Post # 1
I got engaged about a month ago, and recently asked some of my friends to be bridesmaids. I am lucky to have terrific female friends, and am excited to have them in my bridal party. Unfortunately, none of them live super close to me. I have had some issues with communicating with them in the past- specifically, some friends simply never respond to emails. (And yes, they check their email regularly!) Anyways, I heard some people say it is good to tell your bridal party early what your expectations are of them. Do you guys have opinions on this? I don’t want to come across as overly demanding, but I don’t want to surprise everyone either later on. Additionally, I wanted to mention to them how important it is to me to recieve some feedback from them (ie, email responses or whatever) especially since I can’t see everyone too often. What are your thoughts on this? I don’t want my maids to feel like this is an overwhelming job. I want it to be a fun experience, but I also don’t want to be disappointed!
Post # 3
I guess it depends…what “expectations” do you want to communicate to them?
Post # 4
I would avoid an ‘expectations’ email.
A bridesmaid must purchase the dress (after you respect their individual budgets) and be there for pics, the ceremony, and reception, clean and sober.
While it is customary for them to offer to host bachelorettes and/or showers, it is by no means required.
Some bridesmaids will offer their help with planning/projects. Some will not. That does not make the latter people less worthy of being your bridesmaid.
Honestly, giving them a whole list of instructions could be seen as pushy or overbearing. I’m not trying to be snarky, just honest.
Post # 5
IMO if these are the girls you picked to stand up with you at your wedding, they must know you pretty well and should have some understanding of what you might expect from them. all my girls know that i’m a type A/OCD/anal control freak. so going into my wedding planning it wasn’t a giant shock to them that I would spam them with wedding emails about once a week.
i don’t think an expectations email is a bad idea, especially since you guys aren’t near each other. i would just make sure you keep it light and not like you’re a drill sargeant giving orders. what is it that you expect them to do?
if it’s just give feedback on dresses or things pertaining to them then you could just do a “hey guys, just wanted everyone to ‘meet’ each other and let you know i’ll be sending emails along every so often asking for opinions on your dresses, shoes, etc. please make sure you respond if you want your vote counted” type of note. keep it brief and friendly.
Post # 6
Also, if you know that some of these women have a tendency not to reply to emails, perhaps sending them info by email isn’t the best way to go.
Post # 7
I agree with this. I’m not sure what level of involvement you have in mind, OP, but the fact that these girls are not local may mean that they don’t have the time, money, or days off work to be physically present for anything except the wedding itself. So if you are expecting group outings for your dress fittings, crafting sessions, a shower, a bachelorette, etc., you may need to reign it in a bit.
As for being responsive to emails, unfortunately, if this is already not their strong suit I wouldn’t expect it to change for your wedding. You could try telling them at the outset that because you value their opinions and know they have great taste, you would like to be able to consult them on planning details from time to time. You will increase your chances of a response if you limit it to things they’re likely to have an opinion on (like your dress, or what food you should serve, or songs they’d like the DJ to play) and don’t inundate them with minutiae that only brides care about (do not ask them what color bows you should put on the chairs or what font you should use on your invitations or what color you should paint your nails… etc.).
Post # 8
I think if you really want to let them know what you’re thinking send something but don’t make it a list of what they need to do.
Do something like “I’m really excited to shop for bridesmaids dresses with you, I think x color will work really well on all of you. I have some awesome DIY ideas I’m looking at and would love some help if anyone has time. I’d love your imput on everything, so let me know your ideas!” ect. Phrase it in a positive way that makes it show that you are excited they are involved and that you want it to be fun for everyone rather than a list of chores they have to comply with.
As far as communication – if they regularly ignore emails I really don’t think telling them to not ignore you is going to fix that. You should just go into this expecting to not get responses from them on everything. They aren’t going to change who they are because it’s your wedding.
Post # 9
@CoCoCourtney: They aren’t going to change who they are because it’s your wedding.
If all brides remembered this, there would be less Bridesmaid or Best Man drama!!
Post # 10
I am waiting to tell my bridesmaids who they are for many reasons, but I talked with my one friend who will be the DOC, to clarify planning and expectations. She love that I did this and thinks I should do this with all the girls so people are not shocked, confused or think they can’t talk to me if what I am asking is too much.
I like the idea of being clear, because when I have been in weddings, issues arise when brides are not clear and people make assumptions and then get hurt.
Post # 11
I think its fine as long as you are respectful about it.