Keeping The Posse In The Loop: Your Bridesmaids
Maybe you expect your girls to just show up on the wedding day, or maybe you have everything planned down to a what color toenail polish they’ll wear. Regardless, you need to keep them in the loop on what’s going on, especially if you expect them to, you know, do things. In a perfect world, any time there was something you needed to share you’d just pick up the phone and call them. With the busy schedules that abound today, however, that can be incredibly difficult. One of my friends actually works a night shift as a nurse, meaning I’m asleep when she’s awake and vice versa, so phone calls are a little hard to orchestrate. If the phone won’t work so well for you and your group dynamic, you need to rely on good old text, and you have a couple different ways to deliver it.
Almost everyone is on Facebook these days, and, while it’s kind of lame to admit, it’s an incredibly convenient way to keep everyone on the same page (haha, Facebook, page, get it?). Create a private (trust me, you want it private) group for yourself and your girls (but please do not use this as a way to ask them to be in your bridal party!). A page here lets you not only easily keep in touch with them, it allows the girls who don’t know each other to have a mode of contact with each other, creates an easy discussion forum for any group decisions, and makes it easy for you to post pictures. It’s a great way to get opinions on bridesmaid dresses and anything else, and a quick way to just give them a heads up about anything they may want to be involved in (“hey I’m going to a bridal show on such and such a date, anyone want to come with?). If you don’t want to resort to Facebook, you can also use a section of your wedding website for the bridal party that’s password locked (most providers allow you to password protect individual pages if you want), but that doesn’t really allow for too much interaction between the bridesmaids; it’s more of a place for you to just post info. Good ole emails are also effective (and here you get back the interaction factor). If you’re more of a traditionalist you could put together something like a “bridesmaids newsletter” and drop it in the mail (again giving up bridesmaid/bridesmaid interaction).
Whatever method you use, keep them updated on anything that could affect them. Nothing is more frustrating as a bridesmaid than wondering what you’re suppose to be doing or where you’re suppose to be. It’s always a nice gesture if you include them on any decisions that will affect them, but in theory you don’t have to. The only thing you HAVE to do is make sure you are clear on what their budgets are before you start deciding what all they’ll need to buy. You can’t go picking out $400 dresses if not all of your girls can afford that (unless of course you want to pick up the difference yourself). The general rule is that, aside from the dresses, if there is anything you require your bridesmaids to wear/have for the day, you should pick up the tab, but we’ll talk about that later. Just be sure you respect their budgets, whatever the case may be.
As for what you can reasonably expect from your bridesmaids, etiquette police will tell you that all your bridesmaids have to do is show up on the wedding day. Those same police also tell bridesmaids that they have a list of duties. So, I’ve decided the people who have a fit over these two sides of etiquette are hypocritical idiots. Here’s what I think: you can’t expect anything, BUT there is no reason to not ask for help if you want it. Need help tying 200 bows? Ask! Want them to come dress shopping with you? Ask! They still have lives of their own, and they may not be able to do these things with you, so you need to be understanding of that, but there is nothing wrong with asking them for help. Just make it fun. A bottle of wine can go a long way in making these tedious tasks more enjoyable 😉
The moral of the story is this: keep your bridesmaids informed, ask for their involvement when you want it, and respect the fact that their lives do not revolve around your wedding. Remember, you asked these girls (or guys!) to stand with you at your wedding because they are important to you. They agreed because you are important to them. Something as silly as a dispute over writing labels, tying bows, or being able to afford an expensive dress is not worth losing a friendship over.
I’m heading to MI for a week and a half tomorrow to take care of some wedding things, some job search things, some fun things, and babysitting Tim when he gets his wisdom teeth out. Posts will still go up, but I’ll be slow in responding to emails. Don’t fret! I haven’t forgotten about you, I’m just busy gallivanting around the midwest. I’ll be home the 16th, so my regular lightning-fast responses will be back then.