Post # 1
For those of you in the hive that have been bridesmaids before, what was something you really appreciated that the bride did for you?
I’m trying to make sure that my girls are comfortable and all of their needs are taken care of!
Personally, I can tell you that I really like being fed if I’m going to be with the bride for lunch before the wedding. I’m anemic and it’s much appreciated.
Post # 3
My number one thing was that she realized how poor we all are. She expected us to buy gowns $140-$200. So, she let us each pick out our own dresses. Some of the girls didn’t care if they wore it again, but I do and I got something that I really like and hope to wear again.
Post # 4
When you are asked to be a bridesmaid and are told that, "I just need you to wear the dress and stand up there with me," it should not morph into being requested to pay for bridal showers, being asked to take part in $175 group gifts for the bridal shower (that was $175 that each bridesmaid was asked to pay for a gift for the bridal shower) or dealing with any other requests that the bridesmaids have to feel badly about turning down. if you are putting friends or relatives you aren’t very close to in your bridal party, don’t alienate them with too many unreasonable requests. Your close friends may be happy to do these things for you, but please keep in mind even these friends’ financial ability to bear burdens during this economy and other obligations they are balancing.
Oh, and please also try to stay away from matching dresses that don’t look flattering on all body types. I was lucky in that all of my bridesmaids had the same body types and similar hair/skin coloring and was able to take one bridesmaid to the store to make sure the dresses would work for all of them. I think it was Doctorgirl who had bridal party members with very different body types and she chose a wrap dress, which is flattering for women with a variety of sizes.
Post # 5
My best friend spoiled me rotten when I was her Maid/Matron of Honor. It was like the roles were reversed. She was very laid back about choosing the dress, which her mom paid for. We also had a spa day with her mom, and she gave me a bridesmaid gift that I cherish (a Tibetan singing bowl). I also stayed with her at her parents’ house for a week before the wedding. The whole time, she was the total opposite of a bridezilla. I don’t think I ever once heard her say, "It’s my day."
As I type this out, I realize how special she is. We live in different cities now, and have drifted apart. I should call her…
Post # 6
- Wedding: May 2010 - The Pierre Hotel
As a bridesmaid twice, both brides handled little things differently. However, the one thing that each did that I really loved was that they continually expressed their appreciation and acknowledged that their weddings weren’t the *only* thing on my mind. More than any gifts, this acknowledgement really made me honored that they wanted me to be part of their day.
Post # 7
@professorbee: wow, that’s crazy! I already feel a little guilty for asking them to buy a dress (a reasonable $130 thank goodness) and shoes! And luckily my mother and mother-in-laws are throwing my shower.
@wheresmydessert: that’s great advice. I probably could be a bit more verbarlly appreciative!
Post # 8
I’ve been a bridesmaid several times and it can be difficult – financially and in terms of work / other obligations. However, I also think it’s an incredibly rewarding task and I loved it!
I’m not having bridesmaids (but am rather inviting close girlfriends to hang out with me as they see fit) but I am going to make sure to tell them, in a few different ways, that their presence is really important to me and that I couldn’t have done it without them.
I think hearing that from my brides would have made a bit difference!
Post # 9
I have been a bridesmaid and a Maid/Matron of Honor a few times. The things I think I appreciated the most was a bride who made a considerate dress choice–something I could be comfortable wearing both at her wedding and other occasions. I think my greatest irritation with bridesmaids dresses is that frequently they are not something I am comfortable wearing, not so much because of appearance, I can live with wearing an ugly dress once, but something that fits within my comfort zone in terms of how revealing the dress is.
Inexpensive dresses are nice, not just because sometimes I find my budget tight but it gives me the freedom to spend more on gifts and parties for the bride, which is what I would prefer to do with the money in the first place. 🙂
Also being given something special to do for the bride, whether it is make table numbers, or place cards, but being given something special to do for her makes me feel special. Being given a laundry list of chores makes me feel over worked tho.
And being able to share time with my friend. Thats what makes me feel most special. Everytime I am a bridesmaid it is because I hope she enjoys my company and wants it with her as she approaches her wedding day…being reminded that is why she picked me is always nice 😀
Post # 10
I was a bridesmaid two times.
I only enjoyed it ONCE. When I enjoyed it, our dresses weren’t expensive, we were’t required to go to "meetings" about the wedding and we didn’t have to pay for rehearsal dinner.
When I hated being a bridesmaid we had to go to these meetings about stuff that had NOTHING to do with us, like how the church is set up, the flower girl dresses, stuff like that. I mean, I understand she wanted us to know this and I love my girl, but I got tired of wasting 3 hours of my life talking about this!ARGH! AND I had to drive an hour to get there!
Also, ask them the price of the dress they can afford. Although I am 28 and have a MAster’s, I’m stuggling financially because I can’t get the job I need. I didn’t enjoy having to spend $100 on a dress a year ahead of time.
Ask them if they want to participate in things and not just assume they want to or force them to do it. I got tired of the bride assuming I had no life, so all I had to do was come help her do bride stuff.
