Post # 1
I’m curious about this after reading so many posts about “slacker” bridesmaids on the Bee. I have been in a few weddings prior to planning my own – the first one I was in, the bride really didn’t expect us to do anything except show up in a dress, so I think that set my expectations for all other weddings. Then when I was in later weddings and the bride asked me to come stuff invitation envelopes or something, I’d be like, WTF, I’m not your wedding slave! Ha. I didn’t realize it was kind of par for the course to help out with wedding stuff. I did plan bachelorette parties, but it never occurred to me to plan a shower as I always thought that was something older “family friends” did. What were your bridesmaid experiences?
Post # 3
remember monica in friends at phoebes wedding… yeah, im that crazy bridesmaid/helper that throws herself into it way too much
Post # 4
I think I was a terrible bridesmaid! All i did was show up to the wedding and buy my dress. OH, and attend the parties 🙂 Thankfully none of the brides seemed to care or show that it mattered.
Now that I’m getting married, I don’t really expect my BMs to do that kind of work unless they volunteer.
Post # 5
OMG I was the biggest slacker Maid/Matron of Honor for my sister’s wedding. I had no idea what my responsibilities were (I was 18) and I was busy being a college freshman. I didn’t know how to plan a bridal shower and wasn’t old enough to drink let alone plan a bachelorette party. I did hold her dress while she peed though. She was a little snippy about it at the time but luckily had a controlling friend who wished she was a Bridesmaid or Best Man who took over all my jobs. Now that we’re older she understands that I didn’t know what the heck I was doing.
Now she’s my Maid/Matron of Honor and is soooo helpful. I don’t deserve her! haha
Post # 6
@eloping: You have accumulated lots of good wedding karma!
@blurmeblue: Same, I don’t expect my bridesmaids to do much, but I feel guilty when they even offer since I was such a slacker myself ha.
@Moja Milosc: Holding dress while peeing is a crucial function! ha
Post # 7
As a Maid/Matron of Honor for my best friend’s wedding, I worked hard to make sure that she had a great experience as a bride. I planned her bachelorette party, booked everything, and paid for the group dinner after some crazy bs. I couldn’t quite plan her wedding shower, so her mom and inlaws did it. In my brother’s wedding, I was a little slacker. I attended her shower and bachelorette party. I did all of that when I was still in graduate school with next to no money.
Post # 8
I’ve now been a bride twice, but never a bridesmaid. But then again, my expectations for my wedding party have been very low. In each of my weddings, we had one female attendant, and one male attendant. Thus, matching dresses were unnecessary, and the attendant could wear any nice dress. And both times, the attendants lived out of town, and weren’t expected to do more than show up on the day, maybe help with last minute decorations, but that was it.
As for holding the dress, I wrote a whole article on how a bride could manage the bathroom without assistance.
Post # 9
As far as I can remember, the bride really did just want me to buy a dress, get it altered and show up. I was away at college without a car, and it was a two hour trip home! I did come home for the bridal shower, and helped set up beforehand, but her sister (the MOH) planned the whole thing. I had planned to make it to the bachelorette, but my mom actually ended up in the hospital that weekend, and there was no way that I was going to go out of town. (Weirdly enough, one of the other bridesmaids ended up as one of my mom’s nurses, so they knew it wasn’t a BS excuse!)
Long story short — she was so no-drama, and the wedding was a wonderful experience. I’m keeping my own bridesmaids a little more clued in to the process (in part because I want their input!), but my friend is my inspiration for how to treat my ladies.
Post # 10
I’m there whenever they need me. I put on what they want me to wear, get my hair done where they want me to go, and help with anything I can. It’s their day, I’m just along for the ride 🙂
Post # 11
I offered to help with everything I could when I was Maid/Matron of Honor for my friend. I probably annoyed her with how many times I said, “Tell me if you need help with anything!” I took the lead organizing the shower and bachelorette party, visited the venue, helped address invites, set up the centerpieces and decor for the reception…
But I did all that because I wanted to, and it was actually fun for me. I like planning and doing things, especially anything wedding-related, since I find it fun and interesting. I know not everyone is like that. I don’t have any similar expectations for my BM’s – I do hope they take an interest, so I have someone to talk to about weddingy things that excite me – and they are actually very involved and ask me about planning all the time, so I’m very fortunate there – but I don’t have expectations as far as manual labor goes. I might very nicely ask them to help with pre-wedding set-up on the day of, but as far as everything else goes, I’m the sort who is perfectly content to sit down with a movie and a glass bottle of wine and address my own invites or do crafting projects by myself.
