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Help! I need your BM advice!

Hey! So before I selected bridesmaids gown, I polled all of all of my bridesmaids about their preference of gown (I gave them choices that ranged from $150 to $340).  Four of my six bridesmaids selected Jenny Yoo gowns (which happened to be my favorite) and the other two stated that they had no preference.

So, I chose crinkle-chiffon Jenny Yoo gowns and let them choose their neckline, so the gowns range from $315 to $340 depending on the style they choose.

The order deadline is in three weeks, over half of my BMs have already paid for their dress, and today I got an email from one of my bridesmaids stating that she cannot afford it. Even though you can pay half now and half in December, she says that she just can't do it. She asked if she could buy a knock-off instead.  She is always the most difficult of all my friends.

I understand being broke...I just moved to a foreign country for work and I'm living on almost nothing. I'm thinking about trying to send her $100 to her when I get paid in two weeks to help with the dress....I just don't know what to say to her at this point. Will I sound like a b*tch if I tell her no, please no knock-offs and even though I'm way more broke than you are, I'm going to scrounge money together to help pay for your dress?

If I do send her $100 to help with her dress, should I purchase her a BM gift or should that just  be it?

I hate that I'm so annoyed, it's just this isn't the first time she's done something like this.....she always seems to get me to pay for things (her drinks, dinner, excursions, and etc).  What would be the best way to approach this?
Just call me Mrs. Beard :)
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Re: Help! I need your BM advice!

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_need-bm-advice?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:37Discussion:1fdb1ca4-0110-494b-9c8f-8d727d8fa278Post:0dfd82b9-e65c-4893-8006-96e022ada753">Help! I need your BM advice!</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hey! So before I selected bridesmaids gown, I polled all of all of my bridesmaids about their preference of gown (I gave them choices that ranged from $150 to $340).  Four of my six bridesmaids selected Jenny Yoo gowns (which happened to be my favorite) and the other two stated that they had no preference. So, I chose crinkle-chiffon Jenny Yoo gowns and let them choose their neckline, so the gowns range from $315 to $340 depending on the style they choose. The order deadline is in three weeks, over half of my BMs have already paid for their dress, and today I got an email from one of my bridesmaids stating that she cannot afford it. Even though you can pay half now and half in December, she says that she just can't do it. She asked if she could buy a knock-off instead.  She is always the most difficult of all my friends. I understand being broke...I just moved to a foreign country for work and I'm living on almost nothing. I'm thinking about trying to send her $100 to her when I get paid in two weeks to help with the dress....I just don't know what to say to her at this point. Will I sound like a b*tch if I tell her no, please no knock-offs and even though I'm way more broke than you are, I'm going to scrounge money together to help pay for your dress? If I do send her $100 to help with her dress, should I purchase her a BM gift or should that just  be it? I hate that I'm so annoyed, it's just this isn't the first time she's done something like this.....she always seems to get me to pay for things (her drinks, dinner, excursions, and etc).  What would be the best way to approach this?
    Posted by kbramp[/QUOTE]

    <div>Did you pull each girl aside and ask them what their budgets were BEFORE you picked these 6 dresses to choose from? Or did you just pick them and ask them which ones they liked? because if one of my friends showed me 6 dresses and didn't give me a price on them, I might actually pick the most expensive one. Your dresses are extremely expensive for bm dresses. You do realize that they only get worn once right? That's a LOT of moolah for one time use, don't you think? Even $200 is a lot. </div><div>
    </div><div>If I were you, I would first ask her what she can afford. If it's less than $100 of what the total is, pay for the difference. No problem then, correct?</div><div>
    </div><div>If the amount she can afford is no where near the total (say $150) I'd let her pick another dress is the same color or something from her closet. you picked her as a bm because she's your friend and you can't imagine her not being there with you. What does a little dress matter? It shouldn't. </div><div>
    </div><div>If this is her first time doing this, which you said, then I would take this as a sign that she does want to be a bm and she really is strapped for cash. I'd go easy on her. It's not easy nor is it exciting to tell someone (especially someone close) that you don't have any cash. Give her some slack.</div>
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    Your mistake was going with the top of the money scale.  If the range given was between $150 and $340, then picking the $340 dress is rude to the girls that gave you the $150 price.  If she can't afford it, she can't afford it.  She is an adult and her finances are not yours to spend.


    Honestly, you need to cover anything over the price she gave you.  Don't say anything to her to make her feel guity.  Just cover it.  It should not be her gift.  You need to do something else for her gift.

