Post # 1
My best friend is getting married tomorrow. Long story short, she gave us 6 weeks notice that she was getting married to a guy she had been dating for 4 months. I currently have a lot going on: summer classes, health issues with DHs father, working overtime weekly at work due to a staffing shortage, so I am mentally and emotionally pretty drained. I am giving a lot of time in 6 weeks to a marriage I don’t even support because of the length of time and his anger issues towards her. I have to drive an hour to be at the wedding rehearsal after a 10 hour workday then back home an hour. She then wants us there early in the AM, ceremony doesn’t start until 7, then the reception is drinks/dessert only and she expects it to last until 11. We then leave Monday for a trip to visit DHs family. I have read a lot of boards that say BMs are expected to stay late to clean up after the wedding. I guess my question is when can I *POLITELY* leave taking into account the long drive home?
Post # 2
ashleynich : I don’t think it’s the norm for the bridal party to help clean up? If it is, I’ve never been asked to do so when I’ve been in a wedding.
If I were you I’d probably not go to the rehersal dinner, that’s just such a long day for you, especially to then have to be back early in the AM.
Is she planning on feeding the bridal party if she expects you to be there all day and night?
When I’ve been in weddings I’ve left while the party is still going but when it’s definitely winding down, no one was mad, but no one expected me to stay and help clean up.
If I were in this situation I’d probably stick around till 9 then head home, and that’s pushing it if she’s not feeding you dinner……
ETA I doubt this reception will last till 11, even if people eat a dinner at like 5 before making their way to the ceremony, they’re going to be hungry by like 8 or 9, especially if they’re drinking. Party will be over sooner than she thinks IMO
Post # 3
Nope. You are a guest, not hired help.
As long as you are there for the ceremony and photos you are good. Usually it is polite to stay through dinner but since she isnt having one, then cake cutting. If she asks/tells you to stay and clean up, you are free to politely decline.
Post # 4
ashleynich : I have never cleaned up as a bridesmaid – the couple pays people to do that crap. Tell her the rehearsal isn’t feasible and just go in the morning for the day and duck out around 9pm
Post # 5
If bride is such a good friend why don’t you just discuss with her. I’m sure she’ll understand. I only say this because years ago when I was in my early 20’s one of my good friends was getting married. I did not grow up in the states or any country that does bridal showers and bachelorette parties so did not realize how important they are to people. I was not a bridesmaid and I ended up not going because of school and work. I wish I had called and explained to her why I could not come, I just responded to rsvp that I could not come. anyway it was friendship ending for us.
Post # 6
You shouldn’t have to clean up but I think you should stay till the end as a bridesmaid
Post # 7
I would feel insulted if someone asked me to clean up. As a bridesmaid you’re already giving her a lot of your time, probably a substantial gift, buying your dress and driving to a venue that isn’t very close. It’s more than enough. You’re a bridesmaid, not a maid (sorry for the pun).
Let’s not forget that the most important part of a wedding is the ceremony, not the reception. You should obviously stay for a while but certainly not until the end if you don’t want to.
Post # 8
You definitely aren’t required to clean up at the end (I have never seen bridesmaids do this, this is what hired staff are for), but I would stay until all of the wedding events such as speeches, cake cutting, first dance etc. are over. And then politely make your exit.
Post # 9
If I’m going to have to clean up after a party, I’m not doing it in high heels and a dress. Only a thoughtless bride would ask her bridesmaids to clean up after the wedding. I dont think it’s necessary to come to a rehearsal, and it sounds like theres not even going to be a din or afterward. As far as staying through the entire reception, I assure you that with only drinks and dessert being served, it’s not going to last that long.
Post # 10
So I’d say it’s polite when you’re the moh or in the wedding to stay the entire night absent an emergency. But that isn’t the same thing as expecting you to do work.
Post # 11
It sounds like you have a lot going on and you are already being very generous by showing up and supporting your friend in pulling together a wedding in a very tight timeline. I would not show up in the morning for an event happening at 7pm. What does she expect to be doing all day that requires your presence?
Given everything you have going on, I would leave as soon as the cake was cut. I would not stay to clean up, even if it was an expectation and other bridesmaids were going to do it. You are a grown woman. Your time belongs to you. You are not obligated to allow somone to spend it just because you are close friends.
Post # 12
I don’t think you should be expected to clean up. We didn’t ask any of our bridal party to clean up. The venue did. I’d just bow out when you’re ready to leave. Preferably after food.
Post # 13
I’ve moved gifts or grabbed rented candelabras as a bridesmaid but I’ve never been asked to clean up. I would let her know that you will have to leave before the very end of the evening. As PP suggested, I would stay through cake, speeches, dances, etc. At that point gauge how tired (and hungry!) you are and plan your exit.
(Who has a 7PM event and doesn’t feed their guests???! She’s likely to find many of her guests exiting long before 11.)
Post # 14
ashleyroo : I have discussed with her. She knows what is going on in my life and how I feel about the wedding. I just know it is HER day and I don’t want to leave before would be appropriate as to not upset her.
Post # 15
imamum : I plan to stay until the cake cutting, I just mainly wanted to ensure it wasn’t rude to leave and not offer to help clean.