- 10 years ago
- Wedding: August 2008
i think that this is rather tricky in that it depends on the bride and what parts of the wedding are really important to her. it seems that the main importance is that you found someone after working hard to find a healthy relationship and you want to celebrate this union. the lesser import is how your BMs "look" on your wedding day. On one hand it is not unreasonable to ask your BMs to invest in dress that they can wear again but perhaps you did not discuss with ALL of them how much is a fair amount to spend. $228 for a dress (esp one that you did not choose) is not a typical purchase for some people. add to that the expense of a wedding gift, possible travel expenses and the bill adds up for each BMs. I am paying for two dresses for each of my BMs – it;s a cultural thing for us to pay for them. Some other brides have offered to help pay for half or some of the cost of the dress if they know that their friend has financial difficulty. I hope this helps – in no way was it meant to take sides. good luck and congrats on finding "the one." =)
I think it depends on what is normal for your group of friends. I have been in 4 weddings and every one has had an over $200 dress. I have never worn any of them again and unless it is to a costume party I don’t plan to. I have no complaints. I knew what I was signing up for when I agreed to be in those weddings. Was this a shock for your friend that you picked at 225 dress?
For the most part, (unless like twocities you are prepared to pay for their dresses) there are financial obligations that go along with being a bridesmaid and when you accept that position you should be prepared for it. I think she was out of line. And this is going to sound harsh, and i’m sorry for that, but I was in a wedding with a bridesmaid who constantly complained of the cost of everything: the shower, the gift we wanted to buy for the bride for the shower, the dresses etc. and it just made it really annoying for us fellow bridesmaids to deal with. [note: we offered to pay for her share, but she just really wanted us to do/buy crappy stuff for every part of the wedding].. I wish the bride had just made her a guest book holder or a reader- something that doesn’t carry the financial responsibility because it made everything SO much more difficult.
Hmmm, I think it depends on what your friend’s situation is. It could be that her financial situation does not allow her to splurge on dresses or that she really truly does not like the dress. Just because we (brides) choose a non-BM dress, it doesn’t mean that its in the BM’s taste or that they’ll ever wear it again. That said, I myself did pick out my Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses but I am paying for all of my BM’s dresses.
If your Bridesmaid or Best Man is a student or is not financially stable, $228 is a lot of money to spend on dress for a wedding. You have to factor in the other costs that she would have to incur as well: wedding gift for you, bachelorette party, bridal shower, shoes, hair and makeup. It all adds up to be a lot. If money is truly the issue here, maybe you can offer to pay for her dress or part of it?
Also, I think the fact that she told you she wasn’t upset w/ you (even though you know she was) shows that she probably wasn’t trying to purposely upset you. It sounds like she is willing to buy a $228 dress (despite not liking it) to be in your wedding. Maybe trying talkign to her and tell her how you feel?
I think when people agree to become a BM/MoH, they are also agreeing to the costs that come with the territory – the Bridesmaid or Best Man dress, hair and makeup, coordinating the shower, and the bachelorette party (if the bride wants all of the above). None of these events have to be expensive and can be creative.
It sounds like the real issue here is you have 2 people who value completely opposite things. You would spend money on really nice, fancy clothes. Your Bridesmaid or Best Man cares nothing for brand names and puts very little value on paying for quality when it comes to clothing. So by asking her to buy the Max Studio dress (I see nothing wrong with spending $228 on a dress that I look stunning in), it’s probably killing her to do so.
This story reminds me of my dad. He only likes Chinese food from Flushing because it’s cheap. I once took my parents out to a fancy French restaurant and when he saw the entree prices, he complained about how expensive it was. And while the rest of the family thought the food was good, he kept saying how the food was terrible and not worth it. The price totally colored his judgement on the food. So, I think the price of the Max Studio dress made your friend biased against the dress. She’s going to think that the dress isn’t worth the cost, no matter what. If you found a similar dress at Goodwill for $25, I can bet that she’ll think the dress is nice.
IMO, I don’t think it’s selfish of you to pick a dress that you want your BMs to wear. You are the bride and that’s your right. But I can also see why your Bridesmaid or Best Man is reacting the way she is reacting. And I think it has nothing to do with you personally. It does go against everything she’s done all her life (in terms of clothes shopping habit). I think she’s trying to suck it up by saying she’s not mad at you (knowing that it’s her Bridesmaid or Best Man duty) but sometimes you can’t help the way you feel and the "tone" is reflected in her voice and in how she said it.
