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

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 47
433 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I am newly engaged and recently decided on my bridal party. While I certainly agree you don’t pick girls on what they can do for you, I think it is important to think about how much they will want to be involved in the planning and day-of experience. For example, if you have a friend who hates all things dress-up, planning, posing for pictures, and being emotionally supportive when you’re stressed out, maybe your other friend who would like being there more would be a better pick. The first friend might be less stressed and have more fun as a guest! I also don’t think it’s insane for them to wear a dress I pick. Of course I’ll be mindful of what will flatter each girl and budget, but I believe the main thing that’s expected of a bridesmaid is to wear a certain dress. Other than that, just show up, get ready together and toast mimosas with me!

Post # 48
775 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’m having 2 bridesmaids, my sister and my best friend. I’ve asked of them what they asked of me / will ask of me at their weddings. 


And that is, pay for your dress (inexpensive, they choose the style, they don’t even have to match) and throw a (affordable) hens night (bachelorette party). 


Yep, I want a hens night, cos that’s what you do around here. I’m only getting married once (I hope) and I don’t want to miss out on that experience. I don’t care if that makes me sound selfish. 

Post # 49
469 posts
Helper bee

All I ask of my bridesmaids is to buy a dress (same colour, fabric, and length but their choice on everything else), wear black shoes (which I’m fairly certain everyone owns), and be there on the day of. I’m giving them the option of getting their hair and make up done, but if they feel it’s a financial burden and would rather save money and do their own, that’s fine.


There’s 2 of them who’s daughters are flower girls, husbands are ushers and sons are ring bearers, so for them we’re hoping to be able to pay for their kids’ attire.


I’m expecting them to throw me a bachelorette. Not in a princess, all about me expect, but my Maid/Matron of Honor has already said she can’t wait to plan that without me even asking. I know (although it’s against etiquette) my mom and Future Mother-In-Law will probably take the reins at planning a shower, but have my bridesmaids that are able to attend (1 out of the country, 1 out of town with only one car and a paramedic husband who works a lot) as hosts.


As far as a pregnant bridesmaid, there’s a chance I’ll have one (she’s said she’s not having another kid until her first is in school and he’ll probably be just starting school at the time) and if she’s comfortable being a bridesmaid, I still want her up there.

The ones who are local, I’d like to be able to help with wedding tasks, but I don’t expect them to be at my beck and call, and I’ll always provide wine at anything they help with! haha

Post # 50
4097 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

@rawrrrrr:  I think it varies from wedding to wedding. I suspect in earlier days weddings were not as much of a production as they are today. Therefore being in the bridal party was  considered an honor, rather than an obligatory burden. Showers and other parties did not have to be formal events held at restaurants. Bachelor/ette parties did not last an entire weekend. Hair and makeup used to be a fun experience, not an expensive nightmare dictated by the detail obsessed bride.  Bridesmaids were eager to help because the expectations made of them were realistic. IMO asking your bridesmaids to take time off work to watch you tediously look at    100 dresses is not realistic. Asking your bridesmaids to shell out hundreds of dollars for dresses and shoes (of your choice) that they may never wear again is not realistic. Expecting them to be counting down the minutes to your wedding day as ecstatically as you are IS NOT REALISTIC. 

Post # 51
7974 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@rawrrrrr:  i am pretty laid back with things. i am not expecting mountains to be moved for me. i want them to be there for me at my wedding and that is the most important thing.

i selected reasonably priced bridesmaid dress which i gave them money towards anyway because that is what i wanted to do.  i think each Bridesmaid or Best Man owes maybe $30-50 (the balance) plus alterations.

they are planning the shower, i know none of them have a ton of extra money but i do know that they can plan an elegant party on a budget.

i would expect that i am contributing my share to the bachelorette party.  i have a general idea of what is occurring, but my Maid/Matron of Honor is planning the entire thing so whatever she tells me I owe, I will pay.


Post # 52
3380 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@pokey730:  I’m standing and clapping at my desk right now. +50: they arent your “un-hired help.”

Post # 53
5317 posts
Bee Keeper

IMO there really are none, so the bride better specify her expectations pronto. The usual around here is that thet will stand (and smile) where the bride wants them to stand on the wedding day, and wear nearly any dress the bride wants them to wear, no matter how ugly (the exception is if the dress is too revealing or very unforgiving on their more-challenging figure).

