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sophie
Dedicated June 2021

Why so much drama about "duties?"

sophie, on September 28, 2020 at 7:51 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 23
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I'm starting this post by saying that I absolutely am not looking for a fight or to cause drama. Just sharing something I've noticed.

In the amount of time I've spent scrolling through these forums, there's one thing I've seen that really stands out to me. Almost any time someone shares that they're unhappy with the lack of support/involvement from a member of the wedding party, it seems like the sole response is "that sucks, but their only job is to get the dress and show up." Now, while I understand that that truly is the WP's only job, it seems like in most weddings now, it's not the custom. I feel like most brides pick BM's that understand them or should know what they want, or who they would feel comfortable discussing their expectations with upfront. I know I personally am lucky to have a MOH who knows exactly what I do and don't want re pre-wedding festivities. However, I feel like we could be doing a little better to show some comfort to those brides who have realized those they want to be with them on their special day don't actually know them as well as they thought. Nobody is expecting their wedding party to wait on them hand and foot, and *most* know that there's really only one required thing. I don't know if it's my own ignorance to some other part of wedding etiquette, my people-pleasing side, or the fact that I hate seeing people upset, but I feel like as a community, when it comes to people feeling let down by the people they've entrusted with one of the most special days of their lives, we could be a little more sympathetic.

23 Comments

Latest activity by Michelle, on September 30, 2020 at 12:14 PM
  • Yasmine
    Master October 2020
    Yasmine ·
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    I definitely get what you’re saying and I’ve seen it as well. I do think that those people are just being honest and letting brides know that at the end of the day no one will be as happy as you for your wedding and no one is obligated to do anything.


    I do think that sometimes it comes off as some of them being rude but when you ask for opinions you won’t always hear what you want, and that’s life sadly. It personally doesn’t affect me because Idc what anyone says really lol but for some brides I see how it would make them feel some type of way.
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  • M
    VIP January 2019
    Maggie ·
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    This is a complicated issue that really depends on so many individual factors (the actual relationships involved, what is being asked, how was it being asked, long-term history of friendships and families, local and regional customs, etc.) that no one can possibly give specific advice to any one poster about their relationships, other than to relate what we have personally experienced or observed in our own lives. So, there will always be a huge range in answers.

    I still think the answer should always be to keep expectations reasonable and communicate early and often, with compassion and empathy. Does that advice work for everyone? Obviously not.

    "I feel like most brides pick BM's that understand them or should know what they want, or who they would feel comfortable discussing their expectations with upfront."

    This right here describes one of the main problems we see here every day. Brides assume people will know what they want, but people cannot read minds. So when all the brides who had sky high expectations but never communicated them until AFTER they have been let down and get upset post here, we can only react to their current situation, where it's pretty easy to see objectively that they set themselves up to be disappointed and set their friends up to disappoint them.

    (and this doesn't even get into all the times brides choose attendants for the wrong reasons and relationships that weren't good to start with go south, predictably)

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  • sophie
    Dedicated June 2021
    sophie ·
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    I definitely think the honesty is necessary, especially if they're asking for advice, I just never see any comfort to go along with it. Just makes my heart hurt a little bit

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  • Yasmine
    Master October 2020
    Yasmine ·
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    Same I definitely get it. No need to be rude about it.
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  • sophie
    Dedicated June 2021
    sophie ·
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    This is an amazing response and I 100% agree with it- my main instinct is always to approach with empathy. It just seems to me like "that's not their job" on its own is usually the bulk of the responses these brides get, without any empathy or actual advice :/

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  • Kristen
    Master November 2020
    Kristen ·
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    I agree with Maggie. I think in some cases the posts are brides upset their wedding party did not do anything. I know for me as a bridesmaid I always felt that role came with coordinating a shower and/or bachelorette and doing whateve the bride asked in regards to attire or showing up at events. Quite frankly I always saw it more as just show up the day of. Even knowing that now I would not simply do that. However, my maid of honor barely coordinated her wedding which she had because her husband wanted lol. So yeah she would not be one to organize an event on her own and luckily when I mentioned how I would love to have a shower but I cannot host my own she stepped up but told me I need to help her plan lol. I know even for my bachelorette she has been getting help from another friend of ours as we both took the reigns of planning her bachelorette and we like to coordinate events ha ha.

