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Staddon-Neely nuptials and aftermath (2)


SpoonfulOSugar
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I've been in three weddings (two as a bridesmaid & one as the maid of honor), and out of the three, only one couple is still together.

Maybe I'm the anti-wedding whisperer.  ;)

With regards to bridesmaids & their actual purpose, there was probably some historical reason for them, but to be honest, I'm not 100% sure about that.

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I think, for some brides, the sheer number of bridesmaids is just part of the wedding "bigger is better" scenario that the bridal industry has churned up, year after year. I was perfectly happy with my sister, and the first time I added my SIL and my XH's friend's girlfriend just to make him able to have his three BFFs in the wedding party. Second time? My sister. We even borrowed a dress for her, so all we had to pay was for the dry cleaning...

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One of the posters on the first page mentioned a wedding party wearing black.  It reminded me of a wedding that I attended a few years back.  It was held outside at a state park in the morning, and the bridesmaids wore black.  The overall theme was nature / rustic, so I remember thinking that having black as the wedding color looked out of place - I thought that the dresses were pretty, but would fit better at a more formal wedding.  Oh well, it was their wedding and their choice.

I used to work at a large headquarters building of a large company.  When work acquaintances were getting married, someone would throw a shower for them at work, which was nice.  However, there was a pattern of inviting a large number of people to the showers, but not inviting most of them to the weddings.  I understand not being able to invite a large number of people to an expensive wedding, but I had always been told that it was bad etiquette to invite someone to a shower but not a wedding - that the perception was that the couple wanted gifts from people, but didn't care to include them at their wedding.  However, to keep good relations at work, I always attended the showers.  

 

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My friend teaches at a 1 class per grade Catholic School. Her bridel shower was a surprise so none of her co-workers were invited. (They did something for her before her wedding). However, they were all invited to her wedding. 

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My family (on my mom's side) loves to match, so for my wedding on top off having 1 maid of honor (my sister), 14 bridesmaids (9 first cousins, 3 second cousins and 2 friends) and 5 flowergirls my aunts and second aunts all decided to dress alike, each set of aunts (direct and second) picked a color, it was awesome for us, but probably absolutely insane for everyone else attending hahahaha. I was married in Mexico, where I am from, and there was absolutely no expectation for the bridesmaids to do anything, my sister helped out but that was it. So it was pretty relaxed even though it was a giant party. 

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I may be biased because I have quite a few bridesmaids (9... Yikes), but I think the idea is just to honor those who are closest to you. It's usually a reciprocal thing. The bridal party helps with showers, planning, etc. and then everyone gets ready together on the big day. It's so normal in my family and circle of friends that I never really thought about it.

I will say there are so many downsides to having bridesmaids. My bridesmaid and bff got married a few years ago and I wasn't in the wedding, which wasn't a big deal at the time because we weren't close, but by the time the wedding rolled around she was much closer to me than most of her bridesmaids and it was awkward. Also, it can be dicey when one of your bridesmaids doesn't pick you as a bridesmaid. My future SIL is in a new relationship and surprise! They're getting married 2 months after us (even though our wedding date has been set for years)! And their wedding will be better in every way than ours! And she has million bridesmaids and I'm not one of them, even though she's one of mine! The whole bridesmaid thing just creates a lot of sticky situations, and I don't blame anyone who steers clear of the whole tradition.

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On 8/7/2016 at 8:39 AM, FloraKitty35 said:

It just dawned on me who she resembles, Bryce Dallas Howard.

I think the first photo makes her look a little like Christina Hendricks with a breast reduction. 

He looks...honestly a little creepy to me. Probably just an awkward photo, but the possessive stance and bulging forehead vein are a little off to me. And he and all his brothers have Uncle Fester-ish dark eye circles in that outdoor photo. I didn't see any photo credits, so not sure if those are their "professional" photos or if they had a family member take some.

