Lets talk about bridesmaids… positive and negative experiences

posted 2 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 16
2163 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I loved having bridesmaids but in retrospect I’d skip it and just do maid of honour and best man. What a hassle. 

Post # 17
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2020 - Austin, TX

I am not doing bridesmaids. I love my close group of girlfriends but it just felt like such a hassle for all involved. I have extended the invitation to come get dressed together day of if they so choose but other than that they can show up and just have some fun! 

Post # 18
987 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I had 3 bridesmaids (my niece and 2 close friends) and no moh.  I find that the majority of the drama comes from brides with high expectations.  (Demanding a destination bachelorette from friends who are financially strapped, expecting wedding planning help from your bridesmaids and not your fiance, to name a few examples) I had no expectations for my bridesmaids and my husband had even less from his groomsmen, if that’s at all possible.   They all ended doing so much for us and truly made our day what it is.  

Post # 19
565 posts
Busy bee

I didn’t have a bridal party because we just did a courthouse thing, but for a while we considered having one and we were just going to have a Maid/Matron of Honor and best man, and have our siblings take on those role to make it easier.

I have been Maid/Matron of Honor twice and a bridesmaid once, I had zero negative experiences. Whenever I read the horror stories of bridezillas or asshole bridesmaids it blows my mind because I can’t imagine any of my friends behaving so shitty.

For the weddings I was in, the brides were super chill and didn’t expect much from us. For one wedding the brides mom bought all of our dresses, the other two I bought my own but the brides didn’t care what kind of dress I got, and for all three wedding I paid for hair/and or makeup but it was optional.

Post # 20
529 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

I had 5. I paid for their accommodations and meals the weekend of, hair for those who chose to participate, and they picked and paid for whatever dress they wanted in the color and length I specified. They threw me an amazing bachelorette camping trip, and, though I had no expectations, they helped a ton the weekend of: two of them helped me with the flowers, and one did my makeup. We all got ready together except my cousin who has kids and did her own thing.

I have only the most amazing memories and am so thankful they were all able to make it out to support me. I hope they had a good time!

Ive also been a bridesmaid twice. Both the brides were laid back as fvck. I helped with the decor and setting up for one wedding, which personally I enjoyed. I also paid for the dress but it was less than $20 from forever 21 in a style we all picked out together. The other bride (my MOH) had a non traditional wedding (destination party sans ceremony) and there were no expectations/ jobs/ outfits whatsoever. 

Post # 21
542 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

View original reply
rubilove :  I asked my girls wayyyy to early.  Like 2 years before the wedding. I had a falling out with one of my friends (best friend of 15 years, never saw it coming) and had to awkwardly un-ask her.  

I also had my 2 SILs at my MIL’s request.  They were fine, but I regretted this as I wasn’t that close to them and would have rather just had a smaller party for logistic issues.  Don’t ask anyone because someone wants you to! 

The more people = the more room for issues.  We had 4 on each side and it felt like way too many.  I personally wouldn’t go above 3 each. 


Post # 22
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

I had a five and a half month engagement, and asked my girls about three weeks after we got engaged. I had eight bridesmaids–four best friends, two cousins on my side and two girls from my husband’s family. It was important to my husband for our wedding parties to include each others’ families, so I asked them for him. One was fine—she was pretty upfront about what she was willing and not willing to do and I totally got it and was super grateful! (I.e. she’d attend the daytime and dinner portion of my bachelorette, but then didn’t want to go drinking at night with my girlfriends. I was glad I knew in advance because if she had just bailed unexpectedly, I would have worried I somehow offended her or she didn’t like me. 

The other girl from my husband’s side was great when it was just the two of us but then acted standoffish when other girls were around. She also bailed on the end of my bachelorette party with another family member after both had said they were coming for the whole event–leaving me to pay for their hotel room. I was pretty hurt about that.

I think you can match dress and gift expectations—you don’t need to spend a ton of money on a thoughtful gift that matches their interests, but it would be rude to have a $25 pp gift budget (totally reasonable) and require them to buy $300 dresses. I’d say chose a reasonably priced dress for them to purchase on their own, or if you’re not picky, allow them to pick a dress with guidance (and final approval if desired) from you. Don’t require them to wear particular shoes or jewelry or get their hair and makeup done.

Post # 23
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I loved having bridesmaids. I had 4 friends and my sister. I paid for their hair, makeup and hotels for the wedding (destination). I kept the outfit cost to $100 which is reasonable in our friend circle. The day before I did ask them to help make flower arrangements if they were available, but we all had a blast playing with flowers, catching up. It didn’t hurt that we were on a patio surrounded by vineyards. 

I’ve since been a bridesmaid in 3 weddings and enjoyed it. The only thing I didnt love was planning a bachelorette. A lot of the bride’s friends complained about different things and it was difficult to accommodate everyone. I also had a newborn, so the petty stuff seemed ESPECIALLY petty at the time. So I’d say have bridesmaids, but plan your own, low key, inexpensive bachelorette. Or at least help organize so the burden isn’t completely on your bridesmaids. Also don’t expect much beyond dress purchase and showing up to rehearsal and wedding. If you insist on professional hair or makeup I think you should pay for it yourself. 

Post # 25
748 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

I have two sisters I’m very close with, two childhood friends I have remained extremely close with since 8 yrs old (both parents call me their daughter), a college friend I’m extremely close with, and a post-college friend I’m extremely close with (who is also engaged to my man of honor – one of the since 8 yr old friends).

I would have preferred a smaller bridal party but it was important they were all standing with me – and they all made it clear they wanted to stand with me. All stages of my life thus far.  So 6 it was. All but my college friend were asked immediately… college friend asked a few months later. Mostly due to waffling  over party size.

I paid $200 towards a dress of their choice – any dress in a range of any blue or dark greys. I didn’t care if they already owned the dress, they still got the $200. 

I had no shoe or jewelry specifications.

I also paid for hair, makeup, and winter coverup.

They had minimal obligations. I had a bridal shower but not Bach party. They had no “chores” before or day of.


Post # 26
340 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969 - Montsalvat, Victoria

I think it’s as stressful or as stress free as you make it. I had 5 bridesmaids (4 bridesmaids and 1 bridesman) who I asked 18 months in advance and didn’t really have too much trouble. I was pretty clear that I wanted the girls to wear a specific dress and they all went to the designer and got sized up and had the dresses made in advance. I think this could have been an issue but because we’d all discussed budget/price range prior it was totally fine and no one was fussed about the $500+ dresses. My bridesman had to fly to Australia from the UK so he got a suit tailored over there. Aside from their dresses, I paid for pretty much everything else: hair, specific shoes and accessories. The girls had the option to use the MUA (and pay for this which they all did) or do their own. I put together bridesmaid boxes with gifts for each of them and just made sure they were things the girls would enjoy – candles, bottles of Moet, gift voucher to the day spa to relax after the wedding etc. The girls/guy were great and they threw me an amazing bachelorette weekend which I really appreciated.

I’m also about to be apart of a bridal party and the one thing I can say that I’ve appreciated is honest communication. Tell me what your expectations are and what you expect me to pay for/don’t expect me to pay for. I guarantee it’s so much easier if you just say what you want rather than thinking your girls will know xyz things – they won’t becuase altgough your wedding is at the forefront of your mind, it might be a competing priority for them and won’t be the most important thing on their to do list. 

Best of luck! 

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors