Post # 1
I posted most of this in response to another thread, but am hoping for some opinions on what it is ok to expect of your wedding party. We haven’t chosen who yet, but between me and SO we’ve talked about asking our 3 siblings, and 3 friends. It will be 2 girls and a guy on each side. The only thing I think I’ll be really particular about thus far is that it’ll be formal and no black dresses, I’m unsure whether they should all wear the same color or not.
In the little bit of looking around I’ve done so far I feel so guilty about bridesmaids. I kind of agree with the other bees that say all you’re asking them to do us stand up at you’re wedding. But what if they don’t already have a formal dress, they’re probably going to need one. Hair and make-up I won’t pay for (I wouldn’t get mine done professionally) but they can certainly do their own. And to be honest, I’d be totally lying if I said that I didn’t want a bridal shower or bachelorette party, but I can’t plan it, no one in my family can plan it, and the only friends I would even be able to invite to the wedding would be in my bridal party. Should I just give up on these things that I really want because it’s bad form to expect anyone to do anything regarding my wedding? Should I not have bridesmaids at all so that they don’t have to dress in a particular way? Or should I change the formality of my wedding to suit the style of dress the wedding party already owns?
Read more: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/20-unhelpful-bm-rant/page/2#ixzz2LSIB4I2h
Post # 3
Just wanted to add, all of these people are in mid-20s or older and are employed, but varying socioeconomic levels. Everyone is also spread out, so traveling to the wedding is a given for everyone.
Post # 4
I had never heard if this “no expectations” thing until I started reading in the bee. In my family/circle it’s expected that the BMs/MOH/GM will do certain things for the wedding. We are letting them pick their own attire (I choose colour) and they are paying for it themselves. I didn’t ask for a shower, but I know my ladies are doing one. And also, JacK&jills (stag&doe) are just the norm. My mom is also helping to plan all these things along with my ladies.
I also didn’t ask for them to have their hair/makeup done, but they want to.. It’s a special day.
I don’t understand this thing where your bridal party is just expected to show up? Aren’t these supposed to be your closest friends/family..
Post # 5
most people say – if professional makeup *required* then bride should pay. you dont require this so no problem
pre-wedding events – a bride shouldnt organise it for herself, or give hints about wanting an uberexpensive shindig in Las vegas for example. Most of us do kind of expect to do *something* but bride cant be disappointed if its a few drinks in a bar rather than 3 day extravangaza.
i think most of us would be disappointed if they didnt want to do anything at all but its an optional thing so you can’t tell them you’re annoyed if you don’t have one. Most friends will arrange something i think though!
i think buying a dress is totally expected in the US. in UK its expected the bride pays, and in both countries its pretty much understood it will be a useless dress which wont be worn again (despite what the bride thinks!!)
Post # 6
This is what I expected of my BMs, which I think is fair.
-Attend the wedding and be part of the ceremony
-But the Bridesmaid or Best Man dress
It’s nice if they can throw you parties and what-not, but I certainly don’t think it should be required.
Post # 7
Thanks for the perspective. Regarding bacheloette party, I certainly don’t want some extravagant weekend away. I was thinking something more like a girls only sleepover with lots of movies, pizza, popcorn and drinks a few nights before the wedding. It’s just hard not to feel guilty when the cheaper dresses I’ve seen on David’s bridal or the like are upwards of $150 for long dresses.
Post # 8
Attending the wedding and getting their attire is all I expect of the bridal party. Now, I am having the girls wear black knee length dresses with no real additional instruction, so that helps a lot (I hope…). Most of the bridal party has to travel across the country to CA for the wedding, so that’s quite a big expense and I would not be offended if someone backed out for inability to afford that. The bridal party has definitely helped plan, has done parties for us and other things, but that was all just the cherry on top, not expected.
Post # 9
It is SO unique to every social group and individual person. Going into it, my expectation was they buy the dress, show up to the rehearsal dinner, and be there the full day of the wedding. Anything else was gravy.
