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

posted 1 year ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 46
Member
281 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

rockclimberbride :  I’ve never been asked to stay and help clean up, but I always do. I’ve not been to a wedding where other people haven’t offered as well. Maybe its a cultural thing. 

Post # 47
Member
3028 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I do think this is regional. When I lived in the middle of Nowhere, Oregon, I was expected to help with DIY, set up and break down both the ceremony and the reception (e.g. moving the chairs from the front yard to the farm area out back) and even help the MOB serve food! I imagine that other rural communities where people are interconnected, this is more common.

In CA, where people are more individualistic and usually have more money, that would be considered entitled and rude AF. You hire a DOC and give her an inventory list with directions on how to pack it away and you pick it up and/or return it to the vendors you rented them from. Some people with more limited budgets begin packing up their stuff themselves only to have friends like me offer to pitch in. But you never ask. 

Post # 48
Member
1260 posts
Bumble bee

Different depending on where you are I guess. I was a bridesmaid where I was expected to help set up the reception and man the wishing well and greet guests along with other bridesmaids. It wasn’t fun at all. Also that particular wedding was a bit weird too in that we didn’t actually participate in the ceremony. It was a small room for the ceremony and only the couple and the close families attended while we were downstairs preparing for the reception :/ it IS a different culture but yea it felt even more like you’re a free help than bridesmaid. 

I wouldn’t ask my guests including bridesmaid to set up or pack down. Other than maybe taking some flowers over to the ceremony venue and hang them on the chairs and taking them to the reception and put on the tables.

Post # 49
Member
361 posts
Helper bee

rockclimberbride :  

The process of asking someone to be your bridesmaid does not begin when you get engaged, it is the long long process of developing friendship.

If you are real FRIENDS, you shouldn’t have to ask for FAVORS. If you put in your time and you help your friends for real, by the time you ask them to be your bridesmaids or whatever, (if you have been a good friend) they ought to offer to help. But none should be expected, nor should you ask them to replace labor.

If your friends aren’t good to you, do some self reflection and ask yourself why. Have you ever offered to give people rides, lend them a hand, help them clean up after a party, babysit their kid/dog/cats? Tending to friendship is like nurturing trees, you don’t collect favors when you want to collect favors, you collect them when its time for the trees to bloom and harvest.

Its natural for our friends to help each other clean up after a (house/dinner) party because that is what we have cultivated over the years. We never had to ask, it was not expected but it was done because we’re friends. Now that said, at hosted receptions at a staffed venue, none of us are expected to help with cleaning up. So I guess it depends on the kind of friends and family you have and you have nurtured.

Post # 50
Member
1679 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

rockclimberbride :  My venue shoved everything in the office at the end of the night, and Darling Husband and I returned in the morning to pick everything up. 

A couple of dear friends (but not BM’s) who are into interior decorating helped Darling Husband setup the venue while I was getting ready with the BM’s. 

I wouldn’t ask my BM’s to do anything like that unless they volunteered, and I wouldn’t expect to do that kind of thing as Bridesmaid or Best Man unless asked. 

Post # 51
Member
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Rydges Hotel

I guess it depends. I didn’t expect my BMs to stay after reception to help clean up. Our venue did everything for us. Everything we hired were from people the venue was familiar with, so they knew which belonged to whom. All of my stuff were packed by them so all we did was show up the next morning and carried our stuff and go. 

I wouldn’t expect my BMs to help, but if they offered (and if my venue didn’t), I would have found it as a nice gesture. However, I would probably decline their offer and tell them to relax and just have a good time. 

Post # 52
Member
183 posts
Blushing bee

Every wedding I have been to and have been in, the family, and wedding party help clean up after reception because the venue doesn’t clean up for you. My venue is one of the nicer ones in a major city in the PNW and they don’t clean up for us… so maybe it depends on location? 

Post # 53
Member
215 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I have two of my bridesmaids who have said they have no problems picking up the cards, extra cake and anything else with them that night. I think the difference might be these two bridesmaids don’t drink and will be driving home. If there is going to be anything to bug my parents have agreed to go collect it the next morning for us.

Post # 54
Member
2576 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

I think there are a lot of weddings that include a wedding planner or a day of coordinator or something similar so this doesn’t come up as much as I’m sure it used to. However, as a bridesmaid and supposedly close family member or friend I would have no problem helping out at the end of the night so my said friend or family member wouldn’t have to hire someone to do it. When I sign up to be a bridesmaid I’m not just signing up to look cute and buy a dress. I ask the bride if they need help, plan showers/bachelorettes, etc. It’s pretty shitty to sign up as a bridesmaid and then literally do nothing but show up. 

I’ve offered to help clean up at all of my closest friend’s weddings because that’s just how I am. I think it’s nice to take one thing off the Bride’s list of things to do. I’ve also done it once where I wasn’t a bridesmaid. I’m not saying it’s required, but helping shouldn’t be too out of the realm of possibilities for a bridesmaid.

Post # 55
Member
2576 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

malayna :  You totally explained this better than me. I agree to all of your points. Well said!

Post # 56
Member
4065 posts
Honey bee

I have been a Bridesmaid or Best Man in 5 weddings and never had to clean up or set-up My BMs certainly didn’t. Maybe make sure the couple got their gifts/cards, sure. But clean-up duty would just not fly here. You hire that out. But the weddings I’ve gone to have not been casual affairs. The florist does all the decorating and the venue supplies the essentials and frills. The director makes sure everything goes well. The venue and florist/decorator clean up.

If someone offers, fine. But expecting them to do it strikes me as weird. However i think socioeconomics plays a part here. If you go to weddings where the bridesmaids clean up then I suppose it’s more realistic to ask.

Post # 57
Member
12134 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

rockclimberbride :  “Not everyone can afford to hire a DOC or an extra clean up crew. Venues operate different in terms of what they are willing to be responsible for and how much extra they are willing to do to recover your decorations and gifts. Weddings can have gaps in staffing and covered tasks.”

Like cash bars, this comes under the heading of hosting what you can afford, in a way that doesn’t impose on others. This is also about the entitlement that some people seem to have to a certain level of affair with all the bells and whistles. If you can’t afford to hire additional people, then either do without the extras or spend less elsewhere. 

Post # 58
Member
1557 posts
Bumble bee

I wouldn’t have asked my bridesmaids, it’s not their job to pack up! The venue staff packed everything into boxes at the end of the night and my husband loaded it into my grandparents car. Then we sorted it out after our honeymoon.

Post # 59
Member
457 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2019 - A historic Art Deco and French Renaissance Theatre

I feel like it depends on how good your friends are. Every wedding I was in I and the other bridesmaids helped to pack up. And when I was maid of honor I did everything I could so things would run smoothly and she didn’t have to worry. I took care of everything down to the cake at the end. Good friends help without being asked. Selfish People are there to look pretty and be in pictures. If they aren’t willing to help in ANY way they probably shouldn’t be there. People know it comes with the territory.

Post # 60
Member
4065 posts
Honey bee

If you have a party at your house, do you ask your friends to come over the next day and vacuum and mop? It’s the same idea. People forget the the reception is just a party where you wear a fancy dress. You’re the host, not the person to be catered to, not the boss.

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