Wedding Etiquette Forum

how to communicate with bridesmaids out of state

Hi ladies. My question is a little diff then the title of the post. I'm having a destination wedding with no bridal party, but I want my cousin & fiance's sisters to be involved in my planning for everything (wedding, reception.. etc). I live in North Carolina and all the girls live in Pennsylvania. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas how to communicate with everyone at the same time. I know I can prob use email, but I'm wondering if there is like a message board I can create or something where we can post to each other and post pictures of ideas. Something fun..

Thanks!!
Mis
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Re: how to communicate with bridesmaids out of state

  • You could make a private Pinterest board and try and maybe set up times where you can use facetime or skype to "meet" ?
  • Agree with both PP -- if they're not officially bridesmaids, make sure they actually want to be involved before assuming. But yea, I have a pinterest board with my bridesmaids and we do email chains...
  • Thanks for the advice, my cousin def wants to help, I was planning on asking the others tonight. I don't expect them to pick up any bills or anything. I just want their input. If they aren't interested that's ok too, I don't want to leave anyone out  :)
  • Dreamergirl.. I like the idea of a facebook group. I'll find out who's interested in helping with ideas and add them to it.
    Thanks!!
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Facebook group would be great. Google Drive works as well if you want to share any documents and spreadsheets without emailing people updated documents constantly. I like the idea of a shared Pinterest as well.

    For a friend of mine, when we were planning her wedding, we created some boards that we could all contribute to. It was really convenient, although Facebook was easier.
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  • Dude really?  Facebook message. Gmail. Any email for that matter.  Group texting.....

    ...I mean seriously, I don't get it. How old are you?
    tiny speckNYCMercedes
  • I would recommend contacting them through Facebook, text, email, or carrier pigeons.

    On a more serious note, I wouldn't necessarily try to get all of their input on everything.  You could ask them all individually and they wouldn't have to interact with each other if they don't know each other.  Since they aren't actually bridesmaids, they don't even need to talk about dresses or anything so I would keep it really casual.
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  • CheleLynCheleLyn member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited July 2013
    Hi ladies. My question is a little diff then the title of the post. I'm having a destination wedding with no bridal party, but I want my cousin & fiance's sisters to be involved in my planning for everything (wedding, reception.. etc). I live in North Carolina and all the girls live in Pennsylvania. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas how to communicate with everyone at the same time. I know I can prob use email, but I'm wondering if there is like a message board I can create or something where we can post to each other and post pictures of ideas. Something fun..

    Thanks!!
    Mis
    I created a facebook group since my bms are all spread out. Ask them:

    "Hey besties, I have decided not to honor you at my wedding but would really like you guys to devote some of your time, energy to money on me. I have a list of duties for you because planning a wedding is harrrrrddd. How can I get as much out of you as possible without having to reciprocate?"


    I just did this exact thing today...made a secret group for only my bridesmaids, my officiant (bc she's been a tremendous help and full of great ideas), and a couple other people who are helping me with the planning. It's been helpful already.

    Edited to bold the thing I actually did lol
    ~*~June 21, 2014~*~


  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Oh, I missed that entirely.

    OP, if you don't have a wedding party, then uhhhh this is not a very nice thing to do. It's okay to ask people to help you, but what you're doing? It's only okay if you have bridesmaids. And even then, it's only okay if they knew about all these responsibilities in advance.

    I don't understand why you're not having a wedding party. You're basically doing what @Dreamergirl8812 said: you're giving these women a ton of responsibilities without honoring them in any way. Rude.
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  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm with CMGr.  Unless they've volunteered to do something, they shouldn't be asked to do anything as far as planning.  Besides, don't most destination weddings, if you're at a hotel or event space, include a planner/coordinator?  If so, you pretty much just pick what you want and they arrange it all. Nothing to plan other than how to get yourself there and back.
  • thejucheideathejucheidea East Nashville, Tennessee member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    We have a Facebook group for the women in our wedding party because they're all choosing their own dresses, so we wanted them to be able to share resources for dress finding. I've also used it to show them what my fiance and I are wearing and to offer them hair and makeup stuff. We'll also use it to spread the word about bachelor(ette) stuff so they can decide if they want to tag along with either of us. They've all used it and have good things to say about the group feature.