    What is more important to you?  Having your dear friend stand next to you on your wedding day or freaking over $165?
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    It sounds to me like you asked their preference of gown, but didn't ask for their budgets. There is no way I would pay $340 for BM dress, even if I could afford it. It is a dress that is worn ONCE (even if brides think "you can just shorten it and wear it again...haha"). I would definitely find out what she can afford and either pay the difference, or let her choose a dress in the same color and length in HER budget. Why, if you, as the bride are so strapped for cash, would you think your BMs wouldn't be?
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    $300+ is INSANE for a bridesmaid's gown. It doesn't seem like she's just trying to mooch off you here. $300 for a dress she'll wear once is a LOT to ask.

    And even though you said you gave them a choice, realize that the way things are phrased may paint them into a corner anyway. If you said, "The Jenny Yoo is my favorite but we can go with something else if you really want," they may have felt pressured into saying yes so they didn't disappoint you. If you did a group meeting or CC All e-mail and 4 girls said the expensive Jenny Yoo was O.K., the other two may have felt embarrassed to admit that they couldn't afford it.

    And many good friends will just say, "I'll do whatever you want, it's your wedding" to be nice, or out of fear of being labeled cheap, or being whispered about as the "biitchy bridesmaid" that shot down the bride's dream dress. My own two BMs responded to my budget inquiry e-mail with, "Well, I'd prefer to spend under $200, but if you want something pricier then I'll buy it because it's your wedding and I want you to be happy."

    I would find cheaper dresses for everyone, or allow all the girls the choice of a similar but cheaper one if they want ... maybe do half in the Jenny Yoo if they want to buy them, and the other half in a more reasonable dress in your other wedding color.
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    That's A LOT of money for a BM dress, in my opinion.  I would never be able to afford to pay that much for a dress, ever. 

    It's unclear to me whether she agreed to the price beforehand or not...you say you "polled" your BMs, but I'm not sure if you mean just on the look of the gown, the price or both.  Did you ask her privately and did she tell you that she was willing to pay up to $340 for a dress?  If she did, it's possible that her financial situation has changed since then.  If she says she can't afford it, then she can't. 

    This would be a no-brainer for me.  I'd let her find a similar dress that she can afford.


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    That is so much money...for a dress. Really, it is quite expensive. Why not let her buy the "knock off" usually it's just an online seller who can get it for less and it's the same thing anyway.
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    Let me clarify.

    I gave the girls a range of gowns WITH the prices attached. This particular bridesmaid said that she did not have a preference and she was aware of what the gowns cost. She can pay half now and half in December....and I can throw $100 on top. She makes more money than I do, her rent is half of what mine is, her credit cards are a drop in the bucket compared to mine (moving cost several thousand dollars)....my issue is that she always expects me to pay for everything.

    Just call me Mrs. Beard :)
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    jagore08jagore08 member
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    edited September 2010
    We've given honest opinions.  You may think it's snarky but it's good advice.  
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    Oh boy did you screw up in several ways:

    1.  You did not get their budgets before looking for BM dresses.  You presented them with options that ranged from reasonable to flucking astronomical.

    2.  You chose a dress that is objectively very expensive for a BM dress.  I would not spend that much on a BM dress, not even for my best friend.  It's ridiculous to ask someone to spend that much money on you.

    3.  You are making assumptions about her financial situation.  So what if she CAN spend that much on you.  She doesn't want to.  I wouldn't want to.  $300 is really over the top.  Even if you knew her financial situation (and I assure you that you don't know it entirely), it is wrong to tell her how to spend her money.  She agrees to spend a certain amount, you find something within that amount.  That's how it's done.  

    4.  You need to find a new dress or pay for this one.

    5.  I don't care that she makes you pay for everything and this is now your chance to "get her back"--$300 for a BM dress is something only a bridezilla will demand.
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    Just saw your response.  I think it's good to ask her what she's comfortable spending.  And you'll find another dress you love even more that's in her price range.  I "knew" what I wanted my BMs to wear but it looked terrible on them so they suggested something else that I wound up loving even more and looked fab on them.  Keep an open mind.
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    Final thought: You seem really bitter toward this girl for a host of reasons.  Why did you ask someone you don't seem to like very much to be in your wedding?
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_need-bm-advice?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:37Discussion:1fdb1ca4-0110-494b-9c8f-8d727d8fa278Post:c089150d-d842-454b-bcf3-130c769a19b5">Re: Help! I need your BM advice!</a>:
    [QUOTE]I just sent her a message asking for what she can afford. I'll find some way to pay for the rest. Thanks for the advice, albeit snarky. 
    Posted by kbramp[/QUOTE]

    <div>No one was snarky in the least. You asked a question and you got answers. They weren't necessarily what you wanted to hear.</div>
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_need-bm-advice?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:37Discussion:1fdb1ca4-0110-494b-9c8f-8d727d8fa278Post:b4243784-95d0-4843-8367-ab13e93d1517">Re: Help! I need your BM advice!</a>:
    [QUOTE]She makes more money than I do, her rent is half of what mine is, her credit cards are a drop in the bucket compared to mine (moving cost several thousand dollars)....my issue is that she always expects me to pay for everything.
    Posted by kbramp[/QUOTE]

    You never know what someone is going through financially because that is their personal business.  You might not be aware if she's having trouble because she mgiht be keeping it to herself.  I know I would keep it to myself if we ran into some trouble with money.

