Wedding Party

When people complain that bridesmaids aren't "helping" what does that mean exactly?

I just asked this in a response to another thread but don't know if it will get seen there.  I see a lot of posts here complaining that a bridesmaid is not "helping with the wedding" or something like that. Can someone give me actual specific examples of things they ask bridesmaids to help with?  Like are you having them address the invitations with you?  Do they make phone calls and set up appointments for you??  What do you really NEED them to help you with?

I asked my bridesmaids (there are three of them) to pick out their dresses.  Obviously I needed their help with that because they were the ones wearing the dresses.  But I don't really fee like that was helping me out really, I mean I guess I could have just picked a dress and demanded they wear it but I think that's not really cool anyway.  So besides having them decide on a dress, what are people so upset about when they say the bridesmaids aren't helping?

Re: When people complain that bridesmaids aren't "helping" what does that mean exactly?

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    jneen101 said:
    I just asked this in a response to another thread but don't know if it will get seen there.  I see a lot of posts here complaining that a bridesmaid is not "helping with the wedding" or something like that. Can someone give me actual specific examples of things they ask bridesmaids to help with?  Like are you having them address the invitations with you?  Do they make phone calls and set up appointments for you??  What do you really NEED them to help you with?

    I asked my bridesmaids (there are three of them) to pick out their dresses.  Obviously I needed their help with that because they were the ones wearing the dresses.  But I don't really fee like that was helping me out really, I mean I guess I could have just picked a dress and demanded they wear it but I think that's not really cool anyway.  So besides having them decide on a dress, what are people so upset about when they say the bridesmaids aren't helping?
    Usually it does mean participating in DIY tasks like assembling the invites, making centerpieces, etc.  And I have seen people on this board saying how they have their MOH make appointments to see venues and all the other big things.  All of that is just crazy!  IF your BM volunteer, that is wonderful.  But it seems that many brides on these boards demand the help they think they deserve. 

    It sounds like you are doing everything right with your BM.  If they offer their help, that is fine to take them up on their offer.
    [Deleted User]
  • My only "expectations" for my BMs is that they show up on time in the color/style dress we agreed upon. Anything beyond being there to celebrate the day with us is up to them!
  • I did the same - I had them pick out the dresses that they wanted to wear, but I did the DIY invites with myself and some help from my parents, and the BMs weren't needed for helping with the shower - other people had that covered.  I really just want them up there to "support me" on my wedding day, which is basically standing up there beside me. 
    My FI was more of the type that was expecting the bridal party to do a number of tasks - like helping with decor, the take-down, he wanted to do a special performance etc . . . but I convinced him otherwise.  The bridal party isn't there to be assigned tasks, but it seems like a lot of people see it that way.  It's odd - maybe television and bridal books are to blame for this assumption. 
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
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    A lot of brides think the bridesmaids are supposed to be at their beck and call anxiously awaiting the joys of putting together favors, addressing envelopes, planning parties, looking at decorations, dresses, toasting flutes, etc. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    [Deleted User]
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    AddieL73 said:
    A lot of brides think the bridesmaids are supposed to be at their beck and call anxiously awaiting the joys of putting together favors, addressing envelopes, planning parties, looking at decorations, dresses, toasting flutes, etc. 
    When I was a bridesmaid I actually moved out of town from Houston to NYC to avoid this.  While I love my SIL, I had a rotten time leading up to the wedding over getting my dress (long story), and I would have hated doing any of the above.
  • Other than getting the dresses, the only thing I asked my BMs to do was bustle my train after the ceremony.
    Anniversary

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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • @neen101
    "What do you really NEED them to help you with?"

    Nothing!
    If you want them to do something, it is because you WANT it , not NEED it.
    The same goes for the bridesmaids themselves.  You dont NEED bridesmaids. If you have them, it's because you WANT them.
    Even if they only have to wear a dress, pose for pictures,  or just stand next to you, you don't NEED it.
  • Thanks to everyone who answered so far. I was hoping to hear from some brides who actually assigned tasks or jobs to their bridesmaids, so can anyone chime in with that?  It seems like so far everyone who responded feels like I do, which is that you didn't need them to help with anything.  Obviously there are many people on this board who do expect the bridesmaids to help and are very upset when they don't, so let's hear from you girls!!!
  • I would never expect my bridesmaids to "help" with my wedding in anyway. I will admit that I'd be a little bummed/disappointed if they didn't throw me some kind of bachelorette party. It's not something I'd ever demand, but something I'm grateful they're doing. However, I think it's ridiculous when I hear that brides expect something specific from that party. If a few of my girls brought me a hot pizza and chick flick and announced that was the bachelorette party, I'd be happy as a clam. 
  • I'm sorry that I can't add anything from the perspective of a demanding bride.  I am a firm believer in that the bridal party only has to show up sober and on time in a dress that is within the specifications I outlined. (Aka color, fabric, and approximate length).
  •  @thelastdreamer

    I think I would be sad too if my BMs didn't do some kind of bachelorette. Although, I'm more worried about talking them out of crazy ideas than worried about not having one. I would also be happy with Clueless and pizza. Since you're not supposed to ask for a bach party or shower, if you want them, you are best of thinking about which BMs you choose, and pick ones that will do this for you b/c they want to without asking b/c they love you. My MOH and one of my other BMs are doing this stuff for me, and I sure as heck will do it for their future weddings because I want to.

