Post # 1
Not to be stupid, but can someone explain to me what exactly is expected of the bridesmaids? I’m having 4 and am considering having no Maid/Matron of Honor b/c I don’t want to put extra pressure on one person. Do they have a role leading up to the wedding or is it more of just a wedding day thing? I’ve been a bridesmaid before and I basically just bought the dress and showed up to assist on the wedding day and helped out with the shower, but I see a lot of gals on this board who are disappointed in their bridesmaids so maybe I was doing it wrong?
What do I pay for, what do they pay for? I know that around here the girls usually pay for their dresses. How did you handle setting up a budget for the dresses that everyone could afford? Do I just straight up ask them what they can spend? I’m not sure about the ettiquette here? Any advice would be appreciated!
Post # 2
People “expect” different things. I’ve been MOH/bridesmaid and thrown showers and parties for the bride…and other times I’ve literally just bought a dress and shown up. Just depends on what the bride is looking for.
Usually the rule is that you pay for hair/makeup if you want a certain look and they pay for dresses and shoes. I would ask what people are comfortable spending. That seems to be my experience here in Canada.
For my wedding my Maid/Matron of Honor was my sister. She planned the bachelorette and shower and bought the whole dress and the nine yards. My bridesmaids all they had to do was show up and smile and buy a dress in a coral color that fit their budget. They could wear whatever shoes they wanted or jewellery.
Post # 3
It is expected that your bridesmaids will pay for a dress. You can pick the dress, but it should be within predetermined budgets that you have discussed with your bridesmaids individually. They shouldn’t be expected to do anything else but show up in said dress and stand by you as you get married and have a blast partying with you after! If one, or multiple choose to throw pre-wedding parties for you (aka shower or bachelorette) that’s an added bonus. Anyone in your life can choose to host pre-wedding parties for you. Don’t put pressure or obligations on them and the time leading up to your wedding will be lovely 🙂
(Im speaking from experience!)
Post # 4
Landayoga: I definitely don’t want to load them up with expectations. Like I said, a lot of posts on this forum seem to be girls disappointed in their bridal party so I was just curious. The only thing I would like is for them to help me get ready before the wedding because that would feel like a fun, girly thing to do. We’re not having any showers (we have enough stuff) so that will be a relief, lol. Thanks!
Post # 5
juliastl: well, you’re totally justified in expecting that! I think that getting ready with my sister and best friends would be the best part of the day (other than marrying my FI)! Enjoy it. It sounds like you and your girls will have a blast.
Post # 6
So the reason there are brides on here who get disappointed is because in their circles the bridesmaids almost always offer to throw the bachelorette party and help host the shower. This does not mean bridesmaids have to do these things or that the bride is entitled to them. But I have sympathy for gals who have no one in their life who want to step up.
Landayoga gives a good explanation for dress etiquette.
Post # 7
I expect my bridesmaids to buy a dress, in a budget that we will agree on and show up on time. As of right now, I have no specific hair, makeup or shoe requirements, but if I did, I’d pay and I think that is how it should be. I’d like them to do some wedding related things with me, like dress shopping and DIY projects, and I will invite them to do such but if they can’t, no hard feelings!
I’m more than happy to not have a shower, but I’d like a bachelorette. I’d be disappointed if I didn’t get one, but would never say anything or let it show to anyone. As it stands, my Maid/Matron of Honor can’t wait to plan both, so I guess I will be having them.
Post # 8
My bridesmaids are required to show up on the day of my wedding, wearing the dress that they purchased for the occasion, and closed toe black shoes.
I hope for a shower, bachelorette, and at least an offer (sincere or not) help with any DIY projects that I choose to undertake (Folding programs for example).
Post # 9
Personally, if I am asked to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man then I expect to pay for my dress, shoes, hair and makeup, and I expect to follow the bride’s guidelines for those things. I would also expect to contribute to and help plan a shower and maybe another pre wedding event. If someone else paid for my share of anything I would thank that person sincerely. I would also ask the bride what she needs help with and do my best to be available. Actually I have been a Bridesmaid or Best Man before and this is how I approached it. I was lucky that none of the brides were too demanding, at all.
Post # 10
I agree that it all depends on the bride. For my wedding I really hated the idea of putting too many demands on my friends so I paid for the dresses, hair and makeup. I just built that cost into the wedding budget. It seemed the right thing to do. I also did not expect and did not ask for a shower or bachelorette, but happily my BM’s graciously planned these for me and it was awesome. 🙂
I have been a Bridesmaid or Best Man and MOH before and felt way too much pressure to do so many things and spend a TON of money that I didn’t have. This sadly ruined my relationship with the bride in one case. I think that people can get way too wrapped up in the whole “it’s MY special day” attitude and expect things of their friends that they normally wouldn’t, without being properly appreciative. I’m not even talking about bridezilla behavior, just lack of consideration.
Post # 11
generally Moh plans and oftens host the bridal shower. They go shopping with you for your dress and Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses. They plan your Bachelor party too.
For my wedding I don’t want a bachelor party with partying. I just would like a girls day out. I think the key is communication. Every bride is different and the Maid/Matron of Honor doesnt always know what the brides wants.
About the paying.. my wedding party is paying for their dresses And I am paying for their hair and makeup. Talk to each bridesmaid alone about what they can afford and try to stick to that budget. If it is way above what someone could afford I would offer to pay the difference. The last thing you want is them struggling to pay for it.
Post # 12
The Maid/Matron of Honor plans the bridal shower, holds the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony, bustles her gown afterwards, and signs the marriage license as one of the witnesses (the best man provides the other signature).
BMs buy dresses that the bride picks out, stand with the bride and the groomsmen during the ceremony look pretty in pictures, and help solve any problems on the day of that the bride can’t deal with (e.g. finding my FG’s shawl when she lost it minutes before the ceremony).
Anything else is lovely but optional. My Maid/Matron of Honor helped me choose my wedding dress, offered to pay for everyone’s hair including mine (I refused this offer and told her I’d pay), and made matching organza shawls for all of the BMs and FGs to wear. Bridesmaid or Best Man (1) did everyone’s makeup except MOH’s because Maid/Matron of Honor is stubborn, and Bridesmaid or Best Man (2) kept the FGs and ring bearer entertained. Not required, but definitely appreciated!
Post # 13
juliaGG: I think it really depends on what you choose to communicate to them about what is expected as well as how well they know you and what they decide to step up and do for you. I gave my Maid/Matron of Honor and BMs color swatches and fabric details and let them pick their own dresses, choose their own shoes and paid for their make-up.
They chose to get their hair done at their own expense. They also requested a guestlist from me and planned, paid for and coordinated all details a large bridal shower as well as a destination bachelorette trip for a group of us.
My requests to them were pretty much to be able to get their dress on time. show up to the rehearsal dinner and show up to the wedding. Everything else they did, they went above and beyond without my asking.