Post # 1
I’ve only been a Bridesmaid or Best Man once and it was a junior Bridesmaid or Best Man at that so I really didn’t do anything but show up. For those that have been Bridesmaid or Best Man please share all the lessons you learned about what to do or what not to do.
What do you wish the bride did differently? What worked? What didn’t work with the wedding? Share your lessons.
Post # 3
This is a great idea for a post! I have never been in any bridal party so I am hoping that I am doing good with my girls.
Post # 4
I was a Maid/Matron of Honor in a wedding during my senior year of college and a Bridesmaid or Best Man in a wedding my freshmen year of college. The biggest lesson that I learned was that, as a bride, you HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO communicate with the Bridal Party.
I was so young naive at the time that I had no idea what was expected of me. Things were kind of piled on at the last minute- paying for the limo for the bride and groom in the first wedding, planning the shower and bachelorette in the second. I knew as a Maid/Matron of Honor that I would have to do some planning, but the other BMs didn’t help with anything and I ended up spending a lot of time and money on both the bridal shower and bachelorette. Thankfully, the brides family was fantastic and helped to guide the way.
My Bridal Party is fantastic and wonderful, and I have nothing but great things to say about them. My wedding isn’t until September 23, 2011 and they’re already on the planning for the Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party (I might get two), and they’ve taken my opions for both in high regard (no penis straws, please). They picked their dresses, but used my guidelines of what I wanted (a simple, short, black dress that they will wear again). They’re extremely supportive.
My advice would be to be thankful and greatful that they care enough about you and Fiance to stand up with them on their wedding day. Make sure that you tell them what is expected of them, but be gentle about it. Take their situations (financial/time constaints) into consideration. Have fun with them!
Post # 5
My biggest thing is don’t forget to feed your bridal party. If you ask them to come hours early for pictures and getting ready, they’ll be hungry. I think brides forget that since they’re nervous and not hungry, but starving for hours on end can really ruin even the most gorgeous wedding :).
Also, don’t forget to write a personal note thanking your BMs. I had a cousin do this, and I still take it out and read it occasionally because it was so sweetly written.
Post # 7
I think its a good idea to be upfront about your expectations (both in terms of money they should expect to spend, and time commitment) when you ask them. You’ll save the stress on your friendship if they know ahead of time what is coming, and agree to it. And don’t be offended if they say its too much for them. Its better to know early than to have a fight on the wedding day or something (I’m not speaking from personal experience, but have read some recaps where that sort of thing happened, and I wonder how it can be avoided).
Post # 8
Definitly don’t forget to feed them. Also, don’t save the DIY favors and pew bows until three days before the wedding and majorly spaz because you didn’t get enough supplies. That was wedding number one.
I also agree with a PP who said to make sure you party is clear on your expectations and how much work your wedding is going to be. My sis had a very large, very much DIY wedding (right down to us having to set up everything for the reception) and my other sister and I had to do pretty much everything, while the other bridesmaids were out getting hair and nails done worrying about whether they had enough time to stop for lunch. It made things a little, uncomfortable, to say the least in the days surrounding the wedding.
Post # 9
Thanks for the input ladies. I think I should have rephrased my question to: Lessons I learned about weddings by being a Bridesmaid or Best Man. I have 4 fabulous Bridesmaid or Best Man and we’re well into the planning process and expectations and all of that are pretty clear. Actually, the only “responsibility” they have is to show up and have fun. They are buying their dress. The Maid/Matron of Honor is planning the shower and bach party (she asked to do it) and that is it. I’d really like to hear wedding stuff and personal stories.
