Wedding Party

I have no idea what I'm supposed to "make" my bridesmaids do!

I really don't understand what bridesmaids are supposed to do and why it is such a huge obligation. I just want my best friends standing up with me on my wedding day, and dancing with me that night. I hate to make them spend more than $100 on a dress... I know they're supposed to throw me a bachelorette party... my family's tradition is to throw their own shower... what else is there? I keep reading about women not living up to their responsibilities in the wedding party, and as far as I am concerned their only responsibility for ME would be to arrive on time dressed in the designated garb, and come to the bachelorette party that my MOH is already planning, IF they can make it. Is that OK?

My maid of honor lives two hours away, my other bridesmaid lives 7 hours away, the one who is in town is quite busy, and my other friend gave me a maybe because she doesn't know where she is going to be in a few months for the wedding. I'm okay with all of that and not giving them responsibility but I guess I would like some light shed on what is typical because I don't want to end up overwhelmed or something!

Thanks everyone and sorry this was a smidge long-winded!
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