Post # 1
I was asked a couple months ago to be in my cousins wedding. We were close as kids but haven’t seen or spoken to each other in years. I’m thinking she may have needed one more bridesmaid. The catch is, I live in Europe, she lives in the US. I wanted to go to the wedding anyways to see my family so I agreed and told her that I obviously won’t be able to attend the bridesmaid party/events. She said it was fine just attend whats planned the weekend I’m in town.
Come to find out, theres been a whole bridesmaid texting group that I wasn’t a part of until today when my other cousin whose in the wedding called to give me a heads up on whats going on and let me just say, I am pissed.
So far the expenses are: Dress: $175 (more for me for international shipping) Rehearsal dinner: $95 per plate (why we are expected to foot this is beyond me). Hotel $250+ per night Spa Day (which is not the bachelorette party): $200 I’ve also been asked to rent a car to get around easier which I’m sorry I won’t be doing. I can easily ride with family and other bridesmaid as were in the same hotel. This is not including the international flight I had to pay for (which I agreed to so I am not blaming anyone for that).
Now, I have no idea how the other bridesmaids feel about this. I’m irritated that I haven’t had a chance to put my input in these groups. I’ve been in two weddings of some really good friends and I was lucky that I was only expected to buy the dress and it was $45. In my opinion the rehersal dinner and spa day should be paid for by the bride or is that not how it works? I’m just shocked at how much this actually is going to cost me and am considering if I should gracefully step out before there are more expenses that come up. Doesn’t help I’m currently unemployed, but I knew that going in so thats on me.
What do you think? Are these normal expenses? Am I being over dramatic? Maybe I just don’t know the norms of being a bridesmaid. Ugh help!
Post # 2
Dress: I would say that’s about average priced where I live at least
Rehearsal Dinner: I’m confused why you’re paying for this…that is odd, usually it’s covered by the B/G or someone in their fam.
Hotel: Expensive, but not “crazy” (compared to my area). The hotel we’re blocking is $199 a night.
Spa Day: Can’t you just opt out of this? I would.
Rent a car: Just say no.
Post # 3
beevincent18 : Thanks for the info! I’m also confused why were paying for this, seems cheap to me. I can’t opt out of the Spa because they’re also doing our hair for the wedding. So its the day of, wish I could opt out! But I guess she wants us to have our hair professionally done. Facials and nails are jsut part of the package I guess. Definitely won’t be renting a car. Not neccessary at all!
Hopefully no more expenses are added!
Post # 4
Completely agree with beevincent18. The cost of the dress is unfortunately pretty standard, and I agree the hotel is pricy but not completely crazy. You should absolutely not be required to pay for the rehearsal dinner though, that is ridiculous! And I can’t believe how expensive it is. I would be tempted to opt out of it at that price. You can still go to the rehearsal so you’re ready for the ceremony, but $100 for a meal you didn’t choose, for an event that should be hosted for you as a courtesy is crazy. You should definitely say no to the rental car, and the if you’re paying for the spa day it should be optional as well.
Maybe you can tell her which events you will and will not be able to participate it based on cost, and then explain that you understand if this means she doesn’t want you to be a bridesmaid? But if you’re important enough to her, it won’t matter, or she will help pay for those things (like rehearsal dinner and spa day). That’s probably what I would do. Good luck!
ETA: Oh I see, based on the fact that the spa day is actually getting ready for the wedding together – maybe you can ask if you could just get your hair done, and not participate in the nails and facial? Hopefully that would reduce the cost. $200 is a lot just to get ready for a wedding.
Post # 5
pebbletots : If the spa day is a challenge for you financially I would just talk to the bride or Maid/Matron of Honor about it. Maybe ask if you can only do hair instead of the rest? Or if you could do your own (if you feel comfortable doing that?). I’ve been in a few weddings where things are scheduled but truly not required…a simple convo with the bride might solve that.
Post # 6
bridetobe24 : Thanks for the advice! Thats a great idea to see if I can just get the hair done! I’m good at doing my own nails anyways 😉 I was shocked to hear about the rehearsal dinner!
I think I am getting spolied planning my own (eventual) wedding here in Europe, its wayyyy cheaper so I think that skewed things a bit. My venue is $500 for the whole day and it’s at a castle.
If more expenses are added, I will have a talk with her. I don’t want to pull the “I’m traveling a continent for this” card but I may have to :/ I also need to be added to the texting group, I find it a little offensive I’m expected to pay for this stuff yet have no say in it.
Post # 7
Yeah I really think the best thing for you to do is just talk to the bride. You can explain how all the expenses are really adding up in addition to your travel expenses, and you don’t think you’ll be able to participate in everything. You can also ask for clarification regarding the rehearsal dinner. Since you got this info all via your cousin, I would give the bride the benefit of the doubt until you at least talk to her.
Post # 8
Paying for the dress is normal. The hotel is a bit pricy but hopefully you could find another family member or two to share with.