    I think some bridesmaids do not really know what they are expected to do or do not think they need to coordinate pre wedding events. Now some bridesmaids are trifling from what I read but some brides like Maggie said had these high expectations without communicating them and then when they do not come to fruition they get upset and are ready to demote their friends.

    I agree there is nothing wrong with wanting your bridal party or family members to honor your big day and no one here needs to be rude about it but at the same time I think the bride needs to be reasonable and also maybe communicate but not get mad if people do not do it. I think different people have different perspectives of the bridal party.

    I posted an article from the knot about the role of the maid of honor and it was more than just show up and I was told that it is not a paid job and should not be treated as such. Some people will feel one way and some will feel another.

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  • sophie
    Dedicated June 2021
    sophie ·
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    Oh yeah, 100%. My main thing is that I get that people will have different perspectives on what the job is, but we should always show empathy, and it just doesn't sit right with me whenever I don't see that in someone's comments.

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  • Kristen
    Master November 2020
    Kristen ·
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    Sadly in this forum some people can be a little harsh. I try to disagree but nicely with people because I appreciate if people do the same to me. Sucks to not hear what you want but I agree no need to be rude.

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  • Molly
    Expert August 2021
    Molly ·
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    I find some of the people on here think they are being "honest" or straightforward but, don't consider how someone might feel about their responses. The number of times I read "a couple is not a plus one, they are a social unit", "You cannot plan your own shower it's greedy" and "your bridal party's only job is to wear what you want and show up" is ridiculous. Like, say on posts about the later it will literally be posted 4-7 times. I think the poster got the idea the first couple of times.

    In my opinion, your bridesmaids are going to do more than show up in what you want them to wear. Not being the bride's servant but, to help out a little. Like if you have to put centerpieces on tables, are most of your bridesmaids going to just let you do it by yourself. Also, I loved texting my bridesmaids to ask their opinions on wedding details. It would make me sad if my MOH had no interest in planning with me. That's not me wanting her to be my servant but, just because it would be what I would do for her.

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  • Molly
    Expert August 2021
    Molly ·
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    Exactly! There is a way to disagree with people or let them know about etiquette without making them feel hurt or stupid.

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  • Kristen
    Master November 2020
    Kristen ·
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    tenor.gif


    I agree with all that you said.

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  • sophie
    Dedicated June 2021
    sophie ·
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    This entire comment!!!!!! Yes! This is my exact point. Regardless of what the poster needs to be told, there is a way to do it nicely. I also agree about the bridesmaids thing. I only learned people thought otherwise when I started reading the forums.
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  • Molly
    Expert August 2021
    Molly ·
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    I've learned that a lot of what my family/social circle believes would be blasphemy with some of the community on here. Especially the idea of a cash bar.

    There are things that I agree with etiquette wise (if you invite someone to a bridal shower they should be invited to the wedding, you should feed your guests something, etc.) but, I think many other things (whether chosen for budget, personal beliefs, or traditions) should be allowed to be talked about without people jumping down other's throats.

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  • M
    Super October 2022
    Michele ·
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    From observation, not justifying anything either way, alot of it boils down to a major confusion between etiquette and tradition and people implying they don't want advice as they prefer validation and will do whatever they want no matter which of their guests get upset.
    Etiquette is how you prevent and navigate awkward uncomfortable social situations so no one is offended or disgraced. Contrary to belief, you need it even more during Covid and it is not something that is ever outdated as long as the human race is in existence. Many people say it doesn't apply to them under any circumstances. Tradition is customs people have done for so long they don't know why they're done anymore except out of habit, which includes religious and regional customs. Those you can toss out the window and most people won't care since you're not creating an awkward setting that will taint another person's view of your basic common courtesy.

