Wedding Etiquette Forum

Roles for non-bridesmaids?

I am having a very small wedding party- just my 2 sisters. Many of my friends are already married, have kids, and live out of town. I didn't want to hassle them with financial burden and the time consuming responsibilities of being a bridesmaid. Lets be honest, who wants to spend money on a dress they didn't pick out! I have 5 close girlfriends that I want to include in the day somehow.I have one friend who is a makeup artist and has offered to help me get ready for the day. I am trying to brainstorm other ideas to include them. I have thought about a reading during the ceremony and someone to help with the guestbook. I have let the photographer know that I want to get a picture of all of us. But I can't think of anything else. Other ideas? 

Re: Roles for non-bridesmaids?

  • Let one of them do a reading. Helping with the guestbook is a chore, not an honor. 

    If you want, let them get ready with you, or give them a corsage or something, but don't give them chores to do to "honor" them.
    Anniversary
    melbelleupBlue_Bird
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Guests.
    Blue_Birdlizybeff
  • Depending on what type of wedding you're having, there are multiple reading jobs. I'm having a catholic wedding- there's three readings. There is three people for you. I would NEVER give people a job. That being said though, you can still have people be in photos with you regardless of their "role"
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    Blue_Bird
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited August 2013
    Reading. Have them get ready with you the morning of (if they would like). A corsage. A special thank you to them in your thank you speech at the reception. 

    Anything else is a job. 
    melbelleupacanon526Blue_Bird
  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Guests and readers. Things like guestbook attendant are chores. Besides, don't you want your friends to be able to enjoy the party?
    Blue_Bird
  • I would say, just make sure you get a really good group photo with them. If they want to get ready with you that would be nice. NO chores

    melbelleupsimplykaylaBlue_Bird
  • acanon526 said:
    I am having a very small wedding party- just my 2 sisters. Many of my friends are already married, have kids, and live out of town. I didn't want to hassle them with financial burden and the time consuming responsibilities of being a bridesmaid. Lets be honest, who wants to spend money on a dress they didn't pick out! I have 5 close girlfriends that I want to include in the day somehow.I have one friend who is a makeup artist and has offered to help me get ready for the day. I am trying to brainstorm other ideas to include them. I have thought about a reading during the ceremony and someone to help with the guestbook. I have let the photographer know that I want to get a picture of all of us. But I can't think of anything else. Other ideas? 
    Small BPs are fine, but is there a reason you don't want to include your close friends in your BP besides the bolded?  Just because you ask them to be in your BP doesn't mean they have to say yes if they can't afford it.  You could also consider letting the girls pick their own dresses in a certain length/color/designer if that's something you're concerned about.  There also aren't any "responsibilities" of a BM besides just showing up to the wedding in the dress.

    Readers are fine, but guest book attendant is a job not an honor.  If you don't want them to be bridesmaids or do a reading just invite them as guests and have your picture taken together at the wedding - that's honor enough.

    It's great your friend has offered to help you get ready.  If you're not paying her I would at least get her a nice gift and write her a note as a thank you.
    Formerly known as flutterbride2b
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    melbelleupPrettyGirlLostBlue_Bird
  • I will never understand why on earth people think that assigning someone to man the guestbook is an honor. Here is my inner monologue if somebody asked me to do this crap job:

    'Oh. People don't understand what to do with it? Is there a chance it might be an unruly guestbook and walk away?'

    'So, you want me to miss out on cocktail hour and part of your reception to ask people to sign it? Can I just be a guest? That would be waaay more fun'

    Same goes for 'gift table attendant'. Not an honor.

    I'm always reminded of the Sex and the City episode (season 2, I believe) where Miranda is the guestbook attendant.

     

    Rant over. I second PP's who suggested a reading. Is there a particular reason that you're having a small WP? It sounds like you really would like to include these ladies--then you can leave it up to them as to whether it would be a burden or too costly.

    PrettyGirlLostBlue_Birdpolly212
  • I think you are coming from a good place so I would harp on the guestbook thing. Other PP's have already addressed that this is not an honor.

    You could always have a few girls do a reading together. You could give them corsages (I think that's a very nice idea actually).
    acanon526
  • thanks everyone! after reading all the comments, I will 86 the guestbook- I agree that it does seem like a chore. I really like the idea of the corsages- I will definitely do that. 

    @flutterbride2b- I have been in 4 weddings in the past year and I am personally tired of being a bridesmaid. I have spent a great deal of money on bachelorette parties, I have cried over ugly dresses, and I have been overall resentful. I obviously could have said no, but didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I know that several of my closest friends feel similaly as we have agonized over being bridesmaids together! I don't want my friends to feel pressured like I have in the past. Plus, we are on a tight budget and included fewer girls means less money spent on bouquets, hair/nails, rehearsal dinner,etc. My friends know how important they are to me, and I feel pretty certain they won't be hurt by my small bridal party. But I do want to find meaningful ways to include them!  
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    acanon526 said:

    I am having a very small wedding party- just my 2 sisters. Many of my friends are already married, have kids, and live out of town. I didn't want to hassle them with financial burden and the time consuming responsibilities of being a bridesmaid. Lets be honest, who wants to spend money on a dress they didn't pick out! I have 5 close girlfriends that I want to include in the day somehow.I have one friend who is a makeup artist and has offered to help me get ready for the day. I am trying to brainstorm other ideas to include them. I have thought about a reading during the ceremony and someone to help with the guestbook. I have let the photographer know that I want to get a picture of all of us. But I can't think of anything else. Other ideas? 

    Readings are great ways to include other ppl. Please don't make up bullcrap jobs for ppl in order to include them. . .everyone knows what a guestbook is and how to sign it. It doesn't need to be attended to.

    Now, if you are really close with your friends and would love to have them stand up with you as BMs, there is nothing to prevent you from asking. BMs don't have any duties or responsibilities, aside from buying the agreed upon dress, and showing up to your ceremony on time and sober. That's it.

    BMs don't need to help you plan or with DIY projects, unless they offer. . .its your FI's responsibility to help with all that as its his wedding too.

    BMs don't need to throw you a shower or a bachlorette party. Those are gifts that anyone can offer to host for you, but they shouldn't be expected.

    Ass far as the dress, you should discuss budget individually with each BM and choose a dress that is within the lowest pricepoint for everyone. You can also just specify a color and length and let your BMs choose a dress they like within those parameters.

    So with all this I mind, if you really would want these friends in your bridal party I would ask them, and then let them decide if they want to accept or decline.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • arrippaarrippa Sam Adams Craft Commonwealth member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited August 2013

    Trust me as a two time guestbook overseer, it's a terrible job. I hated every moment of doing it. Although alcohol helped. Lots and lots of alcohol.


    PrettyGirlLost
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited August 2013
    I was asked to pour punch once. Boy, did I never go near that punch bowl all afternoon! Corsages and getting ready with you is what I recommend.
    acanon526
  • If you are catholic you can have two of them do petitions.. You know the pray to the Lord thingy
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • @acanon526

    Totally understandable!  It was nice of you to help with your friends bachelorette parties and I'm sure most multiple-time BMs have at least cringed over less-than-flattering dresses.

     Reading or not, I'm sure your girlfriends will be more than happy to receive a corsage, relax and enjoy your wedding with you.
    Formerly known as flutterbride2b
    image
    acanon526
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