Moms and Maids

Questions on MOH responsibilities and BM budgeting.

Hi ladies!

I'm in three weddings next year, MOH in two.  I'm beyond pumped and completely excited, but I also don't feel especially confident in what exactly my level of responsibility is to my brides and where to bring concerns I might have.  I feel so honored to have been asked to be part of my friends' lives in this way, and I want to make sure I have my ducks in a row.  I've looked on the net, and the answers are all over the place.  These boards were a lifesaver when I was in the midst of wedding planning last year, so I thought I would ask here.  Hopefully, you guys can help me out.

1. As MOH, I was under an impression that I was to help plan the bridal shower and the bachelorette party, but I've also read around that my only real responsibility is to wear the dress, show up on time, and be there on the wedding day.  These seem like two different levels of involvement to me.  Is it up to me?  Is the shower more in the MOB's territory, and we as BMs just pitch in and help out?  I'm really not sure.  I definitely want to put together bachelorette parties with the other BMs, but I want to make sure these events are within all of our budgets.  Am I even remotely on the right track?  I feel a little lost! 

2. Especially since I'm going to be in a number of weddings next year, but also in general, I'm not keen on spending near $300 on a dress.  One bride has already started looking, and some of the dresses are in the $250-$275 range.  After I asked how much they cost, she said that if these were too expensive, she was more than happy to continue looking, which is awesome.  And, while I realize that is a LOT of money to lay down on a dress, it's still a little embarrassing that I want to have this conversation.  How do I communicate these issues to my brides?  Is this something I need to mention to the BMs as well, or should this conversation be kept just between me and the bride?

I really appreciate any advice or suggestions.  Thanks so much in advance for your help!
- Lindsey
So many weddings... Wedding Countdown Ticker
Artist formally known as lrmain, Bronze Knottie

Re: Questions on MOH responsibilities and BM budgeting.

  • 1) Anything you want to do above getting the dress and showing up is icing on the bride's cake.  You are more than welcome to plan any parties/help with whatever you want.  You also have every right to turn down invitations from others pay for/plan any events.  Be clear about your budget up front with other BMs in planning parties; "I can contribute X amount."  Then find out what others are willing to contribute (if at all), and plan your party based on those numbers. 

    2) The bride should be asking each of her BMs, privately, what their budgets are for dress, and then she should find a dress that is in the lowest price point for the group.  Anything else is inconsiderate, unfair to those BMs on budgets, and as you know it sets you up for awkward financial conversations later on. 

    If you're having trouble with any of your brides' expectations for money, etc, suggest they stop by these boards.  The ladies here will help them out.
  • edited September 2012
    1. Anyone, except the bride or groom, may host a shower. In my social group, the mothers and close family members usually pay for the shower because we don't  want to burden anyone else with this expense. The MOH/bms help with hosting duties - collect the rsvps, help with set up, clean up, serving or just making the guests feel comfortable and whatever they volunteer to do.

    If you decide to host a shower for the brides, you may contact the other bms and ask if they are willing and able to help with it. You should ask what they will be contributing, so there won't be a misunderstanding later. Everyone who contributes should be included in the planning process. The shower host (s) should let the bride know how may guests they can accommodate so the bride can give them a guest list. Some of the suggestions I have seen on the 'Pre-wedding Parties' board for affordable showers: a simple cake and punch party, ice cream social, wine and cheese party.

    2. The bride should ask each of you, privately, about your dress budgets before she shops. If she doesn't, you should speak up about your budget before she gets too involved in looking for your dresses. Everybody has a budget, so you shouldn't be embarrassed to set a limit. You might be interested in the 'Wedding Party' board, where this is a popular topic.

    You have a busy and expensive year ahead. Good luck. I hope all your brides have common sense and remain considerate throughout the process.

    ETA - I just noticed your SN. Very cute. The MOH and bms are not required to help address envelopes : )
  • edited September 2012
    The maid of honor's basic duty is to show up. However, I always felt that you must be really close to the person to be picked for the title and it would seem like you're a horrible friend to not to want to throw them a bridal shower or bachlorett party. I picked my best friend as my maid of honor and told her the parties were up to her just be nice, but if she hadn't done them, I would have probably been crushed. It would mean that my friendship wasn't as important or she didn't think me getting married was exciting. 

