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Author Topic: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related - update #15  (Read 9040 times)

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faithlessone

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2016, 12:33:33 AM »
OP here.

Thanks for all the advice guys.

To clear up the date issue - yes, they were part of the discussion. In fact, IIRC, it was Friend who suggested that the 3rd would be better than the previous weekend, which is a bank holiday here in the UK. Everyone agreed, and then a couple of weeks later, they decided they weren't free. As to the other things - I'm fairly sure neither Friend nor Sister has a problem with the actual activity, and they both seemed positive about it when it was floated as an idea. But oh well, if they can't come, they can't come. It's still going to be a fun party. (It's not just the bridal party invited - five of her friends have also been invited and they all responded very positively about it.)

I guess maybe I am expecting too much of them. It's the first wedding I've really been "involved" in (i.e. not family weddings where I was a junior bridesmaid), and I do spend a lot of time with Bride anyway, not counting the wedding things, so I've probably overinflated its importance.

I will relax.

Thank you.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 12:37:33 AM by faithlessone »

jedikaiti

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2016, 12:52:07 AM »
Quote
I've never come across a single bride-to-be in my personal life (either as a friend/relative/acquaintance) who expected, or even wanted, her bridesmaids to help with bridal gown shopping, the invitations, location scouting etc.

I agree with this. I suspect that,for some, expectations of bridesmaids have gone up in recent years. When I was younger, no one would have expected you to change your work schedule to shop for bridesmaids' dresses, much less the bridal gown. Bachelorette Parties consisted mostly of going out for dinner and then drinking and dancing. They didn't require that much expense, time, or planning. If people want these more elaborate celebrations, that's great, but they may have to accept the fact that not everyone wants to invest time and money in it. I personally think the gun range activity would be a blast, but some may not like it at all, and some may actually hate it. I suspect that the bride knows these two bridesmaids pretty well, and may not be that surprised at their lack of enthusiasm. OP can just relax and enjoy the activities.

I've never experienced this, since I was always the long-distance bridesmaid and only traveled for the wedding itself, but AFAIK, when the 'maids are local, this is pretty common. My only BM was long-distance, and came to town only for the bridal shower and wedding, so I went with a couple of friends (one of whom was our officiant). Wedding dress shopping is not really a great solo activity - having extra eyes (and hands, even with a sales person helping you) is a big big help, and IME, if you're having more than one BM and want them to match, they pretty much all go shopping for BM dresses together, to try to come up with a style that will work on all of them, within reason. Helping with invitations and such are a bit less common, but one friend of mine who was doing a DIY wedding on a tight budget hosted little parties where a number of local friends & family (not just BMs) gathered to help with assembling favors and things like that.
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Lynn2000

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related - update #15
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2016, 10:09:24 AM »
I think, if bridesmaids or other close friends and relatives are interested, there are a lot of ways they can be involved in the wedding preparation, that are helpful. Some friends of mine always made their own invitations, for example, so there was a lot of printing, assembling, and addressing that needed to happen. Some people make their own decor or favors, there's food-tasting, DJ shopping, shopping for all the different parts of the outfits, etc.. It has to be done, it's often more fun when done with a group, and there's often practical reasons why having other opinions is useful.

That being said, pretty much none of those things are requirements for being a bridesmaid (or close friend/relative). I think they should really be presented as, "I have to do this anyway, but if you think it would be fun and want to join in, let me know." Saying no to all of those should be neutral, not negative. You're basically being asked to give up time and effort (and perhaps money) to support a friend's "hobby" (interest which you may or may not share)--it's a favor.