    It sounds like you're frustrated because this is not the first time an issue of money has come up between the two of you.  However, you obviously love the girl (despite any past money issues) if you asked her to stand up in your wedding.  If she can find a similar dress that she can afford, then what is the big deal?  No one would be strained financially and your friend will be there with you on your wedding day.  Problem solved!

     
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    I really didn't think I was crazy....I liked them, but if everyone else liked the less expensive dresses, I was okay with going that way. I told one of them my preference of dress, but didn't broadcast it to all of my BMs. When they picked the dresses, I told them "Don't buy me a gift, don't throw me a shower. Do whatever you want about shoes/hair/makeup." I didn't DEMAND they purchase a $300 gown.....I gave them the choice. No...I didn't ask for their budgets, but I showed them a range of prices within the look I was going for.

    I don't think I'm being a bridezilla; we settled on a dress, and now it's too late to go another direction since so many of the girls have already shelled out a ton of money.

    Maybe that's where we're all different......I WOULD buy whatever dress my friend chose for her wedding day if they asked me to. I guess I see it as being supportive. I don't see it as a calculated, bitchy move....it's just their choice.
    Just call me Mrs. Beard :)
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    Well, you picked a $300 dress and told this girl she had to buy it and were ready to tell her she couldn't buy a similar one that was cheaper...so if that's not demanding she spend $300 on a dress, I don't know what is.
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    You're denying that you did anything wrong here and that it's all this girl's fault.  Until you admit that you did a couple things wrong here, you're not going to resolve this.  I hope you take a step back and realize that 1) people are more important than dresses and 2) you do not get dibs on someone else's money.  You'll be happier for it.
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    OP, you're being ridiculous. $300 is a LOT for any dress, ever. Stop complaining about her finances. Don't even pretend you know anything about them, because chances are, you don't.

    Why are you so against the knock off thing? If she's only going to wear it once, any kind of "quality" sacrifices will most likely not even manifest themselves in the few hours it takes to have your wedding.

    No one was being snarky. We were all saying "$300 is a lot, did you ask for their budgets, why don't you like the knock off, etc." No one said "Well isn't, SOMEONE being a bridezilla!" or anything in that tone whatsoever. Learn the difference between snarky and honest.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_need-bm-advice?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:37Discussion:1fdb1ca4-0110-494b-9c8f-8d727d8fa278Post:4e912edd-dba7-4d97-a700-144fd37f563b">Re: Help! I need your BM advice!</a>:
    [QUOTE]I really didn't think I was crazy....I liked them, but if everyone else liked the less expensive dresses, I was okay with going that way. I told one of them my preference of dress, but didn't broadcast it to all of my BMs. When they picked the dresses, I told them "Don't buy me a gift, don't throw me a shower. Do whatever you want about shoes/hair/makeup." I didn't DEMAND they purchase a $300 gown.....I gave them the choice. <strong>No...I didn't ask for their budgets, but I showed them a range of prices within the look I was going for.</strong> I don't think I'm being a bridezilla; we settled on a dress, and now it's too late to go another direction since so many of the girls have already shelled out a ton of money. Maybe that's where we're all different......I WOULD buy whatever dress my friend chose for her wedding day if they asked me to. I guess I see it as being supportive. I don't see it as a calculated, bitchy move....it's just their choice.
    Posted by kbramp[/QUOTE]

    <div>The "look" should come after you had an individual conversation about each girl's budget, not the other way around. The best thing you can do to resolve this situation is ask what your friend can afford and split up or let her pick another similar dress in her price range. </div><div>
    </div><div>Making a big deal out of a dress that your BMs didn't have a input with pricing is kind of  Bridezillaish.</div>
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_need-bm-advice?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:37Discussion:1fdb1ca4-0110-494b-9c8f-8d727d8fa278Post:4e912edd-dba7-4d97-a700-144fd37f563b">Re: Help! I need your BM advice!</a>:
    [QUOTE]Maybe that's where we're all different......I WOULD buy whatever dress my friend chose for her wedding day if they asked me to. I guess I see it as being supportive. I don't see it as a calculated, bitchy move....it's just their choice.
    Posted by kbramp[/QUOTE]


    So, apparently, true friendship equates into going into debt instead of just being honest and saying, "I can't really afford that"?
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    OP, it would take me two week's worth of pay to afford your dress. Granted, I'm only a student and work 20 hrs/week but still. It's just a lot of money and even if you were my greatest friend, I would still have to say "I can't afford that if I want to eat too."
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    OP, if everyone on here is telling you that you are doing something wrong then man up and admit it.  Not asking for each persons budget privately is wrong.  You may spend $350 on a dress but obviously not everyone in your WP is.  And don't forget about the cost of alterations and whatever else needs to be purchased (accessories, hotel, etc.).  Ask her what she's comfortable spending on a dress and make up the difference.
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    I hope this dress is so stunning that it's worth losing a friend over because I TRUE friend would not act like you.
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    People's financial situations change and not everyone has the same bills.  To put the cost of the dress in relative terms, $300 could feed me for a month or buy a ton of staples for my wardrobe.

