to a bridal expo and I do not think they’re necessary or important to attend. My friend went to one and got nothing out of it, either – she planned a beautiful wedding without the help of an expo.
My MOH – I was her MOH in her wedding last year – and we have really helped each other plan each other’s weddings and given advice and stuff. I would just pick 1 person who is most interested and has similar taste and ask that person to help you make concrete decisions because you don’t know what you want, or aren’t sure of it, or don’t know what would look best, and have that one person bounce ideas off of through email – even if it takes a few days.
Everyone on this site needs to educate themseles on the role of a bridesmaid. Honestly, people lower their expectations so they don’t get disappointed and I think that’s what a lot of people here have done. I would never ever as a bridesmaid just “show up” in a dress, nor would I complain about the dress. Your BM needs to be told to get her act together.
Another thing you could consider doing is sending out a blanket email to all 3 girls and say, “I need more help with bouncing ideas off of you guys, please let me know when it’s best so I can divide my ime between the 3 of you, instead of bombarding one of you with it all.” Or something to the effect mentioning that you’re not getting the support and help you need from them.
Post # 15
@paula1248: My opinion is that you should not expect your bridesmaids to help plan the wedding. That is primarily the responsibility of you and your fiance.
@danielle-barnett: I think all you should expect from your bridesmaid’s is to get a dress and be there for you the day of the wedding, that’s it. And if you really want her in your wedding but finances are an issue for her, suggest you pay half for the dress and her the other half. Other than that, bridesmaids don’t HAVE to go dress shopping with you, to bridal expos, etc. Sure, it’s nice if they do, but I don’t think you can get mad at her because she doesn’t want to.
As pp, the responsibility of doing things for the wedding and planning falls solely on you and your fiance. If people wanna help, great, if they don’t, you can’t be mad at them.
ETA: My fiance and I are long distance and the wedding is in my home town, so needless to say, he can’t help much. I’ve basically planned the whole wedding with my mom (though really I’m the main one planning it, calling vendors, DIY, etc.). I also have three bridesmaids. One lives in Europe. Another just gave birth to her second child so is obviously pre-occupied, and the third is helpful but lives an hour away and works 50+ hours a week. So I don’t expect anything from them. Though I will say, they were awesome when it came to dresses. I literally picked one, they all tried them on ASAP and bought them immediately.
Post # 16
@danielle-barnett: I’m sorry you’re feeling very alone in planning right now. I’ve read through your posts and follow up and here’s what I’ve gathered
She’s being difficult about the dress. Sometimes it’s actually just easier to pick a dress and tell them over an email so they can do their complaining to another pair of ears. You won’t be able to find multiple women’s favorite dress ever to wear to your wedding. Respect their true concerns, such as someone with body confidence issues being told to wear a super tight dress, etc. but otherwise just be budget conscious and pick one and move on.
The expo is an example of your expectations being the issue. I’m a bride and you would have to drag me kicking and screaming to a bridal expo. I’m sorry, it’s just not in my genes. And being part of someone elses wedding doesn’t mean I’m obligated (FWIW, I went to an expo with my bestie when I was a BM in her wedding. This is how i learned I am not cut for expos). You need to not hold this against her. It truly isn’t her responsibility
7 months is more time than you think. It seems like you might be feeling some pressure as 7 months is feeling super close to your wedding date. However, bridal party members usually don’t get really “into” the wedding stuff until RIGHT BEFORE. From engagement to wedding I will have spent 8 months planning my entire wedding, but I haven’t really gotten a ton of “interest” or excitement from my girls. They are planning the bachelorette right now, which I’m not a part of, so I don’t know about that stuff, but overall I’m 2 months from my wedding and I barely speak to them about wedding stuff. It’s MY and FI’s big day— not theirs.
Long story short, try and take a step back and not let their actions hurt you. I promise they aren’t trying to make things difficult or make you feel lonely- but the fact that your FI has a conflicting schedule than yours and isn’t terribly active in wedding planning will automatically make you feel alone.