Post # 1
I could really use some advice on a sensitive topic. I have not yet seriously sat down and decided who my bridesmaids will be, mainly because of the following headache. I have an extremely diverse group of friends and practical matters are making me question whether it is wise to ask some of them to be bridesmaids for my wedding.
My parents have allotted a quite generous amount of money for the wedding itself. My older sister/best friend/MOH is fairly affluent and has already spoken of a lot of extravagant plans she would like to make for the shower, bachelorette party, etc. The issue here is that, as a younger bride, several of my friends are living on more limited incomes. My college roommate, for example, who has already asked that I be a bridesmaid in her own wedding, lives eight hours away and has very little money to spend on another person’s wedding. Though I would love to have her standing by my side in my wedding photos, I would hate to put her through any awkwardness of being the left out bridesmaid. Likewise most of my best girl friends are scattered around the country and travel expenses are certainly going to rack up for them even if I asked my sister to scale back the festivities to be more inclusive.
While my budget is sizable it is FAR from infinite, and covering all of my bridesmaid’s expenses would not be an option. I’m considering having only two bridesmaids, my sister and best friend, who both would be fully capable of paying their own way. But I would hate for things to feel like I selected friends who could “afford it” over ones that couldn’t. If I were to ask my college roommate I would love to pay for her dress and other “purchases” due to her situation, but then there would be the question of where do I draw the line between people who are really hard up for money and people who are capable of covering their own expenses, but far from rich.
Blah! Has anyone else been in this situation? What did you end up doing?
Post # 3
@rawrrrrr: Honestly, I think from what you said you know what to do: ask your college friend and offer to pay her expenses.
There is absolutely no reason why anyone else has to know about this, so it can just be between the two of you. I understand your wanting to draw the line, but my guess is (and some might disagree) that you seem to have a pretty good handle on what your other girls can afford (especially since they are offering up ideas!), so I don’t think it’s being unfair to pay for one, and draw the line at that.
Post # 4
I’ll clarify by saying that when I say a generous amount I mean SLIGHTLY higher than the amount that infographics typically consider to be the “average” cost of a wedding.
By my MOH’s “extravagent” plans, I’m referring to something like a wine tasting weekend within a couple hour’s drive of where I live.
I’m not talking week in vegas bachelorette party or david tutera style wedding, but I am aware that my tentative plans are on a larger scale than many people consider an option.
Post # 5
I had friends/family in different money situations. It was expensive, but I ended up just paying for everyone (5 girls). I had a sizeable wedding budget, but I saved up my own money to pay for their things. I spent around 3K on them between hair, makeup, dresses, and gifts. I felt like it was the right thing to do, since I basically had a wedding handed to me.
Post # 6
@rawrrrrr: My suggestion is to ask your friends that you want to stand up for you at your wedding to do that. You can be flexible on the dresses, there are bridesmaids dresses at target, there are places online where you can rent bridesmaids dresses, etc. You should also talk to your sister and explain that your bridesmaids don’t have the kind of disposable income that she has and she should either tone down her big plans, or plan on funding them without help from the other bridesmaids.
Post # 7
You could just ask who you like and let them decide if they can afford it.
Maybe if you choose to ask your college roommate you could give her a rough idea of the costs involved and find out what she’s comfortable with?
Post # 8
My bridesmaids were all from different backgrounds financially. They were all coming to the wedding regardless, so travel fees were not an issue in asking them (they were all able to drive).
For their dresses, we went to David’s Bridal instead of choosing a pricy designer and picked a color. Then, the girls were able to select dresses at their own price points. At least one of them found a dress on clearance for very cheap (maybe $40?), whereas another picked one of the priciest BM dresses in the store. They all loved their dresses, and I didn’t feel like I was requiring them to stretch their budgets.
For the bachelorette, we kept it relatively simple and split the cost of a hotel suite at an indoor waterpark, then everyone paid for their own food and drinks as they wished. We toyed with the idea of an at-home bachelorette with wine, vegging out, games, and wedding movies that would have been pretty cheap, and actually that’s how we ended the night anyway.
Beyond that, I don’t think there are really any other expenses your BMs will need to shell out for, unless you insist on it. Shoes, hair, make-up, all those things are optional. I even told my BMs not to get us any gifts because their gift for me was just standing up with me and going out of their way to be in my wedding. That being said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with just having two bridesmaids if you decide to go that route. There are other ways to include your friends, like inviting them to the shower and bachelorette and getting their advice about wedding stuff.
