Wedding Party

Lost a bridesmaid last minute - what do I do with her dress?!

One of my bridesmaids had to step down kinda last minute (wedding is August 10, 2013)
Her dress is at the bridal shop and has only been half paid for.
I'm trying to find someone else who can step in for her who wears the same size dress.  
The question is who pays the remaining balance - the girl who first ordered the dress and had to step down or the girl that takes over for her?
Also - if I can't find anyone who can wear it what do I do with the dress
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Re: Lost a bridesmaid last minute - what do I do with her dress?!

  • Please, please, please do not replace this girl with another BM.  It is hurtful and offensive to both girls.  To the bridesmaid who stepped down, it sends the message that she is replaceable.  To the person you ask in her place, it sends the message that she is only an afterthought and a second choice BM.

    If this girl chose to remove herself from the wedding, it would be kind of her to pay the remaining balance on the dress, and then wear if for another occasion or sell it.  If I had to step down from a friend's wedding, and it wasn't due to money issues or ending the friendship, this is what I would do.  However, if she doesn't offer to do this, you're kind of stuck paying the remaining balance on the dress.  In this case, you should pay the remaining balance and then try to sell the dress. 
    snippet17wittykitty14Blue_Bird
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    1.  May drop out for August wedding is not last minute.
    2.  Why would you try to get someone the same size to be a prop in your wedding?



    Blue_BirdLiatris2010
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    One of my bridesmaids had to step down kinda last minute (wedding is August 10, 2013)
    Her dress is at the bridal shop and has only been half paid for.
    I'm trying to find someone else who can step in for her who wears the same size dress.  
    The question is who pays the remaining balance - the girl who first ordered the dress and had to step down or the girl that takes over for her?
    Also - if I can't find anyone who can wear it what do I do with the dress




    Blue_Bird
  • Please do not replace her with someone who can fit in the dress. Even sides are a-ok. Whoever you ask to take her place will know they are second-rate and only in your wedding because of their waist size. If you asked me, I would tell you no. It's insulting. 

    It would be nice if the girl paid the balance on the dress; however, depending on the circumstances, she may just leave it for you to deal with. I would definitely try to sell it. If she does pay the balance, it's hers to sell. If you add another BM for even sides, she will need to order her own dress, even if she just buys the one that is going unused.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • How would you feel if someone said to you, "I'm only asking you because you fit this dress and I want even sides"... crappy. Don't do this to a friend. 

    I'm sure you have people who you'd like to ask, but just let it be. Pay for the dress yourself, then sell it online. 

    Blue_Bird
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited May 2013
    Please do not try to replace her.  Asking an understudy bridesmaid is a huge slap in the face to both the original bridesmaid and the fill in.  That's not ok.  

    It's up to the girl to decide what to do with the dress.  If she wants to pay the difference and keep or sell the dress, she can.  If she doesn't want to, she can just forfeit the deposit.  Unless you paid the deposit, this isn't your concern.  
    wittykitty14Blue_BirdLiatris2010
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Please do not try to replace her.  Asking an understudy bridesmaid is a huge slap in the face to both the original bridesmaid and the fill in.  That's not ok.  

    It's up to the girl to decide what to do with the dress.  If she wants to pay the difference and keep or sell the dress, she can.  If she doesn't want to, she can just forfeit the deposit.  Unless you paid the deposit, this isn't your concern.  
    This. 


    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
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  • mlg78mlg78 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    The former bridesmaid just loses out on the money she's paid and you go on with wedding planning as usual.  End of story.  It's THAT simple.


  • I think it would be important to know why she dropped out. 

    If she chose to drop out because of non-financial reasons (a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, chose to be in another wedding, backed out in anger), I really think she should pay the balance. It would be the right thing for her to do. Then the dress would be hers to do what she wants with it.

     If she backed out due to financial issues or some very unfortunate circumstances or you kicked her out, I think you should pay the balance and not burden her with it at all. I would then hold onto it for a few months or until things blow over before talking with her on whether she wants to donate it or sell it and split the earnings.

    You should not replace her. That would be rude to your bridesmaid AND to her replacement. If you somehow found someone who wouldn't be offended, you should pay for the entire dress (reimburse the first girl for what she already paid and pay the balance for the second girl).
  • Gosh... I can't think of anything more flattering than being asked to stand in a wedding because of my dress size.  Oh wait... the other thing.....
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

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    [Deleted User]Dreamergirl8812Blue_Bird
  • libby2483libby2483 member
    1000 Comments 250 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited May 2013
    Gosh... I can't think of anything more flattering than being asked to stand in a wedding because of my dress size.  Oh wait... the other thing.....
    I know...I can't imagine how this conversation would go.

