Post # 1
I’m having a bit of a nightmare with knowing what to do in all things bridesmaid related. I have 4 bridesmaids, one who was my best friend from 3yo (but totally unreliable), one who was my best mate from high school (but controlling), one who I’ve known since college and is quite meek and one from work who I am super close to now. The Maid/Matron of Honor title was between the unreliable or the controlling one. The first one is super super unreliable and although I would have LOVED to have picked her it would have been a total stress. I went for the controlling one even though she now lives in Luxembourg, she could still get things organised. However, I have some dilemnas.
1. The general opinion seems to be that they are definitely expecting alterations for their dresses (we haven’t picked them yet). This is completely understandable but all the dresses I like are around £200 or normally slightly more. I just don’t think I can afford fittings too. Idealy I’d rather get one from BHS or something that is off the rack *shock horror*. Also, do I have to buy shoes and handbags for them too? I just don’t know how I will be able to.
2. I’ve seen lots of posts about bridesmaids gifts. I didn’t know I had to give gifts (I thought a £200 dress would be gift enough – although I know I get to pick that so maybe it isn’t). Everything I’ve seen on here though suggests the gifts need to be around £100 and have lots of different elements.
3. My controlling Maid/Matron of Honor is scaring me alot when I think about the hen party. Since her moving away her tastes have become very different and I’m worried that she is going to arrange things I don’t want. I’m worried about giving up control. I did ask her to run things by me but she is refusing and saying that there will be some surprises. She has already been trying to get the other bridesmaids to bleach their hair blonde so that I stand out!!!
I’m finding the whole bridesmaid thing far more stressful than it probaby needs to be – and I think a lot of it has to do with money as the controlling one has quite high expectations because she would deliver everything if it was the other way around. (She once fell out with me because I didn’t have any coffee in the house, even though me and my Fiance don’t like it and neither does she, but apparently it made me a bad hostess). Does anyone have any advice for me?
Post # 3
The bridesmaid thing can be as stressful as you let it. It sounds like you already have one strike against you, in that you’ve picked quite a cast of characters for your bridal party.
My advice on the dress would be, since you’re paying for the dresses (uncommon here in the US but perfectly normal elsewhere), only shop in your price range, and have some idea of what your ladies will be trying on before you go to the shops. No one should be trying on a 200-quid dress if you can’t afford to put it on each one of them. You’re the bride so you’re supposed to set these rules. If you can find a style you like that fits with your overall wedding, and it’s off the rack, then who cares? Buy it off the rack. Look into some of the Chinese designer knock-off studios– there’s tons of writeups on this site– you can save some money that way.
Shoes and bags are optional for you and if you’re okay with the ladies not matching shoes or bags, then pick a basic style that everyone already has, and go with it. No one is going to notice or care what your bridesmaids have on their feet. Don’t create extra stress or expense for yourself.
Gifts are customary although the price range depends on the bride; I think 200GBP for a bridesmaid gift might be overly generous though.
As for the hen night, you have to let that go, and just accept whatever the MoH plans for you as graciously as you can. That may mean you end up running around town with flying penises in your hair— which would mortify me— but when someone else plans your party, you kind of have to take what you can get. You’d be okay to give a very short list of things you do or do not want– by short I mean 3 or 4 items, total, so that your Maid/Matron of Honor has some boundaries. But then you just have to sit still and let her do her thing.
Post # 4
@fishbone: Haha, flying penises doesn’t bother me too much! (Although I am a teacher so I can’t be too unprofessional!) The hen party thing is going to be horrible to not take control of, I’m really regretting choosing her – she likes completely different things to me!
It never occured to me that I wouldn’t be buying the dresses, I honestly thought I had to. The unreliable bridesmaid did ask how much it was likely to be so she could save up but I told her not to be silly, I’d never heard of anyone buying their own, surely that would be unfair as I get to choose it. (Maybe that’s why the other bridesmaids are looking at expensive ones and talking about alterations, maybe they thought they were paying for it?)