Post # 1
So after reading a few posts, my views on what a bridesmaid should or try to do for a wedding are completely different then many people on the bee. Not sure if it is a regional thing, but below is what is expected in my region.
1) Support the bride and help her with anything she needs help with, ie. dress shopping. This does have a limit and the bridesmaid is definitely treated as a friend and not a slave.
2) The bridesmaids throw the bride a shower and bachelorette party.
3) The bridesmaids give both shower and wedding gifts to the bride
4) The bridesmaids stand up for the bride and attend the rehearsal dinner and the wedding, on time.
Every wedding I have been in has been like this, I guess it is just expected in my area. I don’t really think it’s okay to miss a bride to be’s shower if you are in her wedding party unless its for a really good reason.
What are the unwritten rules in your region?
Post # 3
All that plus buy the dress/attire!
Post # 4
@alleycat1984: …maybe we’re just real laid back around here, but the only thing a bridesmaid HAS to do is show up, on time, in the attire the bride chose on the wedding day….everything else is optional and extra credit.
Post # 5
Im from Canada, and pretty much the same unwritten Bridesmaid Rules apply. However, minus the gifts. Gifts are not expected, specially because of all the help throughout the process.
Post # 6
@alleycat1984: We’re pretty much the same. As a bridesmaid I expect to buy my own dress/shoes/etc, throw a shower OR bachelorette, help with everything including DIY (to a point), be there for rehearsal & all day for the wedding. Generally, just a shower gift is given here (because by the time the wedding has rolled around the bridesmaids have done so much work THAT is the gift).
Post # 7
@alleycat1984: Those are what you requested your BMs do and there is nothing wrong with expecting that from your BMs. However, the only thing that any Bridesmaid or Best Man absolutely has to do (the absolute minimum for any wedding) is show up on the day of the wedding, dressed, sober, and smiling.
All the other stuff is optional. If the Bridal Party can’t afford to throw a Shower and a Bachelorette (or either) then they shouldn’t be expected to go into debt to do so. Same goes with gifts; if they honestly can’t afford it then they can’t afford it (a gift is always a lovely gesture, but it isn’t polite to expect them or demand them).
I live in New England and it seems that your views align with whats considered normal here. I have different views, but I really don’t mind being in weddings where the Bride follows the “norm” more. The important thing is that there is good communication between the Bride and Bridal party so that everyone knows what is expected and no one is surprised.
Post # 8
I think that is an acceptable list.
Where I see some break down is when it is expected but not communicated. A lot of brides expect all of that, but expect it out of a girl who has never been a bridesmaid before.
Also, if a bridesmaid says no to something on that list, with a good reason (ie I can’t go dress shopping as I’m in a few states away, I can’t throw both a bachelorett party and shower as I’m in school and don’t have extra money) the bride will need to readjust her expecations, but not readjust her bridesmaids.
Post # 9
@alleycat1984: all that plus purchase your own dress, in general, are the expectations where i’m from.
for the record, three of my six bridesmaids missed my shower because they were on vacation or ‘had plans’. yupp.
Post # 10
@alleycat1984: Yup! Same here. That is EXACTLY what I would do (and have done) willingly and happily for my wonderful girlfriends who have asked me to be a bridesmaid. People on the Bee tend to be like “they just need to show up on time”. I guess I have a closer group of girlfriends than some people here, because this would never happen among us. We are always there for each other. Honestly, the Bee has scared the crap out of me and made me feel like i can’t go to my girls with questions, asking for help, ideas, suggestions, etc. In turn, they’re like freaking out on me for not contacting them asking for these things, and now THEY are planning days to get together to help me do things. All of them are. Because that’s what friends do. At least in my group of friends.
Post # 11
Regardless of reigonal expectations, my expectation was, “Show up.”
At the end of all the wedding planning, I didn’t care if they came in a specific dress or not. I just wanted them there with me.
Post # 12
Mine – as told to my BM’s
Buy the dress & shoes I ask, attend the rehearsal (if possible – it’s a Destination Wedding for them) and show up reasonably sober to the wedding and make sure I don’t hear about any problems day of the wedding.
No shower, no stagette, gifts would be nice (and I know they’re getting them as they’ve told me) but I don’t expect them.
Post # 13
My bridesmaids were required to show up and have fun. I didn’t make them buy a dress or shoes, they didn’t have to throw me some shower or whatever, I told them not to get me gifts, etc. Not sure if it’s a regional thing, but my friends and I are all pretty low maintenance girls.