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Bridesmaid may not make it, opinions needed

My FI and I decided that we are going to ask his cousin to be my BM. She is currently in boot camp for the Air Force then goes to school until may and is Stations in June. She would not be able to ask for leave for the wedding until June when stationed and we understand she may not be able to attend.

I am sending her a package asking her to be my brides maid with a picture of the dress and flowers. I want to write something personal telling her how much she means to us and how we want her part of our day but we understand in the end if she wont be able to attend.

I would need her to order the dress on her own in Feb and do the fittings on her own, as I can not fly to Texas from NY to go with her. How can I word this all and not seem demanding. I just need her to pay for the dress ($155) and if she can attend the hair and makeup (150) but that will be discussed when the time comes. HELP!!

Re: Bridesmaid may not make it, opinions needed

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    lyndausvilyndausvi mod
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    edited December 2009
    Wow...

    You do not ask someone to be a bridesmaid with a package telling them what they have to pay for.

    It would be like "Hey if you have the $300 we would love for you to be a BM".

    I'm not saying that is what your mean, but that is how it could be received.

    You should ask her to be a bridemaid, if she says yes, they you ask for the budget for the dress, THEN you pick out the dress.  Not the the other way around.

    Considering her situation, I would imagine she would decline.  Who want to fork over $150 for dress she might not be able to even use.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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    I wouldn't tell her the price of the dress or that information when asking her i was just stateing information about my problem. Last time I posted on here every bride told me to ask her even with the notion that she may not be able to attened, because she is the person we would want standing up there with us. And honestly 150 on a dress isn't that bad and I would prob give her every cent back in the event she can not attend.

    What I was asking is how can I word it so that she knows we really want her to be a part of our wedding but we do understand in the end if she won't be able to attend. We also understand that we will not know until the sometime in August for our September wedding.
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    I agree with Lynda. I think you have jumped the gun a bit. Being a BM should be an honor, not a job. WHile there is a financial commitment involved, I don't think that should be part of the asking discussion.

    You can ask her to be a BM, then discuss budget with her. If you REQUIRE pro hair and makeup, you pay for it, that 's the rule. If she can't make it, just list her in the program as  BM, because you have bestowed that honor on her. It would be dishonorable to ask her and then not list her if she can't be there.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_bridesmaid-may-not-opinions-needed?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:37Discussion:8d4ff125-e08d-4630-a5c7-9564992e9ff4Post:4ee467cc-ecdd-4736-8e06-2b927f2ccc38">Re: Bridesmaid may not make it, opinions needed</a>:
    [QUOTE]I wouldn't tell her the price of the dress or that information when asking her i was just stateing information about my problem. Last time I posted on here every bride told me to ask her even with the notion that she may not be able to attened, because she is the person we would want standing up there with us. And honestly 150 on a dress isn't that bad and I would prob give her every cent back in the event she can not attend. What I was asking is how can I word it so that she knows we really want her to be a part of our wedding but we do understand in the end if she won't be able to attend. We also understand that we will not know until the sometime in August for our September wedding.
    Posted by numero0uno[/QUOTE]

    How about," Would you do me the honor of being a bridesmaid in our wedding in September?' Then, if she balks because of scheduling, tell her exactly what you told us, that you want to give her the title because of what she means to you and you fully understand if she can't physically be there.
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    Just tell her what you are telling us.  Just leave out the dress until she agrees to be in the wedding.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_bridesmaid-may-not-opinions-needed?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:37Discussion:8d4ff125-e08d-4630-a5c7-9564992e9ff4Post:a0135f42-221c-48a2-a33c-c384d65ef70d">Re: Bridesmaid may not make it, opinions needed</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Bridesmaid may not make it, opinions needed : How about," Would you do me the honor of being a bridesmaid in our wedding in September?' Then, if she balks because of scheduling, tell her exactly what you told us, that you want to give her the title because of what she means to you and you fully understand if she can't physically be there.
    Posted by SarahPLiz[/QUOTE]

    Ditto this. It won't come off as demanding or rude if you make it clear that you want her standing up with you. If you say anything about getting the dress on time or the price (at least in your initial conversation with her about being a BM), then she may get the wrong impression - that you are basing her involvement on how fast she can get the outfit and if she'll pay the required fee.

    Also ditto the part about asking her what she can afford for the dress and including her in the selection of it, rather than saying, "Here's the dress and it's $150." $150 may not be a lot to YOU, or other people, but you don't know for a fact that that's an O.K. price with her.

