(Closed) What are you expecting of your bridesmaids?

posted 3 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
13707 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

As long as you’re up front with them about your expectations and they agree, this is fine.

I think people have mistaken expectations about what bridesmaids should or should not do.  In reality, these girls are your best friends and you need to treat them with respect.  Part of doing that is having an honest conversation about what you want, particularly in situations like yours which require international travel (I assume so, at least). 

If someone asked me to be a bridesmaid and I thought the wedding would be local, I would be very put off to find out the wedding was overseas.  If the bride told me up front, that’s another story entirely.

My bridesmaids came to their dress appointment (I paid the deposit for half the dress).  They picked out shoes they liked in a specific color (whatever style they wanted).  I paid for their hair and let them choose if they wanted their makeup done.  They helped my aunt throw me a bridal shower.  They planned a bachelorette for me.  That’s all that was done, and it very much exceeded my expectations. 

Post # 3
507 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

My Maid/Matron of Honor (I am only having her stand with me) volunteered to dress shop with me, she offered to throw my bridal shower, and she picked out her own dress and shoes. She was very supportive.

We live at opposite ends of the country, and we’ll be traveling to the my hometown for the wedding. I let her volunteer to do the things she wanted to do. Since we are close friends, these are things she would have done (as my friend regardless if she was in the bridal party are not). 

I do not think it is the bridal party’s responsibility to plan the wedding. Therefore, my input would be to let your friends/bridal party “offer” their help and support and inform them of any travel and expenses they are responsible for covering. Last but not least, try to have non-wedding talk and time with your friends. Remain interested in them and their lives.

I find that if you are not high maintenance, people will want/offer to help. People get resentful when the bride to be feels entitled. 

Congrats and enjoy the wedding planning!

Post # 4
241 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

All I expect my bridesmaids to do is get measured for their dress when its convenient for them and turn up on the day.  They have an option to either stay with me the night before or stay at home. I’m paying for hair and make up but they get to choose what they want. Dress is getting made by the same person making my dress. I’m making it so they really just have to turn up as they are both mums and their daughters are junior bridesmaids. In terms of hen party I’m having a combined party that me and my Fiance will host. 

Post # 5
2146 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

I expect them to get ready with me on the day, wear the chosen outfit, walk down the aisle and one girl will hold my bouquet during the vows… thats it I think


they offered to help with hair, make-up, nails because they are all proffesional beauticians but I didnt ask them to they suggested it before me even asking them to be Bridesmaid or Best Man (although I assume they guessed they would be lol)


they are more than welcome to come to dress appointments but dont HAVE to and I would love it if they came to pre-wedding events like the engagement party (non of them could come though) and the hen do but I know they have a lot going on in their lives and its nothing personal if they cant come


I do NOT expect them to plan, create decor, stuff invites, decorate, write speeches, cook/bake, sit at top table, pose for pictures, choreograph dances, direct guests, mitigate vendors, organise pre-events, pay or any of that other crazy stuff people seem to think is ok to demand

Post # 6
2003 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

To wear the dress we pick out. They are both beautiful, so keep that up. 😛 I would like them to get ready with me, run interference for me before the wedding, keep me calm, make sure I eat and drink. When I get stressed I forget. 

They live in other states, so all the other stuff I don’t expect. I don’t want a bachelorette party, so that makes it easy. I don’t care for bridal showers, and my SO has a million female relatives that I’m sure will take care of it anyway. 

Post # 7
834 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015 - Family Farm

sorba :  I expected them to have a black dress, come to a joint Bach Party and I specifically told them to do everything they could to feel as beautiful as possible on the day.

I had very few expectations.

Post # 8
2600 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club

sorba :  I expect them to purchase the dress, organize and host bridal shower, come to the bachelorette weekend, and show up ready to dance on my wedding day!

I went mostly to bridal shows with Fiance, but one Bridesmaid or Best Man came along for one of the shows because she wanted to. I extended the invitation to come dress shopping for the BMs dresses each time I went (3 different times) and asked them to either go get measured at the salon and make a deposit on the dress, or call in with measurements and credit card info. I feel like I haven’t been too demanding. I feel like what I expect and am asking of them is the social norm within our family, friends, and general area. Actually, I think I’ve expected a bit less than other brides in my area.

Post # 9
1252 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Purchase a $50 dress, come to my bachelorette party, and probably a wedding rehersal.

No bridal shower as I already have a stocked household. No other expenses other than a $50 dress. I will pay for hair and they can wear any shoes under the long dress. If they volunteer to do more, they may but I don’t expect it.

