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Bridesmaids' Duties: What Do They DO?
Bridesmaids are close friends and/or relatives of the bride. Today, there's about four on average, including the maid/matron of honor. It's an honor to be invited to be a bridesmaid.
NOTE: Unlike the maid/matron of honor, who has specific duties in regard to helping the bride throughout the wedding-planning process, bridesmaids do not. So basically, they stand around and look pretty! :-)
NOTE: Bridesmaids may also include the groom's sisters, if he or his parents think it necessary for them to participate. One of my clients, did not invite the groom's only sister to be a bridesmaid and the mother of the groom made her life miserable. Therefore, it's always better to be safe than sorry! Make all the necessary inquiries before determining whom you'd like to ask.
Bridesmaids: Don't Invite Them to "Even the Numbers!"
Like I said, bridesmaids are close friends and/or relatives of the bride (and even groom). Therefore, don't invite someone to "even the numbers". I knew many brides who said, for example, "I'm going to invite Sue from work. Tom has six groomsmen and I need to have six bridesmaids."
Trust me, this will come back to haunt you! People know if they're being used and people in this situation will make your life miserable. Remember, it's expensive to be a bridesmaid.
Don't Ask Those Who Are Financially Strapped!
It costs lots of money to be a bridesmaid. They are responsible for travel and lodging to and from the wedding; their bridal attire and accessories; and providing gifts like engagement, shower, and wedding to the bride and/or bride and groom.
They may also be asked to participate in paying for the bride's shower and the bachlorette party, if applicable.
For that reason, it's best NOT to ask those who are financially strapped since your wedding and the cost involved could cause them undue financial hardship!
Bridesmaids Cost YOU Money, Too!
In these trying economic times, it's best to keep your bridal party small. Let's say you have five bridesmaids. You will need to pay for their gifts and flowers and their dates and/or spouses to attend your wedding reception. (That's 10 people.)
Now let's say your groom has five groomsmen. Once again, you must pay for their gifts and boutonnières, and their dates and/or spouses to attend your wedding reception. (That's 10 more people.)
If you're total wedding budget (people-wise) is 100, your bridal party now makes up 1/5 of your total wedding guests, or 20%!
You might want to cut those numbers and save money!