Post # 1
I need opinions on this! And this is also kind of a vent! I have 4 BMs and a Maid/Matron of Honor. I have already purchased each of them a name hanger for their dress (which I haven’t given them yet) and am thinking about also getting them a set of silky pajamas from Victoria’s Secret. I am also paying for each of them to get their hair done professionally… a trial beforehand and on the wedding day.
2 out of the 5 girls paid for their own dresses. I paid for the other 3 girls dresses (SIL and 2 cousins). My SIL has mentioned several times that she’s gonna pay me back, and she told me last week that it would be this week. My 2 cousins only mentioned paying me back while in the store, but haven’t mentioned it since. I haven’t seen them since then, only talked over text. And all these dresses were purchased in January.
I know this may sound mean and I’m not trying to be ugly, but only one Bridesmaid or Best Man has gone out of her way to somewhat help with the wedding. She is also throwing me a lingerie party next week.
My Maid/Matron of Honor has offered to help with crafts, etc. but hasn’t actually done it. She did, however, make the effort to go to Vegas with me, Fiance, and my brother for a pre-wedding celebration and we had a bachelorette night there. I know she spent a lot while there, but we ended up arguing so it was kind of a bummer.
The other 3 BMs (SIL and 2 cousins) don’t seem interested in the wedding whatsoever. I have a hard time getting them to respond to my texts or messages.
I’m just getting to the point where I’m a little bit bitter because my wedding is only a month away and I have gotten no help from anyone… not Fiance, not my bridal party, not my parents… NO ONE. I know it’s not their responsibility, but it would be nice if they’d at least show some kind of interest. And I’m spending a lot of my hard earned money on other people’s meals, favors, alcohol, etc. I know it’s my fault for choosing to have this type of wedding but I guess I didn’t realize how overwhelming it’s becoming.
I’m wondering if my bridal party even deserves gifts? I know that’s a rude way of saying it but it’s what is going through my mind. I know the gift is a way of thanking them for taking the time to be in your wedding, etc. but would it be wrong if I get them different gifts (i.e. the first 2 girls something nicer than the others? or if I didn’t get my SIL or cousins gifts at all?). It’s not really about the money for me but I just don’t think it’s fair. What do y’all think?
Post # 3
I understand your frustration. However, two wrongs don’t make a right and it’s always best to be classy. That said, be gracious and give a gift. You don’t need to spend more. Simply wrap the PJs that you already planned to give and attach a kind thank you card. Those who follow the golden rule and who behave graciously always win in the end. Be a winner.
Post # 4
Give them the hangers you already purchased and call it a day. Paying for their dresses and hair is enough IMO. I haven’t had a great time w my girls either. I got them each a vintage locket, but didn’t pay for nothing else. I think you have done enough. I just love how people who don’t care about etiquette in their normal lives get all huffy and puffy over weddings – it’s crazy!!
Post # 5
Just give them the hangers. I got my Bridesmaid or Best Man (only have one) a really nice gift, but she is going out of her way to help with EVERYthing and I’ve never had to ask her to do anything. I certainly didn’t expect the effort she has put forth. If any of my BMs were like yours I’d do something really small, so I think the hangers (not to mention dress & hair) will definitely suffice. If you feel like the other girls deserve something more then I don’t think there is anything wrong with giving some girls more than the rest – thats just me though and probably not a popular opinion
Post # 6
@Weetzie: Some people do care about etiquette all the time.
Post # 7
@MissJuicy: A lot of people here will tell you that your BMs only responsibility is to show up in the dress and stand next to you on your wedding day. They aren’t your slaves, you aren’t their boss, etc. No one is responsible for helping plan your wedding except you and your Fiance. It sounds like you just really overwhelmed and your anxiety is manifesting in anger, which you’re projecting to your girls. That’s not fair.
As far as paying for the dresses…. if you didn’t discuss a budget with each girl, then you are on the hook for the cost. Parties for the brides are gifts, not a given.
Your girls deserve gifts for being your nearest and dearest and standing by you on your wedding day. They don’t NOT deserve gifts because they haven’t met your (extremely high) expectations.
It’s a nerve-racking experience, so I understand that you’re frustrated/upset. But don’t take it out on your girls.
Trust me, the day will come and all of this will seem so trivial and you WILL be grateful for having your ladies there when it really counts, on your wedding day.
Post # 8
I think sometimes, you do have to ask and delegate. If you haven’t asked them to do anything, how are they supposed to know that you want them to, or what it is you want done? They haven’t become mindreaders.
Post # 9
If you didn’t discuss dress budgets with your girls, and if you’re requiring them to have their hair professionally done, then those costs are definitely on you.
