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"Ask Sarah" Wedding Etiquette and Advice

So you're getting married and you probably have questions. I have answers!  Hi, I'm Sarah - a woman who's passionate about weddings. 

Ask Sarah Article:  Advice For Brides From A Bridesmaid's Perspective

Brides-to-be, if I may offer my opinion on what I believe to be the most important thing when dealing with your bridesmaids...it is absolutely communication. This is your special day and you have asked the closest relationships to share in your celebration. Not everyone will know what is expected of them and how involved, or not involved, to be. This will be your responsibility to prepare your ladies and share this information with them. Now you might be saying, but this is my first time and how am I supposed to know what will be expected? Let me share with you some of my experiences and valuable insight on how you can be the best bride for your bridesmaids.

Let’s start first with the financial aspect, as the burden of cost isn’t normally a small one in this lovely celebration.  What will your bridesmaids and maid-of-honor be responsible to pay for?  Here’s a list of possibilities.  Please add or subtract what you see fit according to your needs.  This will help you understand what you will be asking from a financial aspect.

  • Bridesmaid dress - could range from $99 - $200+. The last 3 for me have averaged $150.

  • Hair styling - $50-$75

  • Make-up (if professionally done) - from $35+

  • Shoes

  • Jewelry

  • Shower gift

  • Bachelorette party gift

  • Bachelorette party outing expenses

  • Regular wedding gift

Sterling Sentiments® Silver FRIEND Bangle Bracelet
White Pearl and Pavé Crystal Fireball Illusion Necklace

Additional maid-of-honor duties (in addition to above):

  • Bridal shower - responsible for invitations, food, games, game prizes

  • Bachelorette/Lingerie party - invitations, food, game prizes

Now, this shouldn’t deter you from asking the closest people to you to burden this cost, because I can say that the majority of your girls would be happy to oblige. However, please be aware that not everyone will be financially able to bear these costs, so be sensitive and open to the answer “No” if one of your ladies is unable to participate.  Are you able to assist financially if one of your girls can’t do one of these?  Maybe you could allow her to serve another purpose, possibly handing out programs, assisting with cake-cutting, helping set-up the reception, helping to plan one of the showers, finding some other duty that may not be as financially burdensome. This will be a win-win situation for both of you, you will still have a close friend participating in your wedding, and your friend will still be a part of it without having to dish out serious cash. Of course, before tell your ladies what they will be responsible for, be clear on what you want. Do you want all the girls to have matching shoes for their dresses? Do you want them all to get their hair professionally done and make-up as well?  What are the absolutes that you want and what are you willing to compromise?  The most important thing again is being able and being sure to communicate what your expectations are for your bridesmaids. Remember your girlfriends will likely be caught up in the emotion and excitement of being asked to be a part of this day, but may not realize what they’re accepting into. And don’t forget to please, please communicate this upfront!

So you’ve chosen your lovely, leading ladies and they've accepted the mission.  Now the fun begins!  Here’s where each bride will differ. Some brides may want a lot of input from others on the planning of their wedding, and some may not want any at all. Be aware of where you're at and let everyone know.  I can say from experience and because I L-O-V-E weddings, I jump at any chance to be involved in the planning, assisting, decorating, etc… of the weddings I’m asked to be in. However, the worst thing for a bridesmaid is if you have no idea of what the bride needs, or if she even wants your help, leaving you feeling a little helpless and useless…  Soooo, how much help do you want?  Do you want to do the majority of the planning on your own?  If so, that is O.K. Just let your ladies know that.  If you have someone eager to be involved and in the "know", keep them feeling connected by giving them regular updates. May I suggest opening up a blog website to track the details and give access to your guest s and bridal party? This is a fun way to let others see the progress of your planning.

There is a lot to plan in a wedding, and you don’t have to do everything on your own if you don’t want to. Are you willing to give some planning tasks away? You will feel better about delegating some of the stress, and I can promise you that your ladies will feel glad to be a part of it.  Here are some ideas on what you might want to delegate:

  • Wedding dress ideas - they can help you search
  • Wedding venue - get your super sleuth friends on it!
  • Bridesmaid Dress ideas - you pick a color and send them off...
  • Floral ideas and contacting florists
  • Wedding favors - do a DIY project and get a group together
  • Invitations - once again, you could DIY these with some help

If planning is not your “forte”, definitely share that responsibility with your girls. Your maid-of-honor is usually your right hand lady, but be sure you’re sensitive of their schedules and ask for their help with ample notice (if possible). This may not always be possible, and in some cases your ladies will be able to drop things and help you out right away. Either way don’t be afraid to ask, the worst they can say is no! Bridesmaids if you’re reading, please be assertive and say what you are willing to do and what you would like to do. This will help the lighten bride's burden. 

In this day and age, technology is quick, easy and convenient. Touch base with your bridal party at least once a month and more often as it gets closer. Keeping your girls connected is a sure way to keep them feeling like they get to be a part of this fun time and will allow you more opportunities to delegate and ask for help. Take advantage of blogging, texting, e-mails, or even the good old phone!

Here are some final notes and reminders. Don’t forget ladies that these gals are happy to share this amazing time with you. Say lots of thank-you’s (send notes, make random phone calls) to show your appreciation. It will certainly rejuvenate your girls and make them know you really appreciate their efforts. Be mindful when scheduling get-togethers and appointments, and remember these ladies are not getting married and have other responsibilities and regular life stuff to tend to. Take lots of pictures so you can remember this whole process, you won’t regret it!

I hope that this has served as a helpful insight on how you can be the best bride for your bridesmaids. Good luck and have lots of fun in planning the most amazing day of your life!

-Sarah

Copyright NWweddingplace.com 2010-2012. All information contained herein is intellectual property and copyrighted by www.NWweddingplace.com. For information regarding use of this article, please contact article-inquiries@NWweddingplace.com.

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