I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last posted! I thought I had gotten into such a good rhythm, then last week just got insane! I was exhausted every day after work and was prepping to host not one but TWO bridal showers (for 2 different brides) plus an engagement party over the weekend. It has been incredibly difficult to pull myself out of bed the last two days, especially when I see the pup snoozing sooo comfortably…
Ladies, if you have never been a bridesmaid or a bride, let me be the first to say this: Consider very carefully before accepting the honourable and coveted position of a bridesmaid or maid of honour, and brides, consider even more carefully before selecting your bridesmaids!
It seems like a lot of girls gleefully accept the BM title without realizing that along with the fancy title also comes a whole lot of responsibility. Most unfortunately, this is a conclusion I’ve come to based on first-hand experience with my maid of honour who I discovered could not be relied on for incredibly simple things like replying to an email or even getting me her dress measurements despite being asked repeatedly. She did not host or plan my bridal shower (thank goodness for my mother dearest), nor did she help or contribute in any way. I don’t hold it against her and we’re still friends, but I should have made my selection a lot more carefully than asking my oldest friend in life. It was just so much unnecessary stress that could have easily been avoided in a time already so full of other stressors – brides shouldn’t have to panic 5 weeks before the wedding when the MoH calls to say they have no dresses because it never got ordered.
So when my brother finally proposed, I reiterated my warning/wisdom to my sister-to-be: CHOOSE YOUR BRIDESMAIDS CAREFULLY! After much deliberation, she announced her party of 5, one of which was me. Most unfortunately, we discovered once again that some girls just have no idea that being a bridesmaid is so much more than getting to wear a special dress and having your name in the programme and getting to stand up on the stage.
All throughout the planning stage, 2 of her bridesmaids whined and complained about everything and seemed to think the day was about them and not the future couple. Originally, they insisted on a surprise bachelorette to Miami, despite the others’ concerns about whisking the bride away during planning crunch time, especially given that it was a shorter engagement.
Then they complained about the “outrageous” cost of a bridal shower and wanted to eliminate “unnecessary” expenses like food and favours (!!!) because “why should we have to feed people?!” (But Miami was still affordable right…?)
They constantly bombarded the bride with incredibly ridiculous questions instead of consulting the rest of the group despite being asked multiple times to first check with the group to avoid stressing the bride out with silly questions like, “What’s your budget for your bridal shower?” (brides don’t pay for their own shower…) and “When are you sending out the invites for your shower? (nor do they invite the guests…)
They complained that they couldn’t afford the shower and that they had expenses to pay for, then when my ally and I disclosed that we both made way less than them and that we had mortgages and cars to pay for, they retorted, “Well we didn’t realize you had bills to pay too.” (Seriously). When suggestions were presented to address the money issue (e.g. Not going to the bridal party cottage trip or stepping down if they really couldn’t afford it), they were offended and retorted that the compassionate response would have been for the other bridesmaids (who make significantly less money!) to pay for the shower instead. Yes, the bridesmaids who make less money should cover the costs of the bridesmaids who make more and were planning an all-inclusive trip to Jamaica.
Anyway, although this is barely the tip of the iceberg, I didn’t intend for this to be a rant.
Instead, bridesmaids, please do a bit of research and get an idea of what the typical responsibilities are and how much the average bridesmaid will end up spending (nearly $1,700 in North America, according to Wedding Channel). If you can’t commit to the time and money involved in being a bridesmaid, please save yourself and your beloved bride a lot of avoidable grief and stress by being honest with yourself and acknowledging what you can and cannot handle. If the demand on your resources will outweigh your supply, express your gratitude and that you are honoured then politely and respectfully decline the offer and explain why you feel like you need to decline. Your bride may be a little surprised or caught off guard but if your relationship is good enough that it warrants an invitation to be a bridesmaid, it is strong enough for her to understand your reason behind declining.
Brides, if you’ve gotten to the point where you can just no longer have your bridesmaid in your party, tread carefully before asking her to step down. Consult with people you can trust to give you their honest and unbiased opinions to determine if your expectations have been reasonable and realistic and if her offenses have been severe enough to warrant firing her. If you’ve done your part to try and rectify the situation (e.g. Make sure it’s not that she’s willing but just unaware of your expectations) and you make the tough decision to ask her to step down, also understand the ramifications it will have on your friendship and that it may be irreparable.
So just to recap: brides, don’t be a bridezilla – ensure your expectations are realistic and well-communicated and bridesmaids, don’t make bridesmaidzilla a thing! Remember that your primary role is to ease the stress of the bride, not create more! Make sure you understand the bride’s expectations and discuss any discrepancies between expectations and your capacities.
A Bride and Bridesmaid survivor