    Open it up to any fabric if some of her other dresses are less expensive in a different fabric.  Or find out her budget and pay for the difference.  She might be able to find a dress within her budget (with or without your financial help, depending) on ebay, another used dress site, or from an authorized wholesale retailer (RK Bridal, Jay's Bridal, Pearl's Place, NetBride).

    http://www.recycledbride.com/listing-by-category/Bridesmaids?filters[designer_id]=48&filters[color]=&filters[price]=&filters[state_province]=&filter.x=17&filter.y=18

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    How long ago did you pick these dresses out? Her budget could have changed.. and from the sounds of it, it seems like you picked out a variety of dresses at different prices, but you seemed to be "favoring" the higher price tag. Did you ask them in front of all the BM's?? If she said she has no preference, it means she didn't want to be embarassed by choosing the cheapest dress!!

    That being said...I understand wanting the dresses to match, it would drive me crazy too if they didn't, so in this situation (since you put yourself in it) YOU need to pay for the rest of her dress. Whatever she replies to how much she can afford, you need to offer to pay the difference. Oh and get her a gift, that looks tacky on your part when all the other BM's get a gift and she doesn't. It's not her fault you have expensive taste. It also will look extremly rude of you and probably embarass her.
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    If she's the type to always mooch I can understand frustration.

    BUT, I have to agree with PPs and say that you should have handled things differently.  It's sort of a loaded thing to say, "What do you think of these dresses?"  Did they even know that they were buying them or could they have thought that you were going to help?

    I also have to echo PPs that $300 is a HUGE amount for a BM dress.  I wouldn't just spend that kind of money on a dress because that's what a good friend would do.  A good friend wouldn't put me in that position in the first place.  Just remember - the friendship does go both ways.  You shouldn't be asking too much of her either.

    And please don't think "I know how much she makes" as a way to justify asking her to spend so much.  My MIL would pull stuff like that with DH and me and it annoyed us to absolutely NO end.  We'll spend our money as WE see fit - not as someone else does.
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    It seems like the OP asked the bridesmaids to choose a dress from a selection of dresses with the prices.  Four people expressed the preference for the Jenny Yoo dresses, and the other two (including this girl) didn't express a preference. 

    Maybe the OP should have asked them separately about which dresses they liked, but it's not like she chose the $300 dress herself and shoved it on the BM's.  This BM could have also contacted the OP separately before the final decision was made and said that she couldn't afford the dress, but she didn't.  Now, some BM's have already bought the dress so it's too late to go back now.

    OP, you can either let this BM buy a knock off dress or some other similar dress
    or help the BM pay for the dress yourself.  I know you want all matching dresses, but in the end, the relationship between you and your friend is more important than the dress.  Good luck.
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    My concern about the way the OP asked is could it have been presented in a loaded way?  If someone said to me, "Which do you like better?"  I'd be honest and I love the Jenny Yoo dresses.

    That said, I wouldn't spend Jenny Yoo prices on them at all.   I looked at the bridal salon where I got my gown and saw what they wanted for the Jenny Yoo line and immediately knew that they weren't going to work.

    BUT, what about Ebay?
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    There's nothing you can do about the dress choice now that the other BMs have paid for it.  My question would be, what is your concern in her buying a "knock off" of the same dress?  Find out what she's comfortable spending and either work with her to help her pay for it or find a cheaper version of the dress.


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    That's almost as much as my wedding dress.  That is absolutely insane.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_need-bm-advice?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:37Discussion:1fdb1ca4-0110-494b-9c8f-8d727d8fa278Post:960449fe-f6a8-48f3-8ac8-f47e25710ea3">Re: Help! I need your BM advice!</a>:
    [QUOTE]That's almost as much as my wedding dress.  That is absolutely insane.
    Posted by justinsfiancee[/QUOTE]

    I was just thinking the same thing... These BM dresses cost almost as much as my wedding dress... My girls all got their dresses for less than $150 and I also told them they could pick ut their own shoes, they didn't have to get their hair/makeup/or nails done...

    Good luck with however this turnsout b/c obviously now you are in the middle of a very dangerous minefield where both you and your BM share some of the blame...
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