AND please don’t invite them to the Olive Garden for "rehearsal dinner" and the bridal party has to pay for their own food and do not get to eat until 1am.
Whew! Sorry for the vent!
Post # 11
Ive been a Bridesmaid or Best Man several times and each was a great experience…the brides were pretty laid back, our total out of pocket costs werent that bad, and they didnt have crazy demands or requests. My Darling Husband has been a Groomsmen a gazzilion times, so all of my complaints are related to that experience…
1. If people are traveling to spend the weekend celebrating, please keep $$ in mind. For the last wedding Groomsmen was in, the rooms (discounted rate!!) were over $300 per night.
2. Please keep in mind that while your BMs are willing to help in any way they can, they are not there as vendors and shouldnt be expected to spend the entire weekend working…
Post # 12
My best experiences being a Bridesmaid or Best Man have centered around the experiences before the wedding. Especially if I’ve traveled to the location, having time to hang out together, do lunch, kick back the night before with a bottle of wine, whatever! Those are my favorite memories.
This may make me sound bad but I appreciate it when the bride has champagne in her room as everyone is getting ready, to make for a fun atmosphere and ease the nerves involved in having all those eyes on you when you enter the ceremony! I’m shy though, so maybe that’s just me.
On the opposite end of things that I found really sweet but didn’t really remember…I’m a little ashamed to say I have never used a bridesmaids gift again! They always tend to be jewelry that I would never wear with anything except the Bridesmaid or Best Man dress that I will never wear again! They tend to end up in the back of a drawer somewhere.
The only truly uncomfortable or somewhat negative experiences I recall all involved other BMs, not the bride. For example, members of the bridal party fighting and in a huff with one another, being divas about the way their hair was done, actually leaving the church right before the wedding to drive off and buy some accessory they thought they needed… So to that extent maybe group chemistry and low key people are important!
Post # 13
I am about to be a bridesmaid for the first time, so I don’t have anything to say about the actual wedding weekend. But I can comment on the pre-wedding prep phases.
1. I loved that my friend took our budgets into consideration when choosing the dress designer, and then let us pick our own dresses with color and length specified. I feel pretty confident that I will wear my dress again, because I really love it.
2. I love that she hardly asked for any help, other than a chance to occasionally vent about frustration with vendors. The couple of times she did need help, she asked very graciously and let me know it was fine if I wasn’t able to contribute to that task. And she bought me dinner as a thanks after I agreed to help.
3. I wish that the salon the bride chose for our optional hair and makeup appointments wasn’t so expensive. I live in a different state, so I don’t feel confident about finding my own option. I also don’t feel confident doing my own hair. I will, however, do my own makeup, because I just can’t afford both. I know she wants to look her best for the big day. But I honestly believe she could have negotiated a better deal with the salon to do hair for herself, four attendants, a flower girl and two moms.
4. My main complaint, however, would be about the Maid/Matron of Honor, who did not ask us about our budgets in planning a very expensive shower. I know the bride isn’t supposed to be involved in that type of thing, however, so there’s not much you can do besides ask your Maid/Matron of Honor to be considerate if you know she’s planning something.
5. Lastly, I already know what our gift will be and love, love, love it. But I’m also fairly positive that at the other two BMs will not really care for it. Not that it’s a bad gift. I just know them and their tastes. So I think it would have been better if the bride had not chosen matching gifts for us.
Post # 14
I was a bridesmaid a few times, and I always liked when the bride let us express out style. For one wedding, I had to wear the most terrible dress ever. Think 80’s- and add about 20 lbs of velvet.
Things I hate:
Rules (no tanning, diet, etc..) and when the bride expects things- sometimes you can’t make it to the 3rd shower.
Post # 15
One complaint that I have from a wedding I was in was that my bf and I got them several gifts (we were both in the wedding party), like $200 worth of stuff (when we were still in college), and we just recieved a very generic "thank you for the gift" card, not mentioning what we got or anything. I’m not even sure if she mentioned thanking us for being with them that day. I thought it was very rude.
Something I really appreciate (which the same bride did!) was she gave the bridesmaids who stayed over in the hotel the night before these white bathrobes with bridesmaid buttons… I just took the bridesmaid thing off and use it all the time! So I would suggest if you’re getting them gifts, think of them being able to use it after the wedding… not just a "bridesmaid" tote bag or something.
Post # 16
I have been a Maid/Matron of Honor once and a Bridesmaid or Best Man another time. The things I appreciated the most were:
1. The bride tried to make the process as easy as possible. She let us pick our own dresses within the same brand and color and gave us websites/additional information to make sure we didn’t spend more than we had to on it.
2. The make up/hair was completely optional with her stylist. Since most of us were from the area we had the option to either do it ourselves or go with another person we felt comfortable with.
3. They were never just ‘me me me’ all the time. They definitely tried to be considerate about the fact that not all of us were gung-ho about the marriage thing and there were other things in life that were important to us besides the wedding.