Post # 10
I have been a Bridesmaid or Best Man eight times, Maid/Matron of Honor four times. On the day of the wedding, I think a Bridesmaid or Best Man job is to keep the bride calm and happy. I have seen one bride cry so much from nerves right before she walked down the aisle, that I ran and got a bottle of wine. Once she had a few sips she was able to pull herself togehter. One of my best friends puked several times the morning of her wedding. We sat togehter and took deep breaths and I did everything I could do to make her laugh. This is a key role of the Bridesmaid or Best Man. Another key role is to make sure everything is moving along as planned. The bride is to busy being the bride to make sure that pictures are being taken in a timely manner, that grandma so-and-so is in the family picture. A Bridesmaid or Best Man should also make sure the bride has lipstick on at all times and that if she is a little shiny, she gets some powder as soon as possible. A Bridesmaid or Best Man should also make sure the bride has eaten throughout the day. If the bride has a big poofy dress, it is the role of the Bridesmaid or Best Man to hold the dress up while the bride uses the bathroom. Beign a Bridesmaid or Best Man is hard work if you do it right 🙂
Post # 11
The question to me seems to be asking for advice for bridesmaids not for the bride so I am answering that way with 2 pieces of advice:
As a bridesmaid, understand that this is the bride’s day. I’ve been asked for my input on dresses which I will give but I always say that I probably won’t wear any of them ever again so as long as the price is fair, pick whatever you want in your wedding. Those dresses will be in your pictures and your video – not mine.
If the bride calls you to vent and her reasoning seems a little nuts, just let her vent. Don’t tell her she is crazy or laugh. Things that seem stupid to the average person might really be bothering a soon to be bride and she just needs someone to say it outloud to that won’t judge her.
Post # 12
LOL….this question has totally taken a life of it’s own and that is okay, but I thought I would try again to clarify. I am the bride. I’ve really only been to a few weddings and only once as a Bridesmaid or Best Man. My intent by asking this question was to hear stories of about things you learned that you will or won’t do with your own wedding by being a Bridesmaid or Best Man.
Example: I know I won’t ask my bridesmaids to setup/breakdown the reception because it was too much work. or I know to never order cala lillies because by the time the reception started the had already wilted. Both of these stories are hypothetical By The Way lol.
Post # 13
Ask your bridesmaids for suggestions on dresses. The only wedding I’ve been in, the bride (my best friend) asked no one for suggestions. I wore this god awful monstrosity of a dress for my best friend’s wedding (black velvet off the shoulder top, grass green taffeta skirt with pickups…It was 2009, not 1989). It was hideous, and $200. It went to goodwill the very next day. I have solved this problem by telling my girls to wear whatever knee length blue dress they want. I don’t even care what color of blue. Two of my girls are recycling dresses they wore in other weddings.
Be respectful of your bridesmaids’ time. As much as they want to be a part of your wedding, your wedding is only one day. If they can’t make it into town until the night before the wedding, and they miss the rehearsal, so be it. It’s more important to have your friend at your side on the big day than it is for them to be there for other things. I am truly thankful that my best friend did this for me. I had a job that wouldn’t let me take more than a half day off on Friday, and I had to fly from Florida to Michigan to be at the wedding. I didn’t arrive in MI until 3:30 AM the day of the wedding. I had to fly back to FL on Sunday afternoon.
Post # 14
I will never, ever, ever ask them to have to sit at a table facing everyone without the people they love sitting next to them and everyone watching them chew their food 😛
I will make sure that the photograhers get pics of each of them individually and them with their date so they all have an awesome, professional pic or two that I can purchase for them as a gift later on.
I will not let my grand idea of a perfect color/style of gown override the way it looks on the people closest to me. Yes, I may think that bright orange sleeveless shifts are my perfect bm dress vision, but not on my redheaded curvy bm that is self consicous about her arm flab, lol!
I will NOT expect them to pay for things that are my responsiblity (shoes, limo, runner) and realize that they aren’t just extensions of my wallet.
Hmmmm…..I’ll get back to you on more, lol!
Post # 15
@tseay: I’ll try again!
I won’t get cheap plastic-y flowers for the bouquets because if they’re super cheap, they definitely look fake (Nothing against nice silk flowers, but the ones I carried in one wedding were definitely not in that category :)).
I’ll probably do the dollar dance. My sister did it at hers (I was MOH), and everyone had a really great time with it. Since it will be my family again, lol, I’m hoping for the same result.
I won’t freak out about the little details. I was best woman for a friend, and he was so relaxed and happy and he truly enjoyed the day. I want to be like that when it’s my turn!
I won’t put my BMs in tall heels, because eventually people start wobbling after standing still for 20 minutes, and I don’t want anyone to fall over or look like a bobblehead on my wedding video :).
Post # 16
OMG Luckyprincess and jo.lee that is EXACTLY what I was looking for! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!