Bridesmaids are not expected to set up, clean up??

posted 1 year ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 16
4577 posts
Honey bee

The maid does not refer to their occupation.

Your wedding party are your guests.  Why should your wedding party have to work your wedding when none of your other guests do?  Why do the people you are honoring as your nearest and dearest not get to get drunk  and have fun and spend the rest of the reception as they please?

You either take care of it yourself just like any other party you would throw (birthday, graduation, anniversary, dinner, retirement, etc.) Or you prioritize choosing a venue that takes care of clean up for you or hire it out.  I’m sure lots of college kids or kids of family friends or church youth groups are looking for pocket money if you don’t want to hire a coordinator or clean up crew.

First and foremost, these people are your friends, not your employees.  If they offer to help, feel free to take them up on the offer.  But they are under no obligation to do so.  These tasks fall under party planning and hosting and you are the sole person responsible for that.

Post # 17
812 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018 - Farm

rockclimberbride :  We hired the a DOC and a caterer and they cleaned up the venue for us. We didn’t have our wedding party cleaning up. We did stay behind to make sure it got done and helped out.  We helped because we provided the decorations and things and wanted to make sure we received all of our stuff back. We borrowed things from the venue and they actually had staff to clean up and put those things way.  It’s not the wedding parties job to help clean. ]Really all our bridal party did was show up in the cloths and stand by us at the altar.  They didn’t help in any of the planning, decorating, or diy projects. My husband and I did all of that. We had a DOC that put our decorations and stuff out and we kind of helped do that for them the day before. 

Post # 18
6828 posts
Busy Beekeeper

By clean up, I am looking for help with storing our decorations, packing up gifts, collecting the cards, etc

 Take your gifts and cards yourself. Have the venue put your decor in boxes. Come back the next day to pick them up and mail them back yourself. Or stay yourself and put them in boxes and load them into a car. Honestly, you don’t need to make your friends do this for you. 

Post # 19
499 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

rockclimberbride :  No problem! I worked with my wedding coordinator to create an inventory list of what should be left aside for my mom and I to sort through the next day. You could even have stickers hidden on the decorations to distinguish what needs to be left in a designated location for you to deal with later. The wedding coordinator and staff also collected the gifts and put them in a location I asked them to. Again, all about planning ahead of time. You’ve got this!

Post # 20
900 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I do think it’s okay to ask for help with certain tasks from your wedding party, and agree that every single wedding party I’ve been a part of has involved helping with wedding- related tasks, pitching in for the bachelorette party, etc.  I don’t know that I’d say it’s “required”…just part of being a good friend/bridesmaid.  Obviously you can only help within your means and that should be fine.  But, I do think asking your bridal party to clean up after the reception is a little much – they are gonna be just as tired as you are, and in their formal wear and what not. Bridal party deserves to cut lose at the reception then go home and relax as much as anyone else! I didn’t even realize this was a thing – I just assumed most venues included clean up in the package (as mine did) and if you were hosting at a venue that did not, you made alternate  arrangements for clean up crew (NOT putting guests to work to do it).

Post # 22
696 posts
Busy bee

They shouldn’t have to clean. Their job is to support you and be there for you, thats it. At my wedding I hired a DOC and some cleaning staff to do the job. My girls had too much wine and danced the night away, they had a great time. They last thing I would want them doing is having to clean up after all that fun

Post # 23
3789 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

rockclimberbride :  I was always under the impression that this was a bridal party task too. Every wedding I have been in or knew an attendant in, the bridal party helped set up & tear down. DOC’s are not extremely popular here, I actually didn’t even know this was a thing until coming to the bee. Most brides here delegate certain set up and tear down jobs to their family and bridal party. At my first wedding, our parents, close relatives, bridal party and even a few close friends stuck around to help tear down, I never even asked anyone to do it, they just did it because my people are amazing!

Post # 24
3536 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

rockclimberbride :  no, you don’t ask your bridesmaids to set up or clean up. you hire someone for that (DOC, decorator, clean up crew, etc). I’ve NEVER setup or cleanedup as a bridesmaid…and i can’t imagine having to do so.

our venue provided a DOC. i literally handed over all the boxes of decor to the venue (they were all labeled) and the venue and florist took care of all setup of decor. the venue then also broke everything down and packed it back up into the boxes for me afterwards (again, it helps that all the boxes were labled so they knew where everything went). they even cleaned and shined our toasting flutes before repacking!

i can’t imagine asking my bridesmaids to do any of this.

FWIW, i’m not on team “bridesmaids only have to show up in the dress”. i DO think that there are other (but very few) expectations of bridesmaids – coordinating a bachelorette party and bridal shower (if the bride wants them), for instance. but it’s NOT the job of the bridesmaids to decorate, or DIY wedding decor, or stuff envelopes, or venue shopping, or just generally plan anything but those two parties.

Post # 25
9579 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

rockclimberbride :  assigning one person to take the cards and one person to take whatever other X valuable back to the hotel is perfectly reasonable.  That’s asking someone to take 10 seconds to help you out, nbd.

The moment it enters the realm of “packing up” i’m.. less in to it.  I mean if its really just “hey Janice, can you grab the framed photos off of the little memorial table?” I think its fine.. thats a 3 minute task.. but if its “hey Susan, can you carefully bubble wrap the 53 little figurines I’ve set up on the dining tables, buffet tables, entrance tables, and other random places throughout the wedding venue and then caerfully pack them in a box that will then weigh 45 lbs and take that to my home without breaking a single one” that’s ‘hire someone’ territory.  

Post # 26
1794 posts
Buzzing bee

It is normal to have the wedding party help set up and clean after. It’s expected. If they want to just show up and look pretty they can be a regular guest.

Post # 27
4661 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

rockclimberbride :  I was a bridesmaid for my brothers DIY wedding,  I did 45 hours worth of work in the days leading up, day of and day after.  Setting up, clearing up, serving drinks and a couple of other things.  I missed their entrance and the cutting of the cake.  I worked my butt off.  I did not sign up for that.  I did offer to help with a few things, but the amount of work I ended up being lumped with was unacceptable.  Fiance and I hardly spoke and the jobs they gave Fiance to do meant he missed the beginning of the ceremony.  I did mention in advance, diplomatically, that it was a lot of work to expect of people and he said “well, that’s what’s happened at every wedding I’ve been to”.  How could I refuse him?  It’s made me fearful of asking people for help for our own wedding (and I’m thinking the odd day before job that might take an hour).  

Post # 28
864 posts
Busy bee

It is very normal in my circles to help set up the day before and pack up the night of the wedding. 

Post # 30
85 posts
Worker bee

I wonder if you’re referring to my post lol I got ripped a new one! 😒 every wedding I’ve been to its always been normal for either the bridal party or family to set up and take down.  I had planned on hiring someone to clean up for us , just a local cleaning service, but 4 months before out wedding circumstances changed and we couldn’t.  But honestly didn’t think that much about it because it’s pretty common here for the bridal party to help with that stuff. I just posted about this same thing earlier today and I super regret it…. So if you do ask your bridal party to help you…. don’t admit it on here! They’ll rip you apart! 😂

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