    Bride: Do you want to be a bridesmaid in my wedding in a couple of months?  I had a bridesmaid drop out.

    Replacement: Ummm...

    Bride: I mean, you are a size 6, right?

    Replacement: No, I'm a size 8.

    Bride: Oh, well, never mind then.  I'm only looking for people who are size 6.  Too bad you're not just a little skinnier.
    mlg78wittykitty14Jessa617 Blue_Bird
  • libby2483 said:
    Gosh... I can't think of anything more flattering than being asked to stand in a wedding because of my dress size.  Oh wait... the other thing.....
    I know...I can't imagine how this conversation would go.

    Bride: Do you want to be a bridesmaid in my wedding in a couple of months?  I had a bridesmaid drop out.

    Replacement: Ummm...

    Bride: I mean, you are a size 6, right?

    Replacement: No, I'm a size 8.

    Bride: Oh, well, never mind then.  I'm only looking for people who are size 6.  Too bad you're not just a little skinnier.
    She has 3 months to lose the weight though. That's the closest you are probably going to get.
    libby2483
  • Let me offer a little more information - 
    The girl dropped out because she is planning her own wedding (and having to pay for it) and was not able to make it to any of the wedding day events (including the rehearsal) She also lives out of town.  We're having a day wedding and to avoid anyone being late, anyone from out of town needs to get a hotel and stay close so we ensure we have everyone on time.  
    It was becoming clear that she was not going to be able to fulfill bridesmaid duties and it was causing unnecessary stress that she doesn't need while planning her own wedding.  We had a discussion and both agreed that it would make things easier if she could just come to our wedding as a guest and enjoy the day without the financial burden and the burden of taking off from work. (she has limited vacation and is using what she has for her own wedding and our rehearsal has to be the Thursday before the wedding due to venue requirements)
    It is the end of may and the wedding is early August which means we only have 2 months left and it takes three months for the dresses to come in once they are ordered - so yes, it is last minute to have a girl order a new dress.  
    I have a friend who I wanted to ask to be in the wedding but due to the obligation to include my two female cousins and my own sister in the bridal party I was unable to include her.  It's not that I'm wanting to ask her b/c she's simply the right size I'm asking her and hoping we can work something out.  (I live in the south and family obligations are huge so before anyone hates about me using that word, please understand the cultural implications - I did WANT to include them, but I also HAD to)
    My cousin had to replace a bridesmaid because one got seriously injured and it was no big offense.  
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    [Deleted User]
  • Most of the replies on this post are making it seem like there was an argument or a big blow up and there wasn't 
    My wedding isn't the big financial burden in her life - paying for her own wedding is and anything added to that makes it worse.  
    The venue dictates when the rehearsal is - I didn't get a choice
    It's not like she lives right down the road and I'm asking her to get a hotel - she lives in a major city that is notorious for traffic delays and the only alternate route is way out of the way.  Plus the wedding is at 1:00 in the afternoon and trying to find a place to get hair and makeup done while she is out of town while allowing enough time for travel would be hard because she would need to find a place open early enough
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  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited May 2013
    Most of the replies on this post are making it seem like there was an argument or a big blow up and there wasn't 
    My wedding isn't the big financial burden in her life - paying for her own wedding is and anything added to that makes it worse.  
    The venue dictates when the rehearsal is - I didn't get a choice
    It's not like she lives right down the road and I'm asking her to get a hotel - she lives in a major city that is notorious for traffic delays and the only alternate route is way out of the way.  Plus the wedding is at 1:00 in the afternoon and trying to find a place to get hair and makeup done while she is out of town while allowing enough time for travel would be hard because she would need to find a place open early enough
    You do have a choice - you can choose to have the rehearsal somewhere else, or not to have one at all.  Even if you go with the venue's requirement for the rehearsal nobody HAS to come to the rehearsal.  It's not mandatory, and if she can't make it then it's no big deal. 