On the hen party, I'll definitely agree it could have been done better. Although I wouldn't call it a requirement of being a bridesmaid, it's definitely usual for the bridesmaids to attend, barring something like living on the other side of the country and unable to afford making the trip twice. Given how it seems like Friend and Sister were involved from the get-go in both the activity and the date, I think they could have at least said, "Just to let you know, I probably won't be attending. But, you should definitely plan whatever Bride wants, please don't worry about me!" I personally would have also offered to kick in cash towards Bride's portion of the event, even if I wasn't going. If Friend and Sister gave 100% indications that they were happy with the activity and date, and then after it was booked, announced they were dropping out due to foreseeable conflicts, that does seem kind of shady--I mean, poorly communicated, not necessarily a sinister plan.
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auntmeegs

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2016, 11:50:46 AM »
I was the MOH for my sister's wedding last summer and I had a really hard time with her bridesmaids. Sister was part of the popular clique in high school and her BMs are a group of adult mean girls who (in my opinion) did everything in their power to exclude me from the bridal party, examples: they wouldn't respond to my messages, they revoked my hen party planning position and ultimately planned an exclusive hen party that I could not attend and then icing on the cake? They ignored me at the wedding, one of them never even said one word while we spent the morning getting ready... it was very confusing and hurtful.

BUT... the advice that I got on ehell, that in retrospect I wish I had listened more to was to not let it get to me. Weddings make people act very strange, and the only thing that you can control is your own behaviour. If Bride's Sister and Friend are acting like boors, just expect them to be that way in the future and do not expect them to change. I would make plans that will be fun for Bride and make it possible for the others to attend but not reliant on their attendance. For example, don't plan group activities that require all four of you. I would even recommend planning a hen night with more girls that will be at the wedding, like cousins and other friends etc.

I ended up planning a second more inclusive hen night and I'm so glad I did because even though I was excluded from the traditional bridal-party-only hen night, I still got to celebrate with my sister and her other, much nicer friends. So try to let their rude behaviour roll off your back (I know it is not easy) and just try to make Bride happy despite them. Good luck!

I know this is OT, but how did your sister allow this to happen?  I would never ever let anyone exclude my sister. 

Cali.in.UK

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2016, 01:08:17 PM »
I was the MOH for my sister's wedding last summer and I had a really hard time with her bridesmaids. Sister was part of the popular clique in high school and her BMs are a group of adult mean girls who (in my opinion) did everything in their power to exclude me from the bridal party, examples: they wouldn't respond to my messages, they revoked my hen party planning position and ultimately planned an exclusive hen party that I could not attend and then icing on the cake? They ignored me at the wedding, one of them never even said one word while we spent the morning getting ready... it was very confusing and hurtful.

BUT... the advice that I got on ehell, that in retrospect I wish I had listened more to was to not let it get to me. Weddings make people act very strange, and the only thing that you can control is your own behaviour. If Bride's Sister and Friend are acting like boors, just expect them to be that way in the future and do not expect them to change. I would make plans that will be fun for Bride and make it possible for the others to attend but not reliant on their attendance. For example, don't plan group activities that require all four of you. I would even recommend planning a hen night with more girls that will be at the wedding, like cousins and other friends etc.

I ended up planning a second more inclusive hen night and I'm so glad I did because even though I was excluded from the traditional bridal-party-only hen night, I still got to celebrate with my sister and her other, much nicer friends. So try to let their rude behaviour roll off your back (I know it is not easy) and just try to make Bride happy despite them. Good luck!

I know this is OT, but how did your sister allow this to happen?  I would never ever let anyone exclude my sister.
Honestly, I don't really know but she did. I feel similar to your sentiment but my sister is different, it is something we will probably never agree on. It still occasionally bugs me but I don't think about it often.

mandycorn

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related - update #15
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2016, 04:25:57 PM »
I think some people are not "wedding people" and other people are (like me! I love wedding stuff), so if you get a mixture in a bridal party, it can lead to this sort of tension about who's doing what with the bride. As far as all of that goes, I would treat each situation as a one off, attend what you want to attend, help with what you want to help with, and don't worry about the other bridesmaids at all, except when the bride wants a sympathetic ear.

