Christian Weddings

Bridesmaid rant

I'm getting married in something like 7 months. I've chosen all of my bridesmaids, and I'm looking for dresses that are pretty, but not expensive, because we are all college students and can't afford to spend too much money on dresses that we'll only wear once. The dress I've found is $60 and I'm having them wear their own shoes and jewelery so as to not put any more financial strain on them. To me, it is far more important that these girls be standing up there next to me than they wear a specific dress because I like it. They are my best friends. 

One of my bridesmaids is getting married 11 months after me. She is looking at bridesmaids' dresses in the $200 range and it's a destination wedding. I've been a bit passive aggressive about it; showing her pictures of much cheaper dresses, that, IMHO are prettier anyways. Well, when I showed her the pic of the dress I've found, she began to say things like, "It's your wedding, I'll wear whatever you want me to." 

So I sent her this, "I'm sorry I've been a little passive aggressive about your bridesmaids’ dresses.
but, I cannot afford to spend $200 on a dress I'm only going to wear once. Especially since I'm going to be a newlywed and either in, or saving for, grad school. And we will possibly be thinking about having a baby soon too. I am a pretty frugal girl. I've never spent more than maybe $75 on any single dress or item of clothing except for my wedding dress. And anything I’ve spent close to that much money on, I’ve worn many times.
I am very honored that you’ve asked me to be in your wedding. But I cannot make a commitment to spend that much money on a dress."

Her reply?
"ok ... i haven't even picked a dress yet, but if you can't then i understand
i will need to know tho shortly after i pick the dress so i can find someone else if you can't"

So I say, "I know you haven't picked one yet, but all the ones you've been showing me are in the $200-$175 range"

She said, "well i won't hold anything against you or be offended if you step down
i understand your monetary issues and i don't expect you to spend way out of your budget just to be in my wedding
i really don't want you to feel like i'm kicking you out, but at the same time i've always wanted a really formal wedding and you just can't get that for $75"

Maybe she isn't offended by me, but I am very offended by what she's said. I am so hurt by the fact that her "vision" is more important than her friend.

I also have to point out that she got married in a courthouse last April. They did it because they are in the Navy and wanted to be able to get the benefits. I was their witness and photographer.
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Re: Bridesmaid rant

  • edited December 2011
    Hmmm...OK...I think she was trying to be cordial. Perhaps there's more behind this. She was right. If she has a vision, then really, it might be a little selfish to ask her to give up her vision for you.

    Perhaps wait and see what the dresses cost and then decide? I know what you mean though about the financial burden. If you really think it'll be too much, perhaps you should just let her know now that you really feel you would be of more help to her by doing a reading at her ceremony or something like that.

    I can totally understand. 5-7 years ago, just about all of my friends were getting married. To make it more complicated, most were Nigerians which meant getting 2 outfits (one as a bridesmaid and another for the traditional nigerian ceremony) AND they were ALL out of town. I had to pay for 2 outfits, a hotel stay, air fare and car rental AND get them a gift. It was HARD cause they were all getting married at what was a difficult time financially for me.
    BUT, in the long run, I am glad I did because they were all very grateful. To see the smiles on their face and the fact that they all can't wait to do what they can to make my day special made it worth it for me.

    Since your wedding is before hers, it does make it a little challenging for you so perhaps just offer to do a reading, be a hostess (I think you get to pick your own dress if you do this) or perhaps an usher? Eitherways, there are other ways you can serve without losing your friendship.

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  • squeakyducksqueakyduck member
    edited December 2011
    I just feel hurt that it's more important to her to have these really expensive dresses than to have me up there. I've found so many nice, formal dresses at Alfred Angelo (where she's looking) that are in a more reasonable price range. Dresses that I would buy without a second thought. I've shared these with her. (and she DID ask my opinion.) 
    I'd love to be there for her, and I wish I could do it, but if she goes with such an expensive dress, I can't. She told me that once she picks a dress I can decide. But she needs me to do so quickly so that she can replace me. That's what gets me. I feel like I'm just needed as warm body and that she doesn't care one way or another if I'm actually there.  

