Etiquette Snob here… lol
Can you afford to properly act as the HOST to 7 Bridesmaids ?
Cause in reality having someone in your Bridal Party entails a lot more than a bunch of gals in pretty dresses posing for Photo Ops…
Modern Etiquette and Traditional Etiquette differ on this front…
Modern Etiquette has quite a short list of OBLIGATIONS for the Bride (particularly so financially). Modern Etiquette has put a lot of the EXPENSES on the Bridal Party, which IMO hardly seems fair, as often times these Women (and Men as Ushers / Groomsmen) cannot afford such large outlays of cash for a commitment to their “Friend’s Wedding”.
Whereas, Traditional Etiquette is far more “kinder & considerate” of the feelings of Others… especially one’s Nearest & Dearest who agree to Stand Up for you at your Wedding… and costs are more equally divided between the two sides.
Traditional Etiquette practices account for a lot less disagreements and hurt feeling in the long run I believe… and to me that certainly would be worth something. I’d rather pay a few extra dollars if it meant retaining a friendship with someone who was fulfilling a role that represented they were my Nearest & Dearest than run the risk of seeing the relationship end in train wreck… with no chance of recovery
(Certainly proven out by my 18 or so months here on WBee… Bridal Party DRAMA & TRAUMA certainly get a lot of postings… and more often than not it is because one side or the other feels put upon by the other… due to expectations or expenses)
You can find Modern Etiquette explanations of Roles, Responsibilities & Expenses thru a variety of sources.
Here then a run down of what the Roles & Responsibilities are for Brides & Bridesmaids as per Traditional Etiquette:
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 Boyfriend or Best Friend, 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 Bridal Party 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 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 Maid/Matron of Honor 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
* Give a Gift to the Bride & Groom
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 Bridal Party 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 Bridal Party… the more it costs.