Your bridesmaids don’t “earn” a gift. You give them a gift to thank them for standing up with you in your wedding. They’re not your personal servants. They don’t have to help you with your DIY tasks, or throw lavish parties, or drop everything and come running when you have a wedding related task that needs their attention. They’re there to celebrate your special DAY with you because you’re friends, or family.
Don’t make this into a “well, she gets a nicer gift because she paid for x or helped me with y” situation. You’ll likely end up with resentful bridesmaids and could damage friendships.
Post # 10
@FLBlonde93: And *most* don’t. Why do you think there are so many wedding related etiquette books? Because for the most part people have no idea how to behave. If you don’t live up to certain ‘standards’ in your regular life, imposing them on yourself and those around you for your wedding is ridiculous! The etiquette police are not going to arrest you. Haha sorry for the mini-vent! It’s just that morphing into miss manners for your wedding when you live completely contradictory to that is something I’ve seen too many times!
Post # 11
I think that the hair and the hanger should be enough. Also, keep in mind that the gift is also about how they help you on the wedding day. Unfortunately, the real part to being a bridesmaid is day of.
It is so tempting (trust me I know) to give them tons of tasks and expect them to be your minions. But they are not. They are your friends – through their good qualities and their bad. 🙂
Take a deep breath, stop worrying about it and if they are all stars on your wedding day you can follow up with another gift then.
Post # 12
@MissJuicy: i would get something a little extra for the 2 bm’s who are going out of their way to help. as for the bridesmaids who are not helping or whatever, NO ONE is ever as excited for your wedding as you are, i learned that from my bridesmaids. You should still get them something, even if it is something very small, because your being the bad guy by not getting them something. be the bigger person. Even if it is something small/cheap.
Post # 13
I’m a little bit bitter because my wedding is only a month away and I have gotten no help from anyone… not Fiance, not my bridal party, not my parents… NO ONE.
It might be helpful to reframe it. Stop calling it and thinking of it as “MY wedding,” and replace that with “OUR wedding.” Your Fiance probably feels like it’s your show, which really isn’t how it should be. Pop culture likes to make out that weddings are “all about the bride” and her opportunity to indulge herself, but the focus should really be on the couple and the start of their marriage. If you start thinking of it that way and talking about it that way, it might help get your Fiance more involved and give you guys practice collaborating on big projects (which is kind of secretly the true purpose of wedding planning – give you a practice run at the negotiating and compromising skills you will need for marriage.)
Post # 14
i personally dont think you have to give them a gift. i know its tradition. personally i wouldnt expect a gift for standing up in a wedding. when i stood up in my sisters, she gave me a jewelry box – which i ultimately dont have anymore. so i would just save your money. you already done sufficienltly by buying their dress, hair, and hangers.
Post # 15
@MissJuicy: I understand being sad and frustrated that some of your BMs aren’t as invovled as you hoped they would be. I mean, they are your friends and family and it’s an exciting time in your life and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want them to show some sort of interest.
Having said that, you need to remember that your BMs are not your minions (as a PP pointed out). You can ask for help, but you can’t hold it agains them if they are unable to. They don’t have to do anything to earn their spot as a Bridesmaid or Best Man besides get the dress and show up. Also, you actually have to ask. I’ve seen a lot of posts where the bride expects her BMs to magically know that she needs help and feels it’s the BM’s responsibility to call the bride and see if she needs help. This is just unreasonable. Your wedding is your #1 priority but for everyone else, it’s like #42.
As far as the gifts go, I have a few comments.
1. Hair: if you are requiring them to get their hair done, you should pay and it shouldn’t be part of the gift since it’s a look that’s supposed to fit your vision for your wedding. You can’t really claim it as a gift for them when it’s really to benefit you.
2. Dresses: Did you and the girls have an understanding that they would pay you back? If so, I would contact them about setting up a payment plan or ask when they think they can pay. I know it’s an awkward topic, but sometimes people just forget or they need a few gentle reminders. You can also offer to just pay for their dresses as their Bridesmaid or Best Man gift. If you do this though, I would extend that offer to the other BMs.
3. Additional gifts: Bridal Party gifts are supposed to be a thank you for standing up with you and your FH on your wedding day. They are not thank you gifts for helping with the wedding or something that is earned. A Bridesmaid or Best Man doesn’t have to help with x number of crafts and attend y number of fittings to be worthy of a gift. Think of it this way, GMs usually get gifts too right? What do GMs do to help with the wedding? Usually not much if anything. They might throw a bachelor party, but that would be it. They don’t help with DIY projects or attend fittings or help decide the centerpieces. Why would it be any different for BMs? If you don’t use the dresses as gifts, I would still get your BMs the PJs, but you certainly don’t have to do anything else.
Post # 16
@orangeroses29: “Day of” support is by far the most important- that’s an excellent point that many are quick to forget.