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Etiquette

Bridesmaids

Hey ladies!
So I posted on DIY board with my bridesmaid cards after googling some ideas. In it I had "your role" "the dress" "the big day" etc explaining it to them.

I got some responses saying I should do this not that for some things and was wondering...what is bridesmaid etiquette?

I mean, I see tons of matched to the tee from dress to hair to shoes ladies and some just in a color scheme. Is it ok to ask them to wear a certain length, style, color? They are all ok with what I asked btw. I mean, I do know these women, they're my best friends.

How did you coordinate asking your girls to dress? To stay places? What responsibilities did you include? Did you email them? Write lists?

REALLY not asking for heated debates either, just curious on how you're doing it! :D

Re: Bridesmaids

  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    In Response to Re:Bridesmaids:[QUOTE]Hey ladies!
    So I posted on DIY board with my bridesmaid cards after googling some ideas. In it I had "your role" "the dress" "the big day" etc explaining it to them.

    I got some responses saying I should do this not that for some things and was wondering...what is bridesmaid etiquette?

    I mean, I see tons of matched to the tee from dress to hair to shoes ladies and some just in a color scheme. Is it ok to ask them to wear a certain length, style, color? They are all ok with what I asked btw. I mean, I do know these women, they're my best friends.

    How did you coordinate asking your girls to dress? To stay places? What responsibilities did you include? Did you email them? Write lists?

    REALLY not asking for heated debates either, just curious on how you're doing it! :D Posted by gypsylynn2005[/QUOTE]

    If you're going to select the dress, ask each one privately what their budget is. Then look for dresses that accommodate the lowest budget. If you want the mismatched look, you can just give them a color and length and maybe fabric type.

    If you want them to have the same hair, shoes, or jewelry, you need to pay for it and it shouldn't be their gift. I do think its okay though if you want to say, get please wear black shoes and silver jewelry since most people already have something like that.
  • The way it works is this.  You ask them for a budget.  You pick out a dress in their budget.  They buy the dress and show up the day of sober and ready to smile for pictures.  That's really it.

    Lots of brides prefer to let their WP pick out the attire - that's a nice thing to do particularly if some of your bridesmaids are self-conscious about their bodies, coloring (like me - I'm translucent in the winter and wear dark colors so I don't get washed out), etc.  That said, you can tell them what dress to buy as long as it's in everybody's budget.

    If you requre any particular hair, makeup, shoes, jewelry, purses (yes I've seen this), etc. then you buy it for them.  You can specify what color shoes you would prefer as well as heels versus flats, but that's about it if the girls are paying for them.

    No you do not give them lists of things to do.  Once the dresses are purchased and fitted, their only remaining responsibility is showing up the day-of.  I will be sending my girls an email in about a month so they know the general itinerary of how the day is going to go.  FI's parents are hosting the rehearsal dinner the night before, and my mom's best friend is hosting a bridesmaids' brunch the morning of, and the girls are all invited to those things.  Their attendance is not mandatory (though I doubt any will skip - they should be pretty tasty meals), but I am including it in that one email I send them so they have times and addresses if they want to come.  

    I would really not send your girls long lists of events, etc. until you are no more than a month out. I've been a bridesmaid and when I get those emails any early than that I lose them in the 100 other emails I receive each day.  I don't delete but they become a PITA to find again.

    As for showers, etc. - if somebody offers to host one for you you may accept.  It is not your bridesmaids' responsibility to throw you a shower or a bachelorette party, unless they decide among themselves that they want to do that.  And if you have a shower, their attendance again is not mandatory.  My shower is next weekend, and my MOH can't attend because the shower is in GA and she lives in MA.  Not a big deal.

    Finally, don't pepper them with info.  I promise they will ask if they want to know - but it gets exhausting dealing with a bride who wants to overshare every single little component with her bridesmaids.  Obviously if you are really excited about a particular thing, they are your friends and will indulge you.  But I know girls who would call to share things like, "we have all our addresses compiled!"  and "I found my shoes!"  Your friends love you, but they probably don't care.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • The responses you got in the other thread were largely concerned with the "expectations" card, which reads like a list of rules for your bridesmaids.  The only rules are that they agree to show up, on time, in their dress (and even that's debatable- I recently loaned my guest dress to a bridesmaid who forgot to pack hers, and it was completely fine)

    In general, these cutesy bridesmaid invites have a tendancy to make you look really high maintenance.  How about calling your ladies and asking them what they think about dresses? Or just emailing them some ideas?

    And for the bachelorette party, you really aren't supposed to be calling the shots on this.  Booking a hotel room without your bridesmaids calling you and asking you to because its somehow easier if you do it isn't helpful, its bossy.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited February 2013
    Originally, I told my girls to get any dress they wanted in a champagne color. Then we decided to go with a pattern, so I felt they should be the same, and I wasn't seeing any from bridal salons that I particularly liked, so we went shopping at the mall one day and found dresses at Macy's together.

