Tag Archives: Ultimate Bridesmaid Census 2013

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!

Ultimate Bridesmaid Census 2013: The Bachelorette (Part 2)

Bachelorette Statistics via Ultimate Bridesmaid Census 2013

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!

Ultimate Bridesmaid Census 2013: Maid Stats and Bridal Showers (Part 1)

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!