Post # 10
3870 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

sorba :  I think I expected a bit more from my bridesmaids than what I see on the Bee. I wasn’t a “show up on the day of with a smile and the dress I paid for” type of bride, but I also wasn’t a “show up in the $1000 bespoke dress, $500 shoes, fresh off my mandatory five day bachelorette party” type of bride either. 

I was upfront and flexible with all of my bridesmaids and made cuts when possible to ensure that everyone could afford to not only attend the wedding, but happily participate. Also, I kind of stayed within the norm of my social circle.

Here were my expectations:

  • Purchase their attire for the wedding: Darling Husband and I could not afford to buy everyone’s dresses, but because of that, I made no real requests about them. Almost everyone opted for a David’s Bridal dress on their own. As far as shoes/jewelry, I made zero requests and did not monitor this at all. Many girls wore shoes they already owned the day of. Hair, makeup, and nails were also not required, but I provided information for the services if they needed. Only 3/8 girls opted to get their nails done, 4/8 opted to get their makeup done, and all decided to get their hair done.
  • Bridal shower: I (internally) expected a bridal shower, but I never had to come out and *ask* for a bridal shower. The moment I got engaged, my bridesmaids jokingly picked the month of my bridal shower and closer to the wedding, I heard hints it would be thrown in July and then which day, but besides that, I asked for nothing and received two really gorgeous showers (three of my bridesmaids–my sisters and best friend–lived out of state in my hometown and threw me a shower there). 
  • Bachelorette party: Again, I made no demands for a bachelorette party, but this was again planned by my bridesmaids without my asking. My input was asked twice, but my main concern was it being cost efficient and something everyone could attend, so it was a low key house party. 
  • Attend the rehearsal, but not the dinner if they didn’t want to (Everyone obviously chose to come for the free meal).

Everything else was absolutely optional. I didn’t really need to ask (and certainly didn’t require or demand) help with decor items, invitations, venue set-up, because someone always came through and offered to help before I even had to consider asking. I was blessed with truly wonderful bridesmaids 🙂

Post # 11
355 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

sorba :  i expect them to:

  • get a dress that meets the description i give them & show up at the wedding in it (on time, and reasonably sober)
  • come get ready with me morning of (where there will be mimosas, hence the *reasonably* sober part)
  • party with me at my bachlorette (which they are planning – i didn’t ask, they offered)
  • show up to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • DANCE!!! i expect my ladies to be out there on the dance floor at the reception having an awesome time
Post # 12
145 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

I only have one and she lives a short flight away so really I only expect her to turn up on the morning of the wedding, wear a dress that doesn’t clash (I’m buying but she’s picking given a range of colours), and sign our licence as a witness.

She has asked if she can plan a hen party too but I’m not really sure I want one yet. 

Post # 13
104 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

I think an international wedding is sort of a different ball-game to a local wedding. International travel is often a huge cost, so if your bridesmaids are happy to make the trip then I don’t think much more can be expected other than get ready with you the morning of and show up in the dress etc.

I would expect:

 – they try on their dresses and show up to an alterations appointment (I’m paying)

 – they show up in the dress (I paid for)

 – they get ready with me the morning of, and be on time for their hair & make-up (I’m paying)

 – they attend the rehearsal / dinner the night before if possible (a very casual dinner)

 – they attend the bachelorette day if possible (which my Mum is planning as it’s pretty clear my Maid/Matron of Honor isn’t going to)

 – they pose for the bridal party photos and don’t complain

 – have a great time at the wedding


I don’t think the majority of brides expect too much, of course there are outliners though.

Post # 14
219 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

I’ve learn that if you have expectations, you need to communicate them. After that, you give people a choice.

i was in a wedding right out of college, and my dear friend the bride, had all these expectations, but never said anything to us, until the day before the wedding she broke down and yelled, then cried,because she was so hurt we didn’t do XYZ, when we truly had no clue!

so before I asked my bridesmaids, I had a candid phone call which each, saying what I expected and no pressure if they couldn’t do it. I had 1 girl tell me she honestly couldn’t take time off work, and didn’t have the money and to count her out. Totally fair. 

For the record, I asked that each girl:

buy a $65 dress

plan a bridal shower

plan a bachelorette

be there for the rehersal

get ready with me in the suite the morning of

not be hung over or drunk  at my wedding

cooperate for photos

dance and have fun!

Post # 15
1115 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Mississauga Convention Centre

What I expect from my bridesmaids is to come to my bridal shower, wear dress and accessories we chose together. show u on time for rehearsal dinner, and get ready with me the day of the wedding

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