Post # 1
My best friend is getting married in October and her wedding is more of a last minute affair; less than 1 year. Recently, she has been slightly demanding and high maintenance and her other bridesmaids have been less than cooperative.
Her sister is the MOH; however, all coordinating of EVERYTHING is being done by the bride. I’m not familiar with bridal party etiquette, but there have been some things that have rubbed me the wrong way and I’m not sure how to handle them:
- Bride is planning her own bridal shower, because she has no family, she has asked all of her bridesmaids to pitch in to cover costs. This was requested by the Maid/Matron of Honor, as a “surprise” gift. Is this normal; to, in essence, demand a gift from your bridal party in the form of cash?
- There are 7 Bridesmaids; 2 fully committted, 2 easy going whatever types, and 3 bridesmaids from hell. These women constantly say no to events that have been scheduled two months prior, they give constant push back on everything, and -although they excepted their role as bridesmaids – they aren’t involved at all. What do we do?!
- Everyone is on a budget and the bride is having a hard time understanding that; think champagne tastes with beer money. She wants the Cinderalla wedding of her dreams, rightfully so, but we have strict budgets we need to adhere to. How do we get her to understand that we want to be there for her as much as we can; but, we cannot do it financially? Money is a constant topic and it’s gotten old.
Help, any advice or opinions are welcome!
Post # 2
I would figure out how much I could afford as an overall budget for any and all wedding-related expenses. Then tell her that number and ask how she sees it broken down between Dress, Any other Day Of expenses she expects you to cover (shoes, hair, makeup, nails, etc), Shower, Bachlorette (if anyone is throwning one), and Gift. If you can afford $500 and she wants $200 dresses and a $200 contribution to the shower, that leave $100 for everything else. If she wants $200 dresses and a $300 contribution to the shower, then you’re wearing shoes you already own, not joining the bachlorette, and your gift to her will be a heartfelt card and your support on the big day.
Post # 3
1st of all, it’s bridal etiquette 101 that the bride CANNOT throw her own shower. It’s tacky and just comes off as gift-grabby. If she has no family to throw her one or you BMs didn’t offer to do so, then that’s just too bad. Then she doesn’t have a shower.
2nd, is it the Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses where you are all arguing over money? Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses can be expensive but most brides always try to work within their BMs’ budgets. How much money is she thinking?
Post # 4
this is excellent advice. OP work with the Maid/Matron of Honor and other bridesmaids to have a fixed contribution cost you can all agree to. IF you choose to go over, it’s at your own risk but no one should feel required to spend more than they can.
as for shower… yes it’s tacky but IMO either the Maid/Matron of Honor (or you since you seem switched on!) should really have offered to throw this for the bride… maybe that’s why the Maid/Matron of Honor is hijacking it a bit and asking for a contribution? btw. showers really shouldn’t be expensive, with that many bridesmaids you would all be well under $100. Do it at someone’s house, make finger sandwhiches and tea, get a few bottles of white wine for spritzers and play games. easy peasy.
as far as bridesmaids from hell? you will learn with more time spent as an intimate part of these things that there is always AT LEAST one bridesmaid that is incredibly difficult. let bygones be bygones, nothing you can do. If they don’t show they don’t show, hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
Post # 5
It’s not just the bridesmaids dresses, which aren’t that bad (about $140), its combined costs. The bridal shower, the bachelorette party, hotels, hair makeup, accessories, etc. It adds up. How do you say no to a bride? When we’ve tried to talk to her about it, she nearly exiles us from the bridal party. We’ve gotten into several arguments already.
Post # 6
She is asking for $150, per 7 bridesmaids. Thats in addition to the 3K the bride is spending on the shower. It’s frustrating. I love her and I want to support her, but financially I can’t. Also, I can’t even stand to hear about wedding costs. To me it’s simple; you shouldn’t have a wedding beyond your means and expect contributions. I feel like this is straining our relationship.
The Maid/Matron of Honor is throwing it, but the bride is controlling everything. The contribution was her idea to begin with.
Post # 7
That is really weird about the shower!! As for hair and makeup, I offered it to my bridesmaids but they aren’t all doing it, I think they are all getting hair but only 2 of us and the mom and Future Mother-In-Law are doing makeup. If they didn’t want to do hair either it wouldn’t matter to me but I wanted them to have the option! If she wants you to use her hair and makeup people she needs to offer to pay for it! She doesn’t get to dictate that if she’s making you pay. Same goes for the bachelorette, the bmaids should plan that NOT the bride and it should be what you guys can afford, if the bridesmaids all decide to do something you can’t afford even when you’ve told them, then you have no obligation to attend! I would feel awful if one of my friends was struggling financially just to do fun things for me, I’d rather have my girls over my house for a movie night and a bunch of wine then to have them not able to participate due to finances!! See if you can work it out with the bridesmaids but if not I’d just let the bride know that A)this is what you can afford and B) it’s not personal (which she should know but whatever). If she is rude about it I would honestly be straight with her and tell her she’s being rude dictating what you spend your money on when you’re doing everything you can to make her happy. Best of luck!