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  • edited December 2011
    This might not be what you're looking for, but my initial thoughts were:

    1) wow, a $200 dress?  I couldn't imagine asking my bridesmaids to spend that much (one is getting married 1 month before our wedding)

    2) I totally get that she has a vision for how she wants the wedding to look... I think every bride has that picture in their head.

    3) If she wants the $200 dress on everyone, and you've told her you can only afford X amount ...and you may want to tell her specifically that you can only afford 75 and if the dress she picks is more than that, you won't be able to be a bridesemaid... well, I guess it is up to the bride whether to chip in to help pay for your dress (if keeping with the $200 dress decision), or to change the dress to one that is more budget friendly for you.

    Honestly, I am very aware of what my bridesmaids can afford, and I may end up paying for one bridesmaid's dress (the one getting married 1 month prior) because of the financial strain for her.  However, not everyone is willing to make a compromise like that, or lowering the cost of the dress she picks.  In fact, she may have the initial assumption that a $200 dress is reasonable.  If you look at many of the wedding dress sites out there, there are a TON of dresses in the $175 to $200 range, which may give you the impression that "it is normal."  

    It may be disappointing, but if you're not able to afford the $200 dress, you might not be able to be a bridesmaid, and by your friend's responses, it seems that she is okay with that potentially happening without offering any financial assistance for the expensive dress.

    Something else you might consider -- once she has chosen the dress, see if you can get the dress for cheaper on a pre-owned dress site, or buying "off the rack."  I don't believe the dye lot mumbo-jumbo, because most designers, especially Alfred Angelo, are fairly consistent on the colors.  

    I guess, in the end, just have an honest conversation - face-to-face -- with her, and let her know that you really would like to be a bridesmaid and support her during this special time, but you can only afford so much for the dress in addition to the other expenses you anticipate as being part of the wedding (gift, hotel if you have to, traveling, etc.).  Anything other than face-to-face might mix-up your intention and your tone, and this is a conversation that has to happen in person.  

    EDIT: sorry, my post got a little longer than I thought.  Surprised

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  • edited December 2011
    I find it offensive that she wants to find somebody to replace you if you step down.  Finding a replacement bridesmaid is a HUGE no-no.
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  • iamjoesgurliamjoesgurl member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    Sorry that you are having to deal with this!  For our wedding, I told the girls that I preferred that they wear brown, tan, beige or something else neutral.  It was totally up to them what the style was and where they bought it.  So I would feel like you.  That it seems like the dress and her vision is more important than our friendship.  So I'm sorry that you are dealing with it.  

    My girls ended up ordering their dresses (the ones they picked) from  The price of the dress in the shop was $220.  Through, they got their dresses for $109 plus shipping.  So I wonder if this would be an option for you.  I know it is more than you said you would be able to pay, but it might be worth checking out before you decline the BM position.

    I'm with you that she ought to care more about her friends than her "vision" but unfortunately it is out of your control.  It sounds like she'll do what she wants to do even if it hurts your friendship.
  • squeakyducksqueakyduck member
    edited December 2011
    That netbride thing seems like a great idea- I never said I would only spend $75, I was just giving her an example of how I don't buy expensive clothes.
    netbride doesn't seem to offer Alfred Angelo. Are there more sites like this?

    Although, knowing she would just replace me like that make me less inclined to want to be there at all.
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  • edited December 2011
    Aw, sad about feeling "replaced."  

    I'm sure I've posted this on TK many times but not on the Christian boards - 

    Bridal Mart is a large-market bridal store that carries a TON of designers (Alfred Angelo included) and they have an internet store.  

    These aren't knock-offs, they are the real thing, as it is ordered through the brick-and-mortar store.  You can price shop on there too, if she has give you a style number as a suggestion when you last talked.  

