Bridal Party Q&As

Guidelines about the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved, from maid of honor on down.

Q: One of my bridesmaids has asked if she can wear a pantsuit instead of a dress. I’m OK with that, but not sure where to start looking. And can she wear a tuxedo made for a woman?

A: The fact that you are flexible and willing to let your bridesmaid wear a pantsuit is very admirable, and I commend you. Obviously, you are not a demanding “my way or no way” bridezilla! That said, you have a number of options: Check out the special occasion section in department stores, and call boutiques, specialty stores or bridal salons in your area to see if they carry dressy pantsuits (if they have a white pantsuit designed for brides, they may be able to order it in a color). You can also do some research online to see where you can purchase a tuxedo tailored for a woman. If you decide on a black tuxedo, consider pairing it with either a shirt or tie and vest in the colors of your other bridesmaids’ dresses.

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Wedding etiquette is a popular subject because they are so many horror stories. It's expensive to be in a bridal party, and it's expensive and stressful to have a large one. One budget line item that often gets overlooked by the future Mr. and Mrs. is the THANK YOU gift for each bridal party member. You should plan to spend at least half the amount of the cost of the bridesmaid dress/suit rental for each person. So if the dress they bought is $300, then be prepared to thank each one with ~$150 worth of gratitude. Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, flights/hotels, hair/shoes/makeup/hair styling -- all these things add up, and some bridesmaids spend over $1000 just to be in your wedding party. These are your most important witnesses to your wedding. And chances are they supported you before, during, and after the big day. Thank you gifts are not the area to skimp. Good luck! Lisa |

I've selected my matron of honor (and asked her) who is engaged and was supposed to get married before me but then had to postpone her wedding. Can she still be my matron of honor??