Wedding Etiquette Forum

Fill in Bridesmaid trouble

So here is the problem
A friend of mine was getting married. Suddenly one her original bridesmaids drop out 2 weeks before the wedding. I just so happened to be same size as the previous bridesmaid and was asked to fill in for her so a groomsman would not be a partner short.
I accepted, since I was going to the wedding anyways, she was a good friend, and I thought I would be doing her favor, it was an honor she thought of me at the back up bridesmaid.
However here comes the trouble. She is asking me now to pay the 230 dollars for the dress. Plus I have to buy my own acessories and shoes. And to top it off, I just now learn I have to come up with my own lodging and travel arrangements to be to the wedding place that is 4 hours away. I have to be at the wedding rehearsal and wedding the next day.
Am I wrong to think it is rude to ask me to pay for a dress that was already paid for and to pay even more money for travel and lodging?
If I was the original bridesmaid, sure I would not be complaining. But I see what I am doing as a favor. Paying for my own shoes and accessories, sure. I could pay for some of travel and lodging, but leaving me to completely flip the bill in sucha short notice I think it completely rude. 

Re: Fill in Bridesmaid trouble

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    From what I've seen on here and from being in plenty of weddings, your friend made a major etiquette snafu by adding a back up bridesmaid. Everything I've seen etiquette wise is very firm with just going with uneven sides and not filling the missing spot. Uneven sides don't really matter that much in the long run.... 

    That being said, you're already in this pickle and the Bride already made the etiquette snafu. So, in my opinion, you are doing a favor and some of the cost should be absorbed by the bride (if you still want to go ahead with being a fill in BM and I would say that were would be nothing wrong with just saying you would rather attend as a guest). If it is so important for her to have even sides then she should come up with the money that makes that happen! Plus if she is telling you that you need specific shoes/jewelry then she needs to pay for it anyway.

    Are you dead set at being a bridesmaid or do you think attending as a guest is still and option? I think that is the major question here. Plus a $230 dress seems high to me to begin with! If i was this bride, I wouldn't have asked a back up person (even if you guys are good friends) and If I was you....I may just want to be a guest. Thats just me, hope things work out for you!


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    I second Sparkley. Attend as a guest and tell her thanks but no thanks, and that you didn't realize that this favor had hundreds of dollars of strings attached. You are doing HER a favor, and this has bad etiquette written all over it.
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    Oh man. I agree with PP and wow is that dress expensive! Tell her that you're sorry, you didn't realize this favor to her would be that much of a financial drain, and that you can't wait to attend as a guest.

    Uneven sides are really not a big deal. Have each attendant walk by themselves instead of pairs. Or have two guys escort one girl. I just don't get choosing to designate one of your friends as a "stand-by" friend, not good enough for the original wedding party, but good enough to bail you out if someone drops out. Even sides are really worth that much?
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    I agree with PP - $230 for a bridesmaid dress?  My wedding dress was $300, so if I made my bridesmaids pay that, it would seem a bit ridiculous.  The bride should acknolwedge that you are doing her a favour and pay for part of the dress, as well as for the shoes and accessories. 
    For the traveling and lodgings, wouldn't you have paid that anyways as a guest?  Or were you just going to drive up and drive back after the wedding?

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    She sounds like a peach.  She is SUPER rude.  Honestly, I'd be considering how great of a friend this person really is.  Also, why does the dress need to be paid for when it was already paid for? 
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    I don't think you have to pay for the dress, since you should have been asked your budget before getting the dress, and obviously you weren't consulted with this purchase.  If you would feel comfortable putting some $$ towards it, I would do so, but definitely not all $230.  You get to keep the dress, right?  

    I don't understand what travel costs you have that you wouldn't have as a guest.  Is it because you would need to be there earlier?  If so, maybe you can tell her that you can put $x toward the dress, but you hadn't planned to spend more than $y on travel and extras (shoes, etc.), so you will wear the dress with [shoes you already have] and [jewelry you already have] and arrive when you are able to get there.  Unless her ceremony is super-complicated, it shouldn't be a big deal for one bridesmaid to miss the reherasal.
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    She should never have asked you to "fill in" in the first place. That's incredibly rude. If I was you, I would not have agreed to be a second-string BM, but that is your choice.

    However I would definitely not be paying all these costs. I don't think that if you go through with this you should have to pay for the dress, I really don't. If anyone is stuck with the cost, it should be the original BM who all of a sudden decided to drop out and leave her with an unpaid dress. I would tell her you want to wear shoes and accessories you already own.

    As for the lodging, I guess if you weren't originally planning on staying the night I could see that this is an additional expense you wouldn't have as a guest. SO maybe tell her you cannot make the rehearsal because you don't want to have to shell out for a room.

    However, if I was in your shoes, I'd be declining and attending as a guest.

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    I agree with PPs. Please let us know what you decide to do and how it turns out!
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    Have you looked at it from the point of view that you were selected because you were the same size as the girl who stepped down?  I would be turned off by that myself and wondering how far down the line I am if I wasn't the same size.

    While paying for the dress and the hotel are common things for bridesmaids, I would in no way be paying for them to be a second choice bridesmaid.

    If you don't want to pay for these things, It is okay for you to pull out of the wedding party.
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    edited April 2013
    She's spilling out so much rude, you're going to need to pump someone's lungs after they drown in it.

    1.) It's rude to the BM who left to 'replace her'.  Telling her she's 'replacable'.
    2.)  It's rude to ask you to fill in, treating you like a prop, or a second rate choice
    3.) It's rude to ask you to pay for a dress that wasn't even yours to begin with
    4.) It's rude to dictate to you where you are lodging
    5.) It's rude to force you to buy shoes and accessories that nobody cares about or notices
    6.) It's rude to demand money of any sort from you
    7.) I'm thinking it's generally just rude for her to exist right now.  Ugh, she gives me the jeebies.

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    I would just be honest and tell her you did not realize the cost of the dress, shoes, hair, lodging, ect. I would also tell her what you can afford and ask if that is ok. If she says no just tell her you need to back out then.
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    This was a communication mistake - you should've asked what was involved before accepting the role of bridesmaid. Its very common for the role of bridesmaid to be very expensive. Its also common for the bridesmaid to pay for her own transportation, dress and hair. This is why its much easier to just be a guest, rather than in the bridal party. I would suck it up and go, because when you get married, you can call on her to be a part of your bridal party if you want. Think of it this way - you might be paying for makup and dress, but she has to shell out an entire wedding budget, which trust me, paying for vendors is WAY more expensive than just being a bridesmaid..
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