10 Questions All Wedding Party Members Have—Answered!

by Sarah Title
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Don’t worry, we’re here to answer all of your pressing questions about being in the wedding party!

Can I say no to being in the wedding party?
The bride or groom can’t force you to be a member of the wedding party but we recommend you have a very good reason not to be. For instance, if you’re pregnant and the wedding is close to your due date or you have extenuating family circumstances. In all other cases, we think you should just say yes. It could potentially put a strain on your relationship if you say no. While it may seem overwhelming at first, it’s a special time in their life and they want you by their side for a reason.

What events am I supposed to attend?
Typically as a bridesmaid you’d attend the bridal shower (or if you’re the MOH you’ll be hosting), the bachelorette party, the wedding rehearsal, and the rehearsal dinner. For groomsmen you’ll attend a bachelor party and the rehearsal. If the couple hosts an engagement party, it’d be good to show up for that as well (if you live close by!).

What if I can’t make it to the events?
Don’t worry! If you’re unable to make it to a pre-wedding event there are a number of things you can do. If it’s the bridal shower you’re missing, be sure to send a gift to the host’s house so it gets there in time for the bride to open with all the other gifts. If it’s the bachelor or bachelorette party, offer to take them to dinner or do another activity next time you are able to see them as a way to make up for it! The rehearsal and subsequent dinner are definitely not-to-be-missed events.

Do I still buy the newlyweds a gift?
Yup! In addition to attended pre-wedding events and lending a helping hand, you still need to buy the newlyweds a gift. Check out their registry and pick out something you know they’d love.

How much should I spend on a wedding gift?
There’s no hard-and-fast answer to this one unfortunately. According to our data, guests spend an average of $92 each on a wedding gift, but we recommend that you spend an amount that you’re comfortable with and definitely take into account what you’ve paid for so far in terms of attire, travel, and other events.

Does being in the wedding party mean I’ll get a plus one?
Not necessarily. While it is tradition to give everyone in the wedding party a plus one, many couples may opt for a more intimate celebrations. If you don’t have a significant other, or if the couple hasn’t met them yet, they may cut corners on extra guests. If you’re allowed to bring someone, have them read over these commandments before attending.

What am I expected to pay for?
You’ll likely have to fork over some cash for attire, travel, hotel rooms, wedding and bridal shower gifts, and pre-wedding event arrangements (bridal showers and bachelor or bachelorette parties). The bride may choose to pay for the bridesmaid’s hair and makeup, but depending on her budget, that cost may fall on the bridesmaids. The best way to solve this issue? Ask them straight up what’s on your dime so you can create a wedding budget.

How am I going to afford this?
Despite all the talk about ‘maids and groomsmen spending thousands on a friend’s wedding, you can cut corners to save yourself money throughout the process. Look for sales on attire, stay in an Airbnb for bachelor or bachelorette parties, book flights early, and split hotel rooms amongst friends. We also recommend that you be upfront with the wedding party about what is and isn’t in your budget. If you work together as a group you can certainly make this a memorable time without emptying your wallets.

What are my responsibilities leading up to the wedding day?
Aside from attending events, just be there for your friend or family member. Offer your opinion (if they ask for it) and be a point person for other guests that may have questions for the couple. If you live far away you can still help by sourcing inspiration or locating cool vendors in their area! Being a shoulder for them to lean on is just why they asked you to stand by their side.

What am I supposed to do on the wedding day?
On the wedding day it’s time to get ready with the bride or groom! Put on a great playlist, have a drink or two to calm the nerves, and get excited for the day! Take part in the ceremony and join the photographer for photos opps. If you’re the MOH or best man, be sure to prepare a toast and be an active participant on the wedding day. If guests see you getting out on the dance floor and having a blast, they’ll want to as well!

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