    As for parties, you can always do cheap things. For the bridal shower, my MOH just had everyone come to my parent's house. They laid out snacks and then had some fun cheap games, like splitting up the people into two groups, have them pick one person in their group, and then the rest had to use toilet paper to make a wedding dress. I got to be the judge of which dress was the best. She gave out prizes, cheap $1 things you can find in the Target section. 

    For the bachlorette party, we just went to one my bridesmaids house and sat in the hot tub. We spent the whole night talking and just hanging. I loved it. It was fun to just have a girl's night. You don't have to do anything expensive like booking a hotel room. 

    As a bride, I was kind enough to ask my bridesmaids how much they were comfortable with spending. One bridesmaid even asked me. If you're close friends, it shouldn't be an awful experience at all to communicate about price. All of us are so close and broke that I was very money concious and made sure they were comfortable paying for the dresses. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. I think if you don't mention it to the other bridesmaids, then you might have issues of them picking out expensive dresses to try on. Not sure how close you are to them though. All my bridesmaids know each other and are really close so we had no issues watching the prices of the dresses to make sure they were under $200.

    As for helping with any wedding stuff, I didn't ask any of them to help. I am very much a perfectionist and so I preferred to do everything myself. 
  • Thanks so much for all of the advice so far!  This is seriously helpful.  I already feel much better about everything.  I emailed my one bride after reading these first few posts and just explained where I'd prefer the price point for dresses to be.  I also found some that looked similar to ones she had sent last week but weren't as expensive.  Hopefully that will help.  Thanks so much again!

    @Maire, I know what you mean, already starting to work on saving my pennies, but in the end, I know it will be worth it to be such a big part of everyone's special day.  And thank you on the SN!  There's actually a story that goes along with it, but I like the spin you put on it too, very appropriate. 

    @catlover, I can see how you would feel that way, but I would also argue that if those kinds of events didn't happen, it wouldn't necessarily reflect poorly on the friendship.  I could see being wary of planning an event if you're a BM who is financially unable, especially when I feel like sometimes there's this inaccurate impression that it HAS to be over-the-top and crazy in order to be worthwhile and fun.  Sounds like you all had a lovely low-key good time.  I'm going to keep these kinds of things in mind as I'm thinking about them moving forward!
    So many weddings... Wedding Countdown Ticker
    Artist formally known as lrmain, Bronze Knottie
  • 1.  The shower is hosted by the MOH, assisted by the BMs.  The bach party is planned by the MOH and the BMs.

    2.  The bride should have a good idea of her girls' budgets, and should choose a dress accordingly.
  • In Response to <a href=" Topic Wedding BoardsForum:357Discussion:aba52430-37dd-4fbf-9b00-cf7b970f6b9fPost:a1bd53cf-291e-4afe-8056-426b156af33b">Re: Questions on MOH responsibilities and BM budgeting.</a>:
    [QUOTE]1.  The shower is hosted by the MOH, assisted by the BMs.  The bach party is planned by the MOH and the BMs. 2.  The bride should have a good idea of her girls' budgets, and should choose a dress accordingly.
    Posted by Kristin789[/QUOTE

    Showers are hosted by non-family members.

    The brides should ASK each girl her budget rather than try to get "a good idea" and the girls should get a say in what they are wearing.
    Proud to be an old married hag!! image
  • Keep in mind who is on the wedding guest list; anyone invited to pre-wedding events must be invited to the wedding so be careful who you invite so the bride doesn't end up in a sticky situation. 
  • My suggestion to you regarding bridesmaid dresses. I am getting married in october and I am the mmaid of honor in my best friends wedding in march. Make sure when u shop for bridesmaid dresses ask if its expensive to alter... The one for hers estimates at 200 to 300 not including the price of the dress. A straight line across the bottom is cheapest. I don't think there is anything wrong with asking or telling people your budget. I let my girls pretty much pick the bridesmaid dress for my wedding
  • Thanks so much for all of the input, ladies!  I really appreciate your thoughts.  Trying not to stress, but my brides all run the gamut in terms of organization and "intensity," if you will.  It will all be super fun and worth it in the end.  Thanks again!
    So many weddings... Wedding Countdown Ticker
    Artist formally known as lrmain, Bronze Knottie
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