    I think the worst is when people expect the BMs to do chores when they don't offer.  One of my BMs is getting married two weeks after me, and we were chatting about day-of-coordinators. My BM said that I didn't need to get one b/c that's what BMs are for on the day of. I said BMs are for drinking mimosas with me while we get ready, not putting flowers out! I decided that minute that the day-of-coordinator was happening. Although I may ask for help with one thing. @HisGirlFriday13 I am totally going to need help bustling this train...and I will probably ask my BMs to help me if they don't offer.

  • kgd7357 said:

     @thelastdreamer

    I think I would be sad too if my BMs didn't do some kind of bachelorette. Although, I'm more worried about talking them out of crazy ideas than worried about not having one. I would also be happy with Clueless and pizza. Since you're not supposed to ask for a bach party or shower, if you want them, you are best of thinking about which BMs you choose, and pick ones that will do this for you b/c they want to without asking b/c they love you. My MOH and one of my other BMs are doing this stuff for me, and I sure as heck will do it for their future weddings because I want to.

    I think the worst is when people expect the BMs to do chores when they don't offer.  One of my BMs is getting married two weeks after me, and we were chatting about day-of-coordinators. My BM said that I didn't need to get one b/c that's what BMs are for on the day of. I said BMs are for drinking mimosas with me while we get ready, not putting flowers out! I decided that minute that the day-of-coordinator was happening. Although I may ask for help with one thing. @HisGirlFriday13 I am totally going to need help bustling this train...and I will probably ask my BMs to help me if they don't offer.

    Do NOT pick your BM's based on who will throw you a bach party. 
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    TeddiD34KeptInStitchessouthernbelle0915
  • Maybe that came out wrong. I mean pick bridesmaids that love you and will probably do it anyway. Even if it's coming over with icecream. If you seriously can't think of a friend that wont come over with a pint of icecream that is sad. Would you really not be sad if every one of your BMs didn't think it was worth their time to even plan a movie night in? 
  • kgd7357 said:
    Maybe that came out wrong. I mean pick bridesmaids that love you and will probably do it anyway. Even if it's coming over with icecream. If you seriously can't think of a friend that wont come over with a pint of icecream that is sad. Would you really not be sad if every one of your BMs didn't think it was worth their time to even plan a movie night in? 
    Almost none of my BM's live near each other and none live in the same town as my. How can I expect them drop everything and travel to collectively spend time with me. I spend time with them individually when I have a chance.

    I'm pretty far out so I have no idea if they'll throw a bach party. But if they do, I will be surprised and grateful. 
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  • Will you really be surprised? Grateful, totally. BMs have been throwing bach parties for years. It is normal (no, not required). Not one of my BMs lives in the same town, and I'm sure not all of them can make a Bach Party. I'm just saying that I would be sad if not one of my BMs thought, hey, it might be nice to do something. I guess I'm just lucky that I knew my BMs would do something.
  • kgd7357 said:
    Will you really be surprised? Grateful, totally. BMs have been throwing bach parties for years. It is normal (no, not required). Not one of my BMs lives in the same town, and I'm sure not all of them can make a Bach Party. I'm just saying that I would be sad if not one of my BMs thought, hey, it might be nice to do something. I guess I'm just lucky that I knew my BMs would do something.
    So would you be disappointed if your BM's couldn't find a time before the wedding for even some of them to get together to throw a bach party?
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  • Mine couldn't all do the same weekend. So my MOH is doing a night out in NYC where she lives (she can't travel much with work) and people are crashing at her place. Drivable for two BMs and I'll train up to her. One BM def can't make it, so she offered to do a ladies night where we live in DC (talked down from, let's do a long weekend on an island I can't afford). One is up in the air if she can make it. There is no way they could ever all do the same weekend. It's no big deal. It's the thought that counts. And yes, I would be disappointed if not one of them thought "let's shoot out an email and see if maybe we could make something work".

  • Traveling and Bach parties cost money. Some women just can't afford that. It certainly doesn't make them a bad BM or a bad friend. They will all make the effort to travel to celebrate with me at my wedding. If they want to throw a party, that's just icing on the cake. 
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    KeptInStitches
  • I never said that they were required. I just said that I would be sad not having one. In my case, I'm the one traveling b/c I'd like to have one, and that is what works for other people the best. We also have several other friends that are not BMs in that area that can come, so it's even a bonus. I knew my friends would make something work, because we love each other, and I will do the same for them. I don't get the people that wonder why their random cousin in the BP didn't want to plan something (just an example, some people are close to cousins). And no matter what, at least one of your BMs does not have to travel. If my bach party was just me and my MOH bar hopping on a random weekend I visited her, that would work great for me!

    If you really don't care about having one, that is totally fine. To each there own. I was trying to give the OP an honest answer about the one thing that I think I would be sad about if none of my BMs thought of. A shower I could take or leave. I just really didn't have to worry about it though, b/c I knew my friends.

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