Etiquette Hell

Wedding Bliss and Blues => Paper Trail => Topic started by: Suam461 on January 25, 2015, 07:44:26 PM

Title: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: Suam461 on January 25, 2015, 07:44:26 PM
I am wondering about a minor situation involving asking my bridal party to be my bridal party! I would generally prefer to ask each girl in person, but we all live in different cities (some 4+ hours away from where I am) and I can go a couple months before seeing one or another of them. I don't want to ask one or two girls when I know I won't get a chance to ask the rest for a long time.
I made personalized cards with pictures and a cute saying asking them each to be in my wedding. Would that be an okay thing to send out or is this some kind of etiquette faux-pas to mail an invite like this? These are just kind of a formality since I'm pretty sure everyone I'm asking already knows that I want them by my side on the big day.  :) Just wanted to get some opinions on the mail thing. 
Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: Alicia on January 25, 2015, 08:05:19 PM
In person or by phone. Card as follow up is nice but call and ask if can not ask in person.
Title: Re: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: menley on January 25, 2015, 11:16:53 PM
I know lots of people who have done these cards - there's now a whole industry of "will you be my [bridesmaid][best man][usher]?" cards on Etsy and Pinterest. I think it's a lovely idea, although it would be best if you had a way to make sure they received the cards (via tracking, or following up by a phone call if you haven't heard from them a week or so after expecting them to receive the card).
Title: Re: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: EllenS on January 26, 2015, 10:09:01 AM
I think this is setting yourself up for delay and complications. If any of your potential bm's are like me, I tend to let mail pile up and sort through it in a big batch.

Just call, and tell them you don't expect an immediate answer. Especially if travel for the wedding is involved, they need time to think and plan about how to make that commitment.
Title: Re: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: LonniesMom on January 26, 2015, 12:35:26 PM
I sent a package with a cute box that said "will you be my bridesmaid?" and an inital necklace inside the box. I got them off of Etsy; there are a ton of different options. They were all spread across the country, so I wouldn't have been able to ask in person, and I knew I wanted to give them a little gift. I think they all called or at least texted after. These women were all family/close friends who knew that would be asked anyway.

My MOH is the only one who lives in my city, so I gave her her gift and "invitation" in person. Her's said "Will you be my MOH?" on the card and had a gorgeous inital bracelet. Also off of Etsy!
Title: Re: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: gellchom on January 26, 2015, 04:21:44 PM
This is the first I have even heard of any formal or cute way of asking someone to be an attendant.  So it certainly can't be a requirement.  You can ask in person, by phone, by email, whatever.  That is how my daughter and daughter-in-law and I all did it, as well as everyone else I know.  The only time I was asked in a letter was back in the 70s, and even that was because there was no email and long distance was expensive.  I guess it must be fun, but honestly, to me it seems a bit silly to make it a big "ask" almost like the proposal.  Feels more like a sorority recruitment kind of thing. 

I know that to the bride it is a very big deal.  But even to friends and relatives who are dying to be attendants, the way they are asked can't possibly be all that important.  It's just not a big moment in their life, no matter how much they love you and how important the wedding itself is to them, so it doesn't have to be done in a special, memorable way.

There is nothing wrong with doing it up cute, either, and I'm sure it would be fun, but to think of something like this as a "situation" or a possible "etiquette faux pas" is to put yourself on a path to tying yourself into all kinds of unnecessary knots in your wedding planning.

However you ask them will be perfectly fine.
Title: Re: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: sammycat on January 26, 2015, 08:28:39 PM
This is the first I have even heard of any formal or cute way of asking someone to be an attendant.  So it certainly can't be a requirement.  You can ask in person, by phone, by email, whatever.  That is how my daughter and daughter-in-law and I all did it, as well as everyone else I know.  The only time I was asked in a letter was back in the 70s, and even that was because there was no email and long distance was expensive.  I guess it must be fun, but honestly, to me it seems a bit silly to make it a big "ask" almost like the proposal.  Feels more like a sorority recruitment kind of thing. 

