(Closed) what are the pre-existing conditions of being in a wedding party?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
Member
270 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I am not a bride, but I  was a/the bridesmaid for my sister last fall. I think that duties expected of the bridal party should be outlined or discussed when the brides asks her maids. My sister’s wedding was the first that I had ever been to, so I wasn’t entirely sure of what was desired or expected of me. Each bride, and couple, is different, so it is reasonable to imply that the expectations for participation would be different too.

Post # 18
Member
292 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I chose an inexpensive dress for my BMs. They can wear whatever shoes and accessories they want, wear their hair and makeup however they want. 

 

My Maid/Matron of Honor is in wedding a month before mine, and a week after mine, She is always asking what she can do to help me, but I recognize how busy she is. 

 

I just want the girls closest to me standing by my side that day, smiling. It’s my only requirement. (:

Post # 19
Member
1262 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Church

@rawrrrrr:  I think it depends on the individual bride, and what is expected is really down to how she was brought up/cultural expectations. There are some who believe the wedding party should have no financial responsibility and it is an honour to have them there for you, while others expect much more. I think that whatever it is that you expect from your bridal party should be made clear from the get-go. I also think that if you do have certain expectations that you may need to choose different people because of how they have historically behaved (ie. someone more flaky) or have two MOHs because one is someone you really really want but cannot depend on and the other is someone you really do care about but is more responsible. (theses are all metaphorical you – I’m not saying one way is right or wrong)

Long point short, both sides need to be clear and I think a lot of people get caught up in the whirl wind without stopping to think and just do not communicate.

Post # 20
Member
4554 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@pokey730:  +1

That’s actually going on my “Be my bridesmaid” invites–all you have to do is buy the dress, show up sober, and dance your booty off.

Post # 21
Member
7555 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

It also depends on where you are from. Where I am from the B&G pay for everything for the BM’s & GM’s. So therefore the only expectation is for the bridal party to show up at the wedding in the right attire (showers are not tradition here and rehearsals are rare and rehearsal dinners pretty much non-existent).

Post # 22
Member
2041 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Basically, I expected my Maid/Matron of Honor to buy her dress based on the color and length I specified. She got a super cute cocktail-type dress, and I love that she won’t look like the typical bridesmaid in my photos. She bought her own shoes, but I bought her some pieces of jewelry. If I have any extra monies in the budget, I may buy her another set to give her a choice. I’ll be paying for hair and makeup and maybe hotel room depending on whether Fiance and I decide to spend the night together. She’s paying for her own travel.

 

Since we live in different sides of the country with mutual friends all in between, she hasn’t really planned out a bachelorette’s party, but she really wants to throw me one somehow. I’d honestly rather not, but I’m going along to make her happy. (How’s that for a switch?) While etiquette says that friends should throw showers, the social norm in our circles is/was that the moms/grandmas/aunts throw them. Otherwise I’m sure she’d be planning one of those, too, haha. It’s not an expectation of mine either way. 

 

Bottom line: be on time for the ceremony in an appropriate outfit and totally excited for me. 

Post # 24
Member
909 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I definitely fell into the “I just want my good friends to stand up with me at my wedding” camp. I didn’t choose my bridesmaids by who would be most willing to help me complete wedding tasks (I never asked them to) or throw me a shower (I didn’t have one), and I knew from the getgo that my Maid/Matron of Honor is chronically late and some of my bridesmaids wouldn’t be able to spend hundreds of dollars on my wedding.

 

I think there are a lot of ways around the traditional financial woes of being a bridesmaid given a little leeway. They could wear dresses they already have in a certain color, and there’s no need for special shoes, a trip to Vegas, or having hair and make-up professionally done.

 

That being said, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to have specially picked dresses, pro make-up, special shoes, and an extravagant bachelorette and shower, just as long as you are upfront with the girls you are asking to be your bridesmaids what your expectations are. I think a lot of bridesmaid frustrations can come down to the bride’s expectations being really different than the bridesmaids’ expectations, so communicating about it from the beginning is really important.

 

@rawrrrrr: “I think communication is the biggest key factor and expectations need to be laid out from the get go.” You beat me to it!

Post # 25
Member
220 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@pokey730:  I agree I think sometimes we forgot these are our closest friends and even though they will unconditionally love us that doesn’t mean we can walk all over them and be very demanding!

+1 to PP who said that communication is key too! My BMs are paying for their own dresses and chipping in for the bachelorette party (all were planned cost-consciously for them) but my Maid/Matron of Honor let them know the cost months ago so they would know exactly what to expect financially!