Anything above that (e.g., paying for those ugly dresses) is not assumed around here. When my Fiance was a best man and was told how much his suit rental would be costing him by the groom… their friendship almost ended over it.

Post # 54
3380 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@rawrrrrr:  My sorority sister asked me to be her Maid/Matron of Honor severl years ago. She also informed me that, to be able to be Maid/Matron of Honor, I would need to look into having my tattoos laser removed because she was having such a “high-society affair” and they would look tacky/offend her grandmother.


Despite telling her to piss up a rope, she talked (read: guilted) me into agreeing to be in her wedding…it lasted a month.  I got very sick during finals and couldnt make the initial trip to pick out Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses, which resulted in an novel-long email questioning my “priorities” and telling me to “save face and step down.”


I actually think I may still have the email. If I do, I’ll post it so other brides that read it may realize how self-important they sound and back off.


ETA: holy shit, I cannot believe I still had it but sure enough, I found it. My memory of the whole thing was actually very flattering to her: she asked me to step down when I didnt return two of her phone calls in one week period. 

Post # 55
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013


i agree with you.

i let my bridal party know what we exspected from them,told them to think on if they wanted to be a part of our bridal party.everyone said yes as soon as i asked.

were im from,you do more then just show up the day of.and im with emily post on somethings.i never heard of just showing up the day of and you do nothing else as a bridesmaid or groomsmen until i came to the bee.

what i asked of my bridesmaids and moh’s

buy their matching dresses and shoes in the colors i wanted.they could pick any dress they wanted,but they all had to agree on the same dress,i told them i dont want them to spend more then 50 or 60 bucks on a dress,cheaper if they found one.but they,on their own picked a $139 dollar dress and i love them.

they can wear their hair and make up anyway they want,all i ask for is a flower in their hair that one of my bridesmaid(my cuz) is making for them.

i told them they do not need to do any partys that i dont want them spending money on me,however i would love it if us girls can get together and go to a kareoke(sp?)bar,but only if they wanted and it was ok if they didnt,(only because we are buzy with our children and jobs and we never get a chance to get together,but planning my wedding is the perfect excuse to finally get together all at the same time πŸ™‚

they are planning a jack n jill for us

(because my Fiance doesnt want a batch party and a couple groomsmen would have strippers and Fiance dont want strippers lol,i told him to go have fun,i wouldnt mind at all,but he said “i dont want that kind of thing,they do,they can go see strippers on their own time”,lol.he use to go in his 20’s and early 30’s but dont like going anymore the past 8 years or so,i guess age has calmed him:) no complants here.i love him πŸ™‚


i asked that they be at and show up on time for rehersal,and to show up early on the wedding day to help me and to get photos of us getting ready.

i dont have my mom or my grandma’s anymore and i want my girls to help me get through it emotionally because i never imagined getting married without my mom.with them with me,i hope to have the saddness i know i am going to feel lessend by them being there♥

my daughter(maid of honor)and my best friend(matron of honor)have been the best,and jumped right in to help me from the moment i ask for them to be my MOH’s,i would have emotionally fell apart with out them♥

as for the bridesmaids,when the planning first began,everthing was going to be diy,and i did want them to at least take 2 days out of the 7 months of planning to help me with somethings.and for the bridal party to help set up and clean up the venue on the wedding day,which they agreeded before excepting our request of being in our wedding.

we went with a hotel though so everything is being done for us.but my moh’s have helped with invitations,programs ect,they offered i didnt have to ask πŸ™‚

i have a great bridal party♥

Post # 56
7974 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@rawrrrrr:  first, i chose people who i want to be in my bridal party, my 3 closest friends and my brother.


second, showers, bachelorette parties, etc don’t need to be outrageous and expensive that it puts people in in awkward money position.


a shower can be at someone’s home with a bunch of people making all the food, a bachelorette party can be going out to a bar.


people make such spectacles of these things now.


my BM’s don’t have endless amounts of money, and i know they can pull off a classy shower without spending a lot of money.


i also picked reasonalably priced dresses for them and made sure they would wear them again.

