Spin-off: Is being a MOH/bridesmaid still a honor?

posted 5 months ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
207 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2020

I am going to be brutally honest.
No it is not, it’s just a list of obligations and a money pit. This is why I didn’t have bridesmaids. American bridesmaids are expected to pay for their dress and in many cases shoes, hair/makeup, all of which the bride picks so it can get expensive. This is not counting bridal showers and bachelorette parties which are technically “optional” but usually expected.  by the time you arrive to the wedding you wasted a ton of money and there are brides that still expect gifts from their bridesmaids. I have as a policy to say no to American family and friends for wedding parties. 

Post # 3
151 posts
Blushing bee

If I’m being honest, the concept of having a group of people stand next to me in uniform-dresses as I get married is something I find strange. It sort of reminds of MySpace Top Friends. Like… what do they have to do with the couple in question? I don’t mind helping out with crafts or planning parties or helping to clean up the day of, but I really don’t understand the concept of a wedding party walking down the aisle and standing there.

Post # 4
2647 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I didn’t have bridesmaids. My friends got ready with me and could choose to do hair or makeup if they wanted, just for fun. I treated everyone to lunch. Then they rejoined their husbands  to sit with them for the ceremony in the dress they chose that they felt great in wanted to wear as a guest. 

I didn’t have a shower or a bachelorette. I didn’t need any gifts, and I had a dinner out with my friends the night before the wedding and it was perfect. 

I hope my friends still felt included and honored. 

On the other hand, attending my best friend’s bachelorette and being in her wedding cost me $1800. It was an insane amount of money. I felt honored to be included but strained by having to pay for everything myself. 

Post # 5
13549 posts
Honey Beekeeper

It’s an honor, or meant to be, period. Any bride who feels differently should plan to be disappointed.

It’s nice and generous to host a shower, but in no way is it a reasonable expectation or “technically”optional. Any individual or group of friends can offer to host, or quite often it’s an older friend of the family. A shower is really not supposed to be some big blow out event in any case, rather a low key, intimate gathering with practical, inexpensive gifts. If no one offers, there is no shower. While traditional etiquette frowns on it, these days you see lots of mothers, aunts and grandmothers hosting as well. 

The bride gets input about the dress of course, but that is all. She’s also supposed to consult with her party as to an agreeable budget. It’s rude to dictate shoes other than perhaps a common color, or accessories, hair, and makeup even if there is an offer to pay. 

More and more bridesmaids are just saying no to unreasonable demands. And if they aren’t, they should be. Fortunately, not all brides are inconsiderate or demanding, even these days. While I would not insult someone with the idea that she’s likely to be rude and unreasonable, I think it’s fair to ask what will be involved, which can mean anything. If the bride has a long list of obligations in mind, then it’s time to be up front about limitations or to decline.  

But I think it’s sad to decline because you assume the worst of a dear friend. 

Post # 7
13549 posts
Honey Beekeeper

View original reply
@beewith3:  I think the real key is to pick considerate friends.

Post # 8
664 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2020

It should be an honour and I treated it as such. I didn’t feel obligated to choose my sister as Maid/Matron of Honor (even though she expected it), I paid for dresses that they chose (I did ask for them in a certain colour range), they are choosing their own jewellery (optional) and shoes (no need to buy new ones) and I am not organising anything for hair and makeup (theh cab go full natural or get it done, their choice). No bridal shower and my Maid/Matron of Honor is planning a hens that we will all be paying for, not just my bridal party. 

Post # 9
1872 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

View original reply
@beewith3:  I think it’s all about the attitude of the bride, and her motivations for choosing the people to fulfill those duties.

I.e there’s a big difference between a bride selecting her nearest and dearest to go through the process with her, because she can’t imagine doing it without them (me) vs a bride who picks people for aesthetics/photos/the experience (the stereotype). 

Usually it’s the latter who end up getting roped in to ridiculous bachelorettes/paying for way too much.

I had my sister as Maid/Matron of Honor and best friend as bridesmaid. They chose and paid for their own dress/shoes ($150 for both I believe) but I paid for everything else (hair, makeup, jewellery, transport, accomm etc). They insisted they contribute. I honestly think I was probably too chill with the whole process, because when it came to my bachelorette, they kind of went all out. I asked for “a few drinks with friends at a bar and maybe a cheeky dance”. They heard “boat party” smh. 

