Bridesmaid problem

Hi everyone,



I'll try and keep this short but just wanted some unbiased advice really.



My friend (not best, but close) got engaged at New Year and I was asked to be a bridesmaid. Then, I was proposed to in March and asked her to be one of mine! At this time I was just so excited and wanted to pin down a date and get the ball rolling.

I knew she wanted to get married next year too, so I left it to her to confirm a date with me and I could work around her. (I didnt want to tread on toes)



So, she told me that she was almost 100% a July bride, so with this in mind, we chose the end of August, the bank holiday. We started looking into booking people and told a lot of people it was the 25th August.



However, a month or so later, her venue completely messed up and they had already booked someone else in for the July date they were looking at and the only other date they had for 2012 was the 11th August - 2 weeks before mine.



She did a good job of hinting that we should move ours but we stayed quite firm. It actually caused a lot of rows between my husband to be and a lot of tears were shed. "Why should we move ours - it's not just something to change willy nilly" etc. I was stuck emotionally as I didn't want to upset my friend and also H2B.



Her honeymoon also caused a problem in that she wouldn't be able to have a full 2 weeks before having to return for our wedding, soooo in the end, we pushed it back a week and it's now on the 1st September 2012.



After changing the dates with the church and companies we'd hired I thought that was it and we could both concentrate on our weddings, hen nights and honeymoons.



It hasn't been too bad, but it's quite clear that we are having completely different style weddings. We're going for a relaxed, vintage village fete style wedding, with a chilled out honeymoon in Italy. Hers is costing £20k and the honeymoon is £5.5K with three destinations.



SO - the point of my email is this:



When being asked if I could pay for my bridesmaid dress, I was completely stunned, angered and upset. She is having 8 bridesmaids, and what with such extravagant costs for every other part of the wedding, to ask for her bridesmaids to pay for their own dress, just leaves me speachless! Actually - buying our own dresses was mentioned at the beginning and I said, what with my own wedding, I could pay a max of £50 towards a dress. This latest bombshell actually came from one of the other bridesmaids, who is a lot closer to her and said that, "It would ease the stress".



Please tell me I'm not being a completely selfish arse! Advice about what to do and how to go about this would be appreciated!

Posts

  • Our total budget is looking to be around £23k inc the honeymoon. This sounds a lot, but it quickly adds up; we're only having 50 day guests, but the per-head costs for food and drink exceed £100 pp; the evening buffet is costing £15 pp; we are putting £1.5k behind the bar as drinks at our venue are expensive. So, we are cutting back where we can: I'm making the invite and stationary, we're not having favours, I'm doing my own table-centres, we're having hand-tied bouquets instead of wired ones, we're not having cars, etc.



    Now, I'm having 4 bridesmaids, and we are giving them £100 each towards an outfit. They are allowed to wear whatever they want (within reason), and no way would I expect gifts. So I don't think asking BMs to contribute is a bad thing per se, even with a large budget.



    What I DO think is bad is if the bride dictates what the BMs wear eg she makes you buy a £300 dress that she really wants you to wear, and that you'll never wear again; that's completely different, and frankly, is rude.



    So I think it depends on how she's approaching this; I don't see a particular problem with her giving each of you some money, suggesting a colour/s, and letting you choose your own, so if you want something more expensive, you can pay the difference. Whereas if she is telling you want to wear, that's different. But I don't think you should focus on her budget; just because she is spending £20k doesn't mean she should have to spend x amount on the BMs, I personally don't think it works like that
  • You have 8 months to save. Either she is close enough a friend for her and you to really want to be each others bridesmaid, or she isn't. You both seem to be viewing the bridesmaid thing and the wedding thing in quite a money orientated way. If you were friends, you could talk to her, but you don;t seem to want to. Moving your wedding is irrelevant to whether or not you pay for your dress. No one forced you. She doesn;t owe you for it.
  • Quoted:
    You have 8 months to save. Either she is close enough a friend for her and you to really want to be each others bridesmaid, or she isn't. You both seem to be viewing the bridesmaid thing and the wedding thing in quite a money orientated way. If you were friends, you could talk to her, but you don;t seem to want to. Moving your wedding is irrelevant to whether or not you pay for your dress. No one forced you. She doesn;t owe you for it.


