Wedding Etiquette Forum

Is there a settled opinion re: bridal party dates?

I'm talking to a friend of mine (will call her Jenn) who is getting married next summer. The night before the wedding, her original plan was to have the women in the bridal party stay at her house for a girls' night/sleepover before getting up early for our hair and make-up...meanwhile, the groom and his guys would be in a hotel suite close to the church. Apparently, some of the groomsmen have expressed that they will be traveling with their dates (some of them are 4 hours away), and wanted to see if their dates could be included (not going to the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner, but having a chance to tag along the night before instead of being cooped up in their hotel rooms). Additionally, between the wedding ceremony and reception, the bridal party will be taking pictures, both at the church and a local park. As of now, the groomsmen/groom expectation is that having the dates present while pictures are being taken wouldn't be a major problem, since they're driving together. This has thrown Jenn into a bit of a spiral...her stance is that she barely knows these women, and they "absolutely will NOT" be allowed to tag along while we take pictures. And, "if they can't handle being away from their SOs for the night before the wedding then they have serious issues." The groom wants the dates to be included, because he wants to be more accommodating to his friends.

Whew. Ok, so having laid it all out, is there some sort of protocol with respect to dates of the bridal party in a situation like this? I don't really have a dog in this fight, since my date will be hanging out with his old law school buddies the night before the wedding, but the bride is freaking out and I'm trying to give words of wisdom...

 

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Re: Is there a settled opinion re: bridal party dates?

  •  

    Wow. I guess I always consider couples as a single entity. So, where one is invited, the other is naturally invited as well. I'd be annoyed if I was invited to a wedding 4 hours away then had to sit in a hotel room by myself all night, then spend hours the next day trying to entertain myself because my date went off for pictures and I wasn't invited. It's one thing to say the dates can join and for them to decline, it's another to say they aren't allowed to be there at all. 

    Frankly, the bride needs to get over herself and think of her wedding party and what makes them comfortable as well. This may include having a date tag along. What would a date do that would interrupt her pictures anyway? The bridal party spends a lot of that time just standing around while people take pictures of the bride/groom. 


    This was what I thought too! My fiance was the best man in his friend's wedding and I was invited to everything the night before/killed time off to the side with the other dates while they took picutres with no problem...

    I have a feeling the next 8 months are going to be difficult....

     

  • I've always refused "night before" sleepovers, I just hate that idea.  Thankfully the brides have never minded I'm not there until day of for hair and make up.  If I was your friend, I wouldn't want ladies I didn't know very well sleeping over, but I'm trying to figure out why in the world the groomsmen's dates would want to sleepover with you ladies.  I'd happily hang out by myself in the hotel room watching movies or taking a nice bath or chilling solo at the hotel bar (that's just me though ;p ). 

    The groomsmen's dates should absolutely be invited to the rehearsal dinner.  And tell your friend to relax about them being around for pictures, it's not a big deal.  Good luck to you, you have your hands full!

    grumbledorePrettyGirlLostmelbelleupSembree1
  • She needs to let that go. I had a night before sleepover but there was no pressure to do so.

    And I wouldn't allow any friend to boss me around like that so I have a feeling the groom is in for a rude awakening.
    doeydogrumbledore
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Here's my point of view - my ex was in a wedding in Long Island - about a 3 hour drive for us in crazy traffic. Anyway, I had never met the bride, groom or anyone else in attendance at this wedding. These were all his college friends. We checked into a hotel and I attended the RD, which was cool. I got to meet everyone, etc. Then all the groomsmen were hanging out with the groom all night. I was extremely happy to go back to the hotel room and chill by myself. If the bride had invited me to join her sleepover, I would have felt obligated to go. And I would have felt very uncomfortable having a sleepover with a bunch of women I didn't know. 

    I do thinks she should let the dates accompany the groomsmen during the picture taking. I don't see what the big deal is there. 

    melbelleupmisslobita
  • Before getting engaged I attended weddings for my FI's brother and sister, he was in both weddings. I was always invited to the RD (and feel dates of wedding party members should always be). As for the night before, I can understand all staying in the same hotel if needed, but not in the same room for a sleepover. Bridal party members should be able to stay the night with their date.

    For pictures, I would have felt awkward hanging around while pictures were taken and wouldn't have expected to be invited to go. Luckily I always found someone in his family or the date of another groomsman that I could tag along with in between the ceremony and reception (Catholic ceremonies, so gap time also spent without him).


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  • MGPMGP member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited October 2013

    Apparently, some of the groomsmen have expressed that they will be traveling with their dates (some of them are 4 hours away), and wanted to see if their dates could be included (not going to the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner, but having a chance to tag along the night before instead of being cooped up in their hotel rooms). 

    Why aren't the dates going to the RD?  It is very rude to ask these people to travel hours to the wedding, then not be included in things, and then spend the night alone while your date has a guys slumber party.  Additionally, allowing the dates to "tag along" with the girls the night before may not be the best idea for anyone.  I wouldn't want to be on either side of that - the date that didn't know anyone OR the bride that wanted to spend the night before her wedding with her nearest and dearest.

