Dear Miss Beetle

Is it proper etiquette that you have to ask someone, who has asked you to be their BM, to be your BM? I’ve been told by a few people that it’s a given. Please advise, and thanks!



Di, Di, Diane,

Not sure which angle you’re coming at from in the whole “will you be my bridesmaid” sitch, but here is my honest take. Asking someone to be a bridesmaid in your wedding is really one of the highest honors you can bestow upon someone. A bride is, essentially, asking someone to stand by her side and join her in one of the most important and meaningful moments in her life. Does she really want her old sorority sister who she used to be BFF’s with but now barely talks to up there just because she was a maid in her wedding?

My guess is no.

Emily Post might disagree with me, but in my opinion, the only people a bride should be asking to take part in their big day are the very most important ones in their life at that moment in time. Relationships change, people change and sometimes friends just grow apart. I wrote full on one page missives in yearbooks to “lifelong” friends I had in high school that I’ve never seen since. Or perhaps someone was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding who had a large wedding party and they want a very small one. Or maybe a bride is having a destination wedding and decided not to have any bridesmaids. The truth is, one size does not fit all.

While I very much believe in doing the “right thing,” sending a thank you note when warranted, and treating people kindly, I also like to remind brides that this is a day that is all about them and their future husband. I think sometimes people get too wrapped up in the “etiquette” of weddings and what they “should do” versus what they want to. When we get so wrapped up in the “shoulda, coulda, woulda,” we tend to forget about making sure that a bride’s day is, most importantly, about doing whatever it is that she and her fiance really want to!

Hope that helps.
Happy Bridesmaid-ing!


Mrs. Beetle

New York/Palm Desert
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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Twistie, Guest @ 10:20 am

    Actually, Miss Beetle, your answer is correct ettiquette. The choice of the bridesmaids is up to the bride and not dependant on who has had the bride in their weddings. If a popular girl has been a bridesmaid seven times and is now planning a small, intimate wedding, she can hardly be expected to invite all seven previous brides, as well as any sisters she and her fiance may have to be in her bridal party!

    In fact, once upon a time, it would have been considered wildly inappropriate to ask a married woman to do bridesmaid duty. I’m glad that time is past, because of my five bridesmaids the only one who wasn’t married was twelve years old! It happened that I did choose all three of the women I’d been a bridesmaid for as bridesmaids, but it was because they were my closest friends and my sister in law, whom I love dearly.

    Over the years, the expectation has been turned upside down, and now married bridesmaids are common. But as recently as fifty or sixty years ago, a lot of moms and grandmas would have wondered if their daughters had any understanding of ettiquette at all, asking a married woman to stand up at the altar next to the bride.

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Miss Beetle, Guest @ 12:52 pm

    Yay! I love being right 🙂

    Really interesting about the bridesamid history! Thanks, Twistie.

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