(Closed) Is it OK to send my bridesmaids a list of duties?

posted 8 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 3
Member
305 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Oh! I’m interested in the answer to this too. I’m a very organized person and since our wedding is destination there’s a lot of stuff that will need to be taken care of on this end and there that we’ll need help with so I was thinking of typing out a list of specific duties and things they can help with….but I don’t want to seem rude, demanding or controlling about it either, just informative so they feel included and helpful.

Post # 4
Member
875 posts
Busy bee

Posting the “list” would help.  I think if you were going to let them know of a schedule of what you need them to do that would be helpful…  You could talk with your Maid/Matron of Honor about coordinating shower plans etc… 

Post # 5
Member
1940 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I would make a list of what you expect your bridesmaids to do.  There are probably things on the generic list that aren’t applicable to you.  If you decide to make your own list, maybe consider posting it here.  You’ll probably get some constructive feedback Smile

Post # 6
Member
1426 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I’ve seen that knot list before- it’s crazy!  I would not send them that, it will make you look like you’re controlling (even though that’s not your intention).  A bridesmaid’s duties consist of 1. Buy the correct dress, 2. Show up on time.  Some people might add provide emotional support on the day of and throughout the planning.  But they aren’t obligated to do anything else, the rest is stuff that they might choose to do on their own, like throw a shower or attend a bachelorette, but they aren’t required to.

Post # 7
Member
1732 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I don’t think you should send them a to do list.  Bridesmaids are not wedding coordinators.  They should not have much more to do than buy a dress and show up for the rehearsal and wedding.  They might host a shower and bachelorette, but that is up to the Maid/Matron of Honor to offer – not be asked or told.

Post # 8
Member
2640 posts
Sugar bee

I was going to ask what do you want from your BMs?  (Forget what the knot says.)  Some brides expect a lot .  Some don’t expect anything.  Do you think your BMs are aware of paying for their own dresses etc.?I don’t like the idea of sending a list of duties.  I would probably have a mini fit if a bride sent that to me.

Either your BMs know what to do, and don’t need the list, or they are completely clueless and wet behind the ears about it, in which case a list might have been helpful right when you asked them, so they’d know what expenses they’d be responsible for, but what if it all is a big surprise to them (now after accepting) and they aren’t prepared to pay for showers and bach parties? 

If it was me, I would be breezy about things.  “Hey we’re going to look for dresses next weekend.  Can you guys give me an idea of the price range you’re looking for?”  Or “I’m starting a DIY project next week.  If anyone is interested in helping let me know.”  I would leave the shower and bach party for your Maid/Matron of Honor or relative to work out with them.  Also, sometimes what a bride wants or expects from her maids, isn’t what they can give.  (Not sure if that applies to you.  Just thought I’d throw that out there.)  So if you’re thinking you’d like a lot of help from them, you might want to be flexible.

Post # 9
Member
2344 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I know with my bridesmaids, that list would not have gone over well. They would have seen it as controlling and demanding. I don’t think bridesmaids should be obligated to do anything out of the ordinary. A bridesmaid was your friend before the wedding planning began, so just allow her to be your friend throughout your engagement in her own way – hopefully that means helping out or giving you a party but those things are not required and I think it is presumptuous to ask for them.

Post # 10
Member
525 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

It all depends on the BMs you have. As a Bridesmaid or Best Man I would really appreciate to know in advance what is expected of me, so that I can actually commit or wiggle out of it. And yes, be specific with your BMs. I definitely don’t think that their only duty is to buy the dress and show up – how is it any different from any other guest? BMs are supposed to do something more, but what exactly depends on you and the kind of relationship you have with them.

Post # 11
Member
7770 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I think a formal list seems a little overboard.  Personally, I want them to WANT to be a bridesmaid, not feel they have duties.  That’s just me.  However, mine are all super game to help, so it does depend on who you are working with.  I wouldn’t be thrilled to be given a list, but again- that’s just me.  I agree with the other posters- make your own list if necessary, a technical list seems a little… much.

Post # 12
Member
1046 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I think it’s important to communicate what you’d really like help with but a long generic list of expected “duties” seems like it would be overwhelming, especially if you never asked them how much they wanted to be involved. I think I’d send an email more like “here are some of things I need help with, would any of you like to tackle some of these?”

Post # 13
Member
3788 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I dislike the notion of bridesmaid duties at all. I agree with greenleafmountain that they are really only required to buy the dress and show up. Many of us have certain expectations or requests, but I think the point of bridesmaids gets lost when it becomes a job with specific requirements. They are our friends who want to be there for us, and anything additional they take on for us should be because they were so moved, not because we demanded it of them. Some brides (not saying anyone here, just some I have seen in my internet travels) really should just hire a personal assitant or something for how much they expect their bridesmaids to be responsible for/chip in.

Edited to add that I like Sapphire’s suggestion of just asking for help if anyone is available. That is what friends do!

Post # 14
Member
610 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

It is not ok. I agree with greenleafmountain and Amaryllis. If you do, it transforms being your friend/bridesmaid to an unpaid job. I would quit an unpaid job anytime. If your Bridesmaid or Best Man r so clueless, you can at least tell them that they need to wear a dress and be on time and standing with you on your wedding day. However, most people know at least that.

Everything else shouldn’t be a “list of duties” but something that they initiate or you can ask them nicely while giving them an option to decline, e.g. DIY projects, shopping, showers, etc. I would treat “The Knot” list as only a suggestion or brainstorming list for Bridesmaid or Best Man looking for things to do.

Post # 15
Member
837 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

What exactly are these duties?  Because a BM’s duties are to buy a dress and stand up with you as you get married.  If they offer to help with other things, throw you a shower, throw a bachelorette party, that’s one thing but unless they OFFER there are no Bridesmaid or Best Man “duties.”  Etiquette-wise this is a bad idea, the only reason the knot and any other source besides Emily Post writes these things, is to get money, like when brides buy books for their bridesmaids about what they are supposed to do…  I don’t mean this comment in a mean way at all, I’m just giving my advice.  Too many people think that BMs are required to do a whole bunch of stuff, including being the brides slaves and that just isn’t the case.  Besides why would you want to treat your friends that way (not to say that you are, just saying that some people do).

Post # 16
Member
2820 posts
Sugar bee

I think weddings are so diverse in this country it’s really hard to nail down ‘duties’.  Honestly, I would be offended if someone sent me that link as I’d feel it should be more of a dialogue or an offering to the bride rather than the bride commanding (it’s not really asking if you say this is what I expect) certain things.  Even though you’re the one in charge the wedding it isn’t a business and these are your friends and so even though you’ve asked them to be bridesmaids I think you still have to ask them for help or to do things or what they’re comfy with instead of having an inflexible go to list. 

I think a lot of it has to do with delivery.  Like I was concerned about people not dancing at the wedding, so I expressed my concern to my Bridesmaid or Best Man and asked if they could help things out if people weren’t really dancing, one of them was like but I’m a terrible dancer, you should ask …… to go on the dance floor if it gets slow and it all worked out just dandy people danced without intervention.  I think though if I would have just sent her that list she would have been extremely anxious about doing something she wasn’t comfortable with but thinking she didn’t want to let me down and it would have just been unnecessary discomfort.

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