Post # 9
@sara_tiara: I would love to pay for her dress jewelry shoes etc, but don’t think I would be able to cover things like travel expenses for her. I worry she would feel left out, but perhaps I’m overanalyzing? I just can’t decide if she will feel more awkward being included, but left out of some things, or if it’s a nonissue since she is an out of towner anyway….
Post # 10
I have the same issue. I have one bridesmaid (fiances sister) who is only 17 and her mother does not allow her to have a job. But my fiance’s mom insisted his sister be in it, but his mother also does not work so she is dead broke as well.
All of the 6 girls fell in love with one dress and were ready to order it, but his mom said she couldnt afford it so we had to pick another one. The dress they liked was about $175 and they had about 6 months to pay it off. So we ended up going with another dress that not all of the girls liked.
Which we ended up paying for her dress anyways so it really pissed me off. Especially since she told us on the last day that she had to order it that she had no money to put towards it.
Im curious to see how these last few months go before the wedding because she is also trying to plan my bachelorette party on her “budget” which includes me just having a little get together in her apt. No thank you. I feel your pain. lol.
Post # 11
This might not be a good idea but just throwing it out there:
Could the out-of-town BMs opt out of the bachelorette party? Or could the plans be scaled back? Asking for BMs to block out a whole weekend for the bachelorette on top of a rehersal dinner and wedding seems like a lot IMHO.
Post # 12
So I had a similar situation with choosing my bms. Paying for someone’s expenses was definitely not in my budget bc we are paying for our own wedding. But I knew my sister/moh would plan an extravagant bridal shower etc. My other sister & 1 of my gf (brothers fi) would have no issues whatsoever spending top dollar. However my 2 other friends are another story. Honestly they’re just very cheap and very bad with money. They’re always broke. But I love them & both are very close friends so I still asked both to be in our wedding but I told them I understood if they couldn’t afford. One is a bm, the other decided to come as a guest. I would just make them aware of the expenses and let them make a decision. If you can swing helping the college roomate then offer but that’s none of your other bms business.
Post # 13
First of all, you haven’t asked anyone yet, so I would ask them first and find out if they have any financial concerns about just the wedding expenses…dress, shoes, travel, etc… (anything directly related to the wedding DAY itself).
After that discussion, let them know that you MOH may be planning some fancier, pricier events. If they express concern on that, then I would have a talk with MOH about scaling back so that everyone can be included.
If you DO decide to pay for your friend’s expenses, then there is no reason that anyone else even needs to know….except maybe the MOH when she is looking for payment from the girls. There are still ways to avoid anyone knowing who is actually paying what.
Post # 14
@CMSnails: This is definitely the option I would love the most, but like you say I can’t decide if it would be too weird or not. Since many friends will need to shell out plane tickets to attend the wedding itself it seems silly to ask them to get their butts back here for a shower, bachelorette party etc. My sister/MOH herself is on the other side of the country but I feel including her (since you know she’s planning the thing) would be an obviously special circumstance.
Post # 15
For my wedding I had one out of town bridesmaid. In no way did I expect her to show up to any event other than the wedding and she didn’t. I just assumed that everyone doesn’t expect their out-of-town BMs to come to anything except the rehersal dinner and wedding. Do most out-of-town BMs fly in for various events?
I don’t think my BM felt left out but of course I suppose she wouldn’t tell me if she did.
I would just sit down and tell your friend what you are thinking, that you would love her to be a part of your wedding but you don’t want her to be under financial pressure. Let her know that you can help pay expenses (if you can). Also tell her that you don’t expect her to be at the shower or bachelorette parties. Finally, let her know that even if she can’t swing being a BM that she is very important to you and you would love for her to be a guest or maybe a reader.
Post # 16
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Step 1: Close your eyes and think about who you want to stand with you on your wedding day. The ones yopu simply could not bear to get married without. These should be the ladies and gentlemen who will be there from here to eternity to share your joys and your sorrows, to hold you accountable for the vows that you make, to be your confidantes and your cheerleaders. Those people are your bridal party.
Step 2: Figure out the money situation later. You do not have to have a bachelorette or a bridal shower. You do not have to have matching dresses, specific shoe colors, professional whatever, etc. All of that stuff is optional, if your girls can afford it or if you can afford to provide it for them. Don’t chooose your bridal party based on who can afford it.