Wedding Party

Rant about Bridal Parties

edited June 1 in Wedding Party

Am I the only one who does not think it's rude to set clear expectations prior to asking someone to be in my wedding party? Bridesmaids proposals are cute but leave people feeling obligated to say yes. This is 2017, and even for a modest wedding the financial and time obligations of being a bridesmaid can add up (especially for friends that must travel or have other major life considerations at the time). I've seen many times where brides or bridesmaids end up in uncomfortable situations and someone is let down because a bridesmaid is unable or unwilling to participate in the capacity that the bride or other bridesmaids were expecting of her. I would much rather avoid that all together by being very clear upfront. I do not have expectations outside of the traditional roles, but I have a couple close friends that would have to travel, have infants or have very tight financial situations. I have a few other close friends that jump at the opportunity to help wherever they can and are excited to plan bridal and bachelorette parties. I don't think it would be fair to leave the latter to pick up the slack of the former, and unfortunately discreetly helping with dresses or travel expenses is not in my budget. Am I being heartless to kindly inform a dear friend of the approximate budget and expectations prior to asking them to commit (nothing extravagant but I would like them at least attend the bridal shower and rehearsal)? In fact in the reverse, I would very much appreciate that approach; however, I am a realistic and practical thinker. I'd like to let them know that if it is too much for them at this time in their life, I'd love them all the same to attend my wedding as one of my best friends without the added stress of being in the bridal party. To all who think that just because you say you have no expectations for your bridesmaids means that it is no burden on them, I think you're downright unrealistic or have terrible friends. 

Re: Rant about Bridal Parties

  • lnixon8lnixon8
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
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    Am I the only one who does not think it's rude to set clear expectations prior to asking someone to be in my wedding party? Bridesmaids proposals are cute but leave people feeling obligated to say yes. This is 2017, and even for a modest wedding the financial and time obligations of being a bridesmaid can add up (especially for friends that must travel or have other major life considerations at the time). I've seen many times where brides or bridesmaids end up in uncomfortable situations and someone is let down because a bridesmaid is unable or unwilling to participate in the capacity that the bride or other bridesmaids were expecting of her. I would much rather avoid that all together by being very clear upfront. I do not have expectations outside of the traditional roles, but I have a couple close friends that would have to travel, have infants or have very tight financial situations. I have a few other close friends that jump at the opportunity to help wherever they can and are excited to plan bridal and bachelorette parties. I don't think it would be fair to leave the latter to pick up the slack of the former, and unfortunately discreetly helping with dresses or travel expenses is not in my budget. Am I being heartless to kindly inform a dear friend of the approximate budget and expectations prior to asking them to commit (nothing extravagant but I would like them at least attend the bridal shower and rehearsal)? In fact in the reverse, I would very much appreciate that approach; however, I am a realistic and practical thinker. I'd like to let them know that if it is too much for them at this time in their life, I'd love them all the same to attend my wedding as one of my best friends without the added stress of being in the bridal party. To all who think that just because you say you have no expectations for your bridesmaids means that it is no burden on them, I think you're downright unrealistic or have terrible friends. 



    JIC


    Eek! I mean you can tell them your expectations but prepare for your friends to have their feelings hurt and or/gossip about you behind your back.

    You can't say that your expectations are so minimal and also you can't afford to help them yourself...


    eileenrobMyNameIsNot
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    edited June 1




    Am I the only one who does not think it's rude to set clear expectations prior to asking someone to be in my wedding party? Bridesmaids proposals are cute but leave people feeling obligated to say yes. This is 2017, and even for a modest wedding the financial and time obligations of being a bridesmaid can add up (especially for friends that must travel or have other major life considerations at the time). I've seen many times where brides or bridesmaids end up in uncomfortable situations and someone is let down because a bridesmaid is unable or unwilling to participate in the capacity that the bride or other bridesmaids were expecting of her. I would much rather avoid that all together by being very clear upfront. I do not have expectations outside of the traditional roles, but I have a couple close friends that would have to travel, have infants or have very tight financial situations. I have a few other close friends that jump at the opportunity to help wherever they can and are excited to plan bridal and bachelorette parties. I don't think it would be fair to leave the latter to pick up the slack of the former, and unfortunately discreetly helping with dresses or travel expenses is not in my budget. Am I being heartless to kindly inform a dear friend of the approximate budget and expectations prior to asking them to commit (nothing extravagant but I would like them at least attend the bridal shower and rehearsal)? In fact in the reverse, I would very much appreciate that approach; however, I am a realistic and practical thinker. I'd like to let them know that if it is too much for them at this time in their life, I'd love them all the same to attend my wedding as one of my best friends without the added stress of being in the bridal party. To all who think that just because you say you have no expectations for your bridesmaids means that it is no burden on them, I think you're downright unrealistic or have terrible friends. 





    Yes.

