Did you miss Part I? Catch up here.
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?