Wedding Party

Prices skyrocketing....

I'm a newlywed who is supposed to be in the wedding for one of my bridemaids. The wedding was going to be in our hometown but now it looks like the wedding might be out of state (out of driving distance). She has picked the dresses (hers and ours), the groom's attire and rings, but no date and location yet, although she's leaning toward the holidays next year. I just looked at the dress she picked online and it's out of my price range. Add on top of it the plane tickets my husband and I now have to buy, the hotel we're going to need to reserve during the holidays, showers, bach party, time off work and gifts and I just don't know how I'm going to afford all this! A budget was never discussed and now I'm wondering if I was hasty in agreeing to be in this wedding.
I haven't met the MOHs but the bride says that they are just going to plan things like the shower, etc- which I'm afraid means that I will end up paying for things I didn't plan on yet again. How can I get the bride to give me a realistic price range, including dates, etc? Every time I ask, she's super vague about everything- like I said, she doesn't have a date yet.  I want to be there for my friend and I know it's her special day and her vision and I can't tell her what to do, but I can't just spit out money whenever- I need to know how much to plan for. Please help...

Re: Prices skyrocketing....

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    This is why it really annoys me when brides expect their BMs to just give carte blanche with the budget.

    First of all, if you agreed to be BM when it was driveable (and therefore much more affordable) you coudn't possibly have forseen the change, so no, this is not your fault.

    I would sit her down immediately and tell her that she needs to have some sort of budget discussion with you before you purchase anything brcause it looks like things are going to be way more than they would have been with the original plan and you can't commit necessarily to spending some arbitrary amount of money. You especially need to tell her quickly about the dresses because if other girls start ordering them, it's more difficult for her to change them. What exactly is she requiring you to pay for? Hotel and airfare you can estimate on your own. Ask her about accessories, makeup and hair. I don't think brides should require you to buy these things, but some brides do anyhow. Maybe you should have a discussion with her about what you are comfortable spending and give her some numbers about how much airfare and hotels will cost so maybe she realizes a little more that she's not asking the easiet things.

    The bride should not be involved in planning any showers and bachelorette parties, which are optional and should be hosted by those who volunteer to do so.  If the MOH plans parties, she should pay for it herself, unless others offer. However, not everyone does what they should, so if I were you I might shoot the MOHs an email to see what their plans are and, if you plan on contributing, mention the fact that you can't help host a party for which you have no budgetary input.
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    I would bow out and explain in hard numbers how much this would cost you - eg. 2 round trip plane tickets $700 + hotel $400 + car rental and parking $175 + restaurant meals $250 + dress $300 = $1825.00 before you even get to the unknown costs like the showers and B-party.  Don't feel guilty about this.  The bride is out of line here and feel free to recommend she visit us sometime.
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    bablingbrookebablingbrooke member
    5 Love Its Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited November 2010
    That's terrible that she picked everything before asking you your price range.

    Seems like she's in the "ZOMGI'mengagedIhavetoplaneverything!" stage.  I mean she doesn't even have a date yet, and I'm willing to bet she hasn't nailed down her budget.  I'd wait until she does before you do anything; sometimes a taste of budget reality brings people back to earth.  Hopefully that will happen to her.  If not, just tell her that you love her and are thrilled for her but that you can't pledge an unlimited amount to her wedding and that you can only spend X on a dress.  Don't agree to other parties; it's not up to her anyway, and if you can't participate, you can't participate.  I would also see if she can get discounted rates for you guys; my BFF is getting married in downtown San Francisco and was able to negotiate a $50/night rate for the WP at the hotel where they're getting married, something like a 75% discount.  Maybe your friend will get a great deal and it can be done.

    If not, if she books her wedding for Christmas Eve and wants $500 dresses and it's just not do-able, tell her so.  You will have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about.  If she flips out, you will have dodged a bullet.  Send her here--we'll straighten her out ;)

    ETA: Now that I think about it a bit more, since the wedding is so different from what you initially agreed to, I think you would be guiltless in saying that, given that the plans have changed so radically, you can no longer participate.  I mean she's kind of pulled the rug out from under you.
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    I would send her here, she needs a serious "Come to Jesus" talk.  You might want to suggest that she should set a date and book a venue before she makes any more decisions about the wedding, and remind her that you love her and still want to be involved, but you don't have unlimited funds.  Tell her the most you're willing to spend on your appearance, including the dress, hair, makeup, and all accessories, and that if attending is going to require traveling during the holidays, you likely won't be able to afford it.

    Either she'll come back down to earth or she'll turn green and scaly, but either way you'll have made your case and won't be on the hook for a ridiculously expensive wedding.  Good luck, she sounds like a peach.
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    Be upfront with mini-bridezilla about your realistic expectations and budget.  If she can't work with that, then feel free to bow out.  She really should have cleared all of this with you first.
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    The bride is totally in the wrong.  She definitely should never have asked anyone to be in her WP until she had a date and location.  Especially if she was considering having a wedding where people had to travel.  I would suggest you talk to her now and tell her your budget.  If she's not ok with that, then you have every reason to bow out.

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    mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    5 Love Its First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited November 2010
    She's a fool if she's already bought her dress before setting a date or location, and if she expects you and the other BMs to get your dresses right now.

    I would just call her or visit her (don't text or e-mail), and say something like, "Bride, you know I love you and want to be a part of your wedding, but I really need to know the solid details before I can fully commit to being your bridesmaid. I can afford $x for a dress, Husband and I will need to pay to get to your wedding location, and beyond that I'll do what I can to help with pre-wedding plans."

    I might also consider saying to her, "I don't mean to be critical, Bride, but are you sure it's a good idea to choose the dresses before you have the date and location set? I just don't want you to get your heart set on a certain bridesmaid dress, and then once you set the date/location it's clear that the dresses won't work and we'll need to start from scratch. Why don't we all just try on some dresses in our price ranges once you set the main details, and go from there?"

    If she's a reasonable person and a decent friend, she will listen to your concerns and work with you.

    If she insists on doing everything her way regardless of reason, and/or refuses to work with your budget, feel free to bow out as a bridesmaid. That's a good sign that she thinks a party is more important than her friendship with you, so I wouldn't feel too awful about distancing yourself from her if you would like.
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    The bride is definitely in the wrong here. You didn't agree to the extra expenses. She also should NOT have picked out the dresses already, it's too soon. Chances are, the other BMs could be feeling the financial strain too.

    I say talking to her is the best way to go. It's better to have something like this known well in advance so something can be done to fix it.
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