    RE the hotel and when she arrives and getting her hair and make up done - not your problem and you don't get to control what other people do.  You can prefer the people in your wedding party to get a hotel room and come early, but requiring it is rude and inappropriate.  There's no reason she couldn't do her own hair and make up, anyway.  You're micromanaging.

    Basically it sounds like you kicked her out because she couldn't live up to your unreasonable expectations. 

    2+ months before your wedding is not a last minute drop out.  It doesn't matter how long it would take to get a new dress because you absolutely should not be replacing her.  It's rude to both her and the replacement.  You should have asked everyone you wanted to be in your wedding party in the first place; now it's 2 months before your wedding and they would be an obvious second choice replacement.  Don't do that to people you ostensibly care about. 



  • From your posts, I'm seeing that the main issue here is that you are mixing up what you HAVE to do with what you WANT to do.

    You say that you HAD to avoid asking this girl originally because you HAD to include your family members.  This is untrue.  You could have asked her instead of one family member and dealt with any family drama that may have arisen.  You also could have asked her and your family members; you don't HAVE to have even sides -- you WANT to.  

    You say that you HAVE to have the rehearsal on a Thursday.  Nope, you WANT to.  There is no requirement saying that the rehearsal must be held at the actual venue.  I was in a wedding once where we rehearsed in the back storeroom of the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner was held, and it all turned out just fine.  

    You also say that the WP HAS to stay the night before in the hotel.  Again, this is what you WANT.  It is their decision whether they want to shell out money for a hotel or get up very early and drive.

    And ultimately, you don't HAVE to replace this BM, you WANT to.  I think that realizing the difference between HAVE and WANT will make wedding planning (and life) much easier.  
    [Deleted User]Viczaesarwittykitty14Liatris2010
  • From the forum preview, all I could see was "Lost a bridesmaid" and was ready to offer condolences.

    OP, let it be.  If the woman you kicked out of your wedding party doesn't pay for the other half of her dress (and based on the way you have treated her, I wouldn't if it were me), you'll have to pick up the tab and try to sell the dress.

    For all the reasons stated by others before me, please try to change the way you treat your friends.
    mlg78Dreamergirl8812
  • So... yeah the explanation post didn't make you look any better in the situation.
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

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  • She doesn't need to be at the rehearsal.  Other people can fill her in on what's hapenning.

    If it's a money thing, why not offer to help her out?  If she's your friend and you're still on good terms with her, why WOULDN'T you want to help her?

    Please don't ask anyone else to "step in", for the reasons PPs have said

    Also, culture and tradition do not justify rudeness

  • Honestly, I am having a Thursday rehearsal too because of my venue's policies and I made it very clear to my WP that the rehearsal and RD should be considered optional. If I were you I'd adopt the same policy, apologize to the girl who "stepped down" and let her know that the rehearsal and hotel are totally optional if she wants to reconsider. If she does, I'd pay the dress balance as a courtesy.

    I wouldn't replace her. I know you really want that friend there but unfortunately, it's too late to gracefully ask her. Maybe you could honor her as a reader or invite to her to get ready with you day-of.
    Peledreamsofrainartbyallie
  • Your follow ups just make you sound worse.   You could have included the friend to begin with, and just had uneven sides. But, you didn't.    Don't replace your BM.  You just leave your wedding party as is. 

    As far as what to do with the dress, you can either pay for the other half of the dress, and then sell it, or you can just leave it at the salon and lose the deposit.  

  • I don't have the option to change the time of the venue and I can't have it at an other venue because it is not a typical venue and there are things specific to that location that need to be considered.  

    She has other expenses besides the dress - shoes hair and make up and hotel 
    Yes, I understand it's her choice whether or not to do her own but if she chose to have it done that would still be money regardless
    Most of our bridal party is coming in from out of town and getting hotels.  Like I said before they are coming from a significant distance and with it being a day wedding, it's best so that we can ensure everyone is there.  
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  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You just don't get it. Not everybody needs to rehearse. It's not that complicated. She does not need to pay for hair, makeup, shoes or hotel. All. She needs to do is show up in the dress. You are the one making unreasonable demands.
    brielleinlove
  • I don't see how I'm making unreasonable demands. Every wedding book and website lists responsibilities of bridesmaids as Paying for their attire and accommodations attending wedding events such as rehearsals and showers. It also lists duties such as helping decorate and get things ready for the day of, which I am not asking anyone other than my mom and sister for. When I accepted to be a bm in a wedding a few years ago I knew those things would be required of me and I was not surprised when they were. I'm not forcing her to do things things I was saying if she was unable to then I would understand and didnt want to force these things on her if she were unable.
    And just to update we were Able to work it out to where she will still be able to stand
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    [Deleted User]
  • I don't see how I'm making unreasonable demands. Every wedding book and website lists responsibilities of bridesmaids as Paying for their attire and accommodations attending wedding events such as rehearsals and showers. It also lists duties such as helping decorate and get things ready for the day of, which I am not asking anyone other than my mom and sister for. When I accepted to be a bm in a wedding a few years ago I knew those things would be required of me and I was not surprised when they were. I'm not forcing her to do things things I was saying if she was unable to then I would understand and didnt want to force these things on her if she were unable.
    And just to update we were Able to work it out to where she will still be able to stand

