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Ultimate Bridesmaid Census 2013: Duties You Love and Hate (Part 3)

The Best and Worst Parts of Being a Bridesmaid

In the final installment of results from our 2013 Bridesmaid Census, we’re looking at the things you love and hate about being a bridesmaid. I was especially interested in your responses to your least favorite duties and traditions since it’s not something we’re really supposed to talk about openly while we’re in active bridesmaid service. No one wants to be that bridesmaid—the one who complains about the dress or bickers with the other maids. But first, let’s look at what you love about bring a bridesmaid.

Your top answer blew all the others out of the running. 83% of you listed getting to be a part of your friend’s special day as the top perk of being a bridesmaid. After that, you seem to most look forward to events on the wedding day. You like getting ready with the bride and partying it up at the reception. The one response I found a little surprising? 28% of you enjoy helping the bride with wedding planning!

The free response section was seriously the best because it allowed you to tell me how your really feel. A top response for favorite bridesmaid trend or tradition was mismatched dresses or getting to choose your own dress. It’s easy to understand why—we all want to look good and getting to choose a dress that’s right for our body type helps with that equation. We also got multiple write-in votes for the cake pull, an old Southern tradition that seems to be making a comeback. And a lot of people mentioned how special it is to get to share the morning of the wedding with the bride. I personally couldn’t agree more. Getting ready together is your chance to have personal time with your friend on her big day. Once the wedding starts, she’s going to be focused on her groom and the swarms of guests. But prep time is just us girls, and it’s the best.

Ok, now let’s get to the juicy stuff. Your biggest complaint isn’t a huge surprise: It’s the cost. Plenty of ink has been spilled on how expensive it can be to be a bridesmaid—the dress, the parties, the gifts, the travel…it can add up fast. Plus, it’s very common for women to find themselves in multiple weddings a year. You’re likely to have at least one of these years in your life, when the planets converge and you find yourself in five weddings. The first bachelorette splurge doesn’t hurt nearly as much as the fifth. The same can be said for time commitment, which was the ranked third with 25%.

Your second least favorite part of being a bridesmaid makes me a little sad though—27% listed dealing with the other bridesmaids as a source of stress. This is really something we should strive to fix! It’s true that weddings can force you to spend time with girls who you’ve never met (since they met the bride in different times of her life) or who you’ve never gotten along with (you’ll never understood why the bride likes that one girl). But being a good bridesmaid means getting along with the other maids. Don’t stress out the bride by adding drama to her day with bridesmaid infighting.

Again, you have to love the free response to your least favorite bridesmaid trend or tradition. My all-time favorite response was a mini-rant on penis-shaped paraphernalia (thank you, I agree). Many people listed expensive and/or matching bridesmaid dresses as a trend they’d like to see disappear. But it wasn’t all rants and storm clouds. When asked what tradition you hated, lots of people said they wouldn’t change a thing!

Take the 2013 Bridesmaid Census!

emily delamater photography via style me pretty

Photograph by Emily Delamater, via Style Me Pretty

Something that I spend a lot of time thinking about (so much time, you guys) is what the bridesmaid experience today is like. What kind of bridal showers are we throwing for our friends and what kind would we want for ourselves? Where are we spending our destination bachelorette weekends and will there be a stripper…or is that absolutely not going to happen? What do you love about being a bridesmaid and what do you most dread?  You can answer as many or as few questions as you like in our anonymous 12 question survey. Just 12 questions! Questions apply to bridesmaids and brides past, present and future alike, so any lady will be able to answer. I can’t wait to share what we find!