I have no solutions for you but hopefully this will make you not be as mad at her.
I think that you normally go in to the experience of being a Bridesmaid or Best Man (which I have done several times) figuring that you’re going to buy a dress you will never wear again. Really, all I ask is that it be reasonably priced for a dress I will probably never wear again, and that the bride NOT try to convince me that I’ll wear it over and over! Come on, any dress I would really wear over and over would be a dress I picked out myself. What you mean is that YOU would wear it again. Its not the same thing at all.
I do think that it is reasonable to get some consensus from the BMs as to what is a reasonable price for a dress before you start shopping for them. If you have one Bridesmaid or Best Man who just can’t see spending what the dress you want her in will cost, the reasonable thing is either for you to foot the bill, or for the two of you to agree on some other wedding related function for her to fulfill.
Too expensive is sort of in the eye of the beholder – which means that if your Bridesmaid or Best Man thinks the dress was too expensive, then for her it was. Probably if your Bridesmaid or Best Man generally shops the clearance rack at KMart, she is in shock over the price of the dress. To make her feel like you are doing her some kind of favor in dressing her right for once seems to just add insult to injury. And it sounds like you knew from the start that the dress wasn’t something she would ever buy on her own, right?
I agree with Spruce08- when you agree to be a bridesmaid there is a financial obligation that you should also consider before accepting. It is that bridesmaids responsibility to let the bride know if her finances are stretched in anyway.
I am 33 also. I have a collection of dresses that I will never wear again (and I am really beginning to question why I even keep them). Each of those dresses cost well over $200 and no one considered the wearability I would get out of them. I am picking my maids dresses. I am not taking a poll and I am not even choosing black. I know that my friends primary concern is to reciprocate how accomodating I was to purchasing and wearing (with a smile) a dress that they felt would compliment thier vision for their day.
It is an honor to have someone stand up for you at your wedding, but is also an honor to be loved enough to be asked to stand up.
I think in general it’s a bride’s responsibility to discuss price with her bridesmaids before she finds a dress. You don’t want any of your brides to be shocked…perhaps if she knew you were aiming for a $230 bridesmaid dress she would have opted out. It’s possible that that amount of money truly is a burden on her and if she had known it she wouldn’t have been a part of the wedding or she may have moral objections to spending that amount of money on something she sees as superficial. As far as whether or not it really is too expensive…it depends on the circle you run in, but I think once you start to go over the $200 mark is when you should start being sensitive to people’s financial situations. Especially since it’s really simple to find black dresses that are less then that amount and that don’t look like bridesmaid dresses. And no matter how much you think a dress is rewearable it really just isn’t for a lot of people. I’d never rewear most of the "rewearable" dresses friends have picked for me. That being said, if all the other bridesmaids are fine with the dess and if she brings it up again give her the option to opt out of being a bridesmaid and/or offer to help pay.
I have a friend with a similar financial perspective. Even though we are very good friends, I chose not to ask her to be in the bridal party. It would inevitably have become awkward and I wanted to spare her any embarassment over finances. It will be enough for me to have her attend the wedding, and she can wear whatever she pleases. So I think that you were each a tiny bit inconsiderate of each other. Can you offer to pay for half the dress for just that one bridesmaid as a gesture of friendship? If you think that would embarass her you could ask her to help you with a specific wedding task (like addressing envelopes) then tell her you would like to pay for her dress as a thank you for her help.
I think you really need to consider the fact that anyone who hasnt been in a wedding before, has no idea what the actual cost of being a bridesmaid will be. I agreed to be a bridesmaid at my future sister in laws wedding at was blown away by what it cost me. Over $2000 and I didnt even know her that well at the time. You are thinking that the dress isnt "that expensive" but it ALL adds up. Whats next $100 shoes? a $30 necklace and a plane ticket or two for the bachelorette and wedding? Now that I am planning my own wedding, I am keeping that experience in mind. My bridesmaids are great, but cant afford extravagence. So, Im paying for part of thier dresses and planning all the big events near them (since Im the one that moved away). Maybe your post came across wrong, but it really seems like you are being insensitive. Who cares WHY she is upset about the price of the dress. She IS upset and if you are good enough friends to ask her to be in you wedding, then you should be good enough friends to care about her feelings.
