(Closed) Northern/Southern USA differences?

posted 10 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 3
596 posts
Busy bee

I have no idea if these are cultural differences or not, but I suppose there’s no "right" or "wrong" if you guys have had different personal experiences that have led to your different opinions on these particular traditions and what not.  Also, I don’t think declaring someone right vs. wrong will make either of you feel better about this fight, this situation, and your friendship.

Right now, I think you should just let her know that while her experiences may have dictated that the Maid/Matron of Honor pay for everything (which I have never ever heard of but if that was truly her experience multiple times, then I can’t discount that), you cannot possibly do that to your Maid/Matron of Honor because it’s not fair in your opinion or experience.  You can also take this opportunity to give her an out by saying something like "It seems that we had very different expectations of BMs, but in light of this new information I respect your wish to bow out of the wedding", assuming you are upset and you no longer want her to a Bridesmaid or Best Man.

Just curious, when she says that the Maid/Matron of Honor pays for everything, what does that mean?  Is she expecting the Maid/Matron of Honor to pay for everyone’s dress AND travel to the wedding, shower, etc?  Wow!  I would NEVER agree to be anyone’s Maid/Matron of Honor if that’s what was expected.  Here’s a thought, why don’t you promote HER to Maid/Matron of Honor status?  Just kidding! 🙂

Post # 4
2640 posts
Sugar bee

I am in your camp, in that I think all BMs should offer to help, even if they are not going to the shower.  Whether the whole  thing is regional is something new to me.  But I have never been involved with a wedding in which the Maid/Matron of Honor is expected to pay all by herself.  (I’ve heard of MOH’s offering.)  I know there are some sticky situations when it comes to Out of Town BMs.  But I guess I feel for the poor Bridesmaid or Best Man in a scenario in which she’s the only in town Bridesmaid or Best Man, and has to foot the bill all by herself, because the bride happened to choose one Bridesmaid or Best Man who was in town, and the rest Out of Town.

On the other hand, you said your mom was paying for most of it, and the girls are only responsible for $75 a piece.  How big of a deal is that $75?  If it’s that important, I would think there would be a way to cut down on shower expenses.  Moreover, even if she’s being stubborn and you are right, it puts a bad image in my head that a bride is arguing with her Bridesmaid or Best Man to put more money into her own shower.  To me it also doesn’t soundl ike something that should warrant you discussing her stepping down.  I would simply let it go. 

I’m not sure if I’m reading too much into your post, but if you’re like me, you might secretly be thinking, "Hey, I did all this stuff.  I shelled out lots of dough for other people’s weddings.  What goes around comes around."  Maybe your even comparing how much you spent in respect to your income, vs. how much your troubling Bridesmaid or Best Man is spending in respect to her income.  Tough stuff.  (I can understand if for her wedding she required expenses of you, a Bridesmaid or Best Man, around $700, but was unwilling to pay $300 as a Bridesmaid or Best Man in your wedding.)  Other than that, I think unfortunately we cannot try to compare these things.  It’s difficult to know someone else’s true financial situation.  And with regards to a number of factors, can’t simply say what we are used to, what we think is reasonable, how much money we should spend on other people’s occasions, is automatically the standard of what others should do. 

Post # 6
700 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think one issue that I picked up from your OP is that the bridesmaid in question would have to fly to the shower.  I guess I am seeing things a little on both sides. 

I understand your view point, but if I were a bridesmaid and already was planning to fly to the wedding, then I would think that purchasing another airfare for the shower and another for the batchelorette party would be something that would definitely be optional for me depending on my personal finances.  I also think that if she’s not attending these events, she should not have to chip in.  I would not feel obligated to do so either.

Also, your showers and your batchelorette party are, according to ettiquette, your MOH’s job to plan, so (and don’t read this the wrong way) why are you worrying about whose paying for what?  Your job is just to show up! 

I would leave it up to your bridesmaids to figure out.  You don’t want to alienate or embarass someone with these financial issues that shouldn’t have even come to your attention. 

Post # 7
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

It is NOT  southern vs. northern thing regarding alcohol..It’s a religious difference which does not adhere to geography.  I’m about as southern as you can get and will be having alcohol at my reception..had it when I married previously too. 

Bachelorette parties and showers are usually spearheaded by the Maid/Matron of Honor but I’ve not been in one where ONLY the moh was to pay for them.  Nope.  We all pitched in and given monies to help throw the shower/bachelorette party.  I’ve even been a guest to a bachelorette party and given money to the b’maids to help cover too.

The duties of bridesmaid also vary.  Most often, the bridesmaid purchases her own dress, and pays for her shoes and buys shower gifts and helps prepare the showers and bachelorette party (if they choose to have one).  But THE BREAKDOWN and amount of involvement vary from bride to bride and what the bride can/could provide as a courtesy to her friends and what is financially responsible.

I’ve been in weddings where I bought the bm dress.  Most of the time that was the case.  I’ve been in 2 however where the bride picked up the cost.  I’ve also been in weddings where I got the bm dress, heels, but the bride bought us our jewelry (very nice matching jewelry) and provided hair and makeup on day of wedding…and I’ve been in weddings where I paid 100 percent for my transportation to the wedding weekend and some where I had the hotel paid for and another where they paid a portion of it.  No right and wrong, just what the bride deems financially able to provide for her bridesmaids. 

We all know the economy is tight right now and that’s pretty much all over the country and not a regional thing.  So I believe doing what you can to eliminate undue financial stress on a bridesmaid is important.  As for me, I’m letting them get a little black dress which I know 100 percent of them will wear again.  They can wear their own black heels (all of them have some) and I’m providing some very nice jewelry and some pashmina shawls.  I think they’ll be thrilled.  I am going to pay for a certain portion of their lodging too or negotiate for a killer discount (I’m good at that). 

I know that right now it’s tough for many..including the bride and groom.  But we have to be sensible.  If we have a friend who’s flat broke and can’t afford anything, it’s probably NOT fair to ask her to be a bridesmaid if you can’t afford to float her 100 percent of the way financially buying all her stuff and not fair to other b’maids either.  Maybe allow her to have some other honor..like a reading or the book…

Most of the weddings here in the south I’ve been to are very ornate.  Real flowers, good food, and tradition and of course, the grooms’ cake also.  I love Southern Weddings.  But the alcohol thing is usually something that’s relegated to the religion of the bride and groom and also the bridesmaid responsibilities are also imho dictated by the bride’s expectations and what the bride can REASONABLY help with.

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