But saying “I do” to being in the bridal party is not as simple as it used to be. There is a lot of time, effort, money and stress involved in making sure your bride and groom have the perfect day and that every aspect of the journey leading up to the wedding runs smoothly. Etiquette expert Linda J. Williams provides helpful tips on how to be the best Maid of Honor (MOH)/Best Man/bridal party member you can be, and what to do if you really want to say “yes,” but can’t make it work.
If you are asking someone to be in your bridal party, it is because they hold a special place in your life and you can’t imagine your wedding day without them standing up there next to you. According to Williams, there are two rules of etiquette that bridal party members should keep in mind.
“Remember that it is not your wedding. Be sensitive to honoring the wishes of the bride and groom. You want their day to be as special and stress-free as possible,” she said. “Also, try to get along with the other members of the bridal party. You may not know each other or you may know each other but not get along. Do your best to be civil and polite to everyone for the sake of the bride and groom.”
When accepting your invite to be a part of the wedding, it is paramount that you realize this will be a big expense. Bridesmaids are expected to pay for a dress, a bridal shower gift, bachelorette party, a wedding gift and usually hair and makeup the day of, while groomsmen are expected to pay for or rent a tux, help out with the bachelor party and give a wedding gift. Both sides are also expected to take off work or leave early for the rehearsal dinner, and of course, the wedding day.
“If you are asked to be in the bridal party and you have financial issues, be honest with the bride and groom,” said Williams. “You should be able to share your concerns, but this should not be your first response when asked to be in the bridal party. Graciously accept, then wait a few days and contact them with your concerns.”
Some helpful tips for those who really want to be in the bridal party but are worried about cost can be a budget plan. Simply save a little each week. Chances are, the bride will look to find reasonably priced dresses and the bridal shower will be less than $100.
As for the MOH and best man, it is their job first and foremost to put the bride and groom at ease, and keep them away from any drama that may arise with any party planning or upsets among the group. This duo also serves as the witnesses to your marriage.
“It should be the responsibility of the MOH and best man to meet with the bride and groom to find out what their wishes are and what their vision is for the members of the bridal party,” said Williams. “Do they only want the MOH and best man handling whatever duties they assign or can the MOH and best man delegate to members of the bridal party?”
Williams added that everyone should be made aware of what is expected of them as soon as possible so the plans and the wedding day go smoothly.