  • I really don't get how this is an issue.
    NYCMercedes
  • I'd say ask them to help, and see if they want to first.
    I like pinterest, facebook, google chat, and google docs. I was able to help a friend with 95% of her wedding stuff without even needing to actually meet with her with just google docs. But that also depends on your girls and if they like working like that.

  • Hi ladies. My question is a little diff then the title of the post. I'm having a destination wedding with no bridal party, but I want my cousin & fiance's sisters to be involved in my planning for everything (wedding, reception.. etc). I live in North Carolina and all the girls live in Pennsylvania. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas how to communicate with everyone at the same time. I know I can prob use email, but I'm wondering if there is like a message board I can create or something where we can post to each other and post pictures of ideas. Something fun..

    Thanks!!
    Mis
    I created a facebook group since my bms are all spread out. Ask them:

    "Hey besties, I have decided not to honor you at my wedding but would really like you guys to devote some of your time, energy to money on me. I have a list of duties for you because planning a wedding is harrrrrddd. How can I get as much out of you as possible without having to reciprocate?"


    Wow, this seems a little harsh. I'm not having "bridesmaids" for a number of reasons--I detest the idea of forcing my friends into matching dresses, I don't like the processional down the aisle, and the people that I want to do all the pre-wedding girly things with me are not entirely the same people I'd want to stand up for me (e.g. my brother and two male cousins who are like brothers to me). To include them ALL would be a way-too-big bridal party. And my fiance has a couple guy friends, but not as many close friends as I do, so it would be uneven. I also HATE HATE HATE the gender lines that go along with bridal parties--why should my brother stand on his side? He's my brother! I guess I could have 10+ mixed-gender people on my side, and he could have 3 guys on his side, but we're choosing not to do that. So I'm not including anyone as official "wedding party". 


    I guess all I really want to say is that forcing your friends to spend their hard-earned money on ugly only-wear-once dresses in a color they don't like and then parade around holding a bouquet isn't the only way to reciprocate all their help and attention during the planning phases. 
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  • edited July 2013
    MandyMost said:
    Hi ladies. My question is a little diff then the title of the post. I'm having a destination wedding with no bridal party, but I want my cousin & fiance's sisters to be involved in my planning for everything (wedding, reception.. etc). I live in North Carolina and all the girls live in Pennsylvania. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas how to communicate with everyone at the same time. I know I can prob use email, but I'm wondering if there is like a message board I can create or something where we can post to each other and post pictures of ideas. Something fun..

    Thanks!!
    Mis
    I created a facebook group since my bms are all spread out. Ask them:

    "Hey besties, I have decided not to honor you at my wedding but would really like you guys to devote some of your time, energy to money on me. I have a list of duties for you because planning a wedding is harrrrrddd. How can I get as much out of you as possible without having to reciprocate?"


    Wow, this seems a little harsh. I'm not having "bridesmaids" for a number of reasons--I detest the idea of forcing my friends into matching dresses, I don't like the processional down the aisle, and the people that I want to do all the pre-wedding girly things with me are not entirely the same people I'd want to stand up for me (e.g. my brother and two male cousins who are like brothers to me). To include them ALL would be a way-too-big bridal party. And my fiance has a couple guy friends, but not as many close friends as I do, so it would be uneven. I also HATE HATE HATE the gender lines that go along with bridal parties--why should my brother stand on his side? He's my brother! I guess I could have 10+ mixed-gender people on my side, and he could have 3 guys on his side, but we're choosing not to do that. So I'm not including anyone as official "wedding party". 


    I guess all I really want to say is that forcing your friends to spend their hard-earned money on ugly only-wear-once dresses in a color they don't like and then parade around holding a bouquet isn't the only way to reciprocate all their help and attention during the planning phases. 
    So... I understand (sort of) some of your reasons for choosing not to have a WP. (And, just for the record, you can have people do readings/etc during the ceremony that are sometimes considered a "bigger honor" than being an attendant.)

    But... you know you don't have to make them all wear the same dress, right? There's nothing that says if your WP isn't wearing the same exact horrible outfit you won't be legally married. Just wanted to throw that out there.

