- 5 years ago
This is a question largely directed to brides but any bridal party members or those who have been in any sort of related dilemma are more than welcome to offer their advice. If you can make it through this long, rambling post.
My best friend and I are/were in somewhat different stages in our lives when she asked me to be in her Maid/Matron of Honor. She was in her second year of a great career, living with her boyfriend in a nice rental house. I was in grad school with 2 to go, living with roommates in a cramped apartment and just making ends meet. Despite living 45 min. away we’d remained close. Close enough that when she called me on the phone to ask if we could do dinner the next week I knew right away what she was going to announce and couldn’t have been happier for her. I was even more thrilled then when she asked me to be Maid/Matron of Honor at the dinner.
It’s not that my friend became a bridezilla, in fact she was much more wishy washy with everyone but me. Because I wanted to give her the “picture perfect wedding” she kept talking about I did my best to please her but as the months passed it became apparent that she just wasn’t listening to anything I was saying and couldn’t take any of my personal “problems” into account. I’m not ready to give up on this friendship but I really can’t ignore how for the past few months my feelings and self esteem have been somewhat steamrolled if I want to continue our friendship I want to sit down and talk to her about it, this was immpossible during the wedding.
A few days after asking me to be Maid/Matron of Honor I was struck by a drunk, hit & run driver. My car which I had completely paid off (My biggest financial accomplishment!) was completely destroyed and I was transported to the hospital and had to begin a journey of physical therapy and doctors for back and stomach injuries which even nearly a year later I am still doing. This obviously impacted me both physically and financially and while my friend was there after the crash (helped me pack the car, offered to cook me dinner etc.) when it came to the wedding it was as if this had not happened, she didn’t listen to me at all. In the summer months I was working 2 jobs, living at home and saving all the money I could for both school and the wedding while paying for a new car and medical bills. My family and boyfriend often told me how tired they were of hearing about the wedding because it was all I talked about with them and what I needed to do for it. (In the early stages I wasn’t so aware of the emotional toll but my boyfriend had created a list of things that, if I ever did to my bridesmaids he’d leave me, based off of the treatment I was sometimes getting from my best friend. He shared it with me after the wedding.)
I expressed that I couldn’t wear high heels not because they gave me blisters but because it literally made me feel as if my back was tearing in two and the doctor said I couldn’t (Which I would have ignored for the sake of my friend’s wedding if it didn’t hurt so bad), she didn’t listen to me (Until the bachelorette party months later when she seemed to suddenly remember that I couldn’t wear heels and she said I could go buy a flat pair of dyables for $30 after I’d already spent $60 on a pair of heels and the wedding was in 5 days with the Christmas Holiday in between.) She had vetoed multiple pairs I had chosen because they were strappy but turned around and allowed the other BMs to get those pairs because she didn’t want to tell them no. I ended up purchasing a pair I actually liked and was hoping that one day I could wear them again after I had healed. But we took pictures in the middle of a lawn in the middle of a NW winter and they were destroyed. Which the MOB literally told the BMs “Good thing they were only $60 and my daughter paid to get them dyed for you on top of her own shoes.” My wet feet and hurting back and student budget just didn’t seem to agree and the fact that the bride bought a pair of shoes that were on sale, discontinued and then marked down 40% because they were shop worn and so, under $20 didn’t make me feel very grateful.)
I said that my budget was completely taxed and well over what she had said things were going to cost but she ignored this and instead brought up how expensive it was to feed everyone. Which I suppose is the same problem except she had made the decision to choose that caterer while I really didn’t have the cash to pay for the additionals and that wasn’t my choice. (I wasn’t even getting a plus one at that time so it’s not like I could have asked him not to come to save her the price of a dinner) I would blame myself for the money issues if it weren’t for the fact that she ignored the budget that I had asked her to sketch out. She sent out links to bms with her choices of Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses all of which were $99 but completely ignored those dresses when we went to the store and offered no sort of financial support for the $50 jump in price of the dresses she pulled out. I tried to mention the money issue to her quietly but she literally walked off to find belts to go on the dress. Beyond the pricetag she again allowed the other BMs to bully her into letting them choose dresses she didn’t like (with straps and longer lengths) but demanded that I not try them on myself. I told her that when she said that I should order my dress “a size smaller” so I could have a goal to lose weight before the wedding I was really hurt since I was unable to workout in other way than walking and walking more than 10 minutes seriously hurt my back but instead of an apology I got a long story about how her personal trainer for the wedding wasn’t happy she was drinking slim fast but it was helping her lose the weight. (Maybe she was listening and that was her advice?)
To make matters even worse her mother put me into a terrible situation when at a housewarming party for the bride (The couple purchased a house a month after getting engaged) she introduced another one of the BMs as “The girl I thought that (brides name) would have as her MOH” to everyone and my best friend did nothing or apologized to me. This did in some ways set the mood for much of the wedding planning for me as much as I tried not to let it. It hurt! MOB also chose to put that particular BM’s name on bridal shower invites (alongside mine) rather than everyone’s names and told me to let the other Bridesmaid or Best Man handle the bachelorette.
