Considerations before choosing a bridal party (second attempt to post)

posted 2 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
Member
6672 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

You make good points, but for what it’s worth, you don’t need professionally done hair, specialized accessories or robes.  Definitely those are ‘wants’ so if you’re really stressing, cut them.  Your girlfriends surely know how to look decent at a public occasion, even if it’s not all matchy-match.

I think in hindsight I’m glad I don’t have a lot of close girlfriends.  It made it very, very easy to have only my sister and my bestie in my bridal party.  10 years earlier I’d have had at least 3 others and the personalities do not all mesh well.  I’m amazed at the girls who have such a large number, how they manage it I’ll never know.  Luckily for us, my husband’s brothers weren’t super keen on being in any wedding at all, so that saved us from having the 5 of them plus a couple of buddies.  Instead my hsuband narrowed it down to match my 2.  phew!

Post # 3
Member
1244 posts
Bumble bee

All the bridal party drama I’ve seen and heard previously had made me decided to have no bridesmaids or at most one (my cousin who I’m very close to). And I wouldn’t be expecting any planning on her part other than help me with stuff on the day because she lives in a different country.

And reading all the Bridesmaid or Best Man drama on here ever since joining about two weeks ago has made me even more certain I don’t want it lol…

Like you most of my good friends are immigrants or actually live overseas, the idea and expectations of BMs are not quite the same.

One of my good friends explicitly said, years ago, that when I get married she wanted to be my bridesmaid. I love her but she wouldn’t have a clue on how to be one, I don’t think she’ll be particularly good at it nor do I think she’ll have the time and money for some of the stuff involved. Then there’s also my two oldest and used to be closest friends from school that live overseas. One of them would’ve been good at the job but you can’t invite one but not the other to be a bridesmaid, and the other one well, I love her and she means well but she’s very opinionated and slightly controlling without taking your preferences and personality into account (her ideas are always the best), she tend to rub me the wrong way with some of this stuff and I can see myself butting heads with her and what she thinks is “best”. 

So I would’ve had 4 bridesmaids and what I could already foresee as lots of unnecessary drama lol… Of course the costs involved would’ve been higher too like you said.

I think for anyone who want bridesmaids, I wouldn’t have more than 2. And only if you know they would work well together and be good at the job. 

I would also be careful with asking for bridesmaids (or even family) opinions on some stuff like dresses or venue. Sometimes more opinions is not better. I know for myself, despite knowing my own taste and what I want, I would’ve been influenced by various opinions from people close to me and be at risk of making choices I wouldn’t have otherwise which might lead to regrets and well, drama lol… so the best thing to do is don’t ask. Anyone’s opinions shouldn’t matter anyway when it comes to weddings other than your own and your future husbands. I would say just trust your own judgement. 

Post # 4
Member
6845 posts
Busy Beekeeper

glutton :  Please do share “the American bridal party concept” with us so that we are all on the same page.

FWIW I’ve been married before (with five bridesmaids), in numerous bridal parties and a Maid/Matron of Honor many times with no drama. Drama usually comes with unclear or unreasonable expectations. The only thing required of American bridesmaids is to be available for the wedding in a dress selected with their budget in mind. Everything else is a bonus. 

The professional hair, accessories, robes, bouquets–those are all photo props. Who do you think should be paying for them? 

I’ve hosted destination bachelorettes, many showers, addressed invitations, etc. because I wanted to do so, could afford to do so and I offered. Someone who can’t do these things is not a bad friend.

It’s supposed to be about being surrounded by your nearest and dearest on a very important day, not about who will do what for you.

Post # 5
Member
938 posts
Busy bee

I would also suggest: Consider how strong your relationship is with the potential bridesmaid. 

When I got married the first time, I only had one really close female friend – my close friends were guys. My ex was dead set against me having my guy friends be my attendants, so I ended up asking my roommate and a mutual friend of ours who was closer to my roommate (my actual close girl friend ended up not being able to attend the wedding, so she declined being an attendant). Long story short, 2 months after the wedding, roommate and I had a falling out over a security deposit. Other attendant took her side, so both friendships ended. It was a thorn in my side when looking at pics from that wedding, seeing them in the poses pictures and remembering the falling out. 

This time, I’ve opted not to have any attendants. I have some really close girlfriends now, but the experience with my first bridal party soured me on having any attendants.

Post # 6
Member
1244 posts
Bumble bee

beethree :  I don’t think the OP accused anyone for being a bad friend for not being able to do some of these stuff or said she shouldn’t pay for those things. I think she just meant to share her experiences especially for those who are going through wedding planning now.

You seem pretty good at this so perhaps your experience is different. But truth is I’ve seen bridal party drama that are entirely personality related and nothing to do with unclear or unreasonable expectations (eg one bridesmaid said in the bridal party group chat that one of the other bridesmaid looked fugly in the dress they tried on. The bride had to have separate conversations with the two bridesmaids and defuse the situation.)

Post # 8
Member
576 posts
Busy bee

“Really consider how many and which people you really want up there and who will actually have the time, money, personality, and inclination to travel and participate in the whole wedding and/or pre-wedding hoopla”

You don’t sound very nice choosing bridesmaids based on who has tons of money to shell out for you. 

Post # 8
Member
8919 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

glutton :  Not sure why it keeps eating my response, but…

Those are all things for you. Except the hotel room if people are travelling. They would have to get that anyway, but if you’re paying because you want a slumber party the night before, then that’s still something for you. You could let them pay for their own room. 

Your whole last paragraph makes clear that you see bridesmaids as people most able to do stuff for you. Most people see them as their dearest friends, and if they are willing and able to do stuff, that’s awesome. If not, bummer but they’re still your bffs. Your expectations are too high and your priority is off. Remember that being a bride is temporary, but the damage you do to your relationships is likely to be permanent.

Post # 9
Member
1074 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

I agree with PP’s who say that what you are “gifting” them are really things for yourself. Hair, robes, bouquets, and asking gifts are all unneccesary.

Post # 10
Member
1478 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2021 - Kauai, HI

I think the overall point is controlling the size of your bridal party.  It’ll help you do those little extras if you want.  We don’t always think of how it all adds up. Of course if you want your 9 best friends from high school go for it but you’ll probably end up sacrificing somewhere else.

Post # 11
Member
30 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2020

I think you’re right, it’s super important to consider your friend’s other priorities and personalities before choosing who to ask as bridesmaid. And if it’s super important to have a certain friend in your party who you know isn’t reliable/prepared for responsibilities, prepare for the headaches in advance. I’m hoping to have 4 on each side (my side 3 bridesmaids & a bridesdude, his side 4 groomsmen).

I could extend it to include probably 3 or 4 others, but personally I find that too much have an expense and hassle especially if you like to be lax and considerate of all involved in the party. One friend as an example will be invited only because 

  1. She causes drama numerous occasions
  2. She is often late/unavailable
  3. She will not go out of her way for anyone but herself

If anyone in your dream bridal party has 2 or more of those traits, I’d seriously reconsider. Invite them as a guest to enjoy your day, but don’t stress yourself out if Bridesmaid A isn’t ready for the ceremony that was supposed to start 30 minutes ago.

Side note: I do think it’s nice to provide hair or makeup service for them to lower the cost & robes, but sometimes the gifts portion you stated, are best when homemade. People, I find it, appreciate homemade cookies with a note example more than say monogrammed tumblers and flip flops. It really lowers the cost too.

Post # 12
Member
1362 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center

    

 

Post # 13
Member
1362 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center

    

Post # 14
Member
1362 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center

    

Post # 15
Member
1362 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center

    

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