    I appreciate she has 8 months to save, but she presumably will have her own wedding to save for!



    LalaMrsR I think it completely depends on whether she is requesting that you buy a specific type of dress.



    If you have free reign and can get a dress that's within your budget then I don't really see it as a problem, but if she is forcing you to buy an expensive dress when she knows you have a wedding to pay for then yes I do think she is out of order.



    I agree with CBW that you should be talking to her about this, it sounds like you need to clear the air as well.



    Out of interest are you paying for her bridesmaid dress?



    xx
  • Thanks for the replies. There was a specific dress that was £150 and the suggestion was we could wear it again as it's versatile. I don't spend £150 on dresses, ever! I am planning on buying hers and my other 3 bridesmaid's dresses. I'm just not used to the angle she's taken - if you ask someone to be your bridesmaid, it's up to you how many there are and maybe if 8 is too many to afford all 8 bridesmaid's dresses, then maybe priorities should be made?



    Unfortunately, due to the date saga, things have been frosty since then really. We don't talk much now. It's quite sad that it is now like this, but I have done everything to avoid conflict and make sure she's not upset. I don't think she owes me anything for us changing the date - just maybe some understanding that we don't have a big a budget as her and our own wedding is being saved for.
  • NowMrsMackNowMrsMack Posts: 2,535
    Quoted:
    Out of interest are you paying for her bridesmaid dress?


    Not any more!!! image



    In all seriousness, if she is dictating which dress she wants you to wear, then she should pay, but if you are able to choose whatever you like then £50 isn't loads to spend on a dress you can wear again another time.



    But I totally understand your point!
  • Right OK, well I think that's unreasonable: you can't choose a £150 and demand your BMs pay for it; if she wants that specific dress, she should pay, no question.



    That said, I do wonder whether there is a bit of bitterness/jealousy on your part; you keep mentioning money, and the differences in your budget, and TBH I don't really see why it's particularly relevant. So you're having different weddings and she's spending a lot more, why does it matter?...
  • You pay for your BM dress, she pays for hers. Make a deal. How can she say no? I do feel that you are ready to be annoyed at her, so I look forward to the next instalment.
  • I wouldn't care if she spent £100k on her wedding - it's just the understanding of my personal situation (obviously this story goes deeper!) From what she knows, it's really surprising that she or head bridesmaid thinks I'll have £150 lying around. It's increasingly obvious we're so far apart now. I feel I've expressed my concern to her but it's like she's ignoring this or just doesn't believe me. A hen party to Dubai has been suggested and she knows this is out of my reach. But still despite telling her I am unable to afford such things, getting an email about buying my own dress really does just sting.



    I admire her for working all hours, having two jobs just so she can have her dream wedding. But I value my money too and appreciate all my parents are doing to make our day. I'm just dreading it'll will come to a fall out, because it's not worth it.
  • Stephb1986Stephb1986 Posts: 2,536
    If you feel that strongly about not paying for your bm dress why don't you stand down? You have plenty of other things to worry about like your own wedding without the stress of being a BM too.



    Steph xx
  • Nope, sorry, I'm with you. Either she pays her dress and you pay yours; or she pays your bridesmaid drees etc; or you set the budget on any dress you pay for. End of. Regardless of respective budgets.
  • RedVelvetRedVelvet Posts: 1,297 New bride
    I do agree that with a specific dress to that price, she should at least contribute. The reason I say not pay the whole thing, is that you get to keep it after the wedding is finished, so I wouldn't be offended to be asked to pay a little bit towards it.



