Everything You Need To Know To Have A Drama-Free Bridal Party
A few weeks ago, we got some great advice from bridal party experts about how to choose your bridal party. We learned how to narrow down your bridal party and choose those who really mean the most to you. We learned about how many people you should choose and the worry that many brides have about sides being equal in number. We also learned that the bride’s side doesn’t always have to be all women, and the groom’s side doesn’t have to be all men.
When I was getting married, I actually had two maids of honor. A little non-traditional, but remember, you can make weddings anything you want them to be. There are no “rules,” really, and you can do whatever you like to make your wedding as personal as you want.
My husband and I are both only children and so our closest friends are really like the siblings we never had. So of course, the people we chose to be Maid of Honor and Best Man were our oldest and dearest friends. Our Best Man and my husband have been best friends since 1st grade, so that was a no-brainer. I knew my Maids of Honor since I was in 6th grade.
So, why did I choose two? Simple. Because I could. But really, it was because I met them both on the same day and the three of us did everything together. I felt like I had to choose a favorite by picking one, and it was something I couldn’t do.
Today, we’re reaching back out to our bridal party experts, Angela Napoletano and Beth Palmisano, friends and co-owners of Dear Bridesmaid based in Virginia, and Jen Glatz, a professional bridesmaid, based in New York City, and the founder of the website Bridesmaid for Hire and author of “Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire).”
We’re going to discuss what happens after you choose your bridal party and what you need to know if you are chosen to be in a bridal party as a Bridesmaid or Maid of Honor to keep it all stress-free and drama-free.
Regardless of your “role,” the Bridesmaids, Maid of Honor, Best Man and Groomsmen all have to do this one thing above everything else. That is, be a good friend! Glatz says, “Simply put – be a good friend. Really, that’s it. Everything else are requests the bride (or groom) asks you to do and those requests should be fair and not over the top.”
“After that, responsibilities will vary based on family traditions, budget, location etc.,” says Palmisano. “The best thing to do when you accept this role is to ask questions and really understand the bride’s expectations. Pro-tip: if your life and schedule don’t fit their description, talk it over with the bride (or groom) right away.”
So what can you expect…?
If you’re a bridesmaid, Palmisano says, “Sometimes responsibilities are exactly what you think when you hear bridesmaid – hosting and/or attending parties, sitting through band auditions, dress shopping and – if you’re lucky – tasting cake.” Other times, says Palmisano, your responsibilities may include “being there for a vent session, airport pickups, setting and maintaining budgets and so much more.”
If you’re the Maid of Honor (MOH), your duties may be similar plus more and are more public. “MOHs publicly hold the flowers, puff the train and sweetly toast the couple,” says Palmisano. “Behind the scenes, MOH acts as the ring leader and delegator. If the MOH can only take on the public duties it’s important for her to find someone else on ‘Team Bride’ to handle logistics – especially if the bridal party volunteers to hold a trip or party.”
That brings up a good point…whose duty is it to throw the shower, bachelorette party or any other trip or party that happens during the engagement? “Technically hosting is not a required duty of any bridesmaid, including the MOH,” says Palmisano. “That being said, any member of the bridal party can host or help host parties if she’d like, but shouldn’t feel obligated.”
For example, my aunt threw my shower and my maids of honor threw my bachelorette party. However, my maids of honor communicated with me all the time and asked me if I wanted a surprise bachelorette party if I wanted a big one, a small one, and what I wanted to do.
What happens if you invite a person to be in your bridal party and they can’t afford to be in it?
Budgets are tight for everyone, the bridal party included. By the time the members of your party pay for their dress, hair and makeup, manicures, pedicures, travel, gifts, or parties, costs can add up pretty fast! If you find yourself in a bridal party and are on a tight budget, Glatz says, “Speak with the bride. Let her know that you don’t have the cash and that you’d like to still be a bridesmaid but on a budget.” Palmisano agrees. She says, “If you know it’s too much for your personal budget, transparency from the beginning is the way to go. The bride will understand and in the end, you’ll both be less stressed.”
If you are a bride and someone in your party says they can’t afford it, the number one thing you must do is NOT judge. Facts are facts and if they can’t afford to be in your bridal party, accept their decision to decline the invite to be in your party, or try to work on some budget friendly aspects. For example, try to choose a dress that’s affordable for everyone, try to limit travel, maybe chip in for their hair or makeup (they are your besties after all).
What about bridal party drama?
Now, here’s the most important thing you need to know about bridal parties…DRAMA IS NOT ALLOWED! I mean it!
Brides, you have every right to dismiss a person in your bridal party if they bring the drama. Glatz says, “If someone is bringing more stress into your life, don’t hang on to them. Just because you asked them to be a bridesmaid does not mean you can’t later say never mind because they are making your wedding adventure miserable.”
So If you are asked to be in a bridal party, know that the privilege can be taken away at any moment if you bring on the drama. It’s NOT your wedding and you need to respect the bride and groom’s vision, within reason of course.
But here’s the good news. Just as the bride has the right to dismiss a dramatic member of the bridal party, you have the right to excuse yourself from the bridal party as well. If you are dealing with a downright evil “Bridezilla” or “Groomzilla,” or if either one isn’t respecting your budget or your concerns, you have the right to leave as well. Now, the few weeks leading up to the wedding may be extra stressful, so you can expect nerves to be on edge and people to be a bit snippy, but if this behavior is happening right from the beginning, it’s just going to get worse and you don’t want to be a part of that.
We want to know…who is in your bridal party? What concerns have come up for you, if any?
Featured Photo Credit: Man in the Moon Studios Photography