Helping a friend get married can be so rewarding, and so much hard work. But if it’s for a friend, it’s all worth it, right?
Redditor Minute_Woodpecker319 was a bridesmaid for her friend. However, the original poster (OP) feels like she was asked to do way more than she should have to.
OP backed out of some work involved for the wedding, and now there are people all around her upset. She isn’t sure if she should have stayed and helped, and decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit about what happened.
Her friend was insistent that OP help.
“AITA for leaving a wedding early as a bridesmaid and causing the wedding to get charged a $500 cleanup fee?”
But was it really her fault?
“I Jane, (21/F[emale]), was one of Vanessa’s (21/F) three bridesmaids, and her wedding was held at a remote lodge venue up a mountain. When everyone got to the lodge, we did a dry run of the ceremony and surveyed the place.”
“I assumed that the men would go to their cabin and the women would go to ours, and we’d relax before the wedding. 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.”
“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.”
“Toward the end of the party almost everyone had left and I realized 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.”
“I went to tell the bride goodbye. Judging from her slightly panicked expression and ‘OH….you’re leaving? You’re leaving now?’ questions, I realized 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 the 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 $500 cleanup fee, because they weren’t able to get everything put back in time. So for this, AITA?”
OP decided she had done enough after setting up the wedding venue without being consulted ahead of time, that putting things away seemed too far above and beyond her duties. However, everyone is upset with her for leaving, and the bride is out $500.
On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for leaving the wedding to avoid clean-up duty by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
If anyone could be blamed, it’s not OP. She truly did go above and beyond what was required by helping set up the wedding without being asked to beforehand.
Being treated as a work mules because she’s bigger than the other brides felt like a slap in the face on top of everything.
In the end, it was the bride’s fault for not planning ahead, for not communicating ahead of time with everyone what the plan was.
OP was NTA, but the bride and her family certainly were.
“NTA. 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 labor like that because you want to be a cheapskate. You can ask, but you can’t just expect and demand.” – KaliTheBlaze
“Especially not last minute! And the WHOLE wedding party should be working.” – thesmkchick
“Women did the setup, men do the break down. Why is she looking at OP when it should have been ~easy~ for those big strong men?” – asecretnarwhal
“After the wedding the majority of the people doing the cleanup were the two infirm fathers, the two out of shape mothers, two totally drunk groomsmen, one drunkish groomsman, and two bridesmaids.”
“The bride was texting me before the wedding ended and she apparently realized that they were short staffed. I’m not sure if she and the groom stayed behind to help, but their original plan was to leave and not do any clean up.” – Minute_Woodpecker319 (OP)
“Absolutely NTA. If they wanted you to do all that work they should have mentioned it in advance. They just wanted it to be ‘too late’ for you to back out of it.”
“I also find it strange that they didn’t have any expectations of the groomsmen and seemed to be okay with them not helping at all. Good on you for leaving.”
“This was above and beyond ‘bridesmaid duties’ and you shouldn’t be treated like you’re the one at fault.” – twethereal
“Honestly the groomsmen and groom not being expected to do anything the whole time really chapped my ass. I got the impression though that the groom was a mama’s boy and that she was used to coddling him and treating him like a child, and he’s just totally oblivious to work that goes on around him.” – Minute_Woodpecker319 (OP)
Set up and take down for a wedding is really difficult work. This is especially true when working under a time crunch.
The situation led to others discussing their own experiences helping out for weddings.
“I’m a wedding planner and DIY weddings are tough work. They are on the backs of the family and friends and the cleanup at the end of the night is especially hard to get people to help.”
“With that said, if the couple is expecting friends and family to help clean, I make it very clear they need to communicate their ‘ask’ weeks ahead of time, assign official people to actual tasks (don’t just assume drunk people know how to clean!) and have enough people so it goes very quickly.”
“NTA.” – SeattleGirl99
“Pfft as an officiant who a few weeks ago went from officiating to being a last minute rehearsal organizer/ even coordinator without being asked?”
“NTA! Im proud of you for leaving. And shame on them for thinking just dumping those responsibilities on your was ok.”
“If they wanted to cut cost so bad they shouldve asked and planned and discussed. Thats not your problem its their’s.”
“Im livid for you tbh. Ridiculous. Support doesnt mean be a furniture hauler in a bridesmaids gown. Especially if only ONE side of the party helped??”
“Ooooh!!! Literally, did we go to the same wedding?!” – OsaBear92
“I was a bridesmaid for my cousins wedding. The night before the wedding it was me, the bride, her parents and one other person to decorate the hall. The groom, groomsmen and his family all left to drink.”
“I was 6 months pregnant, didn’t leave the hall until 2am and had to be up at 6am to start getting ready.”
“The marriage lasted less than 6 months.”
“NTA” – meagancavell
“Exact same thing happened to me.”
“Was a groomsman for a not super-ish close friend. He didn’t have many friends, so I decided to just be a part of it. Suit was crazy expensive and the rest.”
“We showed up in our suits and we had to set up the whole place. Had to set up food/cake. Chairs and the rest.”
“At the end we were going to leave but they called the bridal party inside and told us we would be ‘free to go once everything was cleaned up’. Free to go.”
“I cleaned everything with the others, seldom spoke to those folks after until they moved away and haven’t since.”
“Absolutely NTA. If I didn’t know and work with so many folks in the bridal party I would have left too.” – ComeHereDevilLog
It can be nice to have friends and family help with such a big event, but it should be asked and communicated beforehand if they’re going to be doing so much. And you have to be prepared if they’re going to say ‘no’ or leave.