Broke-Ass Tag: Groomswomen

4/3

Did you miss Part I? Catch up here.

Printable sign available from Etsy seller MonCheriPaperie

Here are a few more bridal party norms in place that I’ve observed, which are also huge money suckers for both the marrying couple and the attendants:

  • Bridesmaids and groomsmen must all wear the same dress/suit, and the bride/groom gets to choose it, and it must be expensive-looking and formal. This usually meaning it must be purchased or rented for the purpose of the event, and likely means it will be worn only once.
  • Bridesmaids should have their hair, makeup and nails done professionally, and in more or less the same way.

I know there are varying schools of thought on who foots the bill for the above two points. However, in either case, it is a heckuva lot of money. If the bride and groom pay, that’s the cherry on top of a gigantic bill for their wedding. If the wedding party members pay, it is a gigantic cherry on top the costs of transportation, lodging, gifts, babysitters, lost wages from missing work, etc.

For ease, and with respect to experience level, I’ve left Ev in charge of coordinating the outfits of the suit-wearing members of our wedding party, while I’m navigating the needs of the dress-wearing group. My bridesmaids, and Evan’s groomswomen, are all gorgeous and stylish people. They’re also delightfully unique, which is what we love about them, and they feel comfortable wearing different things. So, why would we want them to all look the same? I believe that have the capacity to pick their own dresses and choose what hairstyle, and amount of (if any) makeup they want to wear in my wedding. That way, I know that they will both feel comfortable, and look fly as hell.

However, I also know that getting all dolled up together can be a fun, de-stressing, bonding time for all of us. So, I’ve struck a balance. I have requested that they choose own dresses, but they can choose one that fits their personal style — I just ask that it be a shade of my chosen wedding color. Then, they can wear it again!

I am willing to pay for hairstyling, unless someone doesn’t want it done. The cost of hair and makeup combined is cheaper than each separately, so I told each of them that if they wanted to have their makeup done, they could just pay the difference in upgrading from hair-only to hair and makeup. They are free to choose whatever style makes them feel comfortable and pretty. As for shoes? Nails? Meh. Up to them.

In the end, maybe my expectations are low, but to be honest I’m just grateful that they’re going to be there. The last thing I’m going to notice in the photos, when I look at them in 20 years, is if all my bridesmaids look perfectly done-up and identical to each other … rather, I will probably be remembering how much fun we had that day, and how much I love them.

How have you approached the look of your wedding party? Do you want a uniform aesthetic or are you more laissez faire about it?

 

  • 3/20

    I want to talk about our wedding party.

    There seem to be a lot of traditions and rules in North American/European anglophone culture surrounding bridesmaids and groomsmen that there is heavy pressure to follow. I imagine that if you have been reading my posts thus far, you probably know how I feel about arbitrary rules, especially if they are outdated, rooted in sexism or classism and/or expensive.

    SpongeBob Doesn't GAF

    (Coincidentally, its also how I feel about using outdated memes.)

    Here are some of the rules that I have observed (Although, I know that some of them are undergoing shifts, and there are many regional and cultural variations):

    • The bride must have a maid of honor and the groom must have a best man.
    • There must be an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen.
    • Brides have bridesmaids, grooms have groomsmen.

    So, unsurprisingly, I am rejecting some of these rules.

    First of all neither of us have a clearly delineated “best friend” who we feel comfortable elevating over the others, and we both have multiple siblings. For some people, there’s an easy answer for who will be the best man and maid of honor. For us, there isn’t — so we aren’t going to have them.

    Second, Ev and I have friends of all genders, so we have a couple of bridesmen, and groomswomen.

    Given that we’ve known each other for 11 years, and have been dating for five, There are a few people who are as much my friend as his, and could as easily be on my “side” as his. He also makes friends more easily than I do, and has moved all over the country, so he’s asked seven people (five men, two of which are the potential overlappers, and two women) while I’ve asked four women. Whether separated by gender or by side, there’s not going to be symmetry. In lieu of either cutting people out, or asking more people, I just threw up my hands and said, “screw it.” The photos of us all together will be lopsided. We will deal.

    Therefore, we’ve established that it’s more of a collective “wedding party” than two separate ones.

    I know that this will create a few questions in terms of how that’s going to look in terms of bachelor/bachelorette parties, getting ready the morning of and so on, but I’m sure we will figure it out along the way, and handle it.

    To be continued …