(Closed) They’re bridesmaids, NOT slaves! (Verrrrry long)

posted 9 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 62
Member
1489 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@UpstateCait: This is awesome and I totally agree. I watched Bridezilla last weekend and could not understand the logic of some of these brides and their demands.

 

Post # 63
Member
98 posts
Worker bee

I couldn’t agree more with this post.  I’ve been a bridesmaid several times.  I  can think of times when I was put to work from the moment I got off the airplane to the moment I left.  This included pre-wedding decorating and cleaning the church (vacuuming, bathrooms, etc.) after the wedding.  I also had to pay to have my hair done professionally — in a BUN at the nape of my neck that I easily could have done myself, but the bride refused to allow me to and said I had to pay for a professional to do it.  The gift at that wedding was a silly, cheap “diamond” bracelet from Claire’s that fell apart during the wedding.  The next time someone asked me, I told them I was still paying the last few weddings off my credit card.  I know that sounds like a not-so-great attitude, and I made sure to say it graciously and by no means bluntly because in an ideal world I would have loved to be in more weddings . . . but as a student I sincerely could not go into further debt for the plane ticket and dress. 

I was happy to help address envelopes with the bride and make little bags of birdseed.  Sure, that was tiresome, but it wasn’t a big deal and I’m her good friend.  But cleaning the church . . . come on, I was an exhausted out-of-town guest.  that was a bit much.  (And, granted, it was the bride’s family and extended family that pressured me to do that in a very awkward situation where they weren’t going to give me a ride to the airport until they had finished cleaning and I had no way to get a cab in such a small town — the bride herself was away on her honeymoon by that time).   

Post # 64
Member
2261 posts
Buzzing bee

I love that this is sticky’ed to the Bridesmaid or Best Man board. This is such great advice!

Post # 65
Member
151 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Awesome post! I completely agree with all of this. I too was in the “wear the dress and show up” camp. I let my girls pick their own dress style and I picked the color. My girls also wore their own jewelry and their own black shoes. I didn’t expect them to help me with anything, nor did I force them to get hair and make up done the day of the wedding, I left that up to them. I just got a few pictures back and they looked absolutely gorgeous! Best part: Absolutely no drama 🙂 They also did throw an awesome bachelorette party for me and helped my mom with the bridal shower all on their own.

Post # 66
Member
148 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Though I agree with the tag line that bridesmaids shouldn’t be slaves, I respectfully disagree with most of this post.  Being told that I’m making my bridesmaids “slaves” if I pick out a bridesmaid dress and shoes, ask them to go to a dress fitting with me, and prefer not to go to the local bar down the street for my bachelorette party.  It also seems a little funny that you would say “after all they’ve done” they deserve a nice gift….yet your post is about not making them do anything at all–just “show up and look pretty.”  Is a bridal shower too over the top as well?  Should we also tell the bridesmaids to please not get us a wedding gift?  Perhaps asking them to come to the rehearsal is also too cumbersome.

There are plenty of us brides out there that have perfectly reasonable expectations.  We do everything we can to accommodate our bridesmaids, keep within their budgets, and treat them will love and respect.  But we can’t be asked, as this post suggests, to sacrifice things as important as the vision for our wedding (if a bride wants matching dresses, she is entitled to that IMH).  Last time I checked, the wedding day wasn’t about the bridesmaids.  They will all have (or have already had) their big day, so what’s so awful about expecting them to help you have yours?  If they are such wonderful friends that will be there forever, do you really think they would break off a friendship if you picked a less-than-desirable dress for them?  If so, maybe they aren’t a good friend after all.  It’s a sad day when brides are told that asking a bridesmaid to wear a nice dress or help with some invitation-stuffing is slave-driving.

