weddings

Women share: 'What I wish I'd known before I agreed to be a bridesmaid.'

When it comes to being a bridesmaid, behind the blinding excitement of impending nuptials and bearing witness to a loved one on a happiness trip, there are some things that kind of, well, suck.

Like money and time and energy. And the fact that although you really love your friend/sister/cousin/loved one, they still have the power to be unreasonable or shake you well from your comfort zone core.

So, we searched far and wide around the Mamamia office and beyond, to find out exactly what bridesmaids wish they knew before they stood beside their friend at the altar.

There's a lot to take in. (iStock)

The cost

Ah yes. The dollar, dollar bills chestnut. Because as we are all very well aware, weddings aren't that cheap. And the bridal party often bear the brunt of that cost.

"Basically I paid for everything for her hens  - which was two nights in the city - and spent over $1000. I stopped counting when it hit that mark, too depressing," Georgia said.

"Don’t even get me started on this," Amanda said. "When I lived in the UK I was a bridesmaid twice and another in Australia! This year I have a destination wedding in France and I'm actually looking forward to it even though the cost all up will be near $6,000."

Meanwhile, Nikki was a bridesmaid back in university, and did not have the funds expected.

"I was a bridesmaid in Palm Cove when I was a university student. It was the best fun and a great wedding, but the cost blew me out of the water. I was a uni student and I had to pay for a dress, my hair, makeup, shoes, a gift, accommodation and flights. It also didn't help it was during peak season and we were expected to go out for dinner every night."

On wedding Facebook forum, another bridesmaid broke down the costs expected of her for a wedding she was involved in.

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It went a little as follows:

  • Dress - $400
  • Shoes - $150
  • Hair - $150
  • Makeup - $150
  • Bouquet - $100
  • Jewellery - $100
  • Accommodation - $300

Expectations

So what about the expectations that don't involve money? Like the planning ones?

A quick survey of Mamamia bridesmaids comes to the conclusion that you should absolutely know what's expected of you when you sign up.

Do they want you to plan things, or are they happy to take the reigns?

A study shows being a bridesmaid is the equivalent of a full week's work. Is it time to ditch them?

Living away will be hard

One thing we often don't hear of is the bridesmaids who are expected to help plan a wedding from afar. The long distance bridesmaids, we will call them.

Laura says it's like trying to "organise a group assignment".

"The bride and her four other bridesmaids are all based in the one city, and I'm in another state entirely. So it's really hard to feel involved - I haven't been able to go on the dress shopping or venue scouting trips, and the hens activities are all going to be based there and it's not an area I'm familiar with so I can't really make any suggestions

"It makes me feel quite anxious because I don't want to look like I don't care or that I'm lazy." (Post continues after gallery.)

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How they want you to look

Do they want you to wear a ridiculous dress? Do they want your hair in a style that doesn't suit you?

Welcome to Caitlin's world.

"I wish I knew what I was in for when I signed up about how she expected me to look. We all had to be clones. We had to get the same shade of fake tan - and considering I had the palest skin, you can imagine how that went.We all had to wear purple, satin, one-shoulder gowns brandished in diamantes, and purple doesn't suit me.

"We all had to have exactly the same hair and we had to dye our hair with the same ugly highlights. I have never looked uglier."

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