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

posted 1 year ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 31
Member
12226 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

rockclimberbride :  “Is it that awful to ask your bridesmaids for a favor? Who else is going to stay behind and clean up the reception and make sure things don’t go missing?”

Yes, it’s very inappropriate. Guests, who include the bridal party should never be asked to work at the wedding in anything other than minor ways. Reasonable tasks are adjusting the train, holding the flowers or rings, and helping the bride into her dress.

The kind of thing you are talking about is often handled completely by event or lighting design vendors, but if you are managing some or all of it yourself, that is on you. 

If and only if someone in the wedding party volunteers to help you when the time comes that’s another matter. The key word is “volunteer.” 

Personally, I wouldn’t even allow them to do that. 

Post # 33
Member
13679 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Make sure your bridesmaids know you expect them to clean up after the wedding – they may just go home, or may be tired and slip out early, or maybe go to an after party with friends.  I’ve never stayed behind to clean up after a wedding – it never even crossed my mind that this would be a thing.  I assumed the hired venue staff would clean.

That being said – I do think it’s inappropriate to ask your bridesmaids to clean and work for you at your wedding. 

Post # 34
Member
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2019

rockclimberbride :  I think having the wedding party be part of clean up is pretty awful. It takes away from the special experience of attending the wedding. My little sister did it at her wedding, Bridal party had to help with set up and break down. It was awkward and weird cleaning up in our formal wear and almost all of us felt it was odd and uncomfortable. 

I am 100% not expecting a thing from the wedding party except show up, sit for your hair and makeup, take pictures, dance eat drink and have fun. I have a wedding planner and her team will be responsible for set up/break down of everything so we can all just relax and enjoy the day!

Post # 36
Member
2005 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

The people that cleaned up after my wedding are the people that I hired. 

Sure, my friends helped load the cars, but we told them to get out of there, we were paying people. I would not have my friends work on the wedding day. 

Post # 37
Member
5720 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

While it’s normal for bridesmaids to do a bit more than showing up on the day, things like wedding dress shopping, planning the hen, sometimes being open to chatting about the wedding, but I have never heard of bridesmaids having to stay behind and clean up.  I would be really taken aback if someone expected me to do that. 

Post # 38
Member
283 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

I was at a family friend’s wedding where the groomsmen did a lot of legwork before, during, and after the wedding.  The wedding took place on the groom’s family’s lakefront property in the mountains (so they were their own venue, basically).  Beforehand, they helped out making some improvements on the property, like welding a railing for the lake path so elderly guests could get down there more easily (they were all very handy).  During the wedding, they’d move the portable bar around to follow the guests (bar top, supports, cooler, crates of booze).  The morning after, they, along with guests who’d stayed at the house (me and my family included) pitched in with tear down, which was mostly just sorting our stuff from the rental stuff and doling out leftover booze (they supplied their own booze and just had the caterer supply some bartenders during the reception).

Nobody was put upon during the wedding or immediately after (not having to clear out at the end of the night was great).  The only thing was the groomsmen moving the bar a few times.  I think the differentiating factor at this wedding was that it was the groom’s family’s own property, so we were happy to help out.  If we and groomsmen had been asked to do the above at some random venue, that would have been weird and kinda inappropriate.

Post # 39
Member
13679 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

rockclimberbride :  I’d rather stay back myself to clean than make my friends clean up after MY event.  They came as invited guests, not as workers.  If someone checked in with me at my wedding to see if I needed them to stay and clean after, I would have told them absolutely not, even if I had a list of 50 things to do when the event wrapped. It’s because it’s MY event, and if I couldn’t handle all of the hosting duties (which includes set up and break down), then I should have planned better.

Post # 40
Member
85 posts
Worker bee

rockclimberbride :   rockclimberbride :  my post is still going strong 😂 I’m playing the victim now 😂 omg this site is to lol o would just do what is comfortable to you and your people . My bridal party wasn’t my friends.  It was mainly his sisters, that’s where I went wrong.  Even though they agreed they just didn’t care.  My friends would have done whatever it took.  Actually my best friend came the morning of in her sweatpants to help finish setting up! 

Post # 41
Member
12226 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

rockclimberbride :  No, expecting the wedding party to “check in” at the end of the night to see if there is work or clean up to do is neither reasonable nor polite. Neither is thinking they ought to be asking whether everything is covered when it comes to the wedding planning. Whatever other brides or couples have led you to think, those things are 100% your responsibility.

Post # 42
Member
304 posts
Helper bee

I’ve always helped with setup and tear down of weddings I’ve been in. It’s common here. 

Post # 43
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I think a bride is within her rights to accept a sincere offer of help from her friends and family, and that would likely overlap to her bridal party. I think she would be extremely out of line to “expect” that from her bridal party, and I certainly don’t think the bridal party needs to ask the bride if there’s something they need to do before they are “dismissed” from their wedding duties and can leave for the night.

Post # 44
Member
2519 posts
Sugar bee

At my wedding, my husband and I stayed to make sure things were taken care of at the end of the night — e.g. our reception ended at 11 and we were there until a little past midnight helping out. We had a DOC who helped out and oversaw things, the venue staff was responsible for the actual cleaning of the venue, and the catering staff did kitchen cleanup. Even so, there was still a lot of little stuff to gather and figure out what to do with at the end of the night, like where to put the card box and how to take the leftover food/unopened beverages as well as the decor items we wanted to save (ceremony arch, candles, etc.). I was very thankful that my mom and my sister (who happened to be my maid of honor as well) stayed behind to load up their cars with extra alcohol and leftovers and such. My mom had offered to stay to help out with whatever needed to get done in advance, and my sister had stored a lot of the decor items for me before the wedding (I live in a different state from my family), so I guess she knew she might be sticking around to take stuff back after, though we hadn’t actually had a formal discussion about it. They both went above and beyond, but at least they got some good haul out of it — my sis was excited about getting to keep the candles/candleholders and several cases of drinks for an upcoming party, and my mom said she froze a lot of the food and had leftovers for weeks.  

Post # 45
Member
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

This can be tricky because I think it’s basically a “golden rule” thing.

On one hand, I think it’s absurd to say that couples shouldn’t ask their friends to dump some ice into a cooler beforehand or carry a gift out to the car afterward – quick low-effort things that I’d do to help a good friend at any party. On the other hand, I think it’s rude to expect your friends to put in serious time or effort – especially ANY time or effort afterward, when they’re formally-dressed, tired, and drunk.

I felt really guilty for the things we needed help with, but they were all things I’d do for somebody else too (and have done before my parents’ parties).

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