(Closed) Bridesmaid Duties

posted 7 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
Member
1754 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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CFAllyce:  Please don’t do this! It can be incredibly off-putting. 

The only duty your bridesmaids have is to show up on the wedding day to support you in the dresses you all have agreed upon. (You should check with each of them about their budget before selecting a dress.)

If you’re in the US, it is customary for the BMs to purchase their own dresses. They do not need to be reminded of this.

Post # 3
Member
2072 posts
Buzzing bee

Yikes, this is a weird idea. I’m guessing you’re young. You might want to when you’re talking to them let them know that there will be cost involved of buying their own dress and shoes but you will work with them on choosing the dress and a budget and hope they can be a bridesmaid. Beyond that they don’t have any duties. If they choose to throw you a bachelorette and or bridal shower that is their choice, giving speeches is their choice, etc.

Though – honestly – when my cousin got married she asked me if I would plan a bachelorette and I said sure! It wasn’t off putting because I didn’t mind doing it just didn’t know if someone else was already planning one. I think its okay to ask them about it, if you get a no or wishy washy responses though you can’t keep pushing it.

Editing to add: But you ask them later if no one is planning something, it should not be a condition of them being a bridesmaid or something you order them to do I just do think its okay to talk to your friends about a bachelorette or bridal shower at some later point if they seem open to that.

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by Scarlett11.
Post # 4
Member
944 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

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CFAllyce:  What a great idea to give them a gift when you ask! But I wouldn’t give them duties up front. That will come off a little bridezilla, no matter how well you mean. It should be understood. Once things calm down, they say yes, you set the date and find your own dress, then you can nicely ask them what their budget for a dress and shoes are. For my BMs, after about 2 months, I asked them what their budget is and what style dress looks best on them. As far as throwing me a party and shower goes, I will not ask them to do it. But I did suggest a shower in late August would work best. I’m sure my sisters will plan me a nice one.

Post # 5
Member
37 posts
Newbee

Here is a list from theknot.com about maid of honour duties: http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/bridal-party/articles/maid-of-honor-duties-in-detail.aspx 

Be careful what you post on these forums the women are horrendously mean and just raked me over the coals for asking for advice a couple times.  In my opinion the bridesmaids should plan a bachelorette party and bridal shower… it’s the decent thing to do because when they get married how would they feel if nobody did that for them.  

Post # 6
Member
520 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

If you don’t think Bridesmaid or Best Man should “just show up” and you come from a group of people where they do more, that’s okay. Where I am (or at least the people I’m around) BMs help out with some minor things here and there AND show up to your wedding. You don’t have to tell them they have to buy their dresses, but here’s something I saw and I thought it was adorable. 

Post # 7
Member
529 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

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CFAllyce:  You know, I also tend to be of the mind that there is also a little more to being a bridesmaid than just standing up there and wearing a dress. I mean, if that were the case, what’s the point in having them? I do think a bridal shower typically goes along with it, and I don’t really see it as a “plus.” I wouldn’t ask my BM’s to have one for me because I think it’s pretty assumed, at least where I live, that they will do so.

However, I do agree with PP about not including duties with your gift. I think going over certain things, like budget for dress/shoes, etc. would probably be best discussed in person.

Post # 8
Member
214 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

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katelyndawn89:  So I’m responding to you to let you know in a neither horrible nor mean way that you are incorrect. I don’t want to steer the OP wrong by having her think that she should be including a list of duties in her gift when she asks her friends/family to be in her bridal party. 

Hosting a bachelorette and shower is not the decent thing to do, it’s a generous thing to do and it is never obligatory. 

The role of BMs varies based on their circumstances and the bride. OP, I suggest instead of providing your BMs with a list that you speak with them. Describe what you were thinking of/hoping for regarding the lead up to your wedding and they can then discuss these ideas with you. If they choose to host events for you and that’s what you’d like, then that’s great. 