    Edited: clarity
    Dreamergirl8812
  • jss0302 said:


    Wow, this seems a little harsh. I'm not having "bridesmaids" for a number of reasons--I detest the idea of forcing my friends into matching dresses, I don't like the processional down the aisle, and the people that I want to do all the pre-wedding girly things with me are not entirely the same people I'd want to stand up for me (e.g. my brother and two male cousins who are like brothers to me). To include them ALL would be a way-too-big bridal party. And my fiance has a couple guy friends, but not as many close friends as I do, so it would be uneven. I also HATE HATE HATE the gender lines that go along with bridal parties--why should my brother stand on his side? He's my brother! I guess I could have 10+ mixed-gender people on my side, and he could have 3 guys on his side, but we're choosing not to do that. So I'm not including anyone as official "wedding party". 
    I guess all I really want to say is that forcing your friends to spend their hard-earned money on ugly only-wear-once dresses in a color they don't like and then parade around holding a bouquet isn't the only way to reciprocate all their help and attention during the planning phases. 
    1. BM dresses don't have to match. You could let them pick out whatever style/color they want so you can be guaranteed they will get something they could wear again.
    2. They wouldn't necessarily have to proceed in. What about having them come out of the same area the groom comes out of?
    3. You can invite other people to your pre-wedding parties, not just your BMs. The only stipulation to this is that the must be invited to the wedding.
    4. Sides don't have to be even.
    5. You can have people of the opposite sex stand with you. One of my 'bridesmaids' is one of my best guy friends. He will be wearing the same outfit as FI's GM.
    6. BMs should not be expected to help plan. You should do that with your FI. 

    I can understand why you may not want a BP, but there are other options out there.

    All of this.  You don't like the WP "conventions"... then throw them out!  You can have co-ed parties and co-ed sides, and you can still have bridesmaids even if they don't match.  But it's also totally fine not to have a WP.  If all your girls are on Facebook, I think a Fb group would be a great idea for you to collaborate on ideas.  Just make sure that they actually want to be involved (and that goes for WP members too, for those who are having a WP.  Not everyone wants to help plan someone else's wedding).
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  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    OP, look, it's FINE not to have a wedding party. As other people have already pointed out, what you think of as "necessary" for wedding parties really isn't necessary.

    But here's the thing:

    No one is required to help you with the wedding, besides your fiance. Bridesmaids are not required to plan any parties for you, or help you with DIY work, or any aspect of ceremony/reception planning. Bridesmaids just show up for the rehearsal and wedding (sober), and, if you ask them to, they will purchase and wear a particular dress.

    Granted, a lot of bridesmaids will assume that they're going to be involved in planning, or that they'll have to organize a shower or bachelorette party. Folks here will recommend that, when you ask someone to be in the wedding party, you explain what your expectations are so that the person can choose to decline.

    But you aren't having a wedding party, so you can't really even outline your expectations to these women and then give them an option to decline. If you want to have their help as if they're in the wedding party, you need to consider having a wedding party.
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  • Blue_BirdBlue_Bird Bawlmer member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer
    I suggest that you wait until they offer their help before you start creating any Facebook groups.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Don't ask people to help. If they volunteer, super. There are dozens of ways to mass communicate with people; have you never done so for any other purpose? You can have uneven sides, mixed gender sides, and non-matching bridesmaids. Everything about your situation is a non-issue.


    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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  • I put together a newsletter, but I'm not sure if this would be ideal for your situation. For my newsletter, I included pictures of the dress bridesmaid dress, information about the dress/designer, and stores near them where they carried the dress. It is something to consider though :)
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  • jss0302 said:


    Wow, this seems a little harsh. I'm not having "bridesmaids" for a number of reasons--I detest the idea of forcing my friends into matching dresses, I don't like the processional down the aisle, and the people that I want to do all the pre-wedding girly things with me are not entirely the same people I'd want to stand up for me (e.g. my brother and two male cousins who are like brothers to me). To include them ALL would be a way-too-big bridal party. And my fiance has a couple guy friends, but not as many close friends as I do, so it would be uneven. I also HATE HATE HATE the gender lines that go along with bridal parties--why should my brother stand on his side? He's my brother! I guess I could have 10+ mixed-gender people on my side, and he could have 3 guys on his side, but we're choosing not to do that. So I'm not including anyone as official "wedding party". 
    I guess all I really want to say is that forcing your friends to spend their hard-earned money on ugly only-wear-once dresses in a color they don't like and then parade around holding a bouquet isn't the only way to reciprocate all their help and attention during the planning phases. 
    1. BM dresses don't have to match. You could let them pick out whatever style/color they want so you can be guaranteed they will get something they could wear again.
    2. They wouldn't necessarily have to proceed in. What about having them come out of the same area the groom comes out of?
    3. You can invite other people to your pre-wedding parties, not just your BMs. The only stipulation to this is that the must be invited to the wedding.
    4. Sides don't have to be even.
    5. You can have people of the opposite sex stand with you. One of my 'bridesmaids' is one of my best guy friends. He will be wearing the same outfit as FI's GM.
    6. BMs should not be expected to help plan. You should do that with your FI. 

    I can understand why you may not want a BP, but there are other options out there.

    All of this.  You don't like the WP "conventions"... then throw them out!  You can have co-ed parties and co-ed sides, and you can still have bridesmaids even if they don't match.  But it's also totally fine not to have a WP.  If all your girls are on Facebook, I think a Fb group would be a great idea for you to collaborate on ideas.  Just make sure that they actually want to be involved (and that goes for WP members too, for those who are having a WP.  Not everyone wants to help plan someone else's wedding).
    I'm asking this as a legitimate question, not to try to be rude... If your WP is not wearing matching outfits (of any kind--not color, not style, etc.), is not mentioned in any programs or announced into the reception, and is not a part of the ceremony (i.e. not standing up front, nor processing in down an aisle or from the side)...then what makes them a WP?

    I was thinking I would ask people to be my non-bridesmaids, and clarify the expectations. :-) Its fine if some people say we do have a WP, and others say we don't have a WP. I don't care about the titles. I want some people to spend the pre-wedding time with me, an to be in some photographs with me, because I care about them a lot....if that's the only requirement for a WP, then I guess I'll be having a WP!
  • MandyMost said:
    I'm asking this as a legitimate question, not to try to be rude... If your WP is not wearing matching outfits (of any kind--not color, not style, etc.), is not mentioned in any programs or announced into the reception, and is not a part of the ceremony (i.e. not standing up front, nor processing in down an aisle or from the side)...then what makes them a WP?

    I was thinking I would ask people to be my non-bridesmaids, and clarify the expectations. :-) Its fine if some people say we do have a WP, and others say we don't have a WP. I don't care about the titles. I want some people to spend the pre-wedding time with me, an to be in some photographs with me, because I care about them a lot....if that's the only requirement for a WP, then I guess I'll be having a WP!

     

    I believe any witnesses can sign your marriage license, but in our case, we asked our MOH and BM to do that.  Your WP can also hold your bouquet/rings during the ceremony if you wish.  They could wear whatever they choose, but you could get them corsages if you wanted to set them apart.  They could be seated in the front row.  Plenty of weddings lack matching bridesmaids, I'm sure someone who has done this can chime in.

    Merriam-Webster:

    Definition of BRIDESMAID

    1: a woman who is an attendant of a bride

    A "non-bridesmaid" would just be a guest, which is completely fine.  I have to tell you, I would be a little put off if I were asked to be a non-BM, though I totally understand that is not your intention.  I would feel like you were trying to create a role for me, perhaps out of obligation (I say this especially because these girls are family and so often people feel obligated to have family in their WP).  I am not trying to talk you into having a WP though!  You can get ready and take photos together whether they are BMs or not.  I just don't think you should avoid a WP because you don't like the matching, lining up, etc. that usually go along with it.
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  • I guess I really don't see why you wouldn't reach out to your favorite people and say:

    "Hi - i love you, and want you to be included in our wedding. We won't be having a formal wedding party, but I'd love for you to be an Honor Attendant. What that means is, I would give you a corsage/boutonniere to wear and your name will be listed in the program. You can sit anywhere you want during the ceremony, and you don't have to wear matching outfits! Your love and support means so much to me, so I really wanted to include you in this day."

    I know we also rip on people who "include" others in their wedding, but don't really include them. However this would actually honor those people, show your appreciation for them, and then it wouldn't be out of line for you to ask them for help here or there or be a soudning board for your wedding vents.

