Post # 1
SO I’m sure that this has been answered before but here we go anyway…
I’m a bridesmaid for a July 2013 wedding for a bride with expensive taste and an even crazier Maid/Matron of Honor. During our first shopping trip (with everyone except one Bridesmaid or Best Man and the MOH) we found 2 dresses we all liked. #1 is this long dress with ruffles and ruching.. it’s beautiful. BUT not only were we sweating within 5 minutes, it’s heavy, would need a lot of alterations and its a whopping $200. Dress #2 is knee length, airy and flowy (PERFECT for a summer wedding), is actually re-wearable and really doesn’t need much in the way of hemming since it’s short. AND its $99. Everyone really seemed to like #2…
But the Maid/Matron of Honor hated it.(quick backstory: the Maid/Matron of Honor is VERY pushy and has thus far shot down every idea the bride has had… and we all know from her current behavior that she is going to push the bride to choose what dress she (the moh) wants.)
SO last night we all recieve a message on facebook… she had gone shopping with the Maid/Matron of Honor and that the choices are now between the long dress or the short dress but to be prepared for the long one because the moh prefers it because of her body shape. (apparently we need to make a choice soon as the bride wants us to buy them all on the same day and she claims ta the store requires them to be paid in full on that day).
We’ve tried telling the bride that the Maid/Matron of Honor can have the long dress to mark her as Maid/Matron of Honor and the rest of us can have the short dress. All of us can afford the shorter one. Myself and the other Bridesmaid or Best Man who shares my opinion have tried telling the bride that after the dress/alterations/bachelorette party/gifts/hair/shoes/etc that the dress comes out to be much too expensive. We have tried making this clear to the bride but with the Maid/Matron of Honor yapping in her ear that we all need to look the same its like talking to a brick wall.
Trust me fellow bees; I’m not trying to be cheap here. But with student loans, rent, and other living expenses, a $200+ dress that I will only wear for a few hours is a bit too out of my budget. (the aforementioned Bridesmaid or Best Man that is completely on my side is a new mother so we know where all of her money goes).
So we’re putting it to the masses; WWYD?! Do you suck it up and chuck everything on a credit card and live with that debt or do you stand your ground and tell the bride no way?
Post # 3
I am sorry to hear about how stressful your experience as a bridesmaid has been. It shouldn’t be that way, but it seems like it often is.
Do both dresses come in the same color? If so, I ABSOLUTELY think that you need to go to the bride and suggest that she give the bridesmaids the option of either dress. That way, everyone wins. Maybe you should gently remind her of her financial situation. You could say something like, “I am so thrilled to be a bridesmaid in your wedding, but right now with all my other expenses, a $200 dress is a little out of my budget.” If she is a good friend, and I am sure she is, she will get the picture.
Also, I just have to comment that I am horrified at the MOH’s behavior. This is not her wedding, and she shouldn’t be controlling the show. If the majority of the bridesmaids prefer the cheaper dress but she wants the first one because it “flatters her body shape” she needs to prepare to make a compromise, or suck it up.
Post # 4
Did the bride have a conversation with each of the Bridesmaid or Best Man beforehand to discuss what each could afford dress-wise?? If not, then you need to let the bride know what you are comfortable spending and leave it at that. I made sure to ask each bridesmaid (privately, in person) what they were comfortable spending before I even looked at any dresses.
This bride really needs to grow a backbone and learn to make decisions herself. I don’t understand why one girl gets to make the decisions for everyone just be cause she is Maid/Matron of Honor. UNLESS that one girl is the bride.
My main goal is to make sure all my friends are comfortable and enjoying the process! Its been a pretty laid back process so far! Good luck!
Post # 5
Wow, I’m kind of appalled. I mean, I know brides like things their way, but the Maid/Matron of Honor basically getting the final say?? Also, TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS!?!? I could never try to force my bridesmaids to pay that kind of money on a dress!
Post # 6
I would suggest it to the bride to go with the shorter option, perhaps if all the BMs request it, she will consent. You can also play up the fact that it is shorter and lighter and better for a summer wedding so you ladies don’t melt.
However if that doesn’t work, I’d probably suck it up and get it anyway, and try to make cuts elsewhere (do your own hair and makeup?) wea shoes you already have, give a smaller gift, etc.
Post # 7
If the Bride won’t listen have you tried talking to the Maid/Matron of Honor since she apparently wants to make all the calls? I’m going to go ahead and assume though that with her attitude so far it might not make a difference and if that’s the case, I would be honest with the Bride and say you can’t afford it.
My Bridesmaids paid for their dresses and I wouldn’t have been offended at all if one of them couldn’t pay for it and couldn’t be a Bridesmaid or Best Man anymore. Who knows, the Bride might offer to pay for it for you. But I would back out. As a friend, she shouldn’t hold that against you at all.
Post # 8
The bridesmaids’ dresses that I chose for my evening, formal wedding were gorgeous, long, silk-taffeta gowns that cost $300 each. I wanted that specific color, and, unfortunately, that was the only long dress anywhere that I could find in that color.
However, I knew that not all of my bridesmaids would be able to afford to pay that much for a dress, and I certainly did not want anyone to experience a financial hardship because of my choice.
I offered to pay half the cost of the dress for one of my two matrons of honor as well as for half of the dress for the junior bridesmaid who is the daughter of my other Maid/Matron of Honor. Also, Darling Husband paid for two of the dresses, because they were for his daughters. He would have paid for his DIL’s dress, too, but she and my older SS were living with my Darling Husband rent free at that time, so he thought it was fair for them to pay for their own attire for the wedding. My other three bridesmaids definitely had the means to cover the cost of the dresses, and none of them expressed any concern to me about the price.