    I think a few folks also posted on the "attire and accessories" board with other online REAL designer dress options for less $$ (which aren't overseas knock-offs). 

    It sounds like this issue is really damaging your friendship with her.  I wonder if the two of you can go somewhere, maybe shopping, or maybe to a bookstore or something to have a time to bond?  It would be sad for you to feel this way into the future...  
    July 16, Our Wedding Day, is also International Juggling Day!
  • edited December 2011
    That is a tough situation. You did the right thing, though. You were honest with her and explained your situation. Personally, if one of my bridesmaids couldn't afford a dress, I would choose a cheaper dress. I am letting them decide on the dress they will be wearing (all the same dress- but it's their decision). I agree that you should tell her how you are feeling and see if you can mend this. I will say a prayer for you.
  • squeakyducksqueakyduck member
    edited December 2011
    Now she's posted this on the wedding party group on FB.

    "So for all my bridesmaids the style of dress I'm looking at for the wedding is going to cost at the least $155. If any of you have a problem with that at all just let me know. I'm still looking at different stores and will keep you updated on anything I find."

    See, if it said "at most" instead of "at least" it wouldn't be a huge problem. If it were a dress that I could wear again. (because I think spending that much on clothes is ridiculous. Unless you are going to wear it a lot. Like once a week. Or daily. I would spend that much on a nice leather jacket that I could wear all the time and would last me like, 10 years.)

    Also, knowing how much I really mean to her has really dropped the amount I'd be willing to spend. 

    I might still be furious. Because there are a lot of other things that have been going on with us and this is just really thick, overly sugary icing on the cake. 

    I have also stopped talking to her because right now I know I would say things that are really mean. I need to move past that because right now I feel an irresistible urge to point out that we can't all sit at home online all day and live off our husband's paycheck. 

    And I should be nice. Even though I currently feel absolutely fine about the idea of never speaking to her again. 

    And I worry that I'm just going to get mad all over again every time I have to look at her in my wedding photos. Because I really do have problems letting things go. I am working on that. 

    I don't think she even realizes that I'm mad. Which means in order to not be passive aggressive for the next 6 months, I need to tell her I am mad. 

    Because the hurt has morphed into anger. Which is bad. Because like I said, I have a really hard time letting things go. 
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  • heyimbrenheyimbren member
    edited December 2011
    She should have asked her BMs their dress budgets before looking at dresses. I completely understand you being hurt by this, but like JoesGurl said, this is something out of your control.

    This is a good way to act out on forgiveness and letting things go. I think if it were me, once she picks out the dress, if you still cannot afford it I'd talk to her and tell her that. That you are a bit hurt that her vision means more than the friends standing up with her. I would be upfront about that, but I wouldn't try to do it in a passive agressive or angry way. Just being honest and polite. If she still wants the dress, then drop out. That's all you can do. And then you work on letting it go. If she came on here about the dress, a lot of posters would tell her that kicking a BM out is a friendship ending move. But honestly, from your point of view, I don't think it should be. Hopefully she realizes later on that this is just one day and a friendship is more important. But I think as Christiasn our attitude should be different. Which does mean forgiveness.

    I am sorry that you're so disappointed by all of this.
  • squeakyducksqueakyduck member
    edited December 2011
    I tried talking to her last night. I tried explaining that I'm hurt by this.

    I was given at least 50 reasons that I shouldn't be hurt. 

    And not a single iota of understanding that she might be wrong, and I might be hurt anyways. 

    And if she wasn't supposed to be in my wedding in 6 months, I wouldn't even bother with this. I'd just move on. 

    I had her pinned as the bridesmaid most likely to flake out on me. Right now I kinda hope she does. I'm getting tired of dealing with her and her drama. Like I said, this is just icing on the cake. 
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  • squeakyducksqueakyduck member
    edited December 2011
    Well, she posted a facebook status rant and her SIL got into it and it is so over. 

    There were more underlying problems in our friendship but this pushed me over the edge. 

    I really think this will be better in the long run. 
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