Wedding Party

How Long Can I Put Off Asking My WP?

Long story short, there are some things that have come up that are making me put off asking my BMs to be in my wedding. So, if I were to go with still having a WP, when is the absolute latest I could ask them and not stress too much about getting everything done that they'll need? I'm assuming we need time to order their dresses, have them altered if needed, and order their flowers for the wedding. Anything else can be saved much easier towards the last minute, as I believe those are the most time sensitive. I read David's Bridal can get your BM dresses in 6-8 weeks. Does that mean asking them with 3 months till the big day give us enough time? What about for GM? Is there less to worry about for the guys?

Re: How Long Can I Put Off Asking My WP?

  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We usually say 6-9 months before the wedding while cautioning brides not to ask their wedding party too early. I don't think 3 months is too late unless someone would need to save money for travel. Hoping not to sound sexist, but it isn't as urgent for the guys. Tuxedoes/suits can be ordered in a lot less time than dresses. If they are just buying a suit, that is pretty quick too. That being said I think the same amount of lead time (roughly) should be given the GMs as the BMs.
  • I think you should also consider your friends feelings- will they feel like an after thought being asked 3 months before? That doesn't give them much time to plan a bridal shower or bachelorette which, while not required, bridesmaids often want to do. And if they are your closest friends, won't they be wondering what is going on when you don't ask them? Is there some outside reason affecting the choice?
  • Hard to answer without more details. Is it a money thing (gifts, flowers, transportation, rehearsal dinner) or more of a " I don't know if I'll be close/still friends with them at the time of the wedding"?

  • Technically, you could ask someone the day of the wedding if they'd stand next to you instead of sit in the audience as a guest. 

    But to be sure they attend, as climbingwife points out, you should give them more lead time. 

  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think three months only works if you are saying something like 'wear an LBD you already own' or else you are planning on paying for the dresses. 

    As I understand it, it is acceptable in the US for the BMs to pay for their own dresses, therefore, you risk them saying that their budget for a dress is considerably lower than usual, as you are really only giving them a few weeks to buy a dress (if it takes 8 weeks). Also, bridesmaid dresses will 99% of the time require alterations (which means you are cutting it very close). 

    Maybe pick a neutral, seasonal colour and just have everyone buy off the rack.

    But I think the bigger question is: why do you want to wait? Is it a friendship issue? Are you worried that you may not be as close with these people?

    Does your fi not want any ushers etc? Because you are welcome to have a friend or two even if he doesn't want anyone. 

    Your BMs should be the people that you could not imagine getting married without being next to you. If that is one person, that is fine, if it is no one, that is fine, but if you are on the fence about anyone, I would say err on the side of not asking them. 

  • I agree with @southernbelle0915 that you could ask the day of if you wanted to; no one needs a particular dress on to stand up next to you and if you didn't mind that someone you may want to have included RSVPed no. If you'd like to give them some time to clear their calendar and make arrangements to be there in a dress of their choosing, then give them 3 or 4 months perhaps.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I was a bridesmaid in a wedding that was planned in 2 weeks complete with bachelorette party. So it's do-able but not ideal. I agree you should give them more than 3 months unless, as others mentioned, you don't care what they wear and know none of them have to travel, etc. 

    And I, too, am curious why you want to wait. Perhaps you have a situation we could help you with?
    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
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I got a bridesmaid dress made in a few weekends for my brother and SIL's wedding, but I didn't have time to shop around to find a good deal and had to spend a lot more money than was probably necessary. Since the wedding involved long-distance travel for me, I also had to ask for time off from work (which required advance notice) and make travel arrangements.

    Yes, you can ask your wedding party with three month's notice, but it's not ideal.

    I also would like to know why you want to wait.
  • It all depends on your "must" list for bridesmaid expectations...  If you expect them to only show up relatively sober the day of your wedding and stand by your side holding some flowers you chose and pose for a few pictures, then three months or less is just fine.  If you expect them to purchase a dress, you're going to want more lead time and the 6mo mark is about the latest you want to push it.  
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  • Personally, I think it depends on the friends. My BMs knew they would be in my WP because we had talked about it before I was even engaged. Our engagement was only 9 months pretty much, so my BMs knew pretty quick. One of them I had to tell sooner-than-later because she didn't live close and had to plan travel, etc.
    Another BM is a hairdresser and since my wedding was a Saturday, I wanted to ensure she had time to book time off when she needed/wanted to be off.

    So keep everyone's schedules and lives in mind when asking, but roughly 6-9 months as people suggested.
  • I have to agree with everyone else here that you want to give them more time (6 months) if are expecting everyone to wear a specific dress.  You want to provide some time to save up money, order it, and alter it before the wedding. 

    If you are going with the wear anything in X color that you can purchase at a box store, I would say 2-3 months is a reasonable amount of time.  Finally, if you don't care at all what anyone is wearing you can ask them to stand up with you before the ceremony starts!

    *Personal experience* I was in a former friends wedding last year and her entire engagement was 6 months.  She didn't ask us to be BMs until about 4.5 months out and then insisted we rushed down to David's Bridal to buy our dresses shortly after.  At the time I half expected to be asked so I had some money I was putting aside.  My other friend felt pressured to come up with what she needed on the spot.  My dress order got screwed up and I didn't get my dress until 3 weeks before the wedding!  We both made it work but it was a little more stressful than had we been provided more notice. 

    The reason she is a former friend was because she told her MOH/Sister (clearly while we were in the room) that, "I would have skipped the Bridesmaid and would have only had you be my MOH if I had known *DH* wasn't going to ask his other two friends to be in the wedding party. *pauses* No offense!".  Said friend and I were essentially props!!!! So please DON'T ASK your friends to be BMs for even sides/tradition/whatever...only ask if you care about them!

  • I would do at least 6 months. Granted David's can get dresses in fast, they still need time for alterations. If you are hoping for a Bridal Shower, those are typically held 6-8 weeks before the wedding & you should give them time to be able to plan & save up for that, assuming they want to throw one for you. For GM, you should have them go in also a few months in advance for intial measurements so that their tuxes can be reserved. Depending on what time of year you are getting married it could be hard to get a tux, like if it's around homecoming or prom season. Last thing, bridal party members don't order their own flowers. Flowers are on you.
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