I definitely do not think you should pay for a dress that you cannot afford to buy. In my opinion, one of two things should happen if the bride and Maid/Matron of Honor select the more expensive dress: You and the other bridesmaid should simply inform the bride that, as much as you would truly love to be in her wedding, you are just not in a financial position to commit to the expenses involved in serving in that capacity, OR, the bride should offer to pay the difference between the cost of the dress you can afford and the cost of the more expensive dress that the Maid/Matron of Honor has chosen.
I completely understand that the Maid/Matron of Honor may feel more comfortable in the longer dress and that she has the “rank” and influence to push for a decision that is consistent with the dress she wants. However, if this is the case, she cannot also then complain to the bride that she cannot afford the gown. Therefore, the bride should not have to offer to pay the difference in price for her.
Post # 9
-_- *Hugs* I am sorry you have to deal with this. If both dresses can come in the colors she has picked than Yes stand up and let her know that this is much to much to pay for a dress. Yes it is her day BUT! It’s y’all money. And as a bride she should understand that. My Maid/Matron of Honor paid $99.99 and my BM’s paid $63.75 and my matron of honor paid $125.00 but she picked her dress. My BM’s had the same dress and my Maid/Matron of Honor & matron of honor had different dresses. Same colors and same material. So let her know it is 100% okay to have different dresses and her wedding will still look great. Maybe pull up some pictures of weddings where they have different dresses and show her that it will work, sit down with her and the other BM’s and have this talk. If after that she still says no, than you may need to step down as Bridesmaid or Best Man because it’s really not fair
Post # 10
I don’t think you should buy the long dress, and neither should the other bridesmaids. There’s no reason to put yourself in financial hardship for what amounts to a single article of clothing that will be worn for exactly one day. I made that mistake a few years ago. I was a new mom, had just moved back in with my mother after my relationship with DD’s dad tanked, and I was in no position to be spending hundreds of dollars on a dress. But my friend wanted me to be a bridesmaid so badly. The dress was $160. I bought it, and then, because of the hefty price tag, I couldn’t even afford the alterations on it, or pitch in/attend the bachelorette party (the wedding was 8 hours away from my hometown, I did not have the $$$ for travel). In retrospect, I would rather have just declined being a bridesmaid at all. I love that girl to death, but I just shouldn’t have spent that money. So I think the bride needs to understand that you simply cannot go broke or into debt for a pretty piece of fabric.
Personally, if I were you, I’d just go ahead and buy the short dress and that overbearing Maid/Matron of Honor can deal with it. What’s she gonna do, force the bride to kick you out of the bridal party? If the bride actually lets her do that… yikes. But stand your ground. One pushy woman’s wishes should not be dictating everyone else’s choices, here.
Post # 11
If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Also, I think that buying a specific dress because it fits 1 peron’s body type is complete crap. Can you and the other bridesmaids go to the bride individually and say that it is too expensive? Maybe if she hears it more than once it will sink in more effectively. Personally, I think that the Maid/Matron of Honor in the long dress and the bridesmaids in the short dress is a great idea.
If the dress alone is $200, then I would have concerns about how the other costs will add up. With alterations, shoes, undergarments, hair, make-up and gifts you could be in way too far over your head before you know it. Your friend, the bride, should not allow that to happen. I bought my bridesmaid’s dresses at Banana Republic on clearance for $17 each. I would never want my girls to have to charge anything or empty their bank accounts for my wedding.
Post # 12
$200 is a lot for a bridesmaid dress?
If you’re not comfortable paying it, drop out of the wedding.
Post # 13
At the end of the day, you wear what the bride tells you to. Plain and simple.
Being a bm is never a cheap endeavor. In fact the least I’ve spent in the 5 weddings I’ve been in is $500 once all the bills are totalled (dress, shoes, day-of beauty, shower gift…etc). When I was Maid/Matron of Honor for my best friend, I may as well have tripled that!
$200 is not a huge amount for a dress by any means. You could have been asked to purchase a much more expensive option. Yes, granted, it sucks that you figure you’ll never wear it again but make someones prom or special event worth it and donate it to a charity or try to get some of the money back putting it on consignment.
If standing by your friend is too much of a financial burden, you should talk to her one last time and either come up with a plan (ie. she pays half your dress) or respectfully decline the honor.
Post # 14
Its a tough spot. I think most brides want to try and be sensitive to the cost. If you can’t afford the dress you should let her know and offer to drop out of the wedding. Many brides would be happy to subsidize the cost and if not would appreciate your being honest.
I would really avoid any references to the Maid/Matron of Honor or other bridesmaids during the conversation. Those s/he said exchanges usually end up causing unnecessary drama.
Post # 15
Basically what it comes down to is the mother of the bride or the bride herself need to pay for the bridesmaids dresses if they are going to pick dresses that are out of your spending range. If they are not paying, then they need to pick ones that you can afford ($99) or chip in for the difference.
If they don’t want to do any of those things, then honestly I would just tell her you can’t afford it, and would rather just be a guest. I prefer to be a guest at my friend’s weddings, less cost for me and you still get to enjoy the day.
Post # 16
Maybe the bride could pay the difference, if the Maid/Matron of Honor is adamant about the $200 dress? Especially since it’s a dress you will not be wearing again.