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3 hours ago, pikapika said:

My family (on my mom's side) loves to match, so for my wedding on top off having 1 maid of honor (my sister), 14 bridesmaids (9 first cousins, 3 second cousins and 2 friends) and 5 flowergirls my aunts and second aunts all decided to dress alike, each set of aunts (direct and second) picked a color, it was awesome for us, but probably absolutely insane for everyone else attending hahahaha. I was married in Mexico, where I am from, and there was absolutely no expectation for the bridesmaids to do anything, my sister helped out but that was it. So it was pretty relaxed even though it was a giant party. 

Lol, that actually sounds like it was an awesome wedding! I know for some people, a larger bridal party is just what works best.

For those wondering about the origin of bridesmaids, I found this really interesting (and somewhat scary) article about ancient wedding traditions and how they've translated into today's customs. Needless to say, weddings have come a long way since then, and these days the purpose of a bridesmaid or groomsman pretty much is just to honor somebody close to you.

21 Historical Roles and Responsibilities of the Wedding Party

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8 hours ago, Pianokeeper said:

You'll have to forgive my ignorance, please (first generation American and occasionally American norms slip through my cracks of understanding), but... what is the benefit of being a bridesmaid and why do people want to do it?

Yes! As a European bridesmaids is such a weird concept to me. We have a maid (or maids) of honor, maybe a flowergirl or two, but that's it! 

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I was an MOH once and a bridesmaid three times.  I never found a benefit to it. Tried to find one and didn't. Two of the weddings were just big pains in the ass with bridezillas before that show/term began. And all four were expensive. 

I had four. I wanted to have only three, but husband wanted to reciprocate for everyone he had been a groomsman for, so that made it four. I did not want it to be uneven. One wedding I was in had six bridesmaids and four groomsmen and it was all just awkward. 

A relative just posted pictures of a wedding she attended that had 10 attendants for each, four flower girls and three ring bearers (not sure how the last one works with only two rings...). Add in the bride and groom and not one but two pastors and that was the most crowded looking church platform I've ever seen in a wedding photo. It did not appear to be a large church. It looked like no one stopped to think about the space when they planned a wedding party that big. 

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15 hours ago, wikinggirl said:

Yes! As a European bridesmaids is such a weird concept to me. We have a maid (or maids) of honor, maybe a flowergirl or two, but that's it! 

Here in the UK, and I think in a lot of Europe, the tradition is that the bride & groom pay for the bridesmaids' dresses, which keeps the numbers down, and means it shouldn't cost a bridesmaid/MoH any more to attend the wedding than a normal friend - and because we don't do wedding showers in the same way, it's less work too - still helping the bride get dressed, looking after her, and planning a hen-night with/for her, but a hen night is more of a "last night out as a single woman" party, and doesn't usually involve gifts, than a shower. 

I can't wrap my head around the idea of having to give gifts at the shower and wedding, as well as pay for the shower hosting, AND pay for my own dress in the bride's colours/style that I'll never wear again, AND pay for the usual wedding malarkey... I would be minded to say "thanks but no thanks" if asked to be a bridesmaid in the USA!

Edited by Lurky
riffles
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The appeal of being a bridesmaid wanes big time as you age. When you're a teen it seems fun and exciting. But by the time you are in your late 20s and have actually been in a wedding or two, you realize how big of a pain in the ass it is. Most people I know don't actually like being a bridesmaid. It's like a duty you must perform for a friend. I've been a MOH twice and a bridesmaid twice. It's expensive and a lot of work. I doubt I will ever be a bridesmaid ever again and I'm very happy about it.

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I have never been a bridesmaid or a MOH.  If my sister ever gets married I would be probably be her MOH but she's not even dating anyone right now. 

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I was a bridesmaid at my brother's wedding. I was also in my first year of social work and had a very hard time affording the dress and all the alterations. At my own wedding I had my sister as my maid of honor, then my husband's two nieces as my bridesmaids. I bought the girls and my sister matching dresses from JC Penney and called it good. It seemed crazy to say "Come stand with me on my special day....and it'll cost you a minimum of $200." My husband had four groomsmen, all friends. It never occured to me until now that our numbers were uneven; we didn't have the groomsmen walk the bridesmaids down the aisle since they were  just little girls and that seemed weird.

