Calling all bridesmaids past and present: We need your help! It’s been a few years since we did a bridesmaid survey and we are kind of dying to know the state of bridesmaiding today. I learned a lot from my first survey and I think I’m going to learn even more this time. It is super-quick, we swear. Just 14 easy multiple choice questions about things like your favorite bridal shower themes, the places you’ve traveled for bachelorette weekends and the best and worst parts of being a bridesmaid. Hopefully we’ll learn a little about what it’s like to be a bridesmaid today AND I can better help you, our readers, by providing articles that address the real problems you have and the things you are really searching for!
What I learned and/or found surprising: Your top bachelorette destinations weren’t that surprising, but “other” was actually your top answer for where you’d been—40% chose it. This made for some really interesting write-in answers and I learned that many of you stay local for the bachelorette or journey to small beach or mountain destinations. In a terrible oversight, I left out New Orleans from the multiple choice answers, but enough of you wrote it in to show me my grave error.
My most exciting (and validating) discovery was something I’ve been hoping was true—you aren’t into strippers or penis-shaped paraphernalia! Only 3% would want a stripper at their bachelorette party and only 12% said they want “the traditional bachelorette,” complete with sash, tiara and necklaces sporting light-up man parts. I’ve always felt that these cheap party goods are kind-of weird and I certainly wouldn’t want them at my own bachelorette. Still, 67% want the kind of evening we associate with this party—dancing, drinks, girlfriends out on the town—just minus the juvenile plastic props. A very close second in the type of bachelorette you’d like was a relaxing beach weekend (with 59% choosing it in their top 3 options) and I’m guessing that a lot of people pair the two: beach in the morning, bar in the evening.
9% said that they wouldn’t be having a bachelorette and 23% want a nontraditional bachelorette—something that really appeals to their interests and reflects their own personality. There seem to be a small segment of girls who really love the bachelorette; it did get a good number of mentions in the final free-answer section on your favorite bridesmaid tradition. And it’s definitely more popular that the bridal shower. In our multiple choice section on your favorite part of being a bridesmaid, the top five answers related to the wedding day or wedding planning, while the bachelorette hit at #6. The bridal shower, on the other hand, took last place, even losing out to giving the maid of honor toast. A total breakdown on your favorite (and least favorite) bridesmaid duties comes later this week.
For more info from our bridesmaid survey, check out our infographic on maid stats and bridal showers. Your favorite part of being a bridesmaid (and the parts you really, really hate) to come soon!
I am so excited to share the results from our first-ever Ultimate Bridesmaid Census! Thank you to all those who helped spread the world and who took the survey. First up, who you are and what you think about bridal showers. I’ll be sharing info on bachelorette parties, bridesmaid duties and the traditions you love and hate in the coming week.
What I learned and/or found surprising: I suppose I shouldn’t have been, but I was a little bit surprised that tea party shower pulled so far ahead of the other shower theme categories, with 53% listing it as one of their top three themes. Some found the idea of having a theme at all totally unnecessary and a few left comments suggesting that cheesy shower party games be nixed. I also loved some of your suggested themes, like wine tastings or a charitable shower with donations instead of gifts.
I also found out (as we’ll see again in later infographics) that cost is a big factor. You want to dream big in terms of planning a shower for a friend, but budget rarely allows you to splurge on a photographer or event planner. 45% did say they would take care of most of the details themselves, but might bring in help the day of, like hiring a caterer. I was surprised that as high as 16% would host a shower for 40+ guests—that’s a huge party! Not surprising: We’re all addicted to Pinterest (well, at least 52% of us).
I was a little sad to see that the bridal shower doesn’t seem to be something you look forward to. While it only showed up a few times in the free answer section on what you most dislike about being a bridesmaid, 21% did say that planning it was one of the hardest parts of being a bridesmaid. I should have listed “attending the shower” as a choice to see if it wasn’t just the planning that gets to you. And only 7% listed it as one of their favorite parts of being a bridesmaid.
To me, this is a little bit sad. Why are we spending time, energy and money on a party that we’re really not looking forward to? I’m seeing this as a call to reimagine what a bridal shower can be. I’ve always felt that the true potential of a shower is wasted in its rigid structure. A bridal shower reminds me too much of a kid’s birthday party—now it’s time for games, now it’s time for presents, now it’s time for cake. Grown-ups rarely throw parties like this. We like talking, mingling, laughing, eating—we even like games if they are funny and, most importantly, seem natural and unforced. I’ve always tried to bring you real parties that are unique and fun, but going forward I’m going to try even harder to help you create bridal showers that you’ll actually enjoy.
Also, for those who are interested, I made this awesome infographic using a free site called Piktochart. It is amazing!
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!