Post # 1
I’ll start from the beginning. Last November when I asked all my girls to be in my bridal party, the conversaion turned to dresses. I was very clear about the fact that they would be paying for them, and therefore let them pick their own. As long as they were the same length, same colour and same fabric, they each could pick their own style in hopes that they would be able to wear them again. We searched for ages…..looked at all of the big bridesmaids brands and even looked at DHGate and Lightinthebox for cheaper options. In the end the girls all liked dresses from the Dessy group. I found them online for way cheaper than the stores in town (saving about $100 per dress!) and ordered them in April, putting them all on my credit card and let the girls all know how much their dresses cost.
I’m a pretty easy going person so for their hair and make up I decided to leave it up to them. After meeting with my make up artist and hair stylist and getting some prices from them, I wrote the girls and let them know that although I in no way required them to get their hair and make up done, the option was there and let them know the prices if they were interested. My fiance offered to pay $50 towards the services for each bridesmaid (we had 5) if they chose to get either/or both done as a thank you to them for being a part of our special day. All of them decided they wanted their hair and make up done. It was pretty hectic on the morning of the wedding and we were running a bit late so I just got a total from the hair and make up artists and paid for everything thinking that I could just settle up with the girls later. Our wedding was on August 18, 2012.
Two and a half weeks ago I finally sent out a note to the girls asking them that those who hadn’t already settled up for the dresses and hair/makeup could please do so as I had gotten my visa bill from all of the wedding stuff and could really use it to help pay it down. Let me stop here and tell you a bit about myself. I am a student who also works. I have managed to avoid student loans, but do not have much left over after paying for the mortgage and school. Every spare cent I did manage to save over the last 2 years has gone into the wedding. As much as I would have loved to be able to pay for the girls’ dresses and hair and makeup, I just couldn’t afford it. That’s why I was very clear about what they were expected to pay for from the beginning, and also why I wanted to make sure they had a say in everything, as they were the ones paying for it. Some of the girls had already settled up, but there were 2 in particular who hadn’t even brought up paying me back throughout the whole process. Looking back I should have asked for the money when I ordered the dresses, or when I gave them to them, or on the day of the wedding, but I had faith that they would pay me back as they have all been married and all know how expensive weddings can be. So the 2 who still owed me money wrote back, one asking for the price of her dress and the other also asking for the total on what she owed and saying she would pay me back but that I would have to wait for her next pay day because she was broke. I responded to both with the totals, and neither responded back. It’s been 2 and a half weeks, and the one who said she is broke has been on a trip to a big city to see a football game (I saw on her fb) and seems to be avoiding me. The other one I still have not heard from. Part of me thinks to just let it go, but the other part of me is thinking that it’s not fair. Why should I pay for their dresses and not the other girls’? Especially when these 2 did the least to help out with the wedding. The other 3 were amazing! These 2 came in on the day before to help out for a few hours and that was it. Also I’m not financially in a position to just let it go. That $400+ could really help me out right now. What do I do? I hate confrontation and it was actually really hard for me to write that first e-mail asking them to settle up. I’m feeling really resentful towards them and I don’t want this to ruin our friendship. What do I do?
PS We also paid for their hotel rooms the night before the wedding and I bought them nice individual bridesmaid gifts worth $60-$125 each, depending on how much they helped with the wedding. I’ve spent a lot of money on these girls and that’s why I don’t want to just let it go. If I’d known they weren’t going to pay me back, I would have just said that their dress was their gift (even though that would have still been way more than I wanted to spend on them) and washed my hands of everything.
Post # 3
This is such a crappy situation for you. They know how much they owe you, and that you expect to be paid back. I just don’t think there’s much else you could do. Of course, you can send them another polite e.mail or call them, but its really up to them now to do the right thing and pay you back. I hope they figure it out soon, or else the friendship will probably suffer.
Post # 4
I would send a friendly reminder. Don’t let it go! Just fwd what you sent already and write on the top something like, haven’t heard back, so I wanted to send a reminder!
Post # 5
E-mails are too easily ignored, when it comes to money, you call, and call and call again until you get it….of course you are polite, but you are persistant in the same instance!
Post # 6
Dont’ let it go! You’ve been very generous, and they knew going in that this was for them to be paid for. I’d say email them again and then after that phone calls. I’d be very honest, saying “I fronted this money for X months but now I cannot”.
Post # 7
Don’t let it go, that’s what they want you to do.
Post # 8
There is no way in hell I would let it go. I would send them a polite reminder via email, or call them. I would probably call them.
I would give it a few days, and if they didn’t respond. I would send a more forceful email.
If that didn’t work, I would write on their facebook walls saying I have been trying to contact you to pay me back for the dress I bought you, and your hair and makeup, but I can’t get ahold of you, so please get back to me as soon as you see this.
Sometimes, a little public attention is all someone needs to step up.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2017 - Vegas Wedings
Im going to go with Nona99 on this, move onto a different mode of communication. I would personally text first then call 2 days later. I think you were very generous and fair and theses girls… well, are taking advantage of that. I doubt its intentional but its still what they’re doing.
Post # 10
I’m in a similar situation with a family member owing me money (4 figures). Its always I’ll pay you this month, this month, next month. 6 months later and I haven’t seen a penny but I see them out spending money on frivalous things. I’ve asked twice about the money and my FI says to keep asking each month til I get something. I know it’s a hard position in because if you push too hard it could ruin the relationship but at the same time you just want your money back!! I’d keep asking til they pay you back, as hard as it is. I hope you get some money soon.
Post # 11
@Mrs_A: I’m so sorry that you’re in this position. It’s not easy, especially when you are dealing with friends.
I would NOT let it go. I would send a friendly reminder again when a 3 or 4 week mark hits. You can directly call them or email them saying “I’m sorry to bother you, but we are really trying to budget and pay off a few expenses right now, and I took into account that you would be paying for X and Y. I hate to keep bugging you but please understand where I’m coming from.” You can even offer for them to pay half now and half later.
Shame on them for letting you feel crappy and allowing their debts to go on and on. Don’t let them take advantage of you. If you don’t think you can keep asking, involve your mom or someone with a strong personality.
Post # 12
what a crappy situation to be in . These girls are not being very good “friends”. I think you should call them – that way they cannot avoid it.
Post # 13
@Mrs_A: Can you call them and ask that they return the dresses so that you could try and resell them? Since they haven’t paid for the dress, it’s technically yours.
Post # 14
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
1) They don’t pay and you are upset with them about it. Why would you be friends with them?
2) They do end up paying but they are upset with you because they didn’t understand the situation (i.e. didn’t expressly agree before you ordered the dresses, although I don’t know how you would have gotten their measurements in that case.) Why would they be friends with you?
I like your final option of continuing to contact them and include an email about how disappointed you are and that if they need to pay you back in increments you understand but it was your understanding that they would pay you back. Depending on their responses you may need to re-evaluate these friendships (but only after giving them a chance to say why they aren’t paying up after agreeing to pay up.)
Post # 15
You’ve gotten some good advice already (as PPs said, I would call and/or meet these girls in person instead of just continuing to email). I just wanted to say that I’m sorry you’re in this position. This is really crappy and it’s too bad that your “friends” are taking advantage of your generosity. I would never do that to someone, so I can’t understand how/why anyone else would. Sad.
Post # 16
Wait, your bridesmaids gift ranged that much in price? Do the girls know what the others got? Maybe they feel jilted for getting a less good gift?
I wouldn’t let this go, personally, but there’s only so much you can do.