- 10 years ago
- Wedding: October 2011
If you’re like me, you knew who your bridesmaids would be long before the engagement was official. These girls are supposed to be your nearest and dearest. The people who you would go to in a time of need or someone who you’d call when you just need to get away from your Fiance for a few hours. Bridesmaids are typically either your best friends or closest female relatives so in most cases, these are people who you would want to maintain a relationship with long after the vows are read and the cake is cut. That’s why the increasing trend of “bridesmaid abuse” absolutely blows my mind. Our weddings are ONE DAY but the relationships that we have with our bridesmaids last forever (hopefully). I just don’t understand how some brides can treat their “nearest and dearest” with such disrespect.
It doesn’t help that I watch Bridezillas and see the way those nutcases treat their bridesmaids but there are also a number of threads on here complaining about how their ‘maids aren’t helping and “just don’t care”. Newsflash… no-one cares about your wedding as much as you do. If brides would just get this through their heads, I really think that numerous relationships will be spared.
I know that everyone has a different idea of what a bridesmaid job is but if you simply lower your expectations to a reasonable level, I bet you’d be much happier in the long run. I’m personally in the “just buy the dress, show up and look pretty” boat but I know lots of brides expect a heck of a lot more from their girls.
I’ve been a bridesmaid a few times and while I was totally willing to do anything the brides asked of me, I realize that just about anyone who is NOT as obsessed with weddings would probably look at stuffing envelopes and assembling favors as work. Considering that most people have to actually work to survive, what makes you think that they’d want to conclude their busy day at the office and then head on over to your house to help you make tissue paper pomanders until all hours of the night? It’s your wedding. You’re the only one reaping the benefits from it. If you want something done, do it yourself! If your girls volunteer their time then that’s great but please don’t treat them like shit for not wanting to labor over your wedding. You obviously love these girls enough to ask them to stand up there with you so I’d hope you’d have an equal amount of respect for them.
Anywho, I’ve constructed my “Guide to a Happy Bridesmaid”. Please feel free to add to it if I’ve missed anything (which I’m sure I have) or critique things that you may not agree with…
- The dress: It’s your wedding so we’re going to wear whatever you want but deep down we hope that you don’t choose a horrible color or a completely unflattering dress. If you have 4 bridesmaids that range from a size 2 to a size 22, don’t put them in the same dress. You want your pictures to look great, right? Well, something that will work for the size 2 will more than likely be a complete disaster on the size 22. If you truly want to make everyone happy, let them choose their own dress but give them some guidelines to follow (color, fabric and length should do it). As for price, unless your girls are independently wealthy or you plan to shell out for their attire, try to keep it reasonable. They have a lot of other things that they have to pay for so I doubt anyone would want to cough up a ton of cash for a dress that they’re never going to wear again.
- Accessories: If you want your girls to wear matching pearl necklaces that cost $60 a pop then I highly suggest you buy them. Same goes for just about any accessory that you’re specifically requesting.
- Shoes: As someone with wide feet who can’t handle heels higher than 2” I beg you, either let them choose their own shoes (again, give them guidelines) or come to an agreement on what shoes the girls will wear so that everyone is comfortable. Do you really want your ‘maids wiping out as they make their way down the aisle? Didn’t think so.
- Bridal Shower: Everyone wants a gorgeous shower but not everyone’s ‘maids can afford a lavish affair. If your bridesmaids are living paycheck to paycheck or struggling to get through school while working part time at Old Navy, they probably can’t afford to throw the shower you’ve always envisioned. Be grateful for what they DO throw you because they’re more than likely doing their best. If they ask you what sort of things you would like then feel free to tell them (for instance, when asked I told my Maid/Matron of Honor that I’d love for my shower to be pink and for mimosas to be served) but please do not come out and demand things that you know they can’t afford. It just makes them feel like crap.
- Bachelorette Party: Sort of along the same lines as the shower. If you know your girls can’t afford to hop on a plane to Vegas for a long weekend then don’t request it. You can have a great time staying local. If you’re not into the bar scene then have a spa day. There are countless things to do.
- Projects: I touched on this earlier but it’s pretty simple. If they volunteer their services then take them up on it (if you’re not a control freak like me). Don’t expect what they do to be perfect especially if they’re not overly crafty and make sure to be as accommodating as possible. If they’re coming over on a Wednesday night after working all day, order a couple pizzas and offer them a glass of wine (gotta keep it classy, lol).
- Bridal Party Gift: Please, for the love of god, get them something they’ll like. Even if it’s a gift card to their favorite store, I’m sure they’ll get more use out of that than the $10 cheapy jewelry set that you found on sale at the bottom of the clearance bin at Boscovs. They’ve done so much for you over the last few months that you should really do all that you can to thank them and show that you actually care.
- Day of: You’re probably going to be a basket of nerves but try to treat your girls with the utmost respect. The hours leading up to your wedding is NOT the time to have a pissed off bridesmaid. You’ve paid a lot of money for your pictures so I assume you’d like for everyone to atleast pretend to be happy in them.
Something to remember; If you happen to have any single ladies in your court, you’re probably going to want to be extra sweet to them considering their time will more than likely come and you could very well be in their position. Would you want to be treated like a slave? I somehow doubt it.
So there you have it… if you’re respectful and understanding then your girls should have an enjoyable and painless bridesmaid experience. Isn’t that what we want for our best friends/sisters?