    ETA:  I didn't give them any lists or duties b/c they are not required to perform any. Sometimes I was on the phone with one and said something like, "I have to see the florist this week," and sometimes my friend would say "You want me to come with?" Or "Oh, the favor stuff got here."  "Hey, I'll come over Friday with a bottle of wine and we can do those!"  Any involvement they had was strictly voluntary and brought up/initiated by them. 
    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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  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    The issue with your dress requirement is that you specified above the knee and sleeveless, which a lot of people are not comfortable with. Same with specifying that they have to wear an updo. The other major problem people pointed out was that you're planning the bachelorette party, which is inappropriate.



  • So the general opinion is email/phone calls? I'm not planning my bachelorette party really though, I was told they wanted to do one that night. I don't even care one way or another, I'm just excited for them to all finally be out here together! :D Another reason for the hotel is that's where I'm having the photographer meet us the next day to take pics of us getting ready. I figure if I want them all in one place I should spring for it? I honestly also thought I was being nice picking up that tab! As far as the dress, I am letting them pick their own. I also would know if they hated strapless, hated a color, etc. In fact, I had them pick vetween tan and blue. I just heard how someone could take above the knees please as a mid thigh dress...crap. Lol. I meant as in JUST above the knees/knee length. There's a pretty pic of strapless right above the knee navy blue dresses as one of my favorites I was getting the idea from. My cards ideas aren't really to tell them what to do bc we all talk about it. I just thought they were cute. If they have a problem with something, they would def tell me! I also looked up the knots version of duties and they have quite a few more things on there if anyone is interested in that. :D So what are y'all ladies having your wedding party wear? Are you footing the bill for it all? I'm giving them 100 gift cards and having the shoes covered. I was just in a wedding in December that I paid for my ticket, my dress, my hotel, my shoes, etc. I didn't even expect the bride to pay for it, I really thought that's how it went lol. Thanks for answering ladies!
  • In Response to Re:Bridesmaids:
    [QUOTE]So the general opinion is email/phone calls? I'm not planning my bachelorette party really though, I was told they wanted to do one that night. I don't even care one way or another, I'm just excited for them to all finally be out here together! :D Another reason for the hotel is that's where I'm having the photographer meet us the next day to take pics of us getting ready. I figure if I want them all in one place I should spring for it? I honestly also thought I was being nice picking up that tab! As far as the dress, I am letting them pick their own. I also would know if they hated strapless, hated a color, etc. In fact, I had them pick vetween tan and blue. I just heard how someone could take above the knees please as a mid thigh dress...crap. Lol. I meant as in JUST above the knees/knee length. There's a pretty pic of strapless right above the knee navy blue dresses as one of my favorites I was getting the idea from. My cards ideas aren't really to tell them what to do bc we all talk about it. I just thought they were cute. If they have a problem with something, they would def tell me! I also looked up the knots version of duties and they have quite a few more things on there if anyone is interested in that. :D So what are y'all ladies having your wedding party wear? Are you footing the bill for it all? I'm giving them 100 gift cards and having the shoes covered. I was just in a wedding in December that I paid for my ticket, my dress, my hotel, my shoes, etc. I didn't even expect the bride to pay for it, I really thought that's how it went lol. Thanks for answering ladies!
    Posted by gypsylynn2005[/QUOTE]

    The Knot is a wedding company that does not give a rat's ass about etiquette, manners, people or anything except getting your money. The more they convince brides that their wedding party has to do all these fanciful things, the more money they make. Please do not take these things seriously. 
  • Also, there's nothing wrong with paying for a hotel room for your girls. Whats wrong with it is that you're calling it a bachelorette party. 
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited February 2013
    My BMs were my three sisters.  My MOH threw a bachelorette party for me but I did not ask her to and wasn't involved with it at all (except to say, "hey, did you invite so-and-so?")  My other two BMs didn't do a thing to help me because they still live at home with my parents which was 2,000 miles away and that was fine with me.  I asked my MOH if she wanted to go to a dress fitting with me.  She went to one and didn't go the second or third one because she was busy.  That was also fine.  All of them have lives and I never even considered giving them a list of "duties".

    As for dresses, my mother made all three dresses.  I paid for the materials and pattern.  They were all the same (except my MOH had a cute little black lace bolero on top).  We picked just one so it was easier on my mom but we checked the pattern with all three and they were all comfortable with the dress.  It helped that they all have about the same body shape and are average height and slender so there isn't really anything that would look really bad on them.

    I said they could wear any black shoe they wanted, any jewlery they wanted and do their hair however they wanted.  The jewelry was totally mismatched!  One sister wore pearls, one sister wore a silver necklace with a little crystal pendant and matching earrings and a silver bracelet, and the last sister wore a silver necklace and earring set with purple crystals (their dresses were purple).  Their hair was also mistmatched and they did it themselves/did each other's.  One had her hair down and pinned to the side, one had all of her hair up in a soft bun, and the last had her hair up in a bun with tendrils down the side.  They all had similar crystal corkscrews in their hair that we purchased.