Post # 8
Oh I totally get that the costs add up. I’m in a wedding this August PLUS I’m planning my own right now. Money is tight!
Is the bride having you all pay for your own hair and makeup? Because I’m paying for my BMs’ as part of their gift. But in the wedding I’m in we are paying for it ourselves but it’s voluntary. Like, the bride isn’t MAKING us get professional hair and makeup if we don’t want to. Also, we’re allowed to wear whatever shoes we want? Do you have that option or is the bride making you buy specific shoes too?
Has the bride ever been a Bridesmaid or Best Man before herself?
Post # 9
I don’t think she has been a bridesmaid. Today I feel like crying. She said the dress money is due the 15th (199 bucks) and her bridal shower money is due too. I told her I can’t financially do that right now, so she goes “how about at the end of the month?”
I love her, but she has no concept of budget or value. Her wedding budget started at 25k and now its close to 45K. I had to ask her to stop discussing her wedding finances with me because it stressed me out. She’s my best friend, and I want to be there for her, but she isn’t very understanding. We’ve tried to talk to her about these things and she gets huffy. I’ve heard her talk about other BMs, so God only knows what she’ll say about me if I’m not compliant.
Post # 10
The bride normally doesn’t plan her own shower and then demand money from her bridal party, but personally I think the bridal party should be glad to contribute, as long as it is a somewhat reasonable amount. I have always understood that being a bridesmaid entailed contributing to the shower and I do not understand when people do not even offer, but that’s just me.
You can’t do much about uninvolved bridesmaids. That’s another thing that gets me – I know that on this site people think that all bridesmaids have to do is show up wearing the dress, but I think some level of involvement should be expected.
Regarding everyone being on a budget and the bride is not understanding that, I think I would need more of the story to understand that.
So the bride is paying $3K for her shower and you BMs are complaining about having to contribute $150 each? Ok…
Post # 11
I think she is asking a lot of you. I could not imagine what a $3K+ shower is gonna look like! Why does she need more money from you guys if she already has that much? I would do what you can but firmly and politely say there is no way you can giver her any more money. It might mean she doesn’t want you as a bridesmaid any more but honestly, she doesn’t sound like a good friend for demanding all of this.
Post # 12
I was just in a wedding for my best friend from home. Let’s see…I paid $175 for the dress, $100 for the bridal shower gift, $150 for the bachelorette party, $500 for 2 nights at the hotel, and $100 for the wedding gift. I leaned heavily on my Fiance to afford this. Good god, this is the first time I wrote it all out. That was a lot of money. I know the Bride would have been ok with me just giving a card for her gift, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
I could have cut corners to make this more affordable, and the bride would have been ok with that. The fact of the matter is, while bridesmaids should expect to spend a good amount on the wedding, the bride should give them some wiggle room, especially on things like the shower and the bachelorette. You need to put your foot down. If she talks behind your back then she is not a very good friend.
Post # 13
I really don’t mean for this to be rude, but if you can’t afford to be in the wedding, then you might be better off as a guest instead of a bridesmaid. While her budget may seem extreme, I think whats is being asked of you is actually normal- at least for the weddings I’ve been in. I know there are a lot of differing opinons on the bee about what is “required” of bridesmaids, a lot of which seems regional, so that may be effecting my opinion. However, if you can’t afford the costs and don’t want to deal with the drama, then be upfront with the bride. Either she accepts your concerns and reels in the demands or you step down.
Post # 14
I’d be bowing out.
Sit down with her and tell her how much you love her and how much she and her friendship means to you but that it has become crystal clear toyou that you simply cannot financially afford the costs of being in her wedding party.
Because honestly, it’s only going to get worse. Once you’ve bought that dress and have committed yourself to that extent, you will find it harder and harder to back out. She is already almost double over her budget. Which is insane, especially because the last 3 to 4 months are pretty darn costly so that is just going to shoot up even more. If she feels entitled to a $4000 bridal shower, what do you suppose her bachelorette expectations will be?? Clearly she is going to want a 4-day destination party somewhere. Can you afford that?
I’m telling you, your costs are only going to continue to mount. If you can’t afford this, get out now. If she is a real friend, she will understand. If she only wants your wallet, you’ll know soon enough and then it’s really no great loss, right?
Post # 15
I am aware of what is normal for weddings and generally they are not thrown tgether in less than 1 year; nor does the bride demand that her bridal party contribute to the costs of her bridal shower. At first I was very understanding, but as her attitude became more entitled and demanding, it has really started to bother me. Additionally, I understand that this is huge milestone for her; however, this should not be a life changing event for me, so much so that I have to forfeit my financial obligations to be in it. There is no “wiggle room,” and it has been all or nothing.