    If you make assumptions about what your bridesmaids can afford or how much "slack" they should pick up without finding out from them first what their budgets and schedules are and then set "expectations" of what level of "commitment" they should make to you, you're in for a big disappointment -- and it's not your bridesmaids' fault if, no matter how clear your expectations are, the amounts of time, money and energy you expect them to expend on your wedding fall outside of what they can make available to you.

  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska
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    Two of my three bridesmaids did not attend one of my bridal showers. No big deal. While sure, bridesmaids are typically your closest friends or family and would theoretically try to be there, there are all sorts of legitimate reasons why they may not be able to make it. 

    The polite thing to do is ask for dress budgets beforehand and pick a dress within the lowest budget and also, let people offer to help with a shower, not require it of them. However, if you choose to pick whatever dress you want without considering budgets and require a certain level of shower, I absolutely think you should tell them, "The dress is going to be $200 and your share of the bridal shower and bachelorette will be $400 so if you can't afford that, tell me now and you won't be a bridesmaid." It'll save your potential bridesmaids a lot of trouble. 

    short+sassyCMGragainSTARMOON44geebee908
  • Yes, that is too much.

    The only requirement, as PPs have stated, is to show up on time, in the agreed upon attire. Most BMs plan to attend the rehearsal, but if it's a different time than the night before the wedding, you may want to clarify that with them, especially if there will be travel involved. They are not required to attend any or all pre-wedding parties (I was a BM in a wedding where the bride had FOUR showers!!). You should ask them all their budget prior to choosing a dress, and go with the lowest amount, unless you are willing to kick in some funds to make up the difference.

    The people you choose as your wedding party should be your nearest and dearest, and being in the wedding party is a way to honor THEM, not play into any vision or fantasy you have.
    short+sassySP29
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
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    JFC.  

    Ditto PPs.  


    image
    PrettyGirlLost
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    yes.

    You ask for them for THEIR budget on items.  Privately, of course.

      If they can make the pre-party stuff, GREAT.  if not, it doesn't make them a bad friend.   Kids, jobs, marriage, health, finance, location all change with time.   Even with the best intentions not everyone can make everything.  Don't lose sight of what a true friend is. 






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    charlotte989875short+sassyPrettyGirlLost
  • missfrodomissfrodo
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    aurianna said:






    The polite thing to do is ask for dress budgets beforehand and pick a dress within the lowest budget and also, let people offer to help with a shower wait and see if anyone chooses to throw you a shower and stay out of it regardless, not require it of them. However, if you choose to pick whatever dress you want without considering budgets and require a certain level of shower, I absolutely think you should tell them, "The dress is going to be $200 and your share of the bridal shower and bachelorette will be $400 so if you can't afford that, "I don't care about your budget or time. I'm entitled to big parties and brides servants. So if you don't like that tell me now and you won't be a bridesmaid because parties and pictures are more important than our friendship." It'll save your potential bridesmaids a lot of trouble. 




    FTFY


    I meant to click "love it" and quoted it by mistake, so I'll leave it here as emphasis.  Telling your friends how much to spend on you will make you look very entitled, and puts a price tag on your friendship.  They may feel obligated to try to pay whatever you're charging them to be in your wedding, and they may not feel comfortable telling you they can't really afford something, putting your friends in an awkward position.  Money issues can be embarrassing, and it's so much easier for someone to say "I can spend $50 on a dress" than to say "I can't spend $200 on a dress."  
    You and FI should expect to take care of everything yourselves.  If any of your friends/family offer to help, great!  You can certainly take them up on their offer, same if someone offers to throw you a bridal shower or bachelorette.  But it's very rude to demand assistance from anyone you aren't paying.  Some of the people you ask to be in your BP may offer to help, and some may not--it doesn't mean they don't care about you, or don't wish you and your FI the best.  Remember that your wedding will never be as important to anyone else as it is to you (and your FI).  
    InLoveInQueens
  • I mean...you probably have a good idea of what your friends who you are going to ask can and cannot afford already. I paid for the dresses of two of my bridesmaids (partially because it's a cultural thing I grew up with and partially because I knew that one of them is a mother and does not have a high paying job). My third BM refused to let me pay but she and her husband make more money than my other friends. That was fine. I just budgeted for it and spent less in other areas.

    Therefore, it really depends on your/their financial situations. It's kind of an asscakey thing to ask someone who is barely paying rent to buy a dress and take time off work to go to all of this stuff...so if you don't want to pay for it, and don't think they can...don't ask them. However, you could ask them and say something like "I'd be happy to give you a estimate of how much things will cost and how much time it will take before you decide." 

    Also, if you are asking your friends to be in your wedding because you want the people you love the most to be part of your big day...you work around their budget and time schedule as much as possible. ...especially if you want them to still be your friends after the wedding....  
    short+sassySP29
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited June 2
    You are asking your closest friends to be members of your wedding party and stand next to you when you say your vows.  You are not asking them to audition for parts in a play.  Your expectations are not reasonable and are somewhat insulting.  It is not your business to be concerned about your friends' financial situation except to privately ask them about the cost of the dress.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    short+sassySP29HeffalumpDrillSergeantCat


  • Two of my three bridesmaids did not attend one of my bridal showers. No big deal. While sure, bridesmaids are typically your closest friends or family and would theoretically try to be there, there are all sorts of legitimate reasons why they may not be able to make it. 