As far as the hen's night party goes, I think my advice to just try not to worry about what they're doing is the same, but I personally would be way more irritated. This isn't just about doing things with the bride, this is about them helping to plan an event and then flaking out after previously agreeing. That's irritating regardless of whether it's wedding related or not. But, there are really only two choices - work with everyone (bride, attending guests, and the bridesmaids) to choose a new date, or continue with the plan as it is and hold it when the rest of the group is available. Personally I'd opt for the second, because invitations have already gone out, but I would try to make something work out if the bride feels strongly about rescheduling.
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Twik

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2016, 03:57:04 PM »
Quote
I've never come across a single bride-to-be in my personal life (either as a friend/relative/acquaintance) who expected, or even wanted, her bridesmaids to help with bridal gown shopping, the invitations, location scouting etc.

I agree with this. I suspect that,for some, expectations of bridesmaids have gone up in recent years. When I was younger, no one would have expected you to change your work schedule to shop for bridesmaids' dresses, much less the bridal gown. Bachelorette Parties consisted mostly of going out for dinner and then drinking and dancing. They didn't require that much expense, time, or planning. If people want these more elaborate celebrations, that's great, but they may have to accept the fact that not everyone wants to invest time and money in it. I personally think the gun range activity would be a blast, but some may not like it at all, and some may actually hate it. I suspect that the bride knows these two bridesmaids pretty well, and may not be that surprised at their lack of enthusiasm. OP can just relax and enjoy the activities.

I have to agree with this. When I was a bridesmaid, the only activity I had to help the bride with was addressing and stuffing the invitation envelops, and even that was just sort of, "hey, if you drop by, we can do this all together."

Now, I think part of this may be the shift from "parents arrange the wedding details" to "the HC makes all the arrangements". That's a lot of stuff on your plate, and getting help is great. But the idea that it's some sort of intense female bonding ritual to have function after function for the bride and her maids is relatively new, I'd say, and probably inspired by celebrity weddings.

The bridesmaids' official duties start and end at the ceremony. Anything else is out of the goodness of their hearts. And if they're so close to the bride, perhaps they just don't feel the need for all sorts of bonding.
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menley

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related - update #15
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2016, 06:05:37 PM »
It's very common in my circle for the bridesmaids to go dress shopping with the bride, both for her dress and for the bridesmaids dresses. It's also very common for bridesmaids to offer to assist with other things (one of my good friends, who loves to plan things, went to a few bridal fairs with me and went cake-tasting at the last minute when my husband got stuck at work - she said the cake-tasting was definitely not a hardship  ;) )

Still, these are all things that are either offered by the bridesmaids or asked by the bride directly, and I would find it pretty inappropriate for another bridesmaid to say anything to me about my participation, or lack thereof, in these type of events.

Now, backing out of hen night after already selecting/committing to a date is something that I would think you could mention ("Hey, you suggested this date, are you sure you can't make it after all?" if you had a relationship with these other girls at all - but if your only connection is through the bride, I'd stay out of it.

gellchom

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2016, 08:43:02 PM »
While I can see how it's disappointing that the other two bridesmaids aren't as excited about the wedding as you and Bride are, I don't think that means they've done anything wrong, necessarily. The things you/Bride are hoping they will do (bridal dress shopping, for example) are fun extras, but not requirements for participating, or even "done by everyone," at least not in my circle. The wedding is still months away, and Bride has known these two almost her whole life--she might be disappointed but she can't possibly be surprised by their behavior. Expecting them to change will only make things more frustrating for both Bride and you.

I also would not be interested in attending an archery/assault rifle party--just not my thing. If the Bride really wanted it, I wouldn't discourage her, I would do exactly what Friend did and just say I couldn't attend--"no need to change the date" is what tells me she doesn't want to attend, no matter what. How did the idea for this party come up? I got the sense the dates were asked about, but was the activity? Not that the activity has to appeal to everyone, but when it doesn't, people may choose not to attend. I agree with the idea of opening that party up to other wedding guests, like other friends and cousins of Bride. It can still be fun even if the other two bridesmaids aren't there.