Edited by littlemommy
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1 minute ago, littlemommy said:

I was a bridesmaid at my brother's wedding. I was also in my first year of social work and had a very hard time affording the dress and all the alterations. At my own wedding I had my sister as my maid of honor, then my husband's two nieces as my bridesmaids. I bought the girls and my sister matching dresses from JC Penney and called it good. It seemed crazy to say "Come stand with me on my special day....and it'll cost you a minimum of $200." My husband had four groomsmen, all friends. It never occured to me until now that our numbers were uneven; we didn't have the groomsmen walk the bridesmaids down the aisle since they wee just little girls and that seemed weird.

The 6 bridesmaids, 4 groomsman wedding I was in, they did have the groomsmen walk the bridesmaids and it was an awkward mess because the bride(zilla) did not realize that the uneven numbers would not work until the rehearsal. She was too busy prior to that bossing us around and thinking of ways to try to get us to spend money on her (three showers, a bridal tea party, an attempt to make us purchase matching outfits for her rehearsal, demands for a "bridal party" group wedding gift on top of individual registry gifts--that did not happen, and more). They ended up having the first four of us go down the aisle, then the best man went back down the center aisle and walked the last two bridesmaids up the aisle together. It was just weird and you could see the guests all thinking "why is he leaving?" and looking at their programs to figure out what was going on. 

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When I was a kid, I dreamed of a big wedding.  By the time I actually got married in my 30's, that dream had waned.  We decided to just have fun and not overspend, so we got married on the beach in the  Virgin Islands with just a couple of family members.  It saved a lot of money and effort to not have a big traditional wedding.  Some friends told me that I would eventually regret it, but I never have.  I am an introvert and I am not good at throwing parties/events, so it was perfect for me.  

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1 hour ago, Lurky said:

I can't wrap my head around the idea of having to give gifts at the shower and wedding, as well as pay for the shower hosting, AND pay for my own dress in the bride's colours/style that I'll never wear again, AND pay for the usual wedding malarkey... I would be minded to say "thanks but no thanks" if asked to be a bridesmaid in the USA!

I've never understood the supposed "honor" of being a bridesmaid, but it doesn't necessarily have to be all that. I've only been a bridesmaid in my sister's wedding. I lived in another state at the time, so I didn't host any showers or pre-wedding events - some of my sister's local friends hosted at the church she was getting married in. She really wanted them to be involved, and it was a good way to spread some of the cost/responsibility around.

My sister covered part of the cost of the dresses because she didn't want them to cost over a certain amount for anyone, since they'd already be shelling out for travel expenses. I spent some for a very low key "bachelorette party", but otherwise didn't get a separate gift. I think most brides of the non-bridezilla type would understand their bridesmaids' limitations.

 

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On 8. August 2016 at 3:39 PM, Pianokeeper said:

You'll have to forgive my ignorance, please (first generation American and occasionally American norms slip through my cracks of understanding), but... what is the benefit of being a bridesmaid and why do people want to do it?

I've even BEEN a bridesmaid, and I'm really not sure. At worst, you have to spend a lot of money, you wear a dress you hate, you have to participate in wayyyyy more photos being taken when you could be eating all the delicious food with the other guests... even in a best case scenario I just don't understand what the perks are. 

I'm sure the bride (a close friend) would have been offended if I asked this question, so here's my opportunity! Why would cousins, etc, battle over being a bridesmaid? Why would anybody want to do it other than as a favor to a bride?

Same here! :) 

I am German and only know Bridesmaids from American movies.

In Germany it's only common to have a Maid of Honor (was my best friend) who also plans the bachelorette party and helps wedding planning. And the male equivalent (Is there a word for a male MOH?) 