    Additionally, between the wedding ceremony and reception, the bridal party will be taking pictures, both at the church and a local park

    OMG how long is this going to take?  Hours??  Not only is it ridiculous and rude to ask the groomsmen's dates to leave during this it creates a gap for every guest.

    Seriously your friend needs to get over herself.

    All other advice/comments have been great!

    PrettyGirlLostmelbelleup
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I would hate the sleepover.  I think your friend is wrong.
    TeddiD34grumbledore
  • "If they can't handle being away from their SO's for the night before the wedding then they have serious issues."  Um, would your friend like to be the pot or the kettle in the "serious issues" department?  This, coming from a woman who is freaking out about strangers seeing her having her wedding photos taken? The same strangers who she will gladly have at her wedding ceremony, and will gladly accept a gift from at the reception.  

    The groom is correct. 
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    PrettyGirlLostRebeccaB88
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    LOL at Secret Bridal Facebook Group. If you leave the group, do you get kicked out of the wedding party?

    lauralee1723melbelleupBlue_Bird
  • Regarding the sleepover... that might sound all fun and games a year ahead of the wedding, but the night before my wedding, I was like big time freaking out (excitement and anxiety (the good kind lol)), and wanted nothing to do with anyone.  I didn't want any friends around, I wanted my parents and my dog.  The last thing I wanted to do was entertain my BMs or have to talk to anyone.

    Regarding dates during pictures... I had a party bus for the WP + their dates, and we drove around taking pictures.  None of the dates "interrupted" our pictures, they sat happily on the bus with their drinks and had a good time.  I honestly didn't really pay a whole lot of attention to anyone except for my H, and I was just so happy to be surrounded by so many people that I loved.

    I think she's just trying to do too much to make it "an awesome special super day."  Not to say it shouldn't be, but it should be about her, her FI, her family and friends (not just what she wants).

    Also, sorry for rambling.  I start typing and then I can't stop.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • APDSS22APDSS22 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is OK member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I had a night before sleepover, but only with my sister who was my MOH.  Since I wasn't going to be spending the night with my husband and she didn't have a date (though I let her bring whoever she wanted, her best friend couldn't make it last minute) it all worked out for us and it was fun sister bonding time.  This bride should just let it go and let the bridal party member dates pick where they want to be.  She should extend a RD invite to them and not try to make the bridal party's sleeping arrangements for them.  And if they're hanging about whilst the photos are being taken, I'm sure they know not to photobomb or otherwise distract the photographer so it shouldn't be an issue.  The groom seems to know what's up here.

  • Everyone's said it all already

    Having been a victim of this type of rudeness several times as a BP date when my ex was in weddings, I just wanted to chime in with a big fat eye roll.
    grumbledorePrettyGirlLostBlue_Bird
  • MrsLillyGMrsLillyG member
    25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
    edited October 2013

    I'm talking to a friend of mine (will call her Jenn) who is getting married next summer. The night before the wedding, her original plan was to have the women in the bridal party stay at her house for a girls' night/sleepover before getting up early for our hair and make-up...meanwhile, the groom and his guys would be in a hotel suite close to the church. Apparently, some of the groomsmen have expressed that they will be traveling with their dates (some of them are 4 hours away), and wanted to see if their dates could be included (not going to the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner, but having a chance to tag along the night before instead of being cooped up in their hotel rooms). Dates should be able to go to the rehearsal dinner and hang out the nite before  Additionally, between the wedding ceremony and reception, the bridal party will be taking pictures, both at the church and a local park. As of now, the groomsmen/groom expectation is that having the dates present while pictures are being taken wouldn't be a major problem, since they're driving together. I dont get why they cant tag along for pictures but if they do know other people at the wedding, I dont know why they would want to tag along for pictures This has thrown Jenn into a bit of a spiral...her stance is that she barely knows these women, and they "absolutely will NOT" be allowed to tag along while we take pictures. And, "if they can't handle being away from their SOs for the night before the wedding then they have serious issues." The groom wants the dates to be included, because he wants to be more accommodating to his friends.

    Whew. Ok, so having laid it all out, is there some sort of protocol with respect to dates of the bridal party in a situation like this? I don't really have a dog in this fight, since my date will be hanging out with his old law school buddies the night before the wedding, but the bride is freaking out and I'm trying to give words of wisdom...


    ETA: I don't mind sleeping in the bride's room if she wants me too.  And if my H cannot go to the wedding, definately really wouldnt mind saving money by staying in her room! I definately did not want the sleepover at my wedding though. 

    also not sure if i read this right- the dates want to have a sleepover with the bride? that is weird. lol

    also an rd is a perfect opportunity to make freinds with the other dates so that they have someone to hang out with during pictures! I dont get why the dates would want to tag along for pictures but I dont see why they cant.