    I think they looked amazing!

    If your BMs have different body types and shapes, I would recommend different styles.  If they are all similarly shaped, you can get away with having them all in the same.  I also think it's best to find something they'll actually wear again!  All three of my BMs have said they'll wear their dresses again and I know for a fact that my MOH loved hers and wore it out on a date with her boyfriend.

    ETA:

    My MOH and I, at the time of wedding planning, lived in the same apartment complex at our college.  So I just asked her if she liked the pattern of the dress.  My mom talked to my two younger sisters.  As for shoes and jewelry and hair, I honestly don't remember how we told them.  I think my mom asked me "what do you want to do about this?" and I just said they could do whatever.  I honestly don't remember telling my MOH that so I'm guessing I just mentioned it in passing conversation.  I was crazy busy with college so I was a pretty out-of-it bride.  My wonderful mother helped with a lot of the planning.

  • I picked color, store (David's Bridal, because they are in three different states on two coasts) and length (long) and they chose from there.  I wanted a cohesive look, but matching exactly wasn't important to me.  Besides, they have pronounced differences in ethnicity and height (as in 5'9" to 4'6") ... there's no way they're gonna look like triplets!  I wanted them to feel and be beautiful as the unique and wonderful women they are.

    As it worked out, I had the chance to go dress shopping with each girl, they tried on different styles and chose the one they liked the best.  They bought their dresses.  I'm asking them to wear nice black shoes/sandals, and either I'll take care of the jewelry, or just leave it up to them.

    In addition to "show up day of in your dress", we are having a rehearsal, so I do expect them to be there.

    In my circles, being a member of the wedding party often entails pitching in to help with decorating, clean up, etc.  Until I came to TK, I just assumed that was part of the fun -- when I was bridesmaid or friend, I was glad to help because I'm good at that sort of thing and I loved the couple.  All my girls (along with other friends and family members) have specifically volunteered to help, and have self-assigned some "duties," and I'm sooooooo thankful.  I'm not expecting / demanding it of anyone, that's just the way our family and community works.
  • I asked each of my girls in a very casual way, via phone or facebook conversation.  Around the one year out mark I sent each girl (5) a little box I had made that had their name on it with some fun stuff inside, yummy chocolate, gourmet hot coco (would have done nips but one of the girls was and is still expecting), a few other cute things and then a cute fun info pack, location, time etc.   When I made the fun explanation of bridesmaid definition it was cute and playful.  Listed among the expected things was to wear a fabulous dress, keep me sane since they all know I over analyze everything, hold pretty flowers, and most important thing is to dance their socks off.  I kept it very playful and fun.  Since my BMs are all a bit of a distance from each other I wanted to make sure they each felt included, had as much information as I could give and were a bit excited for the day.  We still haven't finalized the dress, I just gave them ideas on colors and look, since the wedding is on the formal side.  Each of my girls thanked me personally, after they got the box and were uber excited and touched that I handmade each one.  
  • Ditto to the others, bridesmaids 'duties' are a myth, and are rude to expect of people.  Having someone demand that you give them free labor is never an honor.  Volunteering your time and effort?  Wonderful.  Being told: "Do this or else you're a bad person and I'll hate/demote you" ?  BLEH. (not say you'd actually say this, but that's the general feeling involved in the situation, no matter how it's worded).

    I personally didn't want to deal with the melodrama and pressure involved with picking BM dresses.  Especially since all three of my girls were completely different in body-type.  So I told them "You can pick your own dress in x color and x length.  Yay!"  They LOVED me for it, and each girl visibly felt good about how she looked on the wedding day (in my opinion, a confident looking woman outclasses any cut/length dress you could choose for her).

    I even went so far as to order color swatches for them all, so they could go shopping anywhere they wanted with confidence that they were matching the color I had asked for.

     
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

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    Anniversary

  • I individually asked each of my bridesmaids in person/email. I told them I would be honored if they would accept being a bridesmaid in my wedding.Once I chose my colors and knew what I wanted them to wear I sent a mass email letting them know that I'd like them to choose black knee-length dresses. One already has one, so that worked out! Basically I want them to choose a dress they would wear again, so I only gave them the color and the length. Really, that's all you need to do.

    If they want to host a shower or bachelorette party, that's on them to decide. The only other thing you need to let them know is when the rehearsal dinner is, if you are having one. This again can be done phone/in person/email. I asked my girls in general if they would want to have their hair or makeup professionally done, some wantedto, and others didn't. For the ones that did I scheduled appointments at the salon. As a gift (to myself really), I am giving them each a bracelet that matches my color theme and also a hair accessory to match each other. Because I want that, I am paying for that stuff.

    Anniversary
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