Post # 9
Member
1020 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA

Always remember: they’re bridesmaids, not brideslaves. You choose them because they mean a lot to you personally and you want to surround yourself with people who are important to you on your wedding day, NOT so they can be accessories in your pictures or plan you elaborate parties. (I got married without a bachelorette OR a shower of any kind, yet somehow my marriage is still valid in the state of California. It’s like magic.)

That said, pick a time after the initial excitement has died down to talk about budgets for shoes/dresses. The sooner, the better. Be empathetic and understanding if they have concerns or limitations. If they want to do more beyond that (showers/hen nights/raffles/etc), it’s great, but don’t make their being a part of your special day contingent on their ability to make material contributions. It’s about love, not stuff. 

Post # 10
Member
1754 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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katelyndawn89:  While showers and bachelorette parties are certainly very generous, they are supererogatory. 

Your wedding party is comprised of your most honored guests — they are the people whom you most want standing next to you while you say your vows. 

It’s not polite to treat your most honored guests like employees or endentured servants. I’m not saying the OP is doing this but this is why you don’t provide your Wedding Party with a list of duties. They are being honored, they aren’t receiving work requirements. 

Post # 11
Member
683 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

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MrsMore14:  I agree that there is really no point to bridesmaids who just show up and wear a dress. I have never IRL heard this but for some reason people in this site insist on this.

Anyway, a list of duties is a cute idea but make sure you have BMs who will not think it us tacky or nervy. I wouldn’t but some people might.

Post # 12
Member
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

If someone gave me a “list” of duties, I would be irritated and probably second-guessing my decision to take part in their wedding. Sorry, but it’s the truth.

These people are important to you, I assume. I assume you will want them in your life after your wedding, when life returns to normal again. I would advise against behaviour that’s going to damage your relationships.

I think there is more to being in a Wedding Party than just showing up and wearing a dress, but making a list and giving it to them seems bossy – especially right after the excitement of them being asked to be a BM!

Here is what I did: I created a secret FB group for the girls and I, which allowed us to share ideas, post reminders, whatever. I also had my Maid/Matron of Honor as “in charge” of most things (she is very good at that kind of thing) so it was less about “The bride says _____” and just “We should ______.” I think it made it easier, when one or two things came up that I really had to deal with myself. It wasn’t like I’d been at them since day 1.

Talk with them, include them, ask their ideas, let them make choices and suggestions. They are people you love, so make sure they feel loved. No one likes to be treated like a child or a slave.

Post # 13
Member
9973 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

If a bride gave me a list of obligations to be her bridesmaid, I would say no.  The only thing the bridesmaid truly needs to do is buy the dress you pick, and show up to support you. That’s it.  I’m not sure what else you’d be telling them they need to do, but doing so would be incredibly off-putting. 

Post # 14
Member
207 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2025

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CFAllyce:  I didn’t give them a list of duties when I asked my girls to be my BMs. It might be appropriate to let them know there will be $XX.XX costs associated with it so they can decide whether they’re comfortable with spending the money as well. Just don’t take it personally if they say they can’t.  

In my area (and it probably has to do with generation also), the BMs have thrown both bachelorettes and bridal showers (another reason to throw a party!). Also, if you want BMs to help out with DIY projects, you might want to ask them if they’d have time for that in the near future. (My Maid/Matron of Honor will be on maternity leave for several months before my wedding, and she offered to help with projects).

Post # 15
Member
37 posts
Newbee

One more thing, lol a bachelorette party is like one of those right of passage things.  If my wedding party told me they weren’t planning one for me I would just plan one for myself lol I’d be like OK show up here for dinner and then here to go dancing or something.  You only get one!  I will definitely have one even if I have to plan it myself.  Not a lot of planning needs to be done either like, meet here at this time, then we can go to this place. No gifts need to be given just time with your girlfriends to celebrate the new chapter and last “single” hurrah

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