Am I being unreasonable? Bridesmaid woes

posted 2 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
1040 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I think the question you need to ask yourself is “Is that all she can afford?”  If she cant afford more than that, then she is not being unreasonable – she shouldn’t have to go into debt in order to look a certain way for your photographs. 

Post # 3
5800 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

You’re being unreasonable. If that’s what she can afford, then that is what she can afford. find a dress in her price range or offer to make up the difference. Let her wear shoes she already has. $100 is plenty to spend on an outfit you’ll wear only once, in someone else’s wedding, and you tell someone else how to spend their money.

Post # 3
42182 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

cbj9:  I think many BM dresses do cost more but that is irrelevant.There have also been many posts where Bees chose dresses that were much less expensive If you want her as a BM and  she can afford $100, then you have a choice. Find something in her budget or subsidize her expenses.

Post # 5
851 posts
Busy bee

If that’s all she can afford, then yes you are being unreasonable. If she is truely your friend and someone you want standing next to you on your big day you should offer to make up the difference.

Post # 6
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse

cbj9:  she’s being very honest with you.  That’s her budget, whether or not you like it.  So, if you want to spend more than that than you need to make up the difference if its important enough for her to be in your wedding.

So, either work with her budget, or let her know the option is there for you to help out if costs get more than she is comfortable handling.

Post # 7
1099 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

Maybe give your girls a color and length and let them go pick their own dress? thats what I decided to do because we are doing casual and I truly want them to be able to wear them again as well as feel comfortable. 🙂

Post # 8
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

This is exaclty why I had a converstaions with my bridesmaids the day they said yes, to avoid these issues. Have you and her never discussed cost before? Yes, 100.00 is a very small /tight budget at this point. Are you looking for all your bridesmaids to match? Maybe if feasible for you have a conversation and subsidize hers if you can but for me I’d be hard pressed to find 100.00 dress much less an entire outfit.

I, personally, don’t think you are being unreasonable for not wanting a cheap dress. It’s your wedding and that’s what you want; however, if she is strapped for cash you may have to come out of the pocket to make it happen


cbj9:  Good luck!

Post # 9
650 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Sometimes people are embarrassed that they are having money troubles.  Maybe that’s why she’s saying “$100 is all I’m willing to spend.”  Rather than “I’d love to be your BM but I’m worried I can’t cover the costs.”  My one and only BM has been my friend since 1994.  She recently got divorced, is a single mother of 2, went back to college full time.  I know that money is tight.  I asked her to be my BM and told her I would cover the costs.  Even then she didn’t ask me for the $$ I offered.  When I asked her if she had got a dress yet.  She said no and mentioned that she couldn’t find anything in blue she liked in the consigment/thrift stores (I’m doing mismatched BM’s).  The next day I send her some cash.  I told her I wanted her to go and find a dress she liked.  I didn’t want her buying something she hated because that’s all she could afford.

Even though I offered to cover the costs she was still embarrassed to ask.  I think you need to budget in covering some of her costs. 

Post # 10
1974 posts
Buzzing bee

cbj9:  She has given you plenty of notice as to what she will be able to afford.  What she can afford is what she can afford, as others have said.  Better that she let you know this now rather than six months out.  As the previous posters have suggested, you may have to budget in order to help her out.  Pressuring her (subtly or otherwise) to spend beyond her budget as clearly communicated to you is not OK.

Also, the guests who are spending money on their outfits at least have an outside prayer of wearing those clothes in some other setting, whereas she won’t.

Post # 11
284 posts
Helper bee

I had to discuss with each of my bridesmaids, all students, if they were comfortable with the price of the dresses I had suggested, and I chose to cover things like alterations. If this is all she can afford, then at least she’s being honest with you. Do you want her to spend beyond her means just to make you happy? Probably not.

She’s agreed to contribute a particular amount, I’d assume this has to do with her personal finanaces being tight, then perhaps you can speak to her privately about your paying the difference in the price of the dress so that she can wear the dress you prefer? Others may be able to afford the entire cost of the dress, but maybe you can supplement her budget so that in the end she doesn’t go broke to get the dress and you have the dress you want.

Maybe also either gift the girls shoes or offer them free choice of shoes? I went with nude shoes so the girls could choose whatever they wanted/had in the closet, and it’s working out perfectly so far.

I think there are lots of ways to make this work, and as much as it’s disappointing for you, I imagine it’s also pretty embarassing for her.

Post # 12
1136 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

cbj9:  You’re not wrong about what some dresses can cost but getting a beautiful dress doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend more! 

Personally I wouldn’t be raising it as an issue with her, money is a very sensitive subject (especially when you don’t have a lot!) and it could certainly cause dramas – you may not get the dresses you originally envisaged for $100 but I’m positive you can find something gorgeous! I’ve worn some cheap a** stuff and styled it up nicely and always get comments! You’d never know! 

And in all honesty, your bridesmaids will LOVE you for not making them spend a tonne of money.. with all the other stuff that can come with being a bridemaid it sure adds up quickly and it would be sad if people who don’t have a lot of cash just had to be excluded from ever participating in a wedding! I have no doubt she would feel much more awkward about it than you do so just roll with it. Youll make it work 🙂

Post # 13
2878 posts
Sugar bee

cbj9:  If it’s all she can afford, she’s being realistic, not unreasonable. Nobody likes to go over budget (or in debt) to get something, and especially not for someone else’s wedding. It’s a low budget, but you can either do your best to find something nice under $100 (I’m sure there are lovely cocktail dresses in non-bridal stores that can absolutely do the job), or you could offer to cover the balance if the dress you want her to wear is more expensive. 

Post # 14
8679 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Yup, you are.<br /><br />If she can’t or won’t pay that much for a dress, it is how it is.<br /><br />You have three options.<br /><br />A: Pay for it yourself.<br />B: Find a cheaper dress.<br />C: Kick her out of the wedding.<br /><br />I wouldn’t reccomend C.

Post # 15
592 posts
Busy bee

If she can’t afford it, she can’t afford it. 

I don’t think I’ve ever worn a dress costing more than $100 as a wedding guest either. The most I ever spent to go to a wedding was the one I was in. Even then, I found a dress just under $100 off amazon. I had to buy new shoes since I don’t wear heels, but those were 30, so I topped out at 120 roughly for the outfit. 

Yes, most bridesmaids dresses cost around 150-400. They’re very over priced, just like bridal gowns. However unlike bridal gowns, the person wearing them rarely picks it out and often has little to no enjoyment out of wearing and purchasing them. 

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