Personal Attendant Trouble

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TheNewMrsJ Posts : 754 Registered: 1/6/08
Re: Personal Attendant Trouble
Posted: Feb 17, 2009 1:46 PM Go to message in response to: futuremrsbwies

a friend of mine had a personal attendant at her wedding last summer - she had a huge bridal party (8 BMs/GMs plus a jr BM and GM and her twin 2nd baby cousins as flower girls) and many of them didn't live where the wedding was (bride's hometown, even though she was off at grad school in another state the whole year before the wedding and most the GM/BMs were friends from undergrad).

her personal assistant was a close family friend of her moms, who was almost like a 2nd aunt to her growing up and also the mother of the jr BM. Not sure what she did outside the wedding day, except maybe tag along for some of the dress shopping, as they had to find a tween verison of the BM dress for her daughter, but I know she helped the bride get ready the day of the wedding and just kind of help keep her on track the day of.

Hope that helps!

Friends since December 1997
Together since December 2006

September 13, 2008
Legally, I became his and he became mine.


MrsMcCain Posts : 580 Registered: 10/24/07
Re: Personal Attendant Trouble
Posted: Feb 18, 2009 9:36 AM Go to message in response to: futuremrsbwies

To the OP-

I too am somewhat astounded at some of the comments on here regarding a personal assistant. This is not a job that is given to someone as a last resort because they weren't good enough to be in their wedding party or a someone made out to be your slave. It is normally a very close friend and generally they are more than happy to accept this job. I had one of my very close friends be my personal assistant. I didn't "make" her do anything, all she really did was be there for me, help me get ready, grab food and pop for everyone. She had a great time and thank me for letting her be a part of my big day.

OP, your personal assistants duties can be anything. They are normally there just to make sure that you have everything that you need (make up, food, hairspray), they also make sure your train is ready before you head down the aisle and help you with your bustle later on. It can basically be anything you want just make sure that you are appreciative and not bossy. I hope this helps you somewhat- it does seem like your other personal assistant is acting morelike an MOH or a bridesmaid. I would honestly just have a heart to heart with her and tell her that you feel she is doing way too much and going above and beyond what her expectations are. I hope this helps.


kennysoldwife Posts : 3,859 Registered: 4/28/07
Re: Personal Attendant Trouble
Posted: Feb 18, 2009 9:56 AM Go to message in response to: MrsMcCain

MrsMcCaine I don't know why you would be astounded by the responses, not everyone knows what a personal assistant does. Not everyone had a personal assistant nor did they feel the need for one. Since it seems to me and probably many others that a personal assistant and the MOH and/or a BM duties are the same it would have never occurred to us to have both.

The duties of any of these people are determined on a case by case basis. I only required my bridal party to buy their dresses and show up on the day of the wedding. Others required help with the entire planning processes. It is not something that is written in stone.




Kenny and me perfect together, 10 years and counting

Sucks to be you, So glad I am me

Proud Member of P.O.O.P,  People Offended by Offended People

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Personal Attendant Trouble
Posted: Feb 18, 2009 10:08 AM Go to message in response to: kennysoldwife

I agree with Kennys. It never would have occured to me to ask anybody for help without paying them. All I expected from my BMs and MOH was:

-Order their dresses on time and let me know if there are any issues.
-Give me their honest opinion if I asked for it about something.
-Show up to the wedding events (shower, rehearsal, and wedding) on time and wearing the appropriate clothing. And honestly, I didn't even expect the 'on time' part of that of one of my BMs, as she's ALWAYS late. Fortunately, the other two knew her well and took responsibility for MAKING her be on time! :)
-And just to generally be my friend, as I always expect them to be.

I hired a DOC to help with logistics. Honestly, I couldn't ask a friend to do a bunch of work for me at an event that she was supposed to be attending as a GUEST. That just didn't seem right to me.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People


08divabride Posts : 831 Registered: 11/17/07
Re: Personal Attendant Trouble
Posted: Feb 18, 2009 10:21 AM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

I have to agree with ArtBride. I had a wedding party including a maid and matron of honor and a planner throughout the wedding planning. I never heard of a personal attendant until I read this post. Honestly, I didn't find any of the comments rude. Just a few ladies that were unsure of what a personal attendant was. No need to get offended.

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MrsM2009 Posts : 422 Registered: 3/16/08
Re: Personal Attendant Trouble
Posted: Feb 18, 2009 10:26 AM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

I was a personal attendant in a wedding last year, so I can give (my) impression of what one does. Just for reference - in my situation I became close friends with the bride after she'd gotten engaged and picked her bridal party, so I think this was a way of including me in the wedding even though the bridal party had already been chosen.

I helped her with a few tasks before the big day, but nothing I wouldn't have done as a friend anyway - they were things that took a few hours of my time and that I was happy to help with. I helped her stuff invitations and I went to her final fitting so they could show me how to do the bustle. I wasn't involved in any of the planning besides being asked a friendly opinion now and then - I certainly did not go dress shopping or to tastings, florists appointments, etc.

