- 5 years ago
- Wedding: October 2010
It’s taken all morning for me to get up the courage to write this, but since this tends to be a supportive and non-judgy community, I’m posting here and asking for your help. I need to talk to my friend and her fiancee about their wedding…about many different elements of their wedding…and I’m not sure how to do this and still be supportive (and not come off sounding like a total b*tch).
Here’s the backstory:
One of my best girlfriends from college got engaged in July after dating her girlfriend for a year. Even though everything was a bit of a whirlwind, I was SO excited, because I love her, and I love the woman she’s marrying. They just *go together* as a couple and they really bring out the best in each other. It’s beautiful. I very excited when she asked for wedding planning help. I went a little crazy initially, and made a huge document with venues, which included prices, details for each locale, pictures, lists of vendors, inspirational photos, etc. I also made a checklist of things they had to think about/do because they’re planning a June 2013 wedding.
Their budget is tight, so I really tried to find affordable options in the metro Boston area, which isn’t easy, but I didn’t care because I was committed! In the midst of their venue search, the ladies asked me to be a chief attendant and I agreed. They looked at all the places I had listed for them, fell in love with one of them, and tentatively booked. Everything seemed to fall into place…then something happened.
My friend chalked up their change of heart to a serious budget discussion. They canceled their venue plans based on price and distance from their church. I was sad about this, but supportive, because both issues are totally legit and I’ve been there, I get it! They told me they decided to have the reception at their church hall and it would be a potluck. I told them that it would take a lot of planning and organization, and might not be the best plan, but they were sticking with it, and asked for more help, and I agreed to help in any way I could. Agreeing to help turned me into their “wedding planner” – they recently sent out an email to the entire bridal party (14 people including me) referring any questions and concerns to me, the wedding planner! Yikes! (Oh and an aside – I know that I have gotten myself into this situation by not being able to say NO!! So yes, this predicament is partly my fault 🙂 )
I am really hoping that this title gives me the power to reign in this wedding, and this is what I need help with. I don’t want to be bridesmaid-zilla, I don’t want to ruin this couple’s hopes and dreams, but here’s a few things that have gone on since the venue/potluck change:
– The couple invited their entire church. The guest list is approximately 400 people but they don’t feel it’s right to make their church members RSVP because they “probably” won’t stay for the reception. I think I won that battle by convincing them to build a website where the church people can RSVP online, but I’m not sure. OH and everyone who received a save the date has been asked to be prepared to bring a delicious dish to share – that wasn’t on MY save the date, but my parents and another bridesmaid’s parents told us it was on theirs…
-I’ve tried to convince them to invest in a caterer or change the feel of the reception from the formal meal they envision; they want apps, a fancy main course (and they want salmon, chicken, other fish, etc, not casseroles because that’s “tacky” HA HA), sides, and a dessert bar. They did say they may rent an espresso machine though(!!!!!!!)
– My friend told me she will not have tables and chairs to seat everyone (too expensive to rent all of that equipment), but she will have the high tables you see at cocktail parties so people can eat their food. She has no plan to rent these because one of the groomsman makes furniture and has offered to provide “some” tables
– There is a discussion about another groomsman, a chef, making a main dish and having the rest of the meal potluck
Now I know this seems catty, complaining about their cute homegrown wedding, but in addition to the disorganization, and not really being in touch with reality, there are expectations on family and members of the bridal party that just rub me the wrong way:
– Groomsman are expected to rent tuxes. I am going to Alfred Angelo (with a bunch of other bridesmaids I’m driving there because I’m the only one with a car) to try on fairly formal and pricey bridesmaid dresses in a few weeks
– Bridal party is expected to decorate the hall the night before and make our own bouquets – the brides are having their bouquets made locally
– I am expected to throw a shower – which I totally get, but gah, I feel terrible about asking the bridal party for more work and more money – I feel like we’re being stretched to the limit already! And there’s no way I can ask the bride’s mom for help, she is already making 7 flower girl dresses, 30 choir stoles, and a wedding gown (for my friend’s fiancee – my friend spent $1000+ on her gown at a shop).
– During a dinner we had with the couple, there were many references to the fact that the parents are not contributing financially to the wedding, so the guests better give them “money, and things that can be returned for cash” Sigh.
– Church members are being asked to bring their potted plants from home to serve as centerpieces.
My Darling Husband (also a groomsman), another bridesmaid/mutual friend, and I attempted to have a wed-tervention last week and address some of these things that we think might be problematic (because we’ve had side conversations about this) and I feel like we’re getting through to the fiancee, but not to my friend. She keeps telling me to calm down and not be so uptight. This is how she has operated since I’ve known her, she’s been disorganized and disastrous and then everything comes together at the last minute and is perfect. But now I’m really starting to feel like she’s kind of a selfish person. Another bridesmaid said to me “I’ve worried about X as long as I’ve known her. I’ve sent her flowers after breakups, called her if I haven’t heard from her for a certain amount of time, talked her through layoffs, job hunts, talked her through bad relationships, therapy-sessions (she’s had a lot of sh*t go on in her life), but this is too much, I just can’t give anymore.”
I’m feeling like that too. I want to give her the wedding of her dreams, but it’s starting to feel like she wants everyone to do this for her so she can sit back and reap the benefits. I’m afraid if I really confront her I’ll totally blow up and FREAK OUT, and I don’t want to lose her as a friend, but things are spiralling out of control. I’m seriously stressed about this wedding – I know it’s not about me, but they’re asking me for more and more help, and I just don’t feel like I can give anymore. Do I bow out? Do I confront them (as nicely as possible)? Should I just say “I’m your wedding planner, and these are the things I need you to do to make this day work”? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!