Thursday, August 27, 2009

Q & A with Brenda

Weddings are complicated. Whether it's big or small, on a far away island or in your backyard, weddings have a funny tendency to stir up sticky situations where one doesn't always know how to act appropriately! As I've been married for over 30 wonderful years. participated in my fair share of nuptials and even planned one of my daughter's beautiful ceremony, I have experienced first-hand some interesting dilemmas and situations! Therefore, I have decided to impart my gracious (and hard earned) wedding wisdom with anyone brave enough to ask! Every so often, I will share some of the basic (and entertaining) questions with our readers, just in case you were wondering yourselves! Here is a good one for first time bridesmaids!

Hello. I'm going to be a bridesmaid in a wedding and I would like to know what all my responsibilities will be.

I just received the bridal shower invitation and it mentions the registered stores. I checked out the registered stores and all the presents listed were home furnishing gifts, and the date that each store showed was their wedding date. I'm sort of confused and just wanted to know if I get the bride a present from the stores listed on the bridal shower invite or are those registeries for the wedding present?

Very good questions! The duties of a bridesmaid varies in different parts of the country, and with different cultures, but there are some basic duties that hold true regardless. In the early part of the planning stages, offer to help choose the bridesmaid dresses. Of course, you will also pay for your dress, shoes, and accessories. As a bridesmaid, you will co-host with the other bridesmaids a shower and a bachelorette party. Attend as many parties given for the couple as feasible. Assist the bride on her wedding day whether it is to bustle her dress, bring her a glass of champagne, or passing a note to the groom! Fortunately today there are a number of good books on the market about how to be a bridesmaid. You may want to go to your local bookstore and look through them. Keep in mind that you do not have to do EVERYTHING that is listed in the books, just use it as a guideline and let common sense dictate.
Now, regarding the gifts. Most store registries list the wedding date, not the shower date, although these gifts are given at showers and as wedding gifts - so, yes, you can get a shower gift from those registries. Being a bridesmaid can be quite expensive, buying the dress, shoes, taking vacation time if it is a destination wedding, and attending a number of showers. Most brides do not expect a gift from their bridesmaids at EVERY shower. Many bridesmaids get together and give one FABULOUS shower or wedding gift. In many areas, it is acceptable to give only a shower gift, and not a wedding gift. Again, ask around about the customs where you are, and let graciousness and common sense be your guide.

***If you have a question that you would like to ask, please feel free to post it as a comment or email it directly to All answers will be kept confidential unless requested otherwise and all names, dates and locations of all posted questions and answers have been changed to protect the inquirer's identity.

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