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The issue is not the dress. The issue is you expected more of your sister than the person she is. First, hang around here for a while, you'll realize your expectations were out of line when it came to your wedding, the only job of a bridesmaid for a wedding is show up in the desired attire relatively sober the day of the wedding, stand and smile for some pictures, and done. This isn't a paid position, so it's not a "job". Anything more than that is window dressing and gravy. Next, you've said what her personality is like, accept her for who she is even if you wouldn't choose to be in the same room with her if she wasn't your sister, and adjust your attitude accordingly and be firm with your boundaries.
Now, for the dress, being plus-size sometimes SUCKS! You know what looks good on your body and what the designer has for styles. I order my formalwear from online because I can get what I want in the size I need, it's just as much a risk for me as going in to a salon and usually FAR less money. You need to be a more savvy shopper in the internet era, google the designer and color, you have your measurements to know sizing, find someplace more budget friendly (there are some good consignment shops online as well), and go with it. The designer and color are constant, where you get it from, not so much. You may find a place online for half the price, or, pick a style, pick up the phone "I need X Dress by Y Designer in Plumbleberry Purple, in size Z, what's the best price you can do?" and you WILL find one who is more budget friendly than another (order it for "get it here as soon as humanly possible without a rush fee" btw... And be done with it! Alterations are often optional, a spool of thread and a needle can tack most things in to place and hems are a couple hours of your time unless there's lace involved.
Most of all - if you want out, SAY SO! Just say "You know, love you sis, but I want to enjoy your wedding from a pew and maybe help out here or there without the responsibilities of being a bridesmaid!" If you want out, do it now! She is not going to change her personality for her wedding! And, sometimes it's just more fun to come in and help with the things you want to and leave when you're tired of dealing with her because "Starbucks closes at 8!" and smile all the way to the car because you're not part of the shi*show by cutting it off at the pass!
P.S. She hasn't given you the shoe, makeup, and hair info yet, be aware that is coming with this type of personality so you aren't blindsided. She already doesn't care about your budget, she isn't about to start any time soon!
Take on a second job for some part-time hours or rework your size of event. $70 is INSANELY reasonable for that many tables and chairs. Otherwise, rethink your choice in location and move to the local park/shelter house or community center/town hall that will have this included. Some hotels even offer a meeting room for that size of event on a non-peak day for near that budget (what is the value of your time to pick up the rentals and return them)...
WTF is wrong with having an AF event - Anyone ever heard of the term "Mocktails"... GM really needs to look up "Enabler" if the only reason her family shows up is for free alcohol js...
Hostess fail, "They don't know what they don't know" - be forgiving because it could be FAR worse!.. My money would be on... "Bride and groom aren't inviting everyone that is invited to the luncheon that M/GM/etc. is hosting and they know enough not to call it a shower even though it really is and they're not too thrilled with the bride/groom's cutting of the otherwise guest list for their family circle per traditions of old where weddings were more of a social/society/family reunion style event than otherwise..."
The thing to remember about registries is that they're only a guideline, not a "required to purchase off of" thing. If you don't like anything or it's over your budget, be mindful of the recipient, and get what you want to give them.
LW needs a week away from the kid to de - stress and learn how to parent a child with her son's issues (Indigo, ADD, heck - many of the things listed are NORMAL behaviors for a 9yo child dealing with abandonment from a parent of the same gender issues!...) - take care of the caregiver, which it doesn't sound like she's doing (the underlying systemic issue that SHE has... Stress, constantly being "on", and coping..) The question is what is the reason the Dad is out of the picture, and can anything be done to change that.
And the kid needs more affection from her, he's clingy for a REASON! (and not just because he's 9, enjoy it while it lasts!) Sometimes having boundaries that the 9yo uses words to say "Mom - I am __(stressed, lonely, sad, tired, need reassurance things are o.k., miss Dad, etc.)____ and need a hug" and give the kid a hug! It's amazing how when that line of communication gets opened, it cuts down on the clinginess levels because they know it's o.k. to express what they're feeling, ask for the affection with a clear boundary, and most of all, validate that the child's feelings are their feelings, and work through them if necessary to help the kid develop the proper coping mechanisms for life! It's not unusual to be "touched out" as a parent. The kid also could use something like Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or Boys & Girls Club, Scouts, 4-H, Lego League, Chess Club, etc. that he can get out and interact with other kids where he'll learn appropriate behaviors and develop that peer group.