Wedding Party

Bridesmaid driving me batty- help!

 (this is longer than intended- but I think the whole saga needs to be understood so y'all get why I'm at my wits end)

What do I do-

After having been a bridesmaid in several weddings and  spent a ton  (without complaining- it's usually part and parcel of the bridesmaid thing, right?) on dresses and shoes that I would never wear again, I was determined to try to be as thoughtful as possible about my attendant-wear selections.   I'm not requring the girls to buy ANYTHING but the dress and have selected a shoe/cardigan color (black) that most women already have stocked in their closet. 

One bridesmaid- the one driving me batty - we will call her OBM- did not accept to be a bridesmaid right away because of cost concerns. I told her I wanted to keep their cost low but that I understood. After several days, she said essentially our friendship was really more important and she wanted to participate. Keep in mind- OBM is single, lives rent and prtgage free, is gainfully employed, and makes more money than at least three other bridesmaids, hands down.

Generally, I think bridemaid dresses are ugly, cheap quality, and horendously expensive (or good quality and even more horenously expensive), so my original thought was to go outside the box to find the girls' attire. I've consulted them every step of the way on dresses- from cost to style. We picked one out which  looked like it would be lovely. While  more expensive than I was aiming for $130) all the maids said they loved it and would wear it again (including OBM, who purchased it ASAP). Unfotunately, it ended up being a disaster (made everyone look pregnant- including a 12 year old) and we sent them back. 

After this, OBM started grousing about the cost of being in a wedding. I gave her an out- I said I really wanted her in the wedding but if she didn't want to, I would understand. It was kindly delivered and kindly recieved, and she said she wanted to stay in the wedding- which I am glad about!

We then spent several months looking for an under-$100 alternative and couldn't. The bridesmaids (most of them) were pretty supportive and said to stop stressing about the price, that they were willing to pay more. Out of desperation, I selected a David's Bridal frock that was $139. It wasn't worth that much, but it wasn't ugly and the bridesmaids liked it decently well.  OBM, however, complained that she didn't like the color and wanted me to change my wedding color from blue to turquoise because the turquoise in her opinion looked better on her. When I declined because it wasn't the color for our wedding, she started complaining about the cost, but eventually stopped.    Then my MOH and I went to the store and were treated very shabbily. I was so digusted at both the state of the dresses in that branch (wrinkled with  runs and strings hanging off- showing their bad quality) and the way we were treated that the DB dress was out the window.

After another month of hunting, I went back to a particular  non-bridal website which has tons of styles- which you can customize style-wise to some extent- and on which you can actually get your dress custom made to your exact measurements. They also had tons of dresses in the same shade, so the girls could pick their own style (another idea I really had originaly wanted to go with but was unable to because of logistics) .I had previously considered the site but was wary of the internet after first dress fiasco, so I read over a dozen reviews of the website, researched, and spent $90 to get  two test dresses  for myself  (for the honeymoon) before committing the bridesmaids.  In additon, I found out how to get substantial discounts and free customization so they could get their dresses for -if they picked a cheaper style- a hair over $30-$70 tops.  Finally, I changed my dress color from a lighter blue to navy just so we could go with this website - I didn't think it was worth it for the girls to pay double the price or more for a specific shade of color.  My test dresses were great, so I told the bridesmaids to go for it. I sent them the discount info, then e-mailed the website  (which had depleted their navy seletions somewhat) to see if they would bulk up on navy in different styles so the girls could have more selection (they did- in spades). They are all cute, stylish knee-lengthish  numbers that the girls can wear again because they are poplin, a nice but not formal fabric.

SO - what does OBM do??  First she sends me an email stating that she's selected a dress from the website which she loves. It is gorgeous! and her! She says she will order it the next day.

Barely more than 24 hours later, She  asks me if she can wear a floor length, shimmery, chiffon, formal dress which she already owns and happens to be a (lighter, non-matching) navy. I ask could she please get a dress from the site because, while pretty, hers is too long, formal, and not the right color- and though I don't mind them having different styles, I would like them all from the same website and the same type (i.e. cocktailish, not formal). Now-   She's MAD at me. Because I ask her to buy a $30 dress.

What do I do? I'm so frustrated at this point. And- I'm feeling a little annoyed because -if we're going to count pennies-  (though she doesn't know it) I'm spending $70 each on the girls for custom-made  artisian jewelry as a gift, which means that OBM will likely pay HALF the cost for her dress that I am paying for her present to be in our wedding.

