When you’re asked to be a bridesmaid at someone’s wedding, the last thing you expect is to be asked to do heavy lifting.
Hen do planning? Yes. Help with dresses? Yes. But certainly not moving furniture into place for the big day. Especially when the everyone else is enjoying themselves.
One horrified bridesmaid took to Reddit to express her outrage at being asked to do just this after standing by her best pal’s side at the alter.
The 21-year-old claims things started to get strange when they arrived at the remote, lodge venue at the top of a mountain for a rehearsal.
After the practise run she assumed the groom and ushers would go back to one cabin for the evening and the bridal party to another for her pal’s last night of freedom – but she was wrong.
She writes: “Instead, the men immediately headed to the liquor store, and the groom and bride’s mothers began ordering the bridesmaids to move furniture into place.
“That night the women did everything from dragging 250 chairs out of the shed and setting them up, to hauling furniture down two flights of stairs and positioning it in other places.
“Because I was the tallest and strongest person in the group, it was mostly on me to haul the larger pieces around and the mother and mother-in-law of the bride largely stood around talking about details with her.
“I asked repeatedly if the groom and groomsmen could be called to help, but was told that we “didn’t want to bother them” and that “they’re out unwinding before the big day.” The father of the bride has a heart condition and the father-in-law was much older and walking with a cane, so he couldn’t help out either.
“At the end of two very sweaty hours, I had splinters, blisters, and was covered in sweat, but everything was set up.”
She thought her duties were done and enjoyed the next day’s festivities with her friends. But then she discovered the new bride and groom had some more chores planned.
She adds: “During the wedding I learned that the bride and groom were trying to avoid all of the setup and takedown fees from the venue.
“The groom’s mother condescendingly patted me on the arm and said that everything would be okay, because “Jane’s our workhorse.
“After a bit more conversation I found out that the plan was for the bride and groom to leave, and then the bridesmaids and groomsmen to stick around doing everything from cleaning up trash to moving the furniture back where we’d gotten it.”
So she came up with an idea to get out of helping – but it didn’t go down well.
She said: “Toward the end of the party almost everyone had left and I realised that two of the groomsmen were so drunk that they were going to be useless, and it would again be on the bridesmaids to clean up and put all the furniture back up the stairs.
The bridesmaid was expected to clean up, but left before she was asked (Stock Image)
“I went to tell the bride goodbye. Judging from her slightly panicked expression and “OH….you’re leaving? You’re leaving now?” questions, I realised that she definitely expected me to move the furniture back, but didn’t want to say anything while surrounded by people.
“So I left and my phone blew up as I was driving back down the mountain. The other bridesmaids were texting me and Vanessa’s mother left me an angry voicemail about how I was bailing on my duties as a bridesmaid.
“The next day, I woke up to a massive paragraph from Vanessa that said it was my fault that they had to pay the cleanup fee, because they weren’t able to get everything put back in time. So for this, am I in the wrong?”
People were horrified by the behaviour of the bride and her mother, jumping to the defence of the bridesmaid.
“Since when does the bridesmaids and groomsmen job include cleaning the whole venue?”, one fumed.
Another said: “If the wedding party is going to be doing this kind of work, you should have been ASKED in advance. You can’t demand your wedding party do heavy labour like that because you want to be a cheapskate. You can ask, but you can’t just expect and demand.”
More people pointed out how strange it was that the bridesmaids were expected to perform manual tasks without being warned beforehand.
Someone wrote: “A bridesmaid’s duties do not extend to manual labour. That is absurd. The men get to relax but the women don’t?! What kind of sexist crap is that? You’re not the wedding “workhorse” or hired help, you were a bridesmaid.
“At most, your “duties” extend to co-hosting a bridal shower and/or a bachelorette party, helping the bride get dressed and to the wedding on time, wearing a dress you might not like, and smiling for endless pictures. You’re not in any way obligated to do manual labour for free.”
Others said it was wrong for the bridesmaid who wrote the post to be blamed for the cleanup fee. They said: “If they want to keep trying to blame you, instead of apologising, just don’t engage at all. Ignore them until, if it happens at all, they apologise. Don’t back down that they were the ones being rude, offensive and entitled, and their poor planning is not your responsibility.”
“You did far more than your fair share to set the wedding up and she can blame all the people who did nothing at all, or herself for not organising anything properly, for her bill. And if she wants to complain you can send her a bill for the set-up”, wrote one angry Redditor.