Post # 1
OK, I’ve read on this board many times about issues/problems that arise between brides and bridesmaids. Having just gotten married last year and gone through my own little saga, this is what should/needs to happen everytime a bride asks a friend to be a bridesmaid:
She should either outright set out her expectation of how involved she wants her Maid/Matron of Honor and bridesmaids to be and/or the friends need to ask what the bride’s expectations are for their involvement. If there are concerns with their own busy schedules/money – they should be upfront about it! I think setting this all out in the beginning would prevent a lot of issues down the road!
This topic was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by tingles.
Post # 2
tingles: Or the bride could just not expect other people to work for free to plan her wedding. All my BMs need to do is show up in their dress and stand with me at the altar and then party it up. And I expected them to get measured for their dress.
I think some people put way too much pressure on their bridal parties to do things with/for them for a year (!) leading up to the wedding. People have their own lives. They have planned a shower and a bachelorette for me, but that was their own decision. I didn’t ask for either. I haven’t asked them to help with DIY or anything. I can do it. They have offered to help, but I haven’t taken them up on the offer.
Post # 3
sostobe: I think regardless of your opinion on what a bride should expect, what I’m suggesting is that if everyone was upfront about their expectations/financial and schedule constraints, a lot of problems would be prevented!
Post # 4
The only “expectations” the bride should have for her wedding party is that they show up, stand next to her at the ceremony, and support her in her marriage.
Post # 5
tingles: I think a lot of brides tell their BMs that there is no expections–just show up and stand next to me. However, I think once brides get all caught up in planning THEN they start expecting stuff like parties. It’s best just to go into it truly not expecting anything and then keeping your mouth shut and letting it go for the sake of your friendship.
Post # 6
Even if the only “expectation” is to show up, there can still be issues. I read a post recently where the Bridesmaid or Best Man won’t go pick up her dress. That should be an expectation.
Post # 7
I do agree that if a bride has expectations of her girls beyond standing up in the wedding, and especially if those expectations are costly and/or time-consuming, she should make that clear from the beginning.
I don’t agree that this is a conversation every bride needs to have with every bridesmaid… many brides only expect a bridesmaid to buy a dress and stand next to them on their wedding day. Anything beyond that is appreciated, but certainly not expected.
Post # 8
Perhaps I should also spin this as, when you are asked to be a bridesmaid – if you have financial constraints, or know that you have your own things going on (TTC, going to school, unemployed, etc) – instead of just saying yes, you should let the bride know about it upfront.
Post # 9
tingles: What if you want to keep the fact that you are TTC private? The bride shouldn’t expect her bridesmaids to refrain from starting a family just for the sake of their wedding. That is not something a Bridesmaid or Best Man should have to be upfront about.
Post # 10
playdohpants: haha, that’s definitely not what I meant. That would be ridiculous to ask someone to stop TTC just because they were a Bridesmaid or Best Man. I meant if Bridesmaid or Best Man has something going on in her life that she forees would occupy a lot of time (either emotional or financial), that would prevent her from being a good support mechanism for the bride.
For instance, if a Bridesmaid or Best Man was just starting school, and wanted to pour all her attention on her schoolwork and classes, that’s fine. But better to let the bride know from that start you don’t plan on going to any wedding related events that might conflict with that schedule. For some, TTC can be a big financial impact – better to relay that to the bride ahead of time that money is tight (you don’t have to say TTC).
Post # 11
tingles: No one needs to know about your TTC plans other than your partner. That includes anyone that asks you to be in their wedding. TTC can be hard, you can find all sorts of things that can bring a lot of saddness to your life (health issues, miscarriages ect) and you should not be expected to feel the need to share that with anyone other than your hubby.
You are right about setting expectations but then step out of it (you don’t get to ask about those parties after you know what the date is) Settling a dress/accessories budget budget is good too. Also, not asking someone that you aren’t close to and expect it to be a magical bonding experience (your Future Sister-In-Law, that HS friend that you haven’t spoken to in five years) and not asking 2 years prior to your wedding, and waiting until the 6-9 months range.
Post # 12
tingles: I get what you’re saying, things would be less stressful if both parties were up front about what they expected and maybe there would be less disappointment on both sides.
Post # 13
tingles: you know shit happens?! Shit happens in LIFE that you do not know about at the moment when you accept being a bridesmaid. Therefore the bride should be understanding and not a conplete bitch to her “friend”.
Post # 14
Misswhowedding: +1. We should work on making a list. People should feel free to add/alter/etc.–I’m sure I’m forgetting something.
Edited to try and fix the dreadful WB formatting issues!!
