Being a bridesmaid can be a great honor. But it can also be a pain in the butt, depending on the bride. Hopefully, you are part of a relaxed bridal party where everyone has fun and gets the requisite planning and organizing done easily. No mysterious requests, sudden expectations, or absurd amounts of manual labor.
Unfortunately, sometimes as a bridesmaid, you’re part of a group that takes advantage of you — and suddenly you’re in charge of things you never agreed to do.
“I Jane, (21/F), was one of Vanessa’s (21/F) three bridesmaids, and her wedding was held at a remote lodge venue up a mountain. When everyone got to the lodge, we did a dry run of the ceremony and surveyed the place. I assumed that the men would go to their cabin and the women would go to ours, and we’d relax before the wedding. Instead, the men immediately headed to the liquor store, and the groom and bride’s mothers began ordering the bridesmaids to move furniture into place,” the OP says.
“That night the women did everything from dragging 250 chairs out of the shed and setting them up, to hauling furniture down two flights of stairs and positioning it in other places. Because I was the tallest and strongest person in the group, it was mostly on me to haul the larger pieces around and the mother and mother-in-law of the bride largely stood around talking about details with her.
I asked repeatedly if the groom and groomsmen could be called to help, but was told that we ‘didn’t want to bother them’ and that ‘they’re out unwinding before the big day.’ The father of the bride has a heart condition and the father-in-law was much older and walking with a cane, so he couldn’t help out either. At the end of two very sweaty hours, I had splinters, blisters, and was covered in sweat, but everything was set up.”
“During the wedding I learned that the bride and groom were trying to avoid all of the setup and takedown fees from the venue. The groom’s mother condescendingly patted me on the arm and said that everything would be okay, because ‘Jane’s our workhorse.’ After a bit more conversation I found out that the plan was for the bride and groom to leave, and then the bridesmaids and groomsmen to stick around doing everything from cleaning up trash to moving the furniture back where we’d gotten it.”
“Toward the end of the party almost everyone had left and I realized that two of the groomsmen were so drunk that they were going to be useless, and it would again be on the bridesmaids to clean up and put all the furniture back up the stairs. I went to tell the bride goodbye. Judging from her slightly panicked expression and ‘OH…you’re leaving? You’re leaving now?’ questions, I realized that she definitely expected me to move the furniture back, but didn’t want to say anything while surrounded by people.
So I left, and my phone blew up as I was driving back down the mountain. The other bridesmaids were texting me and the Vanessa’s mother left me an angry voicemail about how I was bailing on my duties as a bridesmaid. The next day, I woke up to a massive paragraph from Vanessa that said it was my fault that they had to pay the $500 cleanup fee, because they weren’t able to get everything put back in time. So for this, AITA?”
No, you’re a bridesmaid not a “workhorse.” Your duties are to keep the bride calm and happy, pick up champagne and Pringles, do light organizing and arranging, and take pictures for Instagram.
“NTA. If the wedding party is going to be doing this kind of work, you should have been ASKED in advance. You can’t demand your wedding party do heavy labor like that because you want to be a cheapskate. You can ask, but you can’t just expect and demand,” saidKaliTheBlaze.
“Dear Vanessa, I’m so disappointed that you expected me to clean up without even asking me. <groomsman names> were not even asked to help set up, and clearly no one asked them to stay sober enough to clean up…which makes me think that you expected me but no one else to clean up. That’s just really hurtful. I thought I was your friend, and feeling used really hurts,” suggestedPattersonsOlady
“I think I would just say ‘I never heard of bridesmaids being asked to haul furniture, you didn’t ask me as a friend, you asked me because you see me as big and strong and I feel used,'” saidspaceyjaycey.
“Absolutely NTA. If they wanted you to do all that work they should have mentioned it in advance. They just wanted it to be ‘too late’ for you to back out of it. I also find it strange that they didn’t have any expectations of the groomsmen and seemed to be okay with them not helping at all. Good on you for leaving. This was above and beyond ‘bridesmaid duties’ and you shouldn’t be treated like you’re the one at fault,” saidtwethereal.
“NTA! You did all the bullsh*t set-up work while the boys partied. You did more than your fair share. And when it came to tearing down, everyone bailed again and left it on you! Holy hell how can anyone blame you specifically whatsoever? These people are idiots if they think you alone caused this problem. There was at least a half dozen other people who SHOULD have helped but somehow it all fell on you? They need a mirror and you need a drink. I raise a glass to you,” saidBlippii.