i also echo the financial obligations that bridesmaids are basically consenting to when they agree to be a bridesmaid. I personally don’t think a $228 dress is THAT expensive but I also don’t know your bridesmaid’s financial situation. Maybe you can work out a compromise with her by supplementing the purchase price?
especially if she’s never been in a wedding before…she might not realize just how much cost it entails. if she’s like me (and has never spent more than $150 on a single piece of clothing) it might have come as a shock to her — it can be hard to part with that much money at once if you’re not accustomed to it. it sounds like she wants to make you happy and be with you on your wedding day, so a frank and compassionate conversation might be in order about expectations and future costs.
while there are finanical obligations that are inherent when you accept an offer to be a bridesmaid, please remember that it is a honor you as a bride are bestowing on a dear friend, not an excuse to squeeze whatever cash she may have out of her. i think people tend to forget that while a bride may be predisposed to spending money while planning a wedding, a bridesmaid may not be. and i also don’t think there should be such a high price tag on being a part of someone’s special day.
i’m not a bride but i have been a bridesmaid on a few occasions and each time the bride made sure to ask what our threshold was for the dress price [which was never more than $150], which was considerate on their parts, especially when i was a poor intern one year. and for me, my most expensive dress i bought that i DO wear over and over again was $60.
you don’t really say this but did you talk to your bridesmaids about what they’d feel comfortable paying before selecting a dress? it also sounds like you already knew her shopping style so it seems very odd that, knowing that, you insist that she drop $228 on a dress, regardless of the possible rewearability and then are put off when she refuses? i hope i’m not sounding harsh or anything. you should sit down and talk to all your bridesmaids about any concerns they may have, maybe find another dress or, if you’re in the position, to subsidize the cost of the dress in anyway if this is the dress you have your heart set on. good luck.
6x Bridesmaid and Im very opinated
I always felt that bride never considered the bridemaids pocketbooks before asking us. I once walked out on a dress and left it at the store because I foundout it was switched out with a $300 Bill Levkoff Dress that I would never wear again or AFFORD!
The bride knew my funds and also knew i was still in college and living withmy parents and waiting tables. I could not afford the dress, the accssories or the bridesmaid shower. I still attended the wedding and felt bad about buying a $30 vase as a gift. But I showed up smiled and spported my friend.
In the end the bride insulted me and the dress that I could afford to wear (as a guest!) and the gifts I gave her. We did not talk for a year after that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I ask brides to be considerated and DISCREET about there bridesmaids finances and offer to keep the dress chic, simple and wearabl
If your friend pays for the dress maybe she can receive the hose, shoes and manicure as a bridesmaid gift?
Meet her in the middle without going over your budget or ask her politely to step down and be the guestbook girl but include her in your bridesmaid parties!
Or heck pick out 3 dresses in black in 3 different price ranges and ask the bridesmaids to pick whicj one but tell the Maid/Matron of Honor to PRAISE the dress YOU REALLY want so that others agree with her, maybe that’ll help your friend to change her mind?(if she sees what everyone else likes?)
Be careful if you make her mad tho, you might receive towels from KMART in a Sak 5th Ave Gift Box. I’ve seen that done before and an embarressed bride walk out of Saks with a set of crappy towels!
Upset Bridesmaids become Gorrilas in a wedding war….
first off, girlfriend I feel you. I’m 32 and doing an Aug wedding but with 3 bridesmaids….errr matrons.
I agree with others that it depends on your circle of friends/financial status but like you, I’m a style freak and two of my mommies…. not so much. The one that is a style vixen finds her threads at H&M & asian persuasion, and though she always looks amazing, paying +$200 for a dress (mine are $350 say wha????) is probably out of reach. but those are my issues. lets talk about yours…..
Since your girlfriend has a clearly differing fashion sense, then you need to do the right thing and pick out a dress that YOU THINK will look fab on her and let her deal with that. If she can’t then she’s clearly immature. I’T A BLACK DRESS!!! HOW BAD CAN IT BE!? This is not high school prom. You are not 22 and getting married and putting everyone in matching french twists.
A solution might be that if you have each girl wear a different style of black dress then maybe you can find something great for her in the $150 range???
but alas….. this means more work for you. 🙁
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