In fact, you may want to (with Bride's permission) open other activities up to different guests as well. Bridal dress shopping, assembling invitations, cake tasting, whatever--ask the bridesmaids first, but then if they aren't interested, ask a couple of Bride's other friends or relatives. There's no rule against that.
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diesel_darlin

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related - update #15
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2016, 08:57:03 PM »
Youve already gotten some wonderful advice, but I would just like to say that Id be happy to replace one of those that dont want to go to the rifle range.  ;D

Margo

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related - update #15
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2016, 06:32:27 AM »
I don't think that not being part of invitations or wedding dress shopping are an issue - I can see that some brides and maids might want to do this together but I wouldn't see it as part of the bridesmaid's duties.
regarding the hen night, I think it is up to the bride - if she really wants her other maids at the full hen day then I think it is OK or her to say so and for you or her to speak to them directly and ask them to suggest dates they can come to. Is it possible that money is a factor? Archery and rifle shooting sound as though tye might work out fiarly expensive and not eveyone's idea of a great day out.

Bottom line is that none of this is about you, it is about the relatinship between the bridfe and her other two maids.So in ypur position, I would ask her whether she is happy with the planned hen party going ahead without the other two maids being present or whether she wants to rethink, and if she wants to rethink, I would then suggest that you contact the other bridesmaids and ask them to suggest alternatives, both in terms of the activity and the date.

Another Sarah

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related - update #15
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2016, 10:01:07 AM »
You've already gotten some great advice but I wanted to add something

Apologies for the long post. So, any advice? Is it worth confronting them myself, letting them know how much it's hurting their sister/friend, or should I leave it up to the bride?

Bridesmaid situation or friend situation, this never ever works. It either looks like a passive-aggressive move on the bride's part (using you as a mouthpiece) or it makes you look like the pushiest, most boundary-stomping person ever (stepping in on her behalf). It is not your place to interfere between someone and their sister, or between someone and their friend, even if you have the best of intentions. It ruffles all sorts of feathers and could have negative repercussions for the bride as well as you. I understand the motivation, but really, its a terrible idea. The only thing you can do is bring it up if asked, or in the context of your own frustration rather than the bride's. Otherwise, lend her your support.

faithlessone

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related - update #15
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2016, 12:11:23 PM »
OP!

Thank you all for the advice.

I've talked to the bride. She's really not bothered about them not being able to come, as it turns out. She'd prefer that the people coming to the hen party actually want to be there, and clearly this isn't the case for the other bridesmaids, but it is the case for everyone else invited. We have got a night out planned for some point in August (Bride + all 3 bridesmaids - date tba), but I don't think she'll be too miffed if they flake out of that too. So long as they turn up on the day, she's happy.

Is it possible that money is a factor? Archery and rifle shooting sound as though tye might work out fiarly expensive and not eveyone's idea of a great day out.

Money isn't a problem. It's a group activity package and it's not outrageously priced, so I offered to pay for the whole group. They both know and agreed to this.

I'm going to keep well out of it now. If Bride wants a person to rage at, I'll be there, but I won't bother making waves. We clearly have different expectations surrounding being bridesmaids, and that's fine.


Mustard

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related - update #15
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2016, 12:31:26 PM »
At least it wasn't the bride with high expectations of the bridesmaids.

bopper

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related - update #15
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2016, 12:58:19 PM »
Devil's Advocate:

If "Friend" came here and said that Bride and one of the BM wanted an assault rifle hen/bachelorette party and but they wanted nothing to do with it, then we might advise them to have to conveniently work or attend a family gathering instead of saying "I don't want to do the thing the bride wants to do".  They are leaving bride free to do something she enjoys but not attending.

Also, all the things you are interested in doing (helping with bride dress shopping, invites, etc) are all voluntary activities. Really a BM needs to get a dress, attend bridal shower if possible, attend hen/bachelorette if possible, and show up early to wedding.  All of those other things are brides responsibility as it is her shindig.

So you cannot make them want to shop/etc.  You can volunteer to help out, but don't get mad if they don't.