Post # 1
I’d like to include my four closest local friends in my wedding.Â Two are the kind of girls who like to gush over things like dresses and flowers, while the other two are fairly non-materialistic and tend to question lavish displays and some aspects of a traditional wedding.Â Â From the latter two, I’ve gotten a weird sense of condescension and an attitude like I’m selling out for wanting things like a nice gown and dresses for bridesmaids.Â When I told one of them how much wedding gowns cost, she said she thought it was "crazy," and when I said I was going to buy mine on ebay for a lot less she said she still "couldn’t imagine" spending that much.Â Neither of them make very much money (albeit by choice of lifestyle) and I’m nervous to ask them to buy bridesmaids’ dresses, along with participating in other wedding-related events.Â What to do?
Post # 3
Everyone likes to be invited. Given that you already know of your friends’ financial situation, you should discuss your plans with them. You already know that they might not be able to afford the dresses–perhaps you could help them buy them, or look for a less expensive version. A dress should never come between friends. If it’s not just about the bridesmaid dresses–if you anticipate constant negative comments about your choice in wedding preparations–then that’s another matter. In that case, then perhaps the three of you would feel more comfortable if your friends attended as honored guests rather then as bridesmaids.
Post # 4
- Wedding: October 2007 - Ceremony at a cement and stained glass cathedral and reception at a boutique hotel ballroom
I would lay out all expections regarding pricing up front while I was asking them. Maybe you could say something like, "I’d love for you to be a part of the bridal party. I know that it’s a big financial committment so I totally will not take it personally if you decline. However, if you’re comfortable with the expenses, (I estimate that the bridesmaid dresses, shoes, and hair will cost $$), I would be honored if you would join me by my side for my special day."
If you really want them to be a part of the bridal party, perhaps you could just designate a Bridesmaid or Best Man dress color and let the girls find dresses off the rack. Or in lieu of bridesmaid gifts, you could purchase their dresses and/or hair expenses for them. You could also let them do their own makeup to lesses expenses.
There are other hidden expenses in being a bridesmaid, including throwing the bridal shower and bachelorette party, which REALLY add up for bridesmaids. If you’re open, perhaps you could do a casual bbq as a joint co-ed "shower" with your fiance. It may even be a good way for two sides of friends to get to know each other.
Bottom line, money doesn’t need to come between friendships, especially with open communication and understanding.
I hope it all works out!
Post # 5
Yup, I’d agree to lay out what being a bridesmaid will involve. To make it not seem like you’re pinpointing them because they might not make much $, (which could make them feel insulted), perhaps you could mention how you’ve been feeling in general about their reactions towards your ideas… ie. "I know in one of our other conversations, you seemed taken aback about spending a lot of money on wedding-related stuff, and I know being a bridesmaid can be a big financial commitment. I would love for you to be my bridesmaid, but I totally understand if the cost is something you’re not comfortable with."
You can keep the expectations for pre-wedding parties low, and make things as easy as possible for them in other areas. I did not have a bachelorette myself and made it clear that I never did or would expect one, and I did my best to keep dress costs low (paid for fabric, patterns, etc. so they paid for seamstress work only, some as low as $50!). I did not pay for hair and makeup, but I also did not require any sort of special hairdo so they could easily do it themselves if they wanted — and at least two of them did, and looked great!
Finally, keep in mind that this is your wedding, not theirs — so even if they disagree with how you’re spending your money on your dress, etc. try not to let it bother you too much. Pick and choose where you’ll splurge and where you will save, and don’t look back, no matter what others say. Different aspects of the wedding matter to different people, so don’t let them affect what’s important to you!
Post # 6
What about paying for the Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses? If you pick something from J Crew, it could actually turn out to be pretty affordable for 4 dresses…
Post # 7
If you are located anywhere near Chicago, check out the Mark Shale Outlet for bridesmaid dresses. They often have very nice bridesmaid dresses in stock in a variety of sizes. Very good quality and a great price (some as low as $50, marked down from $300). For that price your bridesmaids really can’t complain!
Post # 8
I hear you on this topic! I think the hardest thing for me has been one bm who had her wedding this year for 1/3 the cost of mine (and mine ISN’T extravagant). Money has been an issue between us.
Besides being honest and upfront with your friends, I think one thing that has helped me is to try to be really secure and okay with my own decisions about how we’re spending our money. And to trust that at heart, my friend is really happy for me, no matter what–which is true!!
Post # 9
Bridesmaids who are treating the bride like that are often jealous of the bride. Is this a possibility?