I know that to the bride it is a very big deal.  But even to friends and relatives who are dying to be attendants, the way they are asked can't possibly be all that important.  It's just not a big moment in their life, no matter how much they love you and how important the wedding itself is to them, so it doesn't have to be done in a special, memorable way.

There is nothing wrong with doing it up cute, either, and I'm sure it would be fun, but to think of something like this as a "situation" or a possible "etiquette faux pas" is to put yourself on a path to tying yourself into all kinds of unnecessary knots in your wedding planning.

However you ask them will be perfectly fine.

I agree.

I remember watching an old Oprah episode and for some reason a woman in the audience was allowed to ask her friends something on air. She started hyperventilating, crying, could hardly get the words out, etc, It was so incredibly over the top.  I (and I suspect other audience members) was expecting some absolutely amazing thing, but it just turned out she was asking them to be her BMs. It was such an anticlimax.
Title: Re: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: Promise on January 26, 2015, 08:55:37 PM
Could you set up a time to Skype each of the ones you won't see in person?
Title: Re: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: Suam461 on January 26, 2015, 10:49:52 PM
Quote
There is nothing wrong with doing it up cute, either, and I'm sure it would be fun, but to think of something like this as a "situation" or a possible "etiquette faux pas" is to put yourself on a path to tying yourself into all kinds of unnecessary knots in your wedding planning.

Don't worry, I'm not super stressing about this at all, like I said, minor situation. I just wanted to see if anyone had done things like this or if it was generally frowned upon to just mail the question. I could definitely see the problem with people not checking their mail though, good point EllenS!

We are still pretty far out from the big day so I think I'll just go with my gut here and ask them in person when I see them. (email or facebook just feels too impersonal to me.) I'll still give them the cards I made, but just because I like cute things.   :P

Quote
I sent a package with a cute box that said "will you be my bridesmaid?" and an inital necklace inside the box.

What a cute idea! I'd definitely like to do necklaces for a gift. I was thinking initials or maybe their star signs.

Thanks for the thoughts guys!  :D

Title: Re: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: gellchom on January 27, 2015, 10:21:39 AM
If you were asking me, especially if I lived out of town, I know I'd prefer a phone call or email now rather than your waiting until you could ask me in person.  Maximum advance notice is way more important. 

I really think you still are vastly overestimating the importance of the manner in which you ask.  It doesn't have to be cute or momentous or even personal. 

Quote
I just wanted to see ... if it was generally frowned upon to just mail the question

As I said, nothing at all wrong with doing it in some cute way (although be prepared that some will find it eye-rolling excess).  But when you ask if it's frowned upon to simply ask some ordinary way, it makes me worry that your perspective about details like this is getting distorted in a way that will be to your detriment. 

Is this something that bridal magazines and websites are starting to promote?  Remember where their money comes from: ads.  So it's in their interest to convince excited brides that all kinds of things (that their advertisers sell) are expected and that they will be "frowned upon" if they skip them. 
Title: Re: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: Suam461 on January 27, 2015, 10:25:48 PM
Quote
Is this something that bridal magazines and websites are starting to promote?

Not really that I've seen yet. If you search for it on Etsy/Pinterest cards and other ideas will show up but I actually made them myself. So no cost beyond the pictures and time!

And you are right, I don't want to get too caught up in the little details. I know that can make a person crazy and I think I was just being overly-cautious. I will try to keep my eye on the bigger picture and not sweat the small stuff.
Title: Re: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: Margo on January 28, 2015, 06:50:59 AM
re the necklace - I would suggest that you ask them first - you can then send the necklace as a 'thank you for agreeing to be my BM' gift once they say yes.