    But, by the way you're talking, it doesn't really sound like you want to be her BM anymore, nor have her as yours. Maybe this is the underlying problem? I'm not saying this to be mean in any way, so I hope you don't take it like that, and I do apologize if I'm wrong.
  • I think you need to arrange to meet up, just the two of you and try and remember why you were friends in the first place! If it doesn't work out be honest with her, just say you've drifted and it would be best to not be each others bridesmaids. Its so easy when you're busy planning to only think of things in terms of the wedding, but this is a friendship you're talking about. If there's not a friendship anymore than surely everything else is void? xx
  • Quoted:
    I think you need to arrange to meet up, just the two of you and try and remember why you were friends in the first place! If it doesn't work out be honest with her, just say you've drifted and it would be best to not be each others bridesmaids. Its so easy when you're busy planning to only think of things in terms of the wedding, but this is a friendship you're talking about. If there's not a friendship anymore than surely everything else is void? xx


    I agree - you need to sit down with her and get back to the real reason as to why you are each other's bms, because you were friends!



    Good luck x
  • It doesn't even really sound like you even like each other that much to be perfectly fair, I'm not sure why either of you are being BM for each other?
  • singo44singo44 Posts: 3,420
    hmmm this is quite interesting......... i have x6 adult bridesmaids, and we are paying for their dresses (£120 e) shoes, shrugs and jewellery .......... i would not expect them to pay.... I'm a bit traditional like that, and i am dictating what they have.they did offer to pay for some things themselves..........but if i were being someones bridesmaid, and they asked me to pay for my own dress then i would.



    i do agree with CBW that this seems very money orientated - either you want to be her bridesmaid or not, regardless of cost. speak to her and clear the air.



    me and my friend are/were bridesmaids for each other, she got engaged first and her wedding was in sept - and yes we have planned completely different weddings - but it actually brought us closer
  • singo44singo44 Posts: 3,420
    Quoted:
    Right OK, well I think that's unreasonable: you can't choose a £150 and demand your BMs pay for it; if she wants that specific dress, she should pay, no question.



    That said, I do wonder whether there is a bit of bitterness/jealousy on your part; you keep mentioning money, and the differences in your budget, and TBH I don't really see why it's particularly relevant. So you're having different weddings and she's spending a lot more, why does it matter?...


    thats what i was trying to say!! lol



    i agree what does it matter??
  • It does sound to me like she is being unreasonable. Personally, I would be happy to buy my own dress if I could choose it.

    But if things are frosty and your weddings are so close...maybe it would be better to 'bow out' of being her bridesmaid?

    If she has laid the choice out of buying your own dress or not being a bridesmaid, I guess you have to respect her choice and decide which you want.

    Sounds like a horrible situation to be in, you have my sympathy!
  • JoeyClareJoeyClare Posts: 2,737
    My personal belief is that the bride should pay for her BMs dresses. If I couldn't afford them, I'd either cut down on the amount of BMs or not have them at all. I think this should especially be the case when the bride is dictating what the BMs are wearing.



    If you have agreed that you are going to pay £50 towards the cost, then I would stick to it. Have you asked if the paying for all your dress applies to you? She may still be taking into account the original agreement you made.



    The main thing to think about though, is whether losing a friendship would be worth it over the cost of the dress. It may be a moment where you grin and bear it and think of the bigger picture.
  • It seems to me that the thing you are really angry about is moving your date, which didn't seem to be her fault anyway if the venue made an error.



    If she's working two jobs for her wedding, yet your parents are paying for yours, I don't understand why you are getting upset about budgets.



    I think you need to step down. I'd be gutted if my bridesmaid clearly felt so negatively towards me. You can go your seperate ways and enjoy your days.
  • Bb5Bb5 Posts: 275
    Quoted:
    It seems to me that the thing you are really angry about is moving your date, which didn't seem to be her fault anyway if the venue made an error.



    No its not her fault the venue made a mistake but its not the OP'S fault either,

    her friend getting all upset and making her feel like she had to move her date, so she could have her wedding the same month and then a 2 week honeymoon sounds unfair to me, i would NEVER behave in a way which made someone feel like they should change their wedding date to keep me happy, that comes across as very selfish and if thats how the OP friend made her feel then imo thats out of order.



