Post # 1
Hi Bees, I need help! So Three years ago I was engaged to be married. Had been with my ex fiance for 6 years, was planning a HUGE wedding. Had 5 bridesmaids and they had all ordered their dresses. Two months before our wedding he called it off because i was dx with lyme disease. So needless to say it was pretty devistating.
Fast foward three years and i’m engaged to a wonderful man. The last few years have been rough health wise and i actually cant work anymore as things have progressed. Two of my 5 original bridesmaids haven’t really been around to support me (very disappointing) but through facebook we’re still “friends.” My fiance and I are having a MUCH smaller wedding with a MUCH smaller budget. How do I “unask” these girls to be in my wedding? I don’t want to hurt feelings and I want them to be there, but my fiance has never met them and i’m much more comfortable having a small 3 couple wedding party.
Do I offer to reimburse them for their dresses? But to be honest we don’t have $400 when our total budget is only $6000. My fiance doesn’t have anyone to ask to be in the wedding past the 3 groomsmen so i feel like trying to find additional guys to be in it really wouldn’t work.
Its been 3 years (and one of the girls has since gotten married and I was not a bridesmaid, the other girl is in another wedding in October).
Do I offer to pay for their hotel stay to come to the wedding (less than what the dresses would have cost). I’m so torn. I don’t want to be rude yet its been years and i would hope they would understand, i know i would.
Thanks for your advice and please be kind with your words, i’ve been on here before and asked advice and people were really mean to me about it! 🙂
Post # 3
First I’m really sorry about your ex-FI and happy that you found someone to spend your life with. Personally, if I was your original bridesmaid, I would not expect to you pay for the dress that i didnt wear because what happened was totally unforeseeable. 2ndly, if we havent talked in 3 years, I wouldnt expect to be in your wedding (that’s weird). 3rdly, I dont think you have to pay for me to attend if you arent paying for your other guests.
HOnestly, i dont think it would be an issue. especially since they havent checked in on you in years. If you want to give them a forewarning that your getting married and you would like them to attend but not be an bridesmaid, then do that. Either way i dont think it matters and i think they will understand.
And if they dont, who cares!!! Its not like you spoke to them in the past 3 years right?!?! lol…
hope it all works out!
Post # 4
I have a semi-similar situation: I was married before and originally planned to have a bridal party. One of the bridesmaids bought her dress right away. Well, we ended up not having a bridal party or groomsmen and only immediate family – so my friend wasn’t even invited.
5 years later – I am getting re-married to the love of my life and I have asked the same friend to be in my wedding again. I recieved absolutely no problems from her. We picked out a new dress and she bought it.
The way I see it is like this: it is a honor to be asked to be in a wedding. You cannot realistically expect the bride to buy the dresses for the bridesmaids when you have 100 other things to pay for. It is unfortunate that the your first wedding didn’t happen. I do not think you need to pay the girls back for the dresses bough YEARS ago. If there ever was a time to do that, it would have been years ago when the wedding was called off.
If you’re not close with all the original bridesmaids and only want to ask three of them to be in the wedding, then do what is comfortable for you. It is YOUR wedding so make sure you have the people involved that you want 🙂
Post # 5
@Coastiewife: It’s been three years, do they even still have the dresses? It’s very possible they wouldn’t even fit in them now.
I seriously doubt they would feel like they were “still” your bridesmaids when you are marrying a different (far better!!) man years later. I don’t think you have to “unask” at all, just move along with your plans for this brand new wedding!
Post # 6
I don’t think you have to unask them, since this is clearly a different wedding. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t have the dress either, because it may no longer fit.
Post # 7
@Coastiewife: Just to clarify, are you marrying a different person this time?
Post # 8
@Coastiewife: I do think you should reimburse them for the dresses. To be honest you should have done that when you called off the wedding originally but better late than never. They specifically bought those dresses for the wedding that didn’t happen so regardless of the reason that the wedding didn’t take place, you should pay for those dresses.
Post # 9
@Coastiewife: This is another reason why the bride should pay for the BM dresses in the first place. I think you (and your ex) should have reimbursed all the girls back then. It’d be nice to offer to reimburse them now, at least partly.
It’s a different wedding so the girls shouldn’t expect to be BMs.