    I only had 2 bridesmaids attend my shower, and one of my bridesmaids wasn't able to attend anything unfortunately.


    OP, while I see what you're trying to get at, you aren't going about it the right way.
    Budget - see what everyone can afford in the beginning, knowing what they can/can't afford shouldn't change whether they can be in your wedding. It should take into account on what happens though. If one or more have lower budget that the rest, look at lowering budget in general.

    Example - I asked all the ladies together to let me know personally what their budget was before I even looked at dresses. Knowing the budget for most was low, I kept it low and didn't even look at bridal stores. {I'm Canadian, and we looked at le chateau for dresses - they were perfect and exactly on price after taxes}

    While it is nice that your wedding party attends things planned, it's not necessary. Remember this, and it'll keep you from being upset about anything.
    Also - if for example some bridesmaids aren't able to attend the shower, you could always save something for them or spend time with them separately. Just because you're getting married, it doesn't mean everyone is able to drop everything for events.
    cat animals pallas cat GIF
    ernursejSP29short+sassyDrillSergeantCat
  • It would be nice if they could attend a shower but they aren't obligated. They especially aren't obligated to help throw it.

    My MOH hosted one shower all on her own at her choosing. The other bridesmaids were invited but not expected to give money etc. And I had no bachelorette which was fine with me. It would have been another weekend of them traveling and didn't make sense.

    One of my bridesmaids couldn't attend the rehearsal and that was cool. She's a smart cookie and can walk down an aisle and back. 

    I can already tell you are expecting too much. Really all you need from them is to stand beside you on your wedding day.

    charlotte989875SP29short+sassygeebee908
  • geebee908geebee908
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    If you'd really like to make things easier for them and yourself, then get rid of any expectations. You don't have to set a dress budget if you let them pick their own dresses; they'll shop within whatever budget they set for themselves.

    View the parties as wonderful extras if someone (and it doesn't have to be a member of your BP) offers to throw one for you. If not, it's a chance to invite people over or out just to spend time with them like you would were you not planning a wedding. Just leave your wedding out of the event and have fun with friends.

    They are your friends first and last. Don't risk alienating anyone because you think there is a price tag you can put on participation in your BP.
    SP29InLoveInQueenscharlotte989875eileenrob
  • divarhddivarhd
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    Two of my three bridesmaids did not attend one of my bridal showers. No big deal. While sure, bridesmaids are typically your closest friends or family and would theoretically try to be there, there are all sorts of legitimate reasons why they may not be able to make it. 

    The polite thing to do is ask for dress budgets beforehand and pick a dress within the lowest budget and also, let people offer to help with a shower, not require it of them. However, if you choose to pick whatever dress you want without considering budgets and require a certain level of shower, I absolutely think you should tell them, "The dress is going to be $200 and your share of the bridal shower and bachelorette will be $400 so if you can't afford that, tell me now and you won't be a bridesmaid." It'll save your potential bridesmaids a lot of trouble. 


    You had more than one shower?
    Met: 5/4/16
    Dating: 6/21/16
    Engaged: 3/20/17
    Wedding: 2/24/18
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska
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    edited July 6


    divarhd said:








    Two of my three bridesmaids did not attend one of my bridal showers. No big deal. While sure, bridesmaids are typically your closest friends or family and would theoretically try to be there, there are all sorts of legitimate reasons why they may not be able to make it. 

    The polite thing to do is ask for dress budgets beforehand and pick a dress within the lowest budget and also, let people offer to help with a shower, not require it of them. However, if you choose to pick whatever dress you want without considering budgets and require a certain level of shower, I absolutely think you should tell them, "The dress is going to be $200 and your share of the bridal shower and bachelorette will be $400 so if you can't afford that, tell me now and you won't be a bridesmaid." It'll save your potential bridesmaids a lot of trouble. 






    You had more than one shower?



    Whoops, posted too soon.

    Yes. One was thrown for me where I was living a few months prior to the wedding. The second was thrown for me the day before the wedding in the town I got married in. The guest lists did not overlap except for my bridesmaids and our moms, of which only my MOH was able to come to both. 

    As @MobKaz said, it's not super unusual and not against etiquette.

  • I had three showers. I come from a very large family and didn't want a massive shower where I only got to chat with people for a minute. So we had one for my mom's side of the family and one for my dad's side. Bridesmaids were invited to both and picked which worked best for them. One couldn't attend either which was totally fine. 

    Those were in another state a few hours away.

    A good friend of mine also hosted a small friend shower in the town where I live. 

    I think max guests at any of them was 15 people. 
    SP29
  • SP29SP29
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    More than one shower is fine as long as the guest list does not overlap (exceptions made for immediate family like MOB, grandma, and the WP- but these people do not bring gifts to each event if they attend more than one).
    short+sassyahoywedding
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