The car rental is really not her decision; it’s up to you to decide how to get around.
Requiring you to pay for the spa day is unreasonable. The general rule is that if the bride wants your hair and makeup done a certain way, then she should pay for it.
Making you pay ($95!) for the rehearsal dinner is really beyond the pale.
Personally, I would step down. You’re not close to this cousin anymore and she’s basically treating you like an ATM. Why would you even want to be a bridesmaid in this situation?
ETA: Of course, talk to the bride first to verify that the cousin’s information is correct.
Post # 9
pebbletots : It’s not THAT crazy but it’s up there. HAving you pay for the rehersal dinner is ridiculous.
For my cousin’s wedding, she made me pay 250 for the dress, which she made me buy a size to obig because “I would get fat around christmas”, which I paid 150 in alterations. I spent 250 on hotels, she made me pay 150 to get my hair AND makeup done. That is not including my cross country filghts for the wedding and bachelorette party. Did I mention we where supposed to go on a bachelorette party while I was in town visiting family for 2 weeks inbetween jobs, but then she decided she was too stressed so I had to get ANOTHER set of tickets.
So frustrating. And she treated me like garbage. It may be normal to expect these kind of things, but I don’t get why it’s considered acceptable.
For my wedding, my girls can stay with family, and they can either pick one of the 100 dollar dress I picked out of them or they can go out and find ons of their own as long as it matched the color swatch and it long and chiffon. They cna do their own hair and makeup, but I do have a professional who can do everyone. They are adults and gorgeous ladies, they can decided what works for them. Personally I would drop out. I would have done it wiht my cousin, but we’re family and I was the Maid/Matron of Honor so I bent over backwards. But it ended up being the worst and most expensive bridal party bridal party experience I’ve had.
Post # 10
It does seem pricey, however when you accept the role as a bridesmaid, you accept the financial repercussions as well. If you cannot afford it, I would politely decline.
Post # 11
I would DEFINITELY turn down that rehearsal dinner. Thats supposed to be a hosted event. If Im paying for my own dinner I can just do it for 15-30$ at a restaurant of my choosing!
Spa day: another no. If its a requirement the bride can pay.
Rental car: no. Again if she wants it, she can book it.
there! I saved you $450 with the power of “No.”
Post # 12
I would skip the rehearsal dinner all together. It sounds like you’re subsidizing other people’s meals at that price, no way would I attend that. Also see if you can just get your hair done somewhere else and get ready solo, meeting everyone for pictures later.
Post # 13
In order of most to least reasonable:
Hotel: See if you can split the room with someone else in the bridal party. You can also just do the night before/night after and stay with family for the rest. Also, see if there’s a cheaper option nearby. Let the bride know your plan, as long as its reasonably close, she shouldn’t object.
Dress: She should have consulted you, but unfortunately this is pretty standard to me.
Day Spa: $200 for hair, nails and a facial seems like a pretty good deal to me, but it should absolutely be optional. Let her know you’ll be forgoing this but happy to do your hair and nails like the other bridesmaids have it. Even offer to practice and send her photos. If she wants your hair or nails professionally done, she should pay for it.
Rehearsal dinner: Noooooope. That’s supposed to be hosted. Let her know you’ll be at the rehearsal, but skipping dinner. A $100 dinner is WAY too much.
Rental Car: Noooooooooooooope. She doesn’t get to dictate that. Last minute errands are done by volunteers or the bride herself. It’s not on you to be responsible for carpooling everyone.
As long as your polite but firm, and explain that you’re still in a tight position due to unemployment, the bride cannot object here without crossing the line. If she does, offer to drop out before you spend another dime.
Post # 14
rao4400 : YES! You just put all my thoughts into words. Even if these costs are considered normal, when did it get to be acceptable?? Where I live, if I asked my friends to pay for this they would laugh in my face and tell me to get bend and I would thank them for it. At least being in others wedding has opened my eyes to what i will and will not do. I got lucky that in the past weddings I’ve been in, the brides were very chill and the wedding was resaonable for the bridesmaids.
I’ve declined 3 weddings this year because I can’t travel back to the US, my cousin is very down to earth and generally pretty reasonable so I assumed the wedding was going to be ok. If it keeps going this way I’ll have to politely step out as a bridesmaid. Thanks for sharing your expereince, sounded pretty awful :/
Post # 15
MrsBuesleBee : Thanks, that saves alot! Yes I need to get better about saying no for sure. Looking back, wished I had in the first place.
abl13 : Thats what I think as well. It’s in a rented restaurant in the city center so I’m thinking she had to pay a price and it fluctuates with the amount of people. I have a feeling some people aren’t paying this meal.
abwcmo : Yes I think I’ll ask the cousin who alerted me to all this if I can split with her for the weekend. Shes a millionaire so if even she thinks it’s all to expensive then… I guess I’m not being too dramatic haha. I was so pissed to hear about the rehearsal dinner, never have I heard of bridesmaids paying for that. Thanks!