  • I wouldn't invite these dates to the sleepover- that WOULD be weird. But, then the groomsmen should be free to spend the night with their dates. I wouldn't really want to be left alone by myself in a hotel all night in a different town. 

    I was going to say, since the gap between ceremony and reception should be hosted, why wouldn't the dates just hang out there instead of being dragged around for pictures? This is what I did when my FI was a groomsmen... food and drink vs. watching pictures of not me get taken? Easy choice ;). Ceremony and reception were in one place. I drove myself to the ceremony since FI met up earlier with the WP to get ready/take a few photos. No big deal. BUT- this was a local wedding, so if the groomsmen need to drive their dates to/from the ceremony/reception site then that's where the issue lies... unless the groomsmen have transportation and can give the car to the date to drive herself to the reception? 

    I think this issue is not as big as the bride thinks it is- think rationally about the situation (like give the car to the date), and let the groomsmen decide where they want to spend the night before. 
  • I only like a sleepover if I'm single and the bride is paying for the hotel room. Then I'm all - WoooooHoooo, free night in a hotel! Saving money!!!
    image

    lol love this.
    photokitty
  • I would save the BP sleepover time for a B-Party if it was me.  I can't imagine spending the night before my wedding without my FI by my side.  Also, the bride sounds a little crazy.  We are planning to have all of BP members bring their dates to the RD (some of the BP members are single too) so that everyone can be happy and comfortable.  As far as the pictures, I don't see why them tagging along is a problem.

  • I only like a sleepover if I'm single and the bride is paying for the hotel room. Then I'm all - WoooooHoooo, free night in a hotel! Saving money!!!

    image
    My BMs stayed with me the night before, but they were both traveling without their fiancé or a date, so it was merely a way for me to save them some money by paying for one night of accommodations. If they had a SO there, no way would I have pressed the idea. H stayed with his BM at their home.

    I was a BM for a wedding this year where they did the party bus in between the ceremony and reception for pictures, but our Hs/SOs were invited to ride with.

    The bride needs to get over herself. The WP is a way to honor your closest, not hold them hostage and poo poo on their relationships. All SOs and dates of the WP should be able to stay in the hotel with them, and should be invited to the RD, as well as the picture time.

    image
    photokittydoeydoMGP
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    I'm talking to a friend of mine (will call her Jenn) who is getting married next summer. The night before the wedding, her original plan was to have the women in the bridal party stay at her house for a girls' night/sleepover before getting up early for our hair and make-up...meanwhile, the groom and his guys would be in a hotel suite close to the church. Apparently, some of the groomsmen have expressed that they will be traveling with their dates (some of them are 4 hours away), and wanted to see if their dates could be included (not going to the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner, but having a chance to tag along the night before instead of being cooped up in their hotel rooms). Additionally, between the wedding ceremony and reception, the bridal party will be taking pictures, both at the church and a local park. As of now, the groomsmen/groom expectation is that having the dates present while pictures are being taken wouldn't be a major problem, since they're driving together. This has thrown Jenn into a bit of a spiral...her stance is that she barely knows these women, and they "absolutely will NOT" be allowed to tag along while we take pictures. And, "if they can't handle being away from their SOs for the night before the wedding then they have serious issues." The groom wants the dates to be included, because he wants to be more accommodating to his friends.

    Whew. Ok, so having laid it all out, is there some sort of protocol with respect to dates of the bridal party in a situation like this? I don't really have a dog in this fight, since my date will be hanging out with his old law school buddies the night before the wedding, but the bride is freaking out and I'm trying to give words of wisdom...

    Jenn is being ridiculous.  She's being a ridiculous, selfish, brat.

    It fucking sucks to be the date of a bridal party member and to travel a great distance to attend a wedding with them, only to spend the majority of two days entirely by yourself.  And for what?

    So the Bride and Groom can have sleepovers with their BMs and GMs?  Cut me a freaking break, these are grown ass adults. . . sleepovers ended in high school.  And anyways, as a wedding party member, I want to sleep in my own bed, in my own room, with only my FI, not in the Bride's house, especially if she doesn't have enough actual beds, and especially not if I have to get up early for group getting ready crap.

    The WP dates should be invited to the rehearsal/RD IMO.  It's only right and it shows respect for your WP who are shelling out hundreds of dollars to be in the wedding.
    And there is no logical reason why the dates can't tag along during pre ceremony pictures the following day. 

    Is Jenn afraid someone is going to photo bomb her precious pictures?  Plus, who fucking cares if Jenn knows these women or not. . . they aren't going to be hanging out with her, they don't want to hang out with her.  They want to hang out with their dates. . . their dates are the only reason they are attending Jenn's wedding.

    I rule in favor of the Groom and Groomsmen on this one, and it sounds like you need to find some Valium for Jenn asap, @tmclawchick.  Please stop back with an update on the wedding!  I have a feeling it's gonna be a doozey!

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


    grumbledorelauralee1723MGPSKPM
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