I think a lot of times when brides get upset about “slacker” bridesmaids, the real issue is that their friends or family members who they considered close enough to be their bridesmaids, aren’t taking any kind of interest in the wedding in general. Not to say that it’s the bridesmaid’s job to live for your color scheme and DIY projects, but I’m sure it’s disheartening for a bride to feel like her friends or sisters aren’t showing any interest or excitement whatsoever. So for the most part, I think the disappointing thing is when they act like they just don’t care (which may well be true, and of course it’s their prerogative to not care about your wedding details, though I think a close friend should tolerate some minimal level of wedding talk, just like you would talk about any other thing in life with your friends). But I would agree that some brides probably just think the bridesmaids are there to do the heavy lifting and be unpaid wedding coordinators.
Post # 12
The only thing I feel bad about (bad bridesmaid karma, if you will) is that I got this crazy, funky updo for a formal wedding. It was in the early 2000’s when the spiky, zig-zaggy sort of Spice Girls hairdo’s were in style. I sat down in the chair and I was turned away from a mirror most of the time. The lady asked what I wanted and I was just like “I don’t know, surprise me,” rather than saying I needed something elegant, formal, etc. My hair looks nuts in all the pics, while all the other girls have French twists. I honestly didn’t do it for attention; I was 19 at the time and just didn’t know any better. The poor bride never said anything about it, though!
Other than that, I was a Bridesmaid or Best Man 4 times and went to tons of meetings (at venues, with florists, at dress shops, even to listen to harpists!!… you name it, I went and had fun). I sat with the brides and oooh’d and ahhh’d over bridal magazines and websites, I drank champagne, I went to all the parties, I helped with invitations and favors. I was genuinely happy and excited for each of them. I honestly think I was a great bridesmaid.
Things are different for me, though. I’m pretty much the last one get married and everyone has kids now, so that definitely changes things. I don’t expect them to hang out with me and gush about the wedding, but a little enthusiasm would go a long way… I’ll leave it at that. I don’t want to get into another bridesmaid rant!
Post # 13
Haha! I am a pretty slacker bridesmaid. For my sister’s wedding I did manage to throw her a lovely bachelorette party and helped plan her shower a little. But I didn’t take any part in any of the wedding planning at all.
For my brother’s wedding, partly because it was a destination wedding for me, I helped with the decorations for the ceremony and attended the wedding/bridal brunch/rehearsal dinner but did nothing else.
But I am most embarassed to say that when I was a bridesmaid in one of my best friend’s weddings, that I was the always late bridesmaid. Even though I helped cook food for the shower I only showed up an hour before the event and I ran a little late to the rehearsal since I didn’t allow enough time for rush hour traffic.
All three brides were fairly laid-back and I strive to be the same way. I hope my bridesmaids will attend a shower or bachelorette party if they are invited but I understand if they can’t. Ultimately, I just want them to wear the same dress and stand up with me on my wedding day. Friendships are way more important than some wedding detail.
Post # 14
I’ve been a Bridesmaid or Best Man in 3 weddings where the bride became an all-the-way Bridezilla. As in, one called my doctor to see if he could take the cast off my broken foot early because it would (and I quote) “ruin ALL her pictures and therefore RUIN her wedding!!!”. She then wanted me to pay for the two large ferns she bought to place at the venue to cover my apparently hideous non-color scheme matching cast.
But I must say, I remained pretty calm and collected throughout each one. I did not, however, remain friends with any of them 🙂 Makes me remember to be extra kind to my BMs!!!