Normally there are no bridesmaids here, although I saw some wedding pictures from a distant friend and his now wife had 3 bridesmaids. I think the trend is finally hitting Germany, too. ;)

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On 8/9/2016 at 4:37 PM, crawfishgirl said:

When I was a kid, I dreamed of a big wedding.  By the time I actually got married in my 30's, that dream had waned.  We decided to just have fun and not overspend, so we got married on the beach in the  Virgin Islands with just a couple of family members.  It saved a lot of money and effort to not have a big traditional wedding.  Some friends told me that I would eventually regret it, but I never have.  I am an introvert and I am not good at throwing parties/events, so it was perfect for me.  

Same. These days, I'm thinking of (if I ever find someone) doing what one of my friends is doing: small courthouse wedding, then do a fun formal party with more people (but still nothing terribly fancy) later.

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1 hour ago, nastyhobbitses said:

Same. These days, I'm thinking of (if I ever find someone) doing what one of my friends is doing: small courthouse wedding, then do a fun formal party with more people (but still nothing terribly fancy) later.

That is the type of wedding I would want. Granted that's not happening anytime soon. 

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I was a bridesmaid in a party of nine. So 21 people, including the priest, up on the stage. It was a Catholic wedding that they made us kneel for the entire ceremony. One girl even invited herself in to be a bridesmaid because she saw how big it was and didn't think it was fair that she wasn't asked and the bride said yes. I cut ties with her, and I don't think she speaks to a few other of her bridesmaids either. 

I understand wanting to honor people, but why would you want to look back at your wedding photos and see girls you haven't spoken to since your wedding, I'll never know. To me, bridesmaids would be the girls you would want to be in your life when you're marking your 30 year anniversary. I understand friendships fail, but when you have 9 girls up there, it will just happen that some of those will fall out of your life. So when she has kids her kids will be looking through her wedding photos and say "Who's that?" and she will have to say "Oh, that's so and so. She invited herself in and we haven't talked since the wedding." or "Oh, we had a huge fight a year after I got married and I haven't talked to her since."

It just seems weird to me.

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I'm in the middle of planning my wedding and trying to be low key about the requirements for my bridesmaids (2) and MOH. I picked a dress designer (Alfred Angelo), color, fabric and length and let them pick the dress so they could pick a style that flattered them. I sent them the pricing for hair and makeup and told them they could do their own if they wanted instead of paying to have it done. I'm getting them the jewelry so it matches and they can wear whatever shoes they want. Since we all live so far away from each other and family I don't think I'm even having a shower but we are having a bachelorette party.

I want them to stand next to me at my wedding, not milk them dry! 

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I'm getting married in November. I have a MOH (my sister) and a bridesmaid (my BFF). Fiance also has two people standing up with him. We both wanted to keep the wedding party small especially since the wedding itself is quite small (60 people...I was pushing for 40, but MIL-to-be had other ideas...).

Not sure what the guys are doing suit-wise, but I told the girls they could get whatever dress they wanted as long as it's navy blue. That way they can choose something they'll wear again and aren't forced to spend a certain amount. I'm not having any sort of bachelorette party so no one has to worry about that. I'm having a small shower, but it's just going to be a cake and punch type affair with no gifts. I love to bake so I'm going to make a bunch of cupcakes and the girls and my mom will make some squares. Very low-key, just the way I like it :)

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I ended up choosing to have my sister/sister-in-law (she and my brother have been together so long, I just call them my sisters), and nobody else. All of my friends had to travel for our wedding (we're all scattered about the US nowadays), and it turned into a mental "if I have Joann in my bridal party, then Patty should be in it too...and if I have Mary, then I need Martha...etc" that would have made my bridal party huge. So I just made sure to get pictures with my friends, and had a small bridal party :) On the flip side, I've seen some very large bridal parties where everybody appeared to have a great time - whatever works for the people getting married!

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We don't have adult bridesmaids in Spain, only little kids (both boys and girls can bring the rings and "decorate" the bride) but not everybody has it, there are fancy weddings without little maids. But weddings are coming more and more "pinterestic" so I won't be surprised if bridesmaids are becoming a thing here.

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