Bridesmaid Letters?

Planning a wedding is arguably one of the most time-consuming responsibilities one can take on. Yes, a wedding is at its heart just a really big party, but most brides- and grooms-to-be have never had to put together an event budget, vet and hire vendors, track down color coordinated party gear, and wrangle party VIPS while also trying to stay on top of work and spend time with friends, family, and their SOs. Now maybe it’s just me, but the thought of adding extra to dos or expenses to the bride’s plate sets my teeth on edge.

bridesmaid letter

What you see above is a bridesmaid letter. This is not to be confused with a heartfelt note asking the special people in your life to stand by your side when you say your wedding vows. Rather, this is an overview of all of your wedding details, from the color of the bridesmaid dresses to a description of the wedding cake. Bridesmaid letters may also include lists of duties the bride would like her bridesmaids to take on or lists of bridesmaid “don’ts.” This particular bridesmaid letter took much more work than sending a card, creating an e-mail list, or setting up a wedding planning blog would have.

I’m not against bridesmaid letters, of course — bridesmaids who are in the know are less stressed out than those who aren’t. I’m likewise not against detailed and extravagant bridesmaid letters. What does drive me nuts, however, is the idea that the bride who does not go above and beyond the call of duty (by, say, designing a fancy bridesmaid letter) is shirking her prenuptial responsibilities. That said, I almost hope that bridesmaid letters like the one above don’t become the next must-have wedding accessory. In much the same way that save-the-date cards with their niche usefulness have become a common piece of stationery, I could see bridesmaid letters going from functional for some to necessary for all.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that brides and grooms shouldn’t feel compelled to spend their time or their money on X, Y, or Z because another couple did or because a particular wedding accessory has become popular. If something matters to YOU — be it creating a beautiful DIY bridesmaid letter or finding the perfect bridal shoes — then put your all into it, but if you catch yourself doing or buying something because the media or someone on a bridal message board says your special day will be less special without it, it’s time to reconsider your priorities.

4 Responses to “Bridesmaid Letters?”

  1. Raven1025 March 19, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    I’m just sorta glad that someone else has done it. For our wedding (nearing eight years ago!), I sent out newsletters to the whole bridal party. I think we sent out two of them. They included things like rehearsal information, tux renting info, etc. I set them up with a newsletter template. At the time, I just wanted to make sure everyone had the appropriate details they needed, and they could stick them on their fridge or give them to their wives or girlfriends or whoever as any extra reminder. Now, I worry it was bridezilla-ish. Though, if it’s a real thing, and not something I made up to ease my anal-retentive organizing need, I feel slightly better. Slightly.

  2. Twistie March 20, 2009 at 6:10 pm #

    Raven, I can’t see how that could be interpreted as bridezillaish. Two newsletters over the course of the planning period with basic information they all needed? That’s good communication. To hit bridezilla level, you would have had to send them out filled with insane lists of duties, long sets of insulting rules, and lots of ugly harranging.

    Making sure everyone knows when and where the rehearsal dinner is being held and giving them the details of where to order their wedding finery is just being organized, which is a very good thing. It means you don’t get calls like the one my brother the alpaca rancher made to me a few weeks before the big day begging to know what he was supposed to wear for the wedding and threatening to show up in a kimono and top hat if Mr. Twistie didn’t give him details soon.

    For the record, I told my brother that I thought the kimono and top hat idea was cool. It was, however, sufficient motivation to Mr. Twistie to let his groomsmen know at long last what he expected them to wear.

  3. Never teh Bride March 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    Raven1025: There’s nothing wrong with being organized! And you shouldn’t for one minute think of yourself as bridezilla-ish. I was merely thinking of bridesmaid letters in terms of one more thing for already overworked brides-to-be to do and hoping that no one thinks they MUST spend time setting up a newsletter. Those who have the time or the talent should by all means do so if they feel the need.

    Twistie: Would that I had had your problem! Our biggest problem with attendants was that those on the bride’s side didn’t seem to give a fig that they were supposed to find a “dark brown ankle- or floor-length dress, not strapless, with any fabric being okay.” It wasn’t until I started asking the bridesmaids directly whether they actually wanted to be in the wedding (a month before the event) that they finally bought dresses!

  4. La BellaDonna March 25, 2009 at 4:57 pm #

    NtB, I feel your pain! I, too, had a specific colour-and-trim scheme for my brides – blue and gold – and a specific style/period – Cavalier – but within those strictures, they could make and wear anything they wanted. One of the bridesmaids had been in a wedding several years prior, and had really pissed off the bride by turning up in only the underdress part of her outfit – and it was black! And it was NOT a suitable choice for that wedding or that bride. I cheerfully told my bridesmaid that those were the colours for my wedding, and if she found herself unable for some reason to comply, I would understand perfectly that she couldn’t be in the wedding. She didn’t – and she wasn’t.

    Ugh. We won’t talk about the maid of honour, who was pissed that I didn’t make myself available to help her with her dress – even though she never asked. Even though she’d been sewing longer than I had at that point. Even though I was making my gown, my husband’s outfit, and several others.