    Just a suggestions.
    polly212taynkeeblouandbean
  • Why do people on here need to be so rude? I don't get it. If you can't offer something helpful to answer the OP's question or help with their problem, don't say anything. I don't get why people feel the need to be insulting or tell her that she's being rude. She didn't ask your opinion of what she was doing or whether you think its okay. Also as an etiquette board, I think people should use good etiquette and not behave cruelly towards others. Just a thought.

    OP - I'd use facebook or pinterest or both. You can share a lot and things can be private or open and everyone can catch up and add ideas when they have time. If you don't want a wedding party, don't have a wedding party. Its your wedding. Just be honest with the people you want involved. If they're people you are close with I'm sure they'll be willing to do what they can (and won't be snarky because they aren't being honored, the way some other posts have suggested.)
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  • Why do people on here need to be so rude? I don't get it. If you can't offer something helpful to answer the OP's question or help with their problem, don't say anything. I don't get why people feel the need to be insulting or tell her that she's being rude. She didn't ask your opinion of what she was doing or whether you think its okay. Also as an etiquette board, I think people should use good etiquette and not behave cruelly towards others. Just a thought.

    OP - I'd use facebook or pinterest or both. You can share a lot and things can be private or open and everyone can catch up and add ideas when they have time. If you don't want a wedding party, don't have a wedding party. Its your wedding. Just be honest with the people you want involved. If they're people you are close with I'm sure they'll be willing to do what they can (and won't be snarky because they aren't being honored, the way some other posts have suggested.)

    Many helpful suggestions were offered. If someone is planning something that's rude and doesn't realize it, it's the job of an etiquette board to let that person know, not to co-sign a bad idea.

  • @MandyMost, I think your idea of asking your friends to take pictures and get ready with you but otherwise be guests is great! I'd just avoid putting a term on it like "non-bridesmaid." I can't quite put my finger on it, but it doesn't sit right. Just invite them to come early and hang!
  • Wait, I just read this thread and I don't think I understand.

    OP, however the message was delivered, PPs are correct - it's against etiquette to ask anyone to help you with your wedding (yes, even bridesmaids) unless you're hiring them as a vendor or you're asking your fiance - he works for free. :)

    If you want to bounce your ideas off people, just call them or email them. Or join Pinterest and send out your link to some friends "hey ya'll - I started tagging wedding stuff on Pinterest. If you want to check it out, here's my link." The ones who are genuinely interested will talk to you about it and the ones who aren't will stay silent, but no one will feel obligated and that's what's important.

    When you're planning a wedding and you're excited about it, it's natural to want to talk about it a lot and share ideas. It's important to remember that everyone else's lives aren't changing and no one is as excited as you. Vent your excitement with your fiance - it'll be special to share that experience together.  But it's against etiquette to obligate other people to help you or to be part of some kind of wedding ideas group. 
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  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Or come here and post about your excitement - we love weddings!
    polly212
  • I know you've already gotten tons of help, but I'd still like to throw in my two cents!

    Most of my bridesmaids are out of town, so I'll be having to deal with delgating tasks and coordinating looks in a couple different states and several cities! And let's just say I have NO frequent flyer miles!

    So I'll be using a lot of Skype for one-on-ones, and another program called Oovoo is great for group video chats. It lets you have more than one person at a time, and it's free. I would suggest taking some time to get familiar with it first, though, becuase it isn't quite as user-friendly as Skype.

    Another tactic is an app called GroupMe. It creates a text-message chat room, so when one person sends something, everybody gets it. My chapter uses it, and it's great to get a quick message to everybody at once or make sure everybody's on the same page. What I really like about it is not everybody involved in the GroupMe has to have the app (although it is much easier!). Your chat is assigned a real-ish phone number that your maids can text and receive texts from, so if not everybody has a smart phone it's still usable.

    Somebody mentioned a Facebook group, and that is another excellent idea. All my sisters who live in Louisiana are part of a FB group, and we use to to communicate between groups. It's an excellent tool because you can add pictures, files, and even do polls (I think). The privacy settings are completely customizable, so you don't have to worry about your business being spread all over the interwebs.

     

    I hope this helps, and good luck!

    MissArdoline
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