Bridesmaids 201: Reasonable Responsibilities

Good morning, beauties!

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As promised, we are back this week with more on bridesmaids and setting your crew up for success on the big day. Today we will be diving into the relationship between a bride and her gals, bridesmaid responsibilities and reasonable bridal expectations. As brides, we know things can get pretty hectic, which is why it’s great to have a group of girls who are there to help out when times are stressful. However, if you expect too much from your bridesmaids throughout the process, it can lead to some serious tension between you and your gals. It can cause major drama leading up to the wedding, leaving the bride alone throughout the planning process, without the genuine support and engaged participation from her gals (also making the planning less fun). We’ve seen bridesmaids quit or be fired. We want to help you avoid all that ugliness and to that end, we’re here to help draw over that blurred line between being an understanding bride and a bridezilla!

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Overall Responsibilities

Bridesmaids should generally be excited and supportive throughout the wedding planning process. They should periodically check in with the bride and even offer to help every once in a while. They should be game to wear and do just about whatever the bride has in mind (as long as she isn’t asking them to wear or do something they are super uncomfortable with and is not costing them a ridiculous amount of money). Bridesmaids should do their best to keep the day’s focus on the bride. They should be present and able to help with touch-ups or the bustle. They should make sure the bride is eating and drinking water. And once the party is in full swing, they should be out on the dance floor letting loose with the bride!

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Pre-Wedding Events

The bride really shouldn’t have to deal with the details of the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Once a bride has communicated her ideal guest list and offered some dates that might work, she should be able to duck out of the conversation and just show up and enjoy. Local bridesmaids should ban together (sometimes with family members) to plan, pay for and execute both the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Barring personal emergencies or completely inflexible work obligations, bridesmaids should try to attend all pre-wedding events that are within a reasonable distance and at a reasonable price point.

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General Wedding Assistance

When called upon, most bridesmaids should participate in helping the bride get some of her more time and/or labor intensive projects completed for the wedding day. If the bride asks her girls to come together for a day of wine and invitation assembly, the bridesmaids should do their best to make it. If the bride invites a bridesmaid to a dress fitting and it works with her schedule, she should make an effort to go.

The wedding of Irene Legaspi and Chris Josol was photography by Hannah Arista for Docuvitae at the Carondelet House in Los Angeles, CA on September 27th, 2014.

Going Above and Beyond

While light assistance is expected of all bridesmaids, they should not be expected to serve in the capacity of a wedding planner. Yes, they can help out with a few of those DIY projects and potentially attend a meeting or two. However anything other than that is truly over and above. Do yourself a favor and hire a wedding planner that feels like a friend who just happens to be a professional wedding designer (pick me, pick me!) to really dive into working out all the lovely details with you.

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As a bridesmaid, attending numerous parties leading up to a wedding translates to giving the bride a lot of gifts in a relatively short period of time. If a bridesmaid has poured her energy into your wedding, hosted events in your honor and/or traveled far and wide to celebrate with you, please do not expect a big wedding gift from her. Actually, I encourage you to let her off the hook altogether when it comes to a wedding gift and let her know that she has done more than enough in terms of a wedding present.

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Emotional Availability

Again, your bridesmaids love you and are happy to be a part of this process with you. But even bridesmaids have their bad days. Try not to expect that every time you want to talk about something regarding your wedding, they will be able to chat at length regarding your wedding details. Sometimes a bridesmaid will say the wrong thing. Sometimes they are just too busy to toil over your exact shade of lipstick or if you should choose red velvet or black and white cake. Remember, this is your wedding, not theirs. It would be impossible to expect that they would be as emotionally tied to and invested in the minutia of your wedding details as you are. Being a bridesmaid shouldn’t only feel like a chore. Unfortunately, how a bride interacts with her friends leading up to and on her wedding day can affect her relationships with these ladies for the rest of their lives. If you follow these tips and advice, we are hopeful that your bridesmaids will be as important to you for years to come as they are on your wedding day!

Photo Credit: Image 1 by Lukas & Suzy VanDyke; Image 2 by Andrew Abajian; Image 3 by Booth Photographics; Image 4 and 5 by Iris And Light; Image 6 by Docuvitae; Image 7 by Iris And Light; Image 8 by Booth Photographics




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