Thursday, July 23, 2015

It's okay to say no...

When I asked one of my friends to be a bridesmaid a few years ago, she respectfully declined. She just wasn't able to commit to the time and responsibility being that she was out of state and had two young children. I can't tell you how amazing it was of her to do that.

It's Okay to Say No
Being asked to be in a wedding party can be such an honor, but before  you say yes to being a bridesmaid, groomsmen, MoH, or Best Man, make sure that you are enthusiastic and fully committed to the job. Depending on the bride/groom, there may me a certain level of participation/time expected of you, and if that's not something you're willing to do, then it's better to say so up front than to back out halfway through. You will save the bride/groom a lot of grief and also better preserve your friendship with them.

Time Commitment
I have been a bridesmaid three times, and each bride has had different expectations of me. I was the MoH in one, but did not participate in any of the pre-wedding festivities because I was out of state. For another, I did not do much except the day before and the day of, helping with making bouquets and tending to last minute details. For another, I helped with arranging photography, making wedding favors, etc. Different brides/grooms will have different needs and expectations, as well as different ways of communicating (email, verbal, etc.) I've heard of some bridesmaids being asked to personally follow up on RSVPs or to address issues like notifying a guest that they cannot bring a date or child! Take all this into consideration, and find out what is expected of you before taking on the job.

Financial Commitment
There is also a financial commitment that comes with being in the bridal party. While some brides or grooms will offer to pay for your bridesmaid dress or tux rental, that may not always be the case. There are a lot of things to take into consideration including paying for your wedding attire/shoes/jewelry, hair/nails/makeup, lodging, travel and transportation, etc. You may also want to participate in (or chip in for) bachelor/bachelorette parties, showers, etc. Being a bridesmaid or groomsman can quickly become very if money is an issue, make sure to check with the bride/groom beforehand. If it's too costly for you, there's nothing wrong with saying no.

If You're the Bride or Groom
If you are the bride or groom, don't be offended if someone declines to be a part of your bridal party. That does not mean they don't like you; it likely just means they know that they realistically cannot commit to the job. Try to be up front with your bridal party about costs (wedding attire, if you expect them to have hair/makeup/nails done, shoes, jewelry, lodging/travel accommodations, showers, parties, etc..) If someone is hesitant about finances, take this into consideration and then see how you can help them. While you are most likely on a tight budget as well, there are many ways you can help lighten the load. My best friend bought me my shoes for her wedding as a Christmas gift. For my bridal party, I allowed them to choose their own dress within a color scheme. Two of the bridesmaids found adorable dresses for under $30 at Target! I also gifted them with their jewelry the night before the wedding at the rehearsal dinner. Consider paying for part of their hotel stay, or giving them gift certificates for hair/makeup, etc. My husband gifted his groomsmen with their ties and pocket squares, in addition to getting them whimsical personalized gifts at the rehearsal dinner.

I decided to write this post after talking to a good friend of mine whose MoH backed out less than 2 months before the big day. A similar thing happened to me, so I felt her pain! Whether you're the bride, groom, MoH, Best Man, or another bridal party member, try to preserve your friendships! Try to be up front, honest, and respectful. And remember, no matter what happens, the most important thing is celebrating the marriage of the couple. Everything will fall into place!

the Bride


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