Post # 1
I’ve been engaged for a few weeks now and I’m starting to pick my wedding party. I’ve already chosen my maid of honour and one of my bridesmaids (FI’s sister).
My dilemma is that I want to ask my cousin to be my bridesmaid but I’m a little concerned because she is THE cheapest person I’ve ever met. (Example: she goes to the grocery store with a stack of flyers from OTHER grocery stores and price matches everything in her cart.)
When I was a bridesmaid in her low-budget wedding a couple years ago the dresses only cost $50 which I was obviously thrilled about…but I’m worried she’s going to expect me to stick to the same kind of budget. On top of that, she lives over an hour away so she’ll have to spend money on gas to travel back and forth.
Would it be inappropriate if when I ask her to be my bridesmaid I reminded her of the costs associated with it and make sure she’s ok with that? And if she isn’t, can I tell her I don’t want her as a bridesmaid? lol…My fear is that she’ll agree to being a bridesmaid and then she’ll complain about the cost of everything or just not want to spend money at all.
I’d like to avoid any extra stress as much as possible…
Post # 3
I think the only thing you can do, when you ask her, is make clear the budget.. Do you already have a price range for the dresses in mind? Are you going to require her to get her hair/makeup done?
I can empathize, especially if she cost-cuts because she has to… being a Bridesmaid or Best Man can add up. Letting her know this sort of thing is fair (and if she’ll be able to shop around – say – get her hair done elsewhere).
Post # 5
@atalante: I agree, I would definitely be up front about the costs. Break it down for her, and stick to what you say it will be. If you have a bridal shower, I wouldn’t expect her to contribute much more than maybe a dish or two.
Post # 6
I agree with the other ladies that you need to be upfront with her what your expectations are. If your tastes run more Priscilla of Boston than Davids Bridal. If you’re expecting them to get new shoes, pay for hair & makeup, bridal shower, bachelorette party, def bring up the travel back and forth, if you think your Maid/Matron of Honor is leaning towards a destination bach party, etc etc. She needs to know that.
Not all weddings include all those pricey items and it has nothing to do with being cheap. So the fairest thing is to let her know upfront.
Post # 7
I do think you should tactfully let her know what your budget in mind is when you ask her. Just tell her you would love for her to be involved but you want to be fair and let her know what you’re expecting money wise from the bridesmaids. That way it isn’t awkward later if she can’t afford something and you know you did your part by being up front with her about costs so she could make the choice if she could be a bridesmaid or not. If she feels that it would be too expensive for her to be a bridesmaid then maybe you could have her do a special reading or something in the ceremony.
Post # 8
My income has decreased over the last year and when a good friend asked me to be in her wedding she said something that was really nice. She said she definitely wanted me to be a part of her wedding, but she knows that things can get expensive when you are a part of the bridal party. So if I wanted to be a bridesmaid she would love that, but if my budget was tight and I couldn’t swing the bridal party costs that was okay. She still wanted me to be there when everyone was getting ready and she would include me in the ceremony in a different way (as a reader or something). We have been friends since 6th grade and I really wanted to be in her wedding, but my bank account wasn’t looking forward to it. I was thankful for the way out of the costs but still being included.
Post # 9
I don’t know. That one’s tough. But in the end, I think it’s about having the people you love stand up for you. I would still ask her, and I would worry about cost later. I think that perhaps you could subsidize the dress rather than having a bridesmaid’s gift, and try to keep other costs low – your other bridesmaids will thank you. But don’t exclude someone you love.
Post # 10
Be up front with expectations and cost, and give her a way out right away, so she doesn’t feel obligated to say yes. Good luck.
Post # 11
If you ask her, please don’t make it seem like you think she’s cheap. Just be straight forward about the costs associated with your event and keep it light and friendly.
Also, she doesn’t sound cheap to me; she sounds smart. 😉
Post # 12
Yeah I would try to find a few dresses, and have a budget in mind. Then, when you’re asking her just lightly say “I’ve already been looking at dresses – I’m hoping to keep it under xxx dollars. Also, you’d have to pay for your shoes, and help the Maid/Matron of Honor with the shower….”
I’d be surprised if she said no, if you lay it all out on the table like that. After all, she is family, and you were her bridesmaid previously.
Post # 13
I agree with the general sentiment on this post that you should be up front with the costs (make sure you give her a very accurate amount, since it sounds like she counts pennies!!!). However, I think maybe, depending on how much you want her to be your bridesmaid, you could offer to help her out with a portion of the costs. Maybe she can swing for the dress and you can help her with getting her hair done, or some other sort of compromise. If she still thinks it’s too much of an expense, then just say you’re ok with that and you understand but you hope she’ll still be at the wedding, and ask someone else. Also, only offer to help her out if she really does need it. If she’s prudent but makes a lawyer’s salary then forget it.
Post # 14
I totally sympathize with someone who is trying to save money- my philosophy is “why spend more if I don’t have to?”
I don’t believe that someone should be excluded from a bridal party just because they can’t afford it- that’s not the purpose of the bridesmaids, they’re supposed to be your closest girlfriends no matter their economic status.
Post # 15
I can’t tell from your description if she’s cheap, or frugal, or just doesn’t have the money. In my mind, frugal means she doesn’t pass up opportunites because of the cost, but she will find a way to make the opportunity cost less. Cheap means she’s pass up the opportunity all together, or make sure she’s not paying for it.
Ensuring her bridemaids have inexpensive, but awesome dresses for not much money sounds like she is frugal. If you are okay with her finding the best possible deals on her own dress, hair, shoes etc, I don’t think you have a problem.
If she was really cheap, she would turn down the opportunity.
And if she just doesn’t have the money, I would hope she would turn down the opportunity. I like the way blayne’s bride couched the offer above. If she can’t afford to be a bridesmaid, you’d still like her to be involved in the preparations.
Post # 16
@xkandakex: um, some lawyers that I know are trying to pay off some pretty horrendous school loans…
(ETA: meaning, you should be really cautius in attempting to judge someone else’s financial situation…)