You do not need to pay hotel costs for ordinary guests. (Or bridesmaids in fact, unless you are expecting them to stay at a particular hotel). But if it’s less than the dresses and you can’t pay for the dresses, then in my opinion it’s a nice gesture.
Post # 10
@Coastiewife: seriously doubt anyone would hold the previous situation against you. I was broken up with (not by a FI thankfully) when I got a tumor dx and I would be VERY hurt if that got brought up again by friends in relation to a new relationship.
I was a BM for a wedding that didn’t happen. Bought the dress ect. She married someone else a few years later and we weren’t as close so I didn’t even get an invite that time. I don’t really hold it against her – it sucks but I’m still glad the first wedding didn’t go ahead now as she wasn’t happy leading up to the wedding.
Post # 11
I was in a friends wedding that was called off (thank god, I thought he was awful to her) and I was able to return my dress from David’s Bridal. Are you sure they kept them? I had also bought dyed shoes, they could not be returned, so I dyed them black to wear elsewhere.
Point is, who knows what they did with the dresses? I wouldn’t repay anything. It’s not your fault! That’d be like another friend of mine whose marriage lasted less than six months giving the groomsmen back their tux rental money. Stuff happens!
Post # 12
First off, thank you all so very much for your thoughtful replies. As you can imagine, it was a total nightmare when my weddind was called off the first time. I had JUST been diagnosed and was extremely ill so I definately relate to you Pele. I was so sick and starting treatment that I wasn’t even the one who called all the vendors to call of the wedding. I guess this time around I just think about the few who have stayed close to me and its going to be a muh smaller wedding now anyways. Ugh, I wish it wasn’t so difficult. One of the girls in question got married a year ago and I wasn’t asked to be in her wedding (and she was going to be my maid of honor) but I understood.
I’ve contemplated just having them in the wedding and one groomsmen paired up with two bridesmaids. After talking to the other girls who ARE in my wedding and asking how they feel, they both agreed that though they’d be disappointed, they would understand if they weren’t in it.
@Polygon: Yes its a different guy 🙂
@MexiPino: As far as I know they do still have the dresses. We have not stayed very close through these last few years, but to be honest i’ve been so ill I haven’t stayed close with too many people. But through facebook we’ve kept in touch (at least it feels that way, but in reality we haven’t hung out more thank once with each of the bridesmaids in question).
@justpeachy123: I would have paid them back at the time, but it was a complete nightmare. I had planned for almost a year and a half and was so sick I couldn’t really function. Not only was I diagnosed with chronic lyme, started treatment, my wedding was called off, my relationship of 6 years was over AND i had to move our of our home. So i really wasn’t in the position to think about the dresses at the time.
I’ll keep everyone updated, i plan on talking to the girls soon and explaining that we are going with a smaller wedding and thus wedding party, etc.
Post # 13
- Wedding: October 2013 - Dalhousie Castle
I think if your getting married to a different guy then I doubt your previous bridesmaids just assuming they would be in the weddding again.
I don’t think you have to pay them back for the dresses either. They had to eat between $100 to $200 dollar expense, but you had to deal a ton of horrible stuff all at the same time. If I were your friend, I wouldn’t care about the dress or money at all.
Post # 14
@Coastiewife: Just out of curiosity – he left you because of lyme disease? Seriously?
I’ve had it twice (although I guess it never fully leaves you, does it?) and while it SUCKS (was bedridden for almost 3 months each time), it’s not a death sentence… Its perfectly manageable
Post # 15
@sauerdragon: Sadly it is a death sentence if its not caught right away. In fact I almost died last summer it was so bad. If you caught it early you are VERY lucky. Mine wasn’t caught for 4 years and by then it made its way into all my organs, tissues, etc. I’ve traveled near and far to get help. Its been 7 years now since the onset of symptoms. I was ok for much of those years, but the last two i’ve been mostly homebound and bedridden. Its been complete HELL!! A “lymie” just died this week that I know of. Very glad that you’ve been able to recover from it though, its a horrible disease when it diseminates into all the body 🙁
Post # 16
Sweetheart, you have nothing to worry about. These girls were your bridesmaids for a wedding that sadly did not happen. That does not mean they are your bridesmaids now. I’m sure they do not expect that. Please do not worry about it.