    Was the venue really booked up the whole rest of the year?? Really? or did she just want a summer wedding so therefore all of a sudden the OP should move her date to 'avoid upset' which i doubt the OP would have done if she didn't feel like it would cause trouble if she didn't.



    I can totally understand resenment if this was the case and would not want someone so difficult in my life. let alone be BM for them or have them as my BM, if it were me and the friend in question had a history or being difficult/expecting her own way all the way i would take this date moving as a final straw and cut her from my life.



    But then again i have had enough of being walked over in my life and am beggining to get a lot less tolerant of peoples crap, if you let certain people take the mick they will.



    If that makes me a cow then so be it! I would rather be a cow than a doormat.
  • MACisgettingwed the OP's friend did not force her to change the date. Try not to let your own past and feelings colour your response. To me, the OP and her 'friend' are both as bad as the other. They do not seem to get on and that is why superficial things are becoming important, Real friends would not act as they have.
  • Bb5Bb5 Posts: 275
    She may not have forced her no, but the OP has given the impression she would be 'causing trouble' if she didn't, therefore giving the impression she had been guilt tripped/pressured into it.



    Oh and people do tend to base their thoughts/feeling on matters on stuff that has happened to them/experiances as it helps them relate, maybe you don't but hey we are all diffrent.
  • Yes we are all different. Thankfully, sometimes, eh ?! Haha. I do not see that the OP was pressured, more that she made a decision and then held a grudge. However. And yeah unless on very emotive subjects I do try not to bring my own stuff into my replies. I don;t feel it is constructive or helpful. In some cases (not this one) I have seen it be very potentially damaging. So I try to step back.
  • MrsCloMrsClo Posts: 637
    MACisgettingwed you had some really specific anger coming out that didn't really relate to the OP's problem in fairness. She wasn't behaving like a doormat - it's not like she's rolled over and done everything that's been asked of her without complaint.



    My view: I think money can be a sensitive issue and perhaps it isn't a slight on your frendship, just a sign that you aren't so in tune with each other's feelings. I agree with some of the girls that if it was me I would offer her a choice (but not in a nasty way): a cheaper dress you buy, the dress she wants bought by her or you standing down from BM duties (you could offer to do a reading or something instead). Try not to let the friendship die (I know a few people on here think it's dead already but you can't really tell as an outsider what people's situations are). Good luck xx



    edited to close a bracket - terrible!
  • LilleaukLilleauk Posts: 370
    This is just the age old dilemma of whether brides should pay for their bridesmaids dresses.



    If brides are happy to let their girls choose their dress (within reason of course), then fair enough.



    Deciding to have 8 bridesmaids, then expecting them all to pay £150 on a dress they have no say in, is just crass. If you want that dress specifically, have less bridesmaids so you can afford it. If you don't want to lose the bridesmaids but can't afford the dress, be flexible in what they wear.



    Whether you will or won't get to wear it again is a matter of opinion, and is irrelevant if you didn't choose it yourself.
  • nats2013nats2013 Posts: 6,253
    are you two even going to want to be each other's bridesmaids by the time it happens??

    if she's not going to buy yours dont buy hers, its not tic for tat you shouldn't be expected to pay for your dress and then hers. you probably set the mark that she could push you around when you moved your date.



    dont get the dress dilemma tbh, my sister is my only bridesmaid so she can choose her dress, whatever she wants and i will pay for it, as long as she is happy and i can afford it without too much stress then i think the amount she is doing in her roll as bridesmaid and sister is enough to warrant a nice dress of her choice



    makes me glad i havnt got any friends getting married
  • Quoted:
    MACisgettingwed the OP's friend did not force her to change the date. Try not to let your own past and feelings colour your response. To me, the OP and her 'friend' are both as bad as the other. They do not seem to get on and that is why superficial things are becoming important, Real friends would not act as they have.


    I agree. I think the date and dress "issues" are a symptom of a friendship that has died out, rather than being actual real problems in their own right.
  • I wonder if the OP has spoken to her friend and if there's an update for us? xx
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