Post # 1
Over the last year I have participated on these boards and gotten very valuable advice on wedding etiquette, decor, waiting, dresses, etc. The one area where I must admit I get very frustrated is with all of the bridal party threads and responses. The consensus seems to be that we brides have no right to expect that the bridal party do anything other than show up on the wedding day clean and sober and wearing the dress we picked. This just seems crazy to me! I’ve been a bridesmaid 3 times and every single one of those times I have had to do more than just show up clean and sober. More importantly, I WANTED to do more than just that. I was HONORED to be asked to stand up for these couples and wanted to show my appreciation by really celebrating the whole event. I WANTED to throw an awesome bridal shower. I WANTED to throw a kick ass bachelorette party. I WANTED the weekly phone calls/texts/emails asking for opinions on dresses, decor, flowers, music, etc. This was all part of the fun for me and I ASSUMED it was part of the fun for others (or else WHY agree to be in the bridal party).
I KNOW that no one cares as much about my wedding as Fiance and I do. I KNOW that people have their own lives to worry about, etc. But I guess I’m just a little bummed by the complete lack of interest in doing anything extra including just ASKING how the planning is going and if I could use any help. I guess I’m sad because I have tried to be a great and supportive bridesmaid in the past and would NEVER imagine telling a bride that “all I have to do is show up clean and sober” because as a FRIEND I SHOULD want to do more and share in this exciting time. My goal was to always make the bride feel special and loved and pampered because she thought enough of ME to have me stand beside her on one of the most important days of her life!
When did all this disdain for brides from bridesmaids start? Can I thank Bridezillas for this? End rant.
Post # 3
I dunno I don’t expect anything out of my bridal party cause they all live 4 plus hours away from use. A couple live across county, asking them to travel the hundres of miles to get to our wedding is good enough for me.
Post # 4
I seriously could have written this myself. And I just read a post about a Bee complaining that her bachelorette party that her girls planned for her isn’t up to her standards. Then there is me who is not even really getting much of a bach party because the bridal party never saved up money and has too much going on in their own lives to do anything for me.
It makes my blood boil.
Post # 5
Thank you for writing this you basically took the words right out of my mouth! I have been a bm 11 times and each time I made sure the bride was well taken care of I was there for her every step of the way even in the bridezilla moments! I never complained about how much I had to spend on the wedding or what I had to do. I had a bm drop out from my wedding last night due to all the pre wedding festivities costing too much. Its so sad. I feel like I put so much effort into everyone else and now that it’s my turn no one cares. I had a bm tell me I should just elope because everyone’s just over the wedding thing! Wth??
I wish it were different or I was younger and my friends cared more too!
Post # 6
I think the difference is when someone “asks” for help, versus “demanding” assistance. Some of my bridesmaids have asked what they can do to help, others aren’t particularly crafty or creative so I don’t expect them to help with DIY projects. Some of my BM’s are super crazy excited to pick out Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses, and others are a little more hesitant because of body image issues, money, etc.
Another thing I think happens from time to time is a bride will pick her BM’s not because that is who she wants standing up with her on her special day, but because the groom has 6 Groomsmen so she has to pick a few “filler” BM’s to make even sides, then she gets upset that the “fillers” aren’t excited or helpful.
BM’s are your friends first, and by default, many are excited and helpful. I think it’s different when they offer something versus a bride just expecting things.
Post # 7
I think the problem is when brides ask people that wouldn’t normally do those kinds of things to be BMs and then expect them to suddenly turn into Martha Stewart-esque planners. I have been a Bridesmaid or Best Man many many times and I agree with you… i LOVED being part of it all! I enjoyed planning the best parties I could and listening to my friends go on and on about floral arrangments and dresses 🙂 But then again, I’m also the type of person who plans birthday parties and loves celebrating any happy thing in a friend’s life. Some people just aren’t like that and it’s a huge stretch for them to change that at any point.
But if you’ve chosen people who are generally into those kinds of things, expressed a desire to help in your wedding, and who aren’t going through any extreme circumstances (their own wedding, tragedy, a move…something big and stressful), then YES, of course, they should be doing those things as friends to you!
Post # 8
@Vegas, I agree!
I’ve been a Bridesmaid or Best Man and a Maid/Matron of Honor (at the last minute, like day before last minute) …and both times, I was there for the bride.
However, in thinking back on it, I was the only Bridesmaid or Best Man of my sister’s what 12 BM’s that was THERE for HER. All the others were just part of the wedding. I don’t think she even got a gift from many of them.
And as Maid/Matron of Honor, I took true honor in the role, even thought it was last minute, and I was basically a backup. Cause it wasn’t about me. It was about the bride, and I was there for her cause she needed and asked me to be.
I remember, as Bridesmaid or Best Man, after the wedding, I ended up going to the grocery store all dressed up to pick up more cokes and snacks for the out of town guests and all others staying at the hotel. Also, the night before, while the bride slept, some of us finished folding the programs. I distinctly remember other BM’s saying, they wouldn’t help, cause it wasn’t thier job! WOW!
I’ve had 1 Bridesmaid or Best Man quit, and my Maid/Matron of Honor, she’s trying, but it’s hard for her as she’s still single and older then I. I’m at a point, where I don’t want to feel bad about my wedding so I just don’t ask people to help or anything.