I can imagine that some might feel awkward if they have to say no, but you sent a gift with the request
Title: Re: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: Suam461 on January 28, 2015, 07:24:46 AM
re: Margo
Oh definitely I agree! I meant I would like to do necklaces as a bridesmaid gift, for something to wear in the wedding.
Title: Re: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: gellchom on January 28, 2015, 11:03:15 AM
That sounds better.  It might feel a little odd to get a piece of jewelry when being asked to be a bridesmaid.  Too reminiscent of a proposal of marriage.  Give it as a present later.

Is this supposed to be something they will wear to the wedding? 

IMO, the best attendant gifts are something different chosen for each person.  It shows that you think of them as individuals with their own lives, not just supporting characters in the pageant of your wedding. 

I admit that what I gave most of my attendants was something to wear at the wedding; it was the year of the "Prairie look" -- think Ralph Lauren in the early 80s -- and the dress they wore needed a petticoat that peeked out, so that's what I gave the ones wearing that dress.  It was a dress I found at a department store, not an Official Bridesmaid Dress, so they were able to wear the dresses again, so at least it wasn't something only for the wedding.  But if I had it to do over again, I'd also give them each something else entirely unrelated to the wedding.

Definitely nothing engraved with your name or the wedding date or with your picture.
Title: Re: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 03, 2015, 11:23:47 AM
Huh, never heard of these more elaborate ways of asking someone to be in your wedding party. Personally they're not my thing, but then I don't care for elaborate proposals either. :)

So to each their own on the style, but I agree that sooner rather than later is best, and also consider the time between asking each person. If you wait to ask each in person, and for Anna that's tomorrow but for Beth it's two months from now, Beth may learn that Anna has been asked and think she herself is being skipped over, and have hurt feelings.

So by post, I would drop all the packages in the mail the same day. Or by email, I would contact them all the same day. By phone, over two or three days is understandable because you're probably having a whole conversation with each person, and maybe you have to wait and call when you know they'll be home. In person, I would try to get them done over a week or two.

At the very least, maybe send them all an email that says, "I have something important to ask you about my wedding! When can we get together in person to chat?"
Title: Re: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: mandycorn on February 17, 2015, 09:52:49 AM
I think sending a cute card or something is fun. I love getting mail, so I'd be thrilled if a friend did that with me, but definitely follow it up with a phone call or email within a couple of days when they should have received it to make sure they got it, opened it, and understood what you're asking and a general idea of your expectations.

The understanding part of that brings up a funny anecdote about cute packaging:
my friend just got a box in the mail from her brother. In the box was nothing but a corked test tube with some sprigs of sage(?) in it. It wasn't until her husband got a hold of it and started messing with the cork that they realized the tube could be opened. When they got the cork out, out fell a note saying "will you marry us?" She and her brother had previously discussed her officiating at his wedding, and this was the official ask from him and his fiancee, so that wasn't a surprise, but the amount of trouble she had figuring out what the heck she'd just been sent was kind of funny. So maybe be extra obvious if there are steps the recipient needs to take (adding an "open me tag" or something would have helped).
Title: Re: Invitation to be in the wedding party?
Post by: gellchom on October 11, 2017, 03:24:22 PM
I thought of this old string recently when a friend of our daughter's was in town with her fiance and asked if she could come over and see us, as she sometimes does anyway (she spend a lot of time at our house as a teen, and we are fond of each other).  It turned out that she wanted to ask my husband in person to perform their wedding.  He is a clergyman, and her family belongs to our congregation, so he'd be doing it anyway, but she feels close to us and wanted to ask him directly.  They brought us a pint of my favorite flavor of our local fabulous ice cream!  It was entirely unnecessary, and I think it would have felt strange if she didn't sometimes come visit us anyway, but we enjoyed the visit (and the ice cream  :)).

I still think it's a mistake to make a big production out of asking attendants, though, for all the reasons people brought up in this string, and also for one that just occurred to me: what if they want to decline?  If you make it a big momentous thing, let alone give them jewelry or something, that could be more awkward.