Post # 68
Member
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Wow, I’ve been in a lot of weddings and I never felt like a “slave.” When I agreed to be a bridesmaid, I knew it entailed buying a dress that I would probably only wear once. If I couldn’t afford it I wouldn’t have accepted. I also enjoyed throwing showers, and attending bachelorette parties, and looking pretty with my hair and makeup done because my friend was getting married and it was exciting for me to be a part of it. It is sad that these days bridesmaids apparently feel like these things are asking too much. Is it the economy change that is to blame? I am taking all of this thread’s comments into consideration for my own BMs but I admit I would like a shower and bachelorette party! Is that so wrong to admit?

Post # 69
Member
95 posts
Worker bee

Totally agree with @dodgercpkl.  I picked a color (a very basic one, navy) and told my bridesmaids to feel free to wear any navy dress they want that’s dressy, that way they can either wear one they already have or find one that they are comfortable paying for and that they will actually wear again.  I’d  be okay with them all wearing different color dresses if that’s what they want to do. Being a Bridesmaid or Best Man can get so expensive  when you’re buying a dress, paying for alterations, and doing a bachelorette’s party. I don’t expect mine to do much else other than listen to me yammer on about flowers, lighting,and food choices and then show up for the wedding. 

I also plan on getting them Bridesmaid or Best Man gifts that aren’t just for use on the wedding day (I may get them a jewelry set — we’ll see), but thoughtful gifts that are for them personally that I know they’ll love.  Oh yeah and I’ll definitely be feeding them well on the wedding day.  I’m not one of those people who gets so nervous I can’t eat, but even if I were, I’d ensure everyone will be sufficiently fed, caffeinated, and provided with bubbly during prep. 

I saw a bride recently posting that she expected her BMs to both buy a specific dress AND cowboy boots.  I’ve just never understood treating BMs like they’re props instead of your closest friends who all have their own tastes and shouldn’t be forced to spend hundreds of dollars they may or may not have. 

Post # 70
Member
5110 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2011

Love this. I think sometimes brides forget that their BM’s are their friends and we should never lose sight of that. 

Post # 71
Member
148 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@UpstateCait: I don’t think I was being dramatic.  I was illustrating my point.  I said “perhaps the rehearsal dinner is too cumbersome” because it was stated in your original post that a bachelorette party out-of-town is cumbersome, along with having to wear a bride-picked dress, pay for hair or makeup, and help the bride assemble favors.  You also said that bridal showers and wedding gifts aren’t necessary.  Since I was under the impression these were all normal “bridesmaid” things, I was surprised to find you thought they were analogous to slave-driving.  Thus, it’s not a far stretch to say that having to attend other wedding events like the rehearsal dinner would also be burdensome.

 

I would guess that your wedding is going to be pretty casual.  For a casual wedding, it makes sense to have cute mismatched dresses, free-flowing hair, or to do all 50 of your favor boxes alone.  This laid-back nature is perfect if your wedding calls for such simplicity.  While this may be your dream, and your bridesmaids are probably thanking their lucky stars to have such a laid-back friend, this isn’t everyone’s dream.  Personally, my wedding is formal.  That’s my dream.  So, cute/short/mismatched bridesmaids dresses just doesn’t work.  Letting all the girls wear their hair however they like doesn’t work.  I want a certain vision for my big day, but that doesn’t make me a slave driver.  I have made every effort, along with hundreds of other brides, to see that vision come together while still making things easy for my bridesmaids.

We (yes, “we” because the bridesmaids and I also concurred on the dress choice) found a dress that flatters my size 2 and my size 22W bridesmaids.  It took a LOT of searching, but it was important to me that all my girls look fab and flattered.  It was hilarious because I actually started out telling them (all 10 of them!) they could choose any long dress they wanted from David’s Bridal, so long as it was in a certain color.  I believe they had about 30 dresses to choose from.  No kidding, 8 of them picked the same dress!  So, we all had a laugh about it and decided maybe a matching dress wasn’t so bad.  Here’s the one we ultimately picked:

http://barijay.com/style.php?style=368  It starts long and zips off to make the dress short for the reception!  So much fun!