Post # 26
Member
477 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I completely agree that a lot of this is based on where you are from.  When I am asked to be a bridesmaid I fully expect on paying for the following:

– dress

– hair to be done professionally

– atleast helping with a shower

– helping with the bachelorette party

– being on time, sober until the pictures are done and helpful

Things that I would add that I think are bonus items are

– matching shoes

– professional make-up

– specific jewellry

– any type of bachelorette that is further then driving distance away

I don’t think that asking your bridesmaids to wear a matching dress in a certain colour is a “bonus” because that is normal to me. If I am asked to be in a wedding party I expect to be spending a couple hundred dollars by saying yes.I also expect to try to make it to most of any “events” leading up to the wedding. 

I’ve been to showers, bachelorettes, engagement parties, etc. But if something in life comes up you need to be understanding as a bride.

If you expect certain things then also be helpful.  For example I asked my girls to all pick out a long purple dress. They ended up liking the same one so they choose that.  I then called around to different salons to see if I could get a deal for them.  We ended up finding a store that if you bought atleast four you got 20% off.

In regards to the question about it costing the bride money for bridesmaids I would say it is a bit of a factor because as I bride I will be paying for bouquets, make-up and gifts for all the girls. I have six so that is about $1000.00.  Something to keep in mind.

Post # 27
Member
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@laceydoilies:  The way this sounds, is that you are selecting your bridal party the way you would select your vendors. Like you went on angie’s list and read reviews. This whole, “your expectations need to be negotiated before you sign the contract. This is silly. Your bridal party are your honored guests, the people you chose people they are close to you and you want them standing beside you as marry the love of your life.

 

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@EffieTrinket:  Not trying to be a weirdo, but I like you. I’ve seen your posts on other threads, and you seem to really have your head screwed on right. Not to mention I love your username. ๐Ÿ™‚ While we may not always agree, you at least always seem to provide an intelligent argument that goes far beyond the scope of “it’s my day and everyone should just do things the way I want because I’m the bride”. I enjoy posting here, and moreso when there’s an intelligible debate, which can definitely be lacking with many posters around here.

 

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@rawrrrrr: I don’t really see how a black tie affair would necessitate matching bridemaids dresses any more than a casual affair. The only difference necessary that I could see would be that a black tie would require floor length formal gowns. Besides the point, I’d say 90% of those claiming to be having a “black tie affair” around here, are sorely mistaken about the true formality of their event, but that’s a topic for another time. My issue with matching bridesmaids dresses are that I think any bride should want their bridesmaids to be comfortable. Not everyone looks good in the same kind of dress. There are different sizes and shapes to consider. One of my maids is 5’5″ and probably about a size 14, one is 5’11” and about a size 6, and one of them is going to have given birth 5 weeks previous, so who knows where her body is going to be. Further, they all live in different corners of the country, and I’m not going to ask them to travel twice to get together and find a dress that suits them all, which would be difficult enough as it is.  What looks good on my size 6 bridesmaid, might make my size 14 one feel uncomfortable and self concious. As she will be standing in front on display, and in hundreds of photos taken, I don’t want her to be upset about the way she looks.

 

If all your bridesmaids decide they want to wear the same dress, great, but I think forcing them to spend a couple hundred bucks on a dress they hate and don’t feel beautiful in is rude and inconsiderate of your close friend’s feelings.

View original reply
@anemonie:  I agree there is nothing wrong with wanting matching shoes and professional hair and makeup. However, if you are so insistent about those things, you should be paying for them. Though I think matching shoes are silly, as no one will ever notice or care about what the bridesmaids(or bride for that matter) wear on their feet. I think the issue with matching shoes can be that shoes are a very particular thing for some people. Some people have wide feet, flat feet, etc.. so making them wear the exact same shoes can make at least one or two of them uncomfortable. That said, I don’t think saying find a pair of black, silver, nude etc.. shoes to wear is unreasonable. As most people will have a pair of neutral colored shoes that are comfortable for them already.

 

ETA- While some traditions can differ by region, I think far too often people use this as an excuse to be rude.

Post # 28
Member
4554 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@pokey730:  Thank you! I appreciate that. I try to keep it classy up in here. ๐Ÿ˜€

Post # 29
Member
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@EffieTrinket:  Well as far as I’m concerned, you most definitely succeed. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 31
Member
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@rawrrrrr:  I’m definitely with you on the interpretation of black tie. Gala style, 5 course gourmet meal, live band, top shelf liqour, etc.. I just mean there’s brides on here who expect their guests to wear tuxs and gown to a wedding that’s formality is more semi-formal, for the sake of pictures. There’s just really no such thing as a “budget” black tie affair, if you KWIM.

However, I still can’t see any correlation between uniformity and formality.

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