Moms and Maids

Bridesmaid advice for the BRIDE

peachy13peachy13 in my cubicle, doing very important work member
Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
Hi Knotties! 

I recently picked out my fabulous bunch of bridesmaids for my wedding next year and as I've never been a bridesmaid, I wanted to know some basic etiquette, do's and don't, and general advice that you could let me know.

I honestly don't anticipate giving my maids too much work to do besides planning the bachelorette party and buying their dresses. I do want to know what I can do.

How much notice to give them about details? (and how much communication is annoying?)
How much to spend on their gifts? (do I give them these at the rehearsal dinner?)

Just any kind of guidance from a bridesmaid or former bride to a soon-to-be bride would be so amazingly helpful.

Thanks all! 
xoxo
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Re: Bridesmaid advice for the BRIDE

  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Ask your BMs their budgets privately for dresses and stick to them when picking.

    A bachelorette party is a gift, not something you can expect from them.

    Otherwise I'd kind of let them dictate their level of involvement - not everyone is really into weddings and might not care about all the details, while other people might want nothing more than to gush over the details with you.

    Shop for their gifts like it's their birthday or Christmas, and don't worry about making them all match. As far as how much to spend, that varies. I mean, obviously you shouldn't get them a $5 keychain when you're wearing a $5000 dress.
  • pinkshorts27pinkshorts27 Oregon member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    Hi Knotties! 

    I recently picked out my fabulous bunch of bridesmaids for my wedding next year and as I've never been a bridesmaid, I wanted to know some basic etiquette, do's and don't, and general advice that you could let me know.

    I honestly don't anticipate giving my maids too much work to do besides planning the bachelorette party and buying their dresses. I do want to know what I can do.

    How much notice to give them about details? (and how much communication is annoying?)
    How much to spend on their gifts? (do I give them these at the rehearsal dinner?)

    Just any kind of guidance from a bridesmaid or former bride to a soon-to-be bride would be so amazingly helpful.

    Thanks all! 
    xoxo
    You can't assign them any work other than wearing the dress and showing up. They should offer to host the shower if they want to, which they don't have to. So I wouldn't expect that of them. 

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    buddysmom80
  • Gifts to the wedding party are usually presented at the rehearsal dinner.  Some people make a small production and call each person up one at a time to give them the gift and thank them, others just had them out (and say thanks) at some point during the evening.  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Their gift shouldn't be something they have to wear to the wedding - like, no saying "Your thank you gift is me paying for you to get your hair done because I want everyone's hair to look the same." Also, the best advice I have for you: If you have an issue with one of your bridesmaids, go to them directly. I've seen many a time where a bride complains to her other maids about one specific maid, and that never goes well. Happy planning. :)
    aleighbaker
  • I echo the PP who mentioned asking your BMs their dress budget privately. That did not happen in a wedding I was in recently, which basically led to me being mocked by another BM when I voiced my (extremely reasonable) budget while dress shopping. Not a fun experience...
  • KaurisKauris member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    @tigersgirlgv - I hope the bride stood up for you, I'm sorry that someone was ugly about a reasonable budget. Who really wants to spend more than they have to on a dress they will wear once?

    @spookyblondebride a good rule of thumb is to answer their questions only when they have approached you about it, (except for the budget talk for the dresses). My BMs asked me what I was thinking for my bridal shower and when they offered to throw it, they also asked for my invite list. Once that was offered, I made sure to only invite the number of people THEY could afford to accommodate. I didn't offer any ideas unless I was specifically asked.

    As to shoes/hair/makeup/jewelry, if you require it to be a certain way, you pay. Don't gift them anything they are required to wear that day. It sounds like you are on the relaxed side of that though, which is good.

    As far as presents, unless you are sure they love monogram stuff, don't listen to anything The Knot (as in your weekly newsletter, not the boards) or Pinterst has to say, if you do they will be covered in monogrammed/chevron/burlap patterns for days. And who wants that?

    It's good that you are already proactively thinking about them and making sure they remain your friends after this one (AMAZING, SPECIAL, FUN) day is over. But remember it is just one day. Good luck planning!
    peachy13OliveOilsMom
  • First and foremost, congratulations! It is great that you're already thinking of your girls. Throughout your planning process, keep in mind these women are your nearest and dearest; if you plan on keeping them in your life for a long time, take their suggestions, thoughts, and feelings into consideration. I agree with talking about budgets in private with each girl. Some girls will not care how much they spend, while others may have a hard time spending more than $50. Having a private conversation so only you know each girl's limits will not embarrass anyone. Your only true expectation is that they purchase and wear whatever dress you choose and show up the day of the wedding. If they offer to assist with anything, then you can ask for help. I have been in many weddings where the bride had expected everyone to want to help, and then was let down when that did not happen. As for gifts, make it personal to each girl. Also, yes your wedding is an important day for you, but it is a day. Make sure that you still make time to be a friend. Yes, they will want to talk with you about it and will most likely want to help you plan, but not every second of the day.
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    peachy13
  • I personally love when I am allowed to pick my own dress (with guidelines). Pick a color (with designer name if you want them all to match exactly), length and fabric and let the girls pick their own, they will all look their best when they are comfortable (and hopefully can wear their dress again!)
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  • peachy13peachy13 in my cubicle, doing very important work member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    thanks ladies! I do love the idea of picking a dress color and then giving them free will to pick a dress. And I have a great idea for bridesmaids gifts.

    Thanks all!
    xoxo
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