Importantly, the expectation was never, ever there. If they ever pushed back on anything I would accommodate. There’s no need to make such a big deal about it. I think as PP have noted: being nice and chill and anti-bridezilla usually means your bridal party actively wants to do more for you. I’m so glad they were part of the wedding day. I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. 

I don’t consider it as much an “honour”, as much as – “this is a big deal to me, can you help me through it?”. The second you frame it as an honour, the expectations grow. The bitterness starts. You don’t need that kind of negativity.

Post # 10
2495 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

It’s definitely an honor, but I definitely am never being in another wedding. 

For me, it’s not even just the money (though that’s a consideration). It’s the time commitment and emotional labor too. And the reward for it is getting to sit at a head table, without your partner, in an uncomfortable dress, making small talk with the people from the bridal party that you sort of know. 

Attending a wedding as a guest is a lot more fun, ha. 

Post # 11
1332 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

About 4 years ago I was moh for a friend’s wedding.  I was the only attendent, no other bridesmaids. 

There were no expectations re:events other than rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding which was a great party.  I did go dress shopping with the bride but I did it voluntarily and we made a day of it with lunch, which I paid for (again voluntarily).   

I bought my own dress but she put absolutely no demands on style or color and I choose a dress I could, and have, worn again.

Her bachelorette party was just a gathering of friends for dinner at a local restaurant followed by a couple of stops at different clubs and everyone paid for their own drinks but weren’t required to pay for anything they didn’t want.  I paid for the bride’s dinner and other friends bought her drinks throughout the night but again, it was all voluntary. 

It was an honor, and the things I did for the bride was in celebration of her and a way to express to my friend my support of her wedding. I didn’t resent any of it

I would suggest if you find yourself in the position of feeling burdened by your role as moh/bridesmaid that the problem is the bride, not the role. 

Post # 12
1462 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2021 - Australia

I agree with the others, it’s an expense and an obligation. I was my sister’s Maid/Matron of Honor and really, really wanted her to have a beautiful day. Not just the actual wedding, but for her hens, etc.

Afterwards she asked me if I had fun at her wedding. LOL. Absolutely not – it was intensely stressful and busy, putting out fires so she’d never know they even happened. It was a nightmare of a day and I was so relieved when it was done.

Thing is though – that’s what you do for your sister, and hopefully she will do the same for me. I didn’t expect to enjoy it and wasn’t in any way surprised when it was so intense, you know?

Here in Australia, generally the bride tends to pay for hair, makeup, accommodation, the dress and shoes, so it wasn’t expensive for that reason.. but as such a close person you’re still expected to give a good gift, and anything the people at her hens didn’t cover was covered by me. I easily spent several thousand on her wedding. I can only imagine if I’d been expected to pay for my outfit as well as all the other stuff.


Post # 13
1233 posts
Bumble bee

As someone from another culture, I’ve always been confused when I learned that bridesmaids is meant to be an honor. I still don’t get it. You make them wear a dress of your choosing. You make them stand up the entire ceremony. And that’s apparently all that’s required of a bridesmaid based on WB, but I don’t see how either is appealing. They’re just as much a witness as any of the other guests, who get to sit comfortably! Getting cute pics seems like a pro but it’s often of the bride’s friend group and family so often not group pics the bridesmaid herself would want since she likely barely knows some of the people. 

Going dress shopping, throwing a bridal shower, etc are all things I’d want to do for my friends or cousins or sister because I love them. I wouldn’t need the bridesmaid title to do any of that. 

But again, difference of culture so my POV is bound to differ. 

Post # 14
556 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

I only saw it in the movies that people wanted to be bridesmaids / Maid/Matron of Honor, in reality most girls I know including me would nope out of this opportunity lol

Post # 15
1918 posts
Buzzing bee

I think it depends on who is asking you (and why).  If you’re being asked out of obligation, because you will ‘fit in’ with the wedding look (so basically, be a photo prop) or because the bride wants a slave to run around doing stuff for her, then it’s not an honour.  If you are being asked because the bride wants to mark your friendship, and wants her best friends with her to provide love & support, then yes, it is an honour.

Here, it is traditional for brides to pay for the bridesmaids’ dress, hair etc, unless they are allowed to choose their own dress, when it expected that they pay for their own.  Also, hen dos and showers aren’t yet as elaborate as the ones you have in the States (although it seems to be moving that way) so I guess the pressures on the bridesmaids aren’t as intense.  So maybe that gives us a different perspective.

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