Post # 57
272 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Emily Post’s book is my manual for EVERYTHING!! haha

I think you said it yourself….before you finalize your list and ask (I feel like so many people are really hasty with this step!) the people you need to have a basic idea in mind of what you want…meaning where/when the wedding is, your basic style (like formal/casual/beach) so that you can give them a pretty clear picture of what their overall cost and expectations will be. I don’t mean to say you should have every detail planned, but saying we want to do it in XX city in XX month. That way they will be able to factor in additional costs besides the dress and be up front with you about any concerns they might have. 

As a bride I take into consideration people’s body types and budgets when choosing a dress, and I don’t expect any parties or presents from my bridesmaids. If they choose to do this on their own, awesome if not, awesome. I do hope they will be supportive of me, but everyone has their own definition of what that means. To me being supportive is not being a B**ch or a negative nancy at every turn. However, if one of my bridesmaids steps forward with a legitimate concern I think it’s my duty as their friend to find a solution and not be nasty with them.

As a briesmaid I expect to travel to the event with a wedding present, pay for my hotel, buy my dress and any accessories, and hair. I will not pay for nails or makeup apts because I am good at those myself and I don’t need to pay a professional πŸ™‚ I expect to attend a shower with a gift unless I am an out of state bridesmaid. Bachlorette parties are tricky and I will choose to attend on a case by case basis. I expect to call the bride and ask if I can help with something, and I am available the whole day before and after the wedding for anything.  

Traditionally bridesmaids DO NOT throw showers, that is usually a friend of the bride or the brides parents (or grooms parents), so I don’t offer to do this but if other BMs have their heart set on this I will help, but I am always honest up front with my financial contribution expectations. 


I feel like people create unnecessary drama all the time and a lot of times it seems like it’s because of mismatched expectations or asking someone to be your Bridesmaid or Best Man that isn’t really a “friend” to begin with.  It’s just about really thinking hard about who you ask and everyone acting like adults and not having temper tantrums! 




Post # 58
2894 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I have some above-and-beyond expectations of my MOH–who is my only attendant– because she is my COUSIN, not because she’s a bridesmaid. For example, she’s helping me deliver Out of Town bags and she’s helping host (as in literally act as a hostess, not pay) my welcome party. She’s doing things for me that I wouldn’t ask or even accept from a normal childhood homegirl, but she’s not one. We are the closest thing either of us has to sisters (and yes, we are both in sororities). So yes, I need a bit more from her than “show up presentable and sober.” I’d do the same for her.

Post # 59
1298 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’m going to expect them to 1. buy the dress which they can help pick out 2. Show up the day of the wedding and smile in pictures. 3. Wear whatever nude shoes they want.

Showing up at rehearsal would be nice but that’s not a dealbreaker. No throwing showers, no bachelorette. I’d like to all go get our nails done the day before, but if they can’t make that, again, no biggie.

I don’t want a bachelorette, and I will have a shower but where I am from they are usually hosted by the bride’s parents friends, so my bridesmaids won’t be expected to host that. I had actually never heard of bridesmaids having to throw a shower until I came on the bee.

I’m in one city, and my maids are all in the city where I am from (and having the wedding) so my visits home before the wedding are going to be pretty sparse. 

Post # 60
67 posts
Worker bee

@pokey730:  You go, girl!

Count me in the “Show up looking fab and smile” camp.  Hell, I don’t even really care if they smile, but if they aren’t smiling then I’m doing it wrong. . . I want my wedding to be a great time for everyone!

I consider all the lists of duties and such plastered across the internet, pinterest, and wedding blogs to be malarkey.  Beyond showing up and looking fab, if people want to throw a bridal shower or bachlorette party for me, or offer unsolicited to help with anything else that is all a bonus.

Post # 61
1498 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

All I want the girls to do is stand up there with me, supporting me and smiling in photos. It can’t hurt for them to be completely sober, either πŸ˜‰ 

Seriously, I showed the girls the colour I wanted, we all found a dress together. They’ve since ordered it in, and have been nothing but good to me the whole time. I can see these girls in my life for a very long time (my Maid/Matron of Honor is my sister and a Bridesmaid or Best Man is my FSiL so I’d hope they’d be in my life forever!)

Just wish me luck before I walk (I don’t do heels. Like, ever.) and congratulate me when it’s over. That’s all I ask πŸ™‚

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