The MOB often went out of her way to let me know that I was upsetting the bride in some way. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to talk when the bride called to inform me she was changing the color of the BMs dress to something completely different and when I told her this she got off the phone and called her mom, totally understandable. But I didn’t say “Eww I hate that color” or something similarly awful which another bm had said in front of the bride, her mom and everyone in the shop about the original color the day before. I said I had to go and I’d talk to her later but I was glad that she’d made up her mind. MOB also asked me not to discuss my own family problems with the bride because it would upset her. My mother had cancer and I wasn’t supposed to talk about it with my best friend? But i did as she said.
When the bride accused me of upsetting the MOB. I fired right back with how hurt I was by her mother’s insensitive comments, told her how I, a 25 year old women went home bawling multiple times after talking to her mother and the bride literally switched topics to the Bridesmaid or Best Man dress which seems to be a source of major conflict that I was unaware of. It was maddening but I was set on getting through this wedding and giving my best friend a good time so that after the wedding that person I knew would return, not the person who says insensitive, things doesn’t listen to me and allows other girls to push her around.
The bachelorette party was a mess, with me ending up having to be the designated person to get the bride and another of the bms out of the bar when they were completely drunk and walking them down a sketchy street where they felt the need to talk to sleeping homeless people. We hit more bars than was originally planned and one bm kept saying “It doesn’t matter how much it costs, you don’t have to pay for it it’s your bachelorette party.” She is right the bride didn’t have to pay but I did and I didn’t plan on paying entrances fees and the brides entrances fees for a bunch of bars and with my financial issues this wasn’t really a great plan for me. I had told her months in advance that I had to work the next day (no getting off work during the holiday season)after her bachelorette party because she refused to have it any other weekend. I know that alcohol doesn’t help these sort of situations but the bride bawled the entire ride back while the other bm shot me daggers and called me a b**** because I wasn’t drinking and joining them at the final bar, I had to be at work in four hours. The day after, the bride texted me to “help her better understand the situation” and when I explained she simply replied “Oh, We could have had the party today instead.” What this would have solved I do not know because if she had the party that day I’d not have been able to join them at all becuase I worked the next day as well.
At the rehearsal the bride had one bm tell the other bms that we were supposed to wear our hair down becuase that bm felt it would look better because the bride was wearing her hair up. I had spent months trying to grow out my hair to put up because that’s what she said she wanted, I’d asked if I could use some natural hair colored accessory to hold my hair up and she told me that she didn’t want the bridesmaids to wear ANYTHING in their hair besides bobby pins to put it up. The day of the wedding she said nothing to the two BMS who put flowers in their hair but complained about it to me later. Similarly when I asked her about jewlery she said I couldn’t wear anything but stud earings if I absolutely had to wear jewelry (I was already uncomfortable in my strapless dress and since I always wear a necklace I felt even more exposed without it so I did want to wear some sort of earings to counterbalance this and told her that.) Day of the wedding the other bms all had on jewelry and the bride said nothing but gave them dirty looks. I felt even more naked and even more hurt when the bride looked us over and said that my dress looked too big on the top.” but everyone else looked great.
As the grooms mother ran us through where we were supposed to be the next day and what we would do I asked about lunch the next day since we were there all day and it was an evening wedding. The bride said “we’re eating” and the MOB said “Don’t worry about it”. I took it to mean that lunch was going to be provided if it wasn’t I was going to pack myself some crackers and a yogurt and call it good. Come wedding day not only did they not provide food but my best friend had us order her a veggie plate, she pleaded that we get french fries as a side to the sandwich I split with another bm and she didn’t eat any of it (Nerves. I’m not mad she didn’t eat!) We got the country club bill and one bm had no money. I had to use a shared family credit card to cover this and the MOB sat there and said “I’m glad I didn’t order anything” after she came back from Starbucks with a drink for the bride and the bm she thought should be Maid/Matron of Honor.
When it was time for pictures the bride did two pictures with the bridesmaids had us take one with the groom and then proceeded to have a bunch of herself with the groomsmen and no more with any bridesmaids. I think that hurt more than anything becaue I’d always pictured myself having one of the two of us at each other’s weddings and we stood around while the groom and his best man had their picture taken. During dinner there was a mix up and the head table had been turned around so the bride and groom were facing away from the guests. Obviously they got up to change seats but only asked the best man move to too. I was told to stay where I was because it would be so obvious about the mix up. The centerpiece blocked my view of the couple unless I leaned all the way over.
So that in a “very large, yet condensed as much as possible” nutshell is my story. Since the wedding we’ve talked a few times and we talk about everything but the wedding, her job, her house when I’m going to come see just her not my family (not anytime soon, I’m working on still paying for my trip to the bridal shower) but in the back of my mind I can’t really forget the wedding and the few times something has been mentioned she changes the subject ASAP so I feel that she cannot either. Our friendship needs to be mended or end. As I said, I don’t want to give up on this friendship the whole “different stages of your lives” excuse that some people give for friends drifting after the wedding doesn’t hold much water because as I noted, we were at different stages to begin with. But I can’t forget everything that happened and everything that my friend refused to listen and acknowledge and she must have her own thoughts on what went down. I have no illusions that she will say her mother was “wrong” that is her family and I don’t want her to choose sides but I really want to sit down and have a talk with her. My biggest fear is that it is too soon after the wedding it’s been nearly 3 months but I haven’t been married and don’t know how soon is too soon.
What do you think? Should I ask her to talk about it now, should I wait? Forget it all together? She had a lovely wedding, I am so excited for her that she is going to spend the rest of her life with her perfect match and I want her to know that but I need some closure too.