They have gone above and beyond, and we ended up paying for their clothes. I know Fiance would have been sad if his groomsmen hadn’t thrown him a bachelor party, and I would have been a little bummed if no one had been able to throw me some sort of party (either a shower or bachelorette). But I don’t think it’s necessarily a requirement for someone to throw one, just really nice when they do.
I think you have to look at each person involved and decide what is realistic to expect of them given their financial situation, family situation, time availability, history of reliability, etc.
Post # 10
There wasn’t an option for this, but I think they could plan a party but not pay for them. Among my friends (UK) the bridesmaids plan the hen do (bachelorette) but all the girls going split the cost of the bride’s part (unless she chooses to go abroad, then normally pays her own way). We don’t do showers.
Culturally, we pay for the bridesmaid’s full outfit and hair, sometimes make up too, but realise that isn’t the norm in the US so wouldn’t feel guilty!
Post # 11
I think people expect to buy their own attire when they agree to be in a wedding party! I would expect to, were I in a wedding!
Post # 12
@sweet5k: I wouldn’t put money on this statement, but reading around weddingbee, it seems like this varies from country to country. In the US, my understanding is that it is expected them to pay for the dress and even shoes, whereas it sounds like in the UK, the bride pays for it (this is just generally, not that everyone falls into this category). Where are you located?
Post # 13
This is a tough one…..I am a pretty picky person for specific things and my wedding part has been amazing so far. Helping with stuff and not complaining at all I honestly couldn’t have more supportive friends that are going above and beyond so I’m of the thoughts right now that I’ve actually been expecting too much from them after reading some of these posts. I didn’t require my girls to buy expensive dresses but they keep saying they don’t mind. I have gone into great expense for myself ordering stuff online and returning them when they didn’t work to try and find cheaper alternatives but unfortunatly we are now down to crunch time so we HAVE to order the more expensives ones because if not we may be left with nothing :(…..I even paid $200 for a form bust and fabric thinking I would sew them lol…..So at this point I honestly could have just paid for their dresses lmao!!!! As far as shoes they got $25 sandals that they can rewear and I only asked them to get profesional make up preferably but if they weren’t ok with the cost that it was just fine if they chose not to. My one bm wants her hair done and the other doesn’t and that’s just fine with me. They are going so above and beyond with their time and offering to help with things too and always asking me what I want to see happen for things such as the parties. I know I’m sooo lucky to have these girls helping me so I just need to find an amazing way to repay them……
I understand after reading posts that it’s usually the bride that pays for things which I didn’t plan on or know was the case so I’m going to have to figure this out now…. I can be open and honest with my friends so I will just let them know what i’m thinking and go from there so that they know that I will pay for whatever they don’t feel like they should. And if they insist(which I believe they will) then I will just do something extra special for them each to let them know how much they mean to me, I tell them all the time that they are the best and thank them constantly but I also want to show them. But then again maybe me just paying for some of the stuff without talking to them about it is better because I know they will argue with me. lol
Post # 14
@giru618: I’m located in the US. I’ve also been in just one wedding, it was my sisters and I was still a teenager, so my mom paid for my stuff, but also most of my sisters wedding.
Post # 15
Every wedding and wedding party is different.
I think it’s AWESOME when the bride can buy the bridesmaids’ attire, but that’s certainly not the norm. I think it’s AWESOME when the wedding party can organize and throw a shower or bachelorette party, but again, it’s not something that should be expected.
Around here, the bridal party will throw together a bachelorette party,but bridal showers are typically thrown by womenn in the bride’s family.
At the end of the day, as long as the bride is grateful for any contribution given and everyone is completely comfortable with their financial contribution, then that’s a success.
Post # 16
@sweet5k: Yeah, I’ve never HEARD of a wedding where the bride pays for the attire (except on wedding bee), one of my Bridesmaid or Best Man, who is tight on money, has about 6 dresses she has accumulated over the past several years, all of which she paid for herself. So I believe that is the norm, and I think you can expect that if you ask someone to be in the wedding party, they understand that they will be shelling out the cash.
Perhaps as a compromise (this is what I did) pick a color or a designer and ask them to pick their own dresses? My Bridesmaid or Best Man had dozens and dozens of options, so they could consider price if they needed to. I also told them to wear their own shoes.