I have about 5 DIY projects that I’m doing alone.
Post # 9
Sorry…I can’t agree with you. My expectations for my bridal party were never high. I’m a firm believer that everyone has lives, and no one enjoys spending a crapload of their hard earned money on someone else. All my bridesmaids had to pay for was their dress, and their hair if they wanted it done. I didn’t force them to come over and put together my favors for me or do anything else that was DIY. If they offered, I didn’t turn them down, but your expectation shouldn’t be that they have to help you just b/c you helped them. If that’s your expectation for everything you do, there is going to be some disappointment in your life!
I was asked to be a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding, and so far, my costs have been $350 for a shower planned by the bridesmaids, $50 for a gift from the bridesmaids, $200 for a dress, $100 for my hair at the hotel (no choice on this) $150/night for the hotel room, and I have to stay 2 nights, $100 for her bachelorette party. That’s well over $1,000 already, and I haven’t even given them their gift. To me, that expectation is pretty darn high. Luckily I can afford it, but what if I couldn’t? Should I have declined to be in my brother’s wedding b/c I couldn’t afford the extravagancies my Future Sister-In-Law expected? I am a bridesmaid…not a slave.
Post # 10
It really depends on who your bridesmaids are, how far they live from you, if you normally do things together and what your demands are of them. its nice if they can get together to help with projects but its not mandatory. Just because they are bridesmaids doesnt mean they have to drop everything and always be on call for the bride. My bms didnt do much until the day of but they worked hard that day because they woke up real early and decorated the reception hall with me.
Post # 11
Cannot agree with you, either. No one should have to care about your wedding except you and your Fiance. Yes, it is an honor to be a part of such a life changing experience, but forcing them to buy a $100+ dress very few will wear again, get a mani/pedi even though it isn’t their style, and pay large sums of money for a hair do… now that’s redic. Adding on that they should take time out of their day to help me make invitations or favors is a slap to the “honor” thing.
My expectations for my sister, best friend, and niece are simple. Find a dress that you want to wear, show up to my hotel room on time, walk down the aisle, take some pictures, and ENJOY YOUR NIGHT. In return, I will thank you with a small gift, a great dinner, some lovely dances, and a couple of pictures of us together.
Post # 12
I believe that brides (and grooms) have finally figured out that it is the presence of a cherished family member or friend that truly matters, and that the other “stuff” — dress/tux, activities, travel, time, money — doesn’t mean nearly as much. Many have realized that the person matters far more than the so-called traditional expectations, especially if those expectations are too much of a burden for the bridesmaid or groomsman.
Would you want to turn down the opportunity to support someone you care about, if your reason is financial or life-related? Many brides & grooms are removing that issue from the equation.
If you feel honored to perform certain tasks, that’s wonderful — offer to do so, and be happy when your offer is accepted. But not everyone shares the same sentiment, especially now that weddings have become multi-day events and can cost an attendee hundreds of dollars. It feels as though you’re criticizing those who aren’t absolutely “thrilled” or “honored” to do all of those things — sorry, but to *not* do them does *not* make someone a bad friend.
I am absolutely thrilled with the general movement *away* from the traditional expectations of wedding party members, as I think it places the emphasis where it should be — on the people, not the “stuff.”
Post # 13
I didn’t *require* extra of my bridesmaids because I know that they are busy ladies who have their own lives. But because they’re my best friends, several of them were interested in being there for other things. In my book, that’s going above and beyond, and I was very grateful.
I’d much prefer that my bridesmaids want to be a part of my wedding process than have them only participate in things because it’s expected of them.
Post # 14
@Jamie42003: I’m not talking about bridesmaids that live ridiculously far from the bride. Also, there is still FB, phones, Skype, mail, etc. Some posters on here have even suggested that expecting the bridal party to ask you about the wedding is too much so what about that?
Post # 14
I don’t get where all this “tradition” of bridesmaids doing all this stuff for the brides came from. That seems like a more recent trend to me. My mom was in my aunt’s wedding and she didn’t even buy a dress. My aunt told her which dress to wear from her closet and she wore it. That was it. When it came time for my mom to get married, she did the same thing. Both weddings were incredibly minimalist and few people were invited. My older cousins did exactly the same thing.
The idea of weddings being more more more, including bridesmaid duties, seems recent but maybe that’s because my family has a history of low keyness. That said, I’m maid of honor in a wedding right now and I’ve done a damn good job of adhering to my friend’s (occasionally ridiculous) requests and have hardly gotten so much as a thank you. She also “expected” me to throw her a shower and a bachelorette party and that annoyed me, but I’m doing it anyway. But if I’m being honest, the reason I’m doing so much for her and I’m so interested in her wedding is because I really, REALLY love weddings. I’ve had a fascination with them since I was little, and getting a fairly big role in one is exciting to me. “To me” being the key words. Not all girls feel this way, and if your friends aren’t the type to watch Say Yes to the Dress religiously, don’t expect them to magically transform into wedding gurus and enthusiasts as soon as a ring is on your finger.
Post # 15
@MsMonkey: This EXACTLY!!