    Understanding the major difference between those two things goes a long way in understanding where a person is coming from with their dilemma and how to suggest a resolution. But there will always be someone who just simply doesn't care and will only do things their way.
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  • sophie
    Dedicated June 2021
    sophie ·
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    I agree there’s definitely a difference, but regardless, I think the best policy is always to show empathy. Even if someone is going against etiquette, there’s a way to tell them that without being rude. I appreciate your insight!
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  • T
    Super April 2021
    Tiger Bride ·
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    I think about 10-15 years ago there was a major surge of the idea of a "bridezilla" who was over-the-top demanding, and that's led to a pendulum swing where any time a bride says she's not happy with the contribution of the WP, people accuse her of being selfish and demanding when the reality is most people aren't like that.

    My opinion, as the bride (and as of a week ago, a bridesmaid): a BM's job is to buy and wear the dress, plan and host a shower if the bride wants one, plan and host a bachelorette if the bride wants one, attend the rehearsal (if possible) and try to be helpful with small wedding day tasks as needed. They should not be expected to pay for hair and makeup but should be able to DIY and look presentable if they don't.

    The bride should do her part and not require $300 dresses, international destination bachelorette, etc. But no, to me, being a BM is *not* just about showing up and wearing the dress. If you are actually close to this person, you should WANT to put forth the effort: plan a party (modest if need be), get her a small 'bride' trinket, show interest in the planning. JMHO.

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  • sophie
    Dedicated June 2021
    sophie ·
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    I think this is definitely what I agree with. I love that you said if the bride wants one for both pre-wedding events. In my opinion, it’s best to ask, but if you don’t ask, assume yes- it’s better to have the bride feel celebrated even if it’s something small than to have her feel like you don’t care. While yes, some brides have sky high expectations, and some don’t communicate what they want, it shouldn’t be all on them.
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  • M
    Super October 2022
    Michele ·
    • Flag
    "Reality" tv has skewed how many people view brides in general as well and thus folks across the board don't realize that the majority are not the divas portrayed in the media.
    • Reply
  • J
    January 1895
    Jessa ·
    • Flag

    Weddings in my area have gotten so expensive. I have seen brides demand that their bridal party pay for specific hair, makeup, nails, shoes, dress. Go in for a group bridal party gift (Appliances is popular). Bachelorette of minimum 2 nights, including all the brides expenses. Shower at a fancy place with 50+ guests. Demands to stay in the hotel the night before the wedding and pay for your own room. Matching robes or some other article of clothing for getting ready pictures. Bridesmaids can spend several thousand dollars which frankly most young women just can't do. That's why if you are the last of your friends to get married or even like the 3rd person in your group....people aren't as excited to participate.

    I think that it is expecting a lot from people to throw multiple parties. It can get so expensive even though to some people even $100 is too much. If you decline to be in a WP its a friendship ending move. So the honor of being asked to a bridesmaid is actually dreaded by a lot of young women. (I work in a hospital with a large portion of women under 35 so its a big topic of conversation....along with babies Smiley smile )

    I have also seen people who expect their bridal party to make crafts, address envelopes, run errands, set up venues, clean up venues etc....

    I think this is why so many people nowadays are saying that if you want these things you should pay for them yourself or pay someone to do it for you. That your expectations of your friends is that they are your friends not on some kind of job. Maybe its a know your friends type of thing but from the talk I hear, most brides expect more than people are willing to give. Some will do it anyway because they love their friend, but the amount of complaining I hear I think would truly upset a bride if she knew. Maybe thats why the moan and complain about it at work.

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  • sophie
    Dedicated June 2021
    sophie ·
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    I was actually referring to the rudeness I’ve seen on here in response to brides saying they’re disappointed in the lack of participation from their wedding party! I appreciate your input!
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