<br />Bridesmaid, do you acknowledge:
- That, however unjust it may be from a certain perspective, in the USA most modern bridal party members pay a lot of their own costs, and in order to satisfy the minimum requirement of showing up on time in the correct dress a bridesmaid will have to pay for: her own clothes, including alterations; transportation/lodging; and a gift. For a modest, local affair in many locations in the USA this may still be $300-$500 and in many cases it will be much more. If you know that you will not be able to afford this, you must tell the bride so that you can mutually decide what the best way for you to be involved (or to be involved at all) in the wedding will be. If the wedding has some sort of extraordinary element (destination, etc.) there should be a clear-eyed and honest conversation about the cost of simply appearing in a dress so that everyone is on the same page.
- That, although such parties are not required, the bridal party usually hosts the bridal shower and bachelorette parties and unless the bride has indicated that she does not want these parties or has done something truly horrible (pitched a fit because you won’t host a four day Vegas blowout at the Palazzo, etc.) it really would be nice of you to throw these parties. Again, even modest affairs will probably add another $200-$300 to your overall “Being a Bridesmaid Budget.”
- That assuming you are in a bridal party, demanding to be in a bridal party, or otherwise putting the bride in an awkward spot are not OK. There are a multitude of factors and family dynamics that may influence bridal party selection and you cannot assume to be privy to them all.
- That if your financial situation changes you should openly and honestly discuss the matter with the bride right away.
- That you have every right to ask for a style of dress in the agreed-upon budget range that covers you up appropriately and does not make you look absurd (in other words, the F-cups of the world should feel free to express reservation over certain strapless dresses), but that the odds are that no one color/fabric is going to be A+ flattering on everyone and that the world will not end if you are not in the absolute most flattering color or cut for your shape since most of the attention will not be on you anyway.
- That you must responsibly arrange to order your dress in enough time to comfortably allow for any alterations. The other elements of your outfit, like shoes and support garments must also be acquired in a timely, responsible manner.
- That you must conduct yourself responsibly during the wedding weekend–you must be alert through the rehersal, you must show up on time for hair/make-up appointments, etc
- Basically, in short, so long as your financial and life circumstances do not get disrupted between the time you accept membership in a wedding party and the wedding itself, you should satisfy whatever promises you make to the bride or other members of the bridal party (assuming that no sort of devilish coercion was involved in extracting those promises
Bride, do you acknowledge:
- That being a bridesmaid has both an emotional support and a financial component and just because someone does not have the ability to make the financial commitment necessary to be a bridesmaid does not mean that they can’t provide all the emotional support and love in the world.
- That if someone says no they probably have a good reason and everyone will be happier if you graciously say “I understand” and let it go.
- That there are things about the lives/finances of even your nearest and dearest that you are in the dark about and thus it is not appropriate to judge their spending–if someone tells you that they cannot afford to be in your bridal party then you must accept that and choose a solution like making up the cost yourself. If the wedding has some sort of extraordinary element (destination, etc.) there should be a clear-eyed and honest conversation about the cost of simply appearing in a dress so that everyone is on the same page.
- That a bridal shower and bachelorette are not required affairs, nor are they affairs, since they are being hosted FOR YOU AND IN YOUR HONOR, where you can demand a very particular type of event (costly destination, etc.).
- That only people with whom you are already close should be asked to be in your bridal party, as, at least in the USA, being asked to be in a bridal party is a financial burden that is not appropriate to place on someone you do not already know well, and that they should be asked, clearly and directly, absolutely no earlier than one year before your wedding, and even that’s pushing it.
- That you should provide clear guidelines for dress selection, ensuring that all your bridesmaids will be able to pick a style of dress that is within the established budget, that satisfies their standards of modesty, and ensures that none of your bridesmaids will be in a color/fabric/etc. that is an extremely poor fit for them.
- That if you want a specific type of make-up, hairstyle, or jewelry, you should be prepared to provide it and pay for it.
- That your wedding is not as central/anxiety-generating for anyone else, and that you should not be expecting your bridal party to do things like have their dresses ordered and altered 8 months in advance, etc.
- That your bridal party members are not free labor OR props. They are individual people with life responsibilities, jobs, families, hair colors that do not occur in nature, tattoos, piercings, and the like. But, they presumably love you, and that’s the most important thing.
- That you must select gifts for your bridesmaids that do not double as things that are supposed to be used at the wedding–they must be to you bridesmaids’ taste, not yours.
- Basically, in short, that you are conferring both an honor and a burden on the people in your bridal party and that generous recognition of this on your part will doubtlessly be met with generosity on theirs.
Post # 15
MarriedToMyWork: While i agree that it would be nice for a bride to let her bridesmaids know up front what she expects, it also adds a little “business” to the situation. Which in my mind, doesn’t sit right. The list is just a no in my opinion, all of it sounds wierd. Im sorry I dont mean to be mean but I saw something like this I would be like wtf.
I think you should ask your Bridesmaid or Best Man because after everything is said and done, you want them in your wedding. If you choose a $150 dress, and they can only afford $50, either front the cost yourself, or realize that a dress is more important to you than a friend being with you during your special day.