Also, I don’t think giving bridesmaids gifts they will use during the wedding is so bad.  For many bridesmaids, they would prefer the bride to just pay for the hair, shoes, makeup, dress, etc. to ease their costs, rather than a cute but useless gift.  I started out wanting to give my bridesmaids a really nice gift (Tiffany’s bracelet) but they expressed a desire for a more practical use of that money.  So now, I am paying for their shoes, makeup, jewelry, hair accessories, as well as a few other items non-wedding related (like a personalized tote bag).  I think they’re really happy!

It’s just a different perspective.  When you post such an opinionated thread, you are bound to get equally-opinionated responses and you should embrace the different point of view! 🙂

Post # 72
Member
4801 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@MrsTrigger: Attending a rehersal different is completely different from expecting them to fork over hundreds for an out of town bachelorette party. And I see you’re requiring them to pay for their hair and makeup AND have it one in a style of your choosing – I think many of the girls here would disagree with that. It’s fine to have a ‘vision’, but your vision is getting a bit carried away if your bridesmaids’ hairstyles actually matter. For example, my hair looks awful pulled back, I’d be pissed if I was told I HAD to wear my hair that way, and on top of that I had to pay $$ to get it put in a style I didn’t choose or like. But even if they do all like the gtyle, most of the girls here will agree that it’s not considerate to require your BMs to have their hair or makeup professionaly done.

In your case it seems like your BMs really wanted those things and you offered to pay as those gifts, so that might be okay. But I’m still on the fence about it, because they must of known that if they didn’t have you get that as their gift they’d be stuck with the bill for a hairstyle they didn’t choose and a stylist they never asked for. And I don’t think that’s appropriate.

 

There is having a different perspective…and then there is ignoring that 99% of the girls who have posted on the thread agree with the OP and would probably say you sound like you’re expecting way too much. Oh, and as far as the rehersal dinner goes…I already told my BMs it’s no big deal if they can’t get off work to come, I’m sure they’ll be able to figure out how to walk in a straight line down the aisle on the wedding day without too much guidance!

Post # 73
Member
40 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@ Miss Trigger, “I would guess that your wedding is going to be pretty casual.  For a casual wedding, it makes sense to have cute mismatched dresses, free-flowing hair, or to do all 50 of your favor boxes alone.  This laid-back nature is perfect if your wedding calls for such simplicity.  While this may be your dream, and your bridesmaids are probably thanking their lucky stars to have such a laid-back friend, this isn’t everyone’s dream.  Personally, my wedding is formal.”

Talk about a back handed compliment!

Post # 74
Member
148 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

While I agree with the original post, I do think MrsTrigger has some valid points. I think it’s important to prioritize your relationship over details and remember why you chose your girls in the first place. However, I think that there is a certain amount that is expected of bridesmaids. They are supposed to be your nearest and dearest, and as such they are supposed to support you however they can. If that support comes from helping you put together favor boxes to decrease the bride’s stress level, so be it. You should be able to count on them for that. If they are local, they should be able to support you by attending bridal showers and bachelorette parties.

And in response to courtney1188, I don’t think it was nice to say that MrsTrigger ignored that 99% of the girls who posted agreed with OP. Yes, it appears that there are a lot of “show up, look pretty” brides who replied to this, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of other brides on Weddingbee who do expect something from their bridesmaids. They may not have wanted to reply to this post stating their expectations, because now they see how a differing opinion (ie MrsTrigger’s) is received and treated. If MrsTrigger’s bridesmaids are willing to help her with her vision, I don’t think she’s expecting too much. If they had a problem, brought it to her attention, and she ignored it, THAT might be expecting too much. We can all have differing opinions 🙂

Post # 75
Member
148 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Oops! Double post! Sorry!

The topic ‘They’re bridesmaids, NOT slaves! (Verrrrry long)’ is closed to new replies.

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