    Also, ditto that you cannot tell her that she must get hair and makeup done - if you are requiring it, then you have to pay for it. Period. If you are just saying, "I've arranged for hair and makeup to be $x if you want to get it done," then that's fine to give her a price quote. As long as you're giving her the option to get it done elsewhere or do it herself, you do not have to pay for her.

    Another idea - rather than going through the stress and hassle of paying for and ordering and altering a dress that she may not even be able to use ... why not just invite her to wear her dress uniform? Military uniforms are considered neutral and will therefore coordinate with any color scheme. She will not ruin your photos, or your wedding, if she is not in the same outfit as the other girls. Your guests will not find it weird ... they will understand the situation, and plus they will likely be all the more appreciative of her service to our country. IMO this is the easiest and most stress-free way to go, because you don't have to worry about ordering her an outfit or making sure she pays and gets it altered in time.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_bridesmaid-may-not-opinions-needed?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:37Discussion:8d4ff125-e08d-4630-a5c7-9564992e9ff4Post:ba15a710-13e9-419c-ad70-6470c5ad3b47">Re: Bridesmaid may not make it, opinions needed</a>:
    [QUOTE]Another idea - rather than going through the stress and hassle of paying for and ordering and altering a dress that she may not even be able to use ... <strong>why not just invite her to wear her dress uniform</strong>? Military uniforms are considered neutral and will therefore coordinate with any color scheme. She will not ruin your photos, or your wedding, if she is not in the same outfit as the other girls. Your guests will not find it weird ... they will understand the situation, and plus they will likely be all the more appreciative of her service to our country. IMO this is the easiest and most stress-free way to go, because you don't have to worry about ordering her an outfit or making sure she pays and gets it altered in time.
    Posted by mbcdefg[/QUOTE]

    That's a great idea, actually. Chances are that after all the hard work she has put in during boot camp and school, that she will be proud to wear it. She can always have the option to dress like the other BMs if she is tired of wearing the uniform, but I'd say give her the option to wear her dress uniform. That is an extra honor!
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_bridesmaid-may-not-opinions-needed?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:37Discussion:8d4ff125-e08d-4630-a5c7-9564992e9ff4Post:c657bcc9-075a-4cc2-88ad-d61bc325d2e9">Bridesmaid may not make it, opinions needed</a>:
    [QUOTE]I want to write something personal telling her how much she means to us and how we want her part of our day but we understand in the end if she wont be able to attend.
    Posted by numero0uno[/QUOTE]

    This is really cute. I think it's great that you realize that if she can't make it, that's ok and want to honor her regardless.

    That said, I agree with PPs about the dress. Please do not get your heart set on a dress until you discuss budget individually with each of your girls AND see it on them. A couple dresses I loved online looked so horrendous on my girls! And of course, if you are asking for pro hair and make-up, that's something you need to pay for, as PPs have said.
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    Ditto all the other lovely ladies.  Just ask her to be a BM.

    THEN, if she accepts, ask her what she's comfortable spending on a dress before alterations.

    And the hair and makeup if you require them need to come out of your pocketbook.  If you make it optional then it's fine to say, "I'm getting hair and makeup done at X place and time and if you want to join me this is the cost."

    However if you're making that part of their requirements then it needs to be part of your overall budget before you buy them any presents.
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    I also want to that alterations can cost a lot of money.  You can almost gaurentee she will not be the same size in February as she will be in Sept because of boot camp ( I know a lot of people who lose a lot of weight during that time).

    So while you do not think $150 is a lot.  To an E-1 making $1399 a month before taxes, that can be a lot when you add in the other stuff.  (of course they do not have the same expenses we do)

    I still think you should ask her, but do not blind to the fact that $150 may be expensive to her.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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    Please don't require hair and makeup, then make her pay for them.  As PPs have said, give her a say in the cost of the dress and consider the option of letting her wear her dress uniform since her dress very well may go to waste.

    Just a letter asking her to be your bridesmaid and maybe some encouragement for getting through boot camp would be sweet.
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    I'm not paying $150 for my OWN wedding day hair and makeup, I wouldn't dream of asking my BMs to pay that (or of paying that if a bride asked it of me).  Let her tell you her budget, after she's decided whether to accept or decline being in the wedding.
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    I would ask her to be a BM, and if she is unable to make it, still have her listed in the program as an honorary BM.  Don't replace her if she isn't able to come.  One of my BMs is in the AF and we thought she might be deployed at the time of my wedding.  I decided to make it easy for everyone and not have my closest friends hang yet another useless dress in their closet - they just have to wear a black dress they feel comfortable in.  Easy - and we wouldnt have had to worry about her getting something at the last minute and they could shop around a get a great deal on a dress they CAN use again.

    The dress uniform is a great idea as well.
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