My main job as a personal attendant was to generally be around to helpthe bride out on the big day. I was by no means coordinating the wedding, but while the other BMs were getting ready, doing photos, etc., I was available to help her get dressed, grab her a water bottle, call the limo when it didn't show up, etc. I had the "emergency kit" with makeup, safety pins, vendor phone numbers etc, but she didn't end up needing it. I also helped her with her train as they did the pictures and helped her do the bustle after the ceremony. Once the ceremony was over, I was pretty much just a wedding guest.

So I view a personal attendant as sort of a "right hand woman" on the day of the wedding - someone to help you get ready and run little errands while everyone who is actually IN the wedding is busy doing their own getting ready. It's not a coordinating function since I was literally just there to help the bride and the bride only and my job was basically limited to the wedding day itself - I was not keeping track of the schedule, helping book vendors, etc. It's obvioulsy not necessary to have one (since most people have never even heard of one!) and I really think in my situation the bride was just looking for a way to include me, and I was happy to do it! On the totem pole of people involved in your wedding, the personal attendant is close to the bottom and is really just there to help you on the wedding day. If I had a personal attendant I wouldn't be asking her to do things like pick flowers, pick BM dresses, etc. - these are jobs for a bridesmaid or a wedding coordiator. Your personal attendant is not supposed to be as close to you as your bridesmaids, and her role should therefore be much more limited - she's not a de facto wedding coordinator!!

P.O.O.P. - People Offended by Offended People


MrsMcCain Posts : 580 Registered: 10/24/07
Re: Personal Attendant Trouble
Posted: Feb 18, 2009 10:51 AM Go to message in response to: MrsM2009

Future- I think that you explained it very well. The reason I was surprised by people's comments is because they were all people making very negative comments when they don't even know what a personal assistant is. That's all. I was not offended but surprised because some people were trying to make the OP feel bad that she had a personal assistant in her wedding. If you don't need one that is fine. I still think it is rude to tell the OP that she is making someone work for free without any perks or because she has a personal assistant that it is a slap in the face to her friend, etc...


ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Personal Attendant Trouble
Posted: Feb 18, 2009 11:02 AM Go to message in response to: MrsMcCain

I still think it is rude to tell the OP that she is making someone work for free without any perks or because she has a personal assistant that it is a slap in the face to her friend, etc...

It was me who said she might view it as a slap in the face, and I never said that the OP intended for her to feel this way. I simply said that I would view it as a slap in the face if I was NOT asked to be in a WP, yet I was expected to help pick out the dresses for the girls who WERE chosen.

The OP asked for opinions. I'm just telling her how I would feel if I were in her personal attendant's shoes. I don't think it's rude at all - I'm just giving her my honest opinion as to how her friend might feel.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People


MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Personal Attendant Trouble
Posted: Feb 18, 2009 11:53 AM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

Like any person who helps you out with your wedding, you set the boundaries and the expectations of what you want them to do as early as possible, communicate them clearly, and let it be. If this person is unpleasant to be around, I'd just say "you know, I've got enough help with the dress and everything -- but I could use your help the day of, so lets just limit it to that."

Basically, regardless of what role anyone has, and what name you give to it, if a person is unpleasent, they are unpleasant, whether they are a "bridesmaid", "mother of the bride", "reader", "priest", or "personal attendent."

So that's my advice. . .

Here's my additional commentary that no one asked for:

Why the hell would anyone want to be a personal attendent? I wish someone would say to me "Well, I've already chosen my bridesmaids, but I really like you, so I think I should also have you work for me." It seems absolutely unfathomable to me that this is considered a position of honor to "attend" to someone!!! For me, it's like saying "Geez, I don't really know you well enough to have you by my side during the day of the wedding, so why don't you hand out squares of toilet paper or spritzes of perfume in the bathroom whenever me or my bridesmaids have to go?"

Because, seriously, I've never heard the phrase "personal attendent" except as one of those people who you tip after they hand you paper towel after wash your hands in a fancy restaurant bathroom.

Don't mean to offend anyone who's been a PA. Chalk it up to my personal ignorance about the role -- although I gotta say I'm happy that I know nothing about this!


"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson


Tabletop Posts : 2 Registered: 1/6/09
Re: Personal Attendant Trouble
Posted: Mar 4, 2009 12:26 PM Go to message in response to: futuremrsbwies

I have been a PA three times. One of those three times was enjoyable, because the bride communicated clearly what she expected of me in that role. (Which - no coincidence - was basically nothing. In that instance, the bride wanted to include me in the WP but did not expect me to "work".)

The other two times, the brides did not make thier expectations clear, and there were hurt feelings on both sides.

So what I am advising you is this:

1. Decide exactly what you'd like your PA's role to be.
2. Communicate that clearly and tactfully to your PA.

  • * *

Unfortunately, having your PA advise you on BM dresses was a complete faux-pas. I would have been tempted to make snide remarks too. She likely feels bad that she's not a BM - there was no need to unintentionally rub it in.

  • * *

On a final note, if you are not prepared to received advice that is not what you had hoped to hear, then you should not be asking for advice, period.


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