Re: Bridesmaid driving me batty- help!

  • I'm not sure you do anything. You told her where she needs to get the dress. She either will, or she won't be in the wedding. As for the gifts you are giving the girls, are they expected to wear that jewelry in the wedding? If so, that is not really a gift for them; it is part of their wedding attire, and you should really get them something in addition if you expect them to wear it for the wedding.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
  • I think you have gone above and beyond in regards to finding just the right dress (or dresses) that both you and your wedding party like, which is great but a few things...

    Did you by any chance ask them each separtately what their budgets were?  If not, that was the first thing that you should of done instead of just finding a dress that matched your definition of "inexpensive".  I know you said that you consulted them every step of the way but does that mean you sent mass emails or did you actually talk to each person privately.  When asked in a group setting if $130 is ok and all the girls say yes and there is one BM that isn't ok with it they tend to just go with the group instead of feeling embarrassed and saying no.

    As for your friends financials.  None of that is your business.  How do you know that she doesn't have massive credit card or school debt?  Just because she may make more money and not pay as many typical bills does not mean that she is financially stable.

    Also, I know this has nothing to do with the dress issue but the jewelry you are buying them as a present.  That isn't meant to be worn at the wedding correct?  Because if it is you really can't count that as a present because that is then part of their attire.  Presents to your bridal party are suppose to be items that they can use whenever they please and that are customized to their likes and hobbies.  Now if you are customizing the jewlery to something that they would love and they all love jewelry then I stand corrected.

    At this point you need to tell your friend that she has a choice or X number of dresses off of Y website and that she needs to have a dress in her possession by the wedding date.  Then leave it alone.  She is an adult and if she can't get the dress or just doesn't want to then she has taken herself out of the wedding.  Once you give her the details again I would walk away and not worry about it anymore.

  • In Response to <a href="">Re: Bridesmaid driving me batty- help!</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Bridesmaid driving me batty- help! : Please reread this and pretend I said it.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]
    And once more from me!
    Praying for a miracle!
  • I agree, Maggie gave very sound advice. 
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten



  • Yes you have definitly gone above and beyond!  Personally, I disagree with Maggie on a few things.  Regardless if you sent out a mass email or one to each individually, they can respond back to you individually.  Or she could have called, texted you.  Therefore, OBM could have told you herself her budget.
    Secondly, I consider the jewllery to be a present.  Im not sure why it matters if they are wearing it in the wedding or not, I think that if you (the bride) is paying for it, it's a gift.  You are taking financial burden off these ladies and I would take that as a gift.  And from the way you have talked about the dresses, Im assuming that the jewllery would be something that these ladies could wear again.
    But regardless, you have already told OBM that she can either be in the wedding or not with no hard feelings.  It's now up to her to decide what she's going to do.
  • You need to give her a deadline. Say that you understand her financial concerns, so you just need to know by _____ if she can afford the dress or not. I think it puts the burden on her to man up and by the freakin dress, but also gives her an out if she really can't.


  • In Response to <a href=" BoardsForum:37Discussion:d6541eba-04bb-4810-b68f-d153c9b0f0f3Post:7e89f7d5-4145-4f9d-9da9-1f33209dd321">Re: Bridesmaid driving me batty- help!</a>:
    [QUOTE]Please do not follow the horrible "advice" above. The jewelry is NOT a gift, since it's used FOR THE BRIDE AND HER WEDDING. This is not a difficult concept. Suppose your friend offered to help you fix your car. It also happens to be your friend's birthday. Would you buy your friend a tool kit as her birthday present to help you fix your car? There is no way someone can say that "i don't want you in my wedding, no hard feelings."  It's like trying to find a nice way to tell someone they're ugly.
    Posted by RetreadBride[/QUOTE]

    First of all there's no reason to be rude. 

    I might buy my friend a tool kit, if it would help her help me fix my car.  Thats keeping her from having to buy the items (assuming he/she doesn't have them).

    A gift is anything given, to either honour something or assist in and not expect payment in return, so again I fail to see how buying the jewllery (regardless if they are wearing them in the wedding or not) is not a gift. Now Im not saying that's ALL she should give them, but it's still technically a gift.

    And she's didnt say that she didn't want her friend in the wedding.  She said, if her friend can't be in the wedding, then there would be no hard feelings becuase she understands.
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