    Wedding industry books saying that people should drop extra money on wedding industry stuff and attend extra parties? The 'duties' MUST be gospel truth then. Must be!
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

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    brielleinlove
  • I don't see how I'm making unreasonable demands. Every wedding book and website lists responsibilities of bridesmaids as Paying for their attire and accommodations attending wedding events such as rehearsals and showers. It also lists duties such as helping decorate and get things ready for the day of, which I am not asking anyone other than my mom and sister for. When I accepted to be a bm in a wedding a few years ago I knew those things would be required of me and I was not surprised when they were. I'm not forcing her to do things things I was saying if she was unable to then I would understand and didnt want to force these things on her if she were unable. And just to update we were Able to work it out to where she will still be able to stand


    Wedding books are trying to get you to convince your wedding party to spend more money.  Proper etiquette says, your BMs buy the dress.  if you want a particular shoe, or you are demanding that they get their hair and makeup professionally done, YOU pay for that, not your wedding party.   The only time it is someone's "duty" to help you decorate/setup/tear down is when you are paying them to do so.  If your wedding party offers, it's certainly ok to accept their offer, but you should never expect them to do any of those things, and it's certainly not a "duty".

    You need to throw away any bridal book or magazine that came with a list of wedding party duties. 

    brielleinlove
  • Just stop. All the justifying you are trying to do just keeps digging you deeper and deeper.

    It would be "best" for her to be there the night before- according to who? Just you, apparently. Please treat your friends like the adults they are.

    The only requirement for a BM is to show up in the dress and smile in pictures (sober, preferably). Anything you require beyond that (shoes, makeup, hair, etc) should be purchased by you. No one is obligated to preform any other "duties." Those books and lists serve one purpose- bring $$$ into the wedding industry. Do you think these companies care if you and your dear friend have a falling out over your demands? Nope, as long as they get your cash. The purpose of bridesmaids used to be to confuse evil spirits, then it became to honor cherished friends, and over time it has evolved into free labor for some women and the friends they guilt/trick into it. (I think Retread has a better explanation on this, I'm paraphrasing what I can remember). 
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • You do realize, you've permanently scarred a friendship, right?

    Other than a dress, hair, makeup And accommodations are not required. If you are demanding certain hairstyles, shoes, or makeup being professionally done (seriously???) that's your responsibility to pay.

    For the record, I would not burn vac days got a Thursday rehearsal. No matter what. Sorry.
  • edited May 2013
    Bottom line...you asked for input, people are giving it. You may not like it, but it's what you asked for.

    I agree that replacing her is rude for both parties. But it's your choice. The one thing I WILL say is DO NOT ask or expect the replacement to cover ANY of the cost. That is flat out rude. You're basically asking her to pick up the tab so you don't have to.

    If someone approached me and gave me an honest explanation as to why they need a bridesmaid last minute and asked me to be it, I would likely be a little offended but agree to help them out if they're a close enough friend/family member. If they asked me and then added "Oh, by the way, you have to cover the rest of the expenses she left hanging as well!", I would tell her to take her dress and expenses and wedding as a whole and shove it.


    * Edit to add: Just saw the update. Glad you worked it out. But for future reference for anyone else, see above.
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  • mlg78mlg78 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I don't have the option to change the time of the venue and I can't have it at an other venue because it is not a typical venue and there are things specific to that location that need to be considered.  

    She has other expenses besides the dress - shoes hair and make up and hotel 
    Yes, I understand it's her choice whether or not to do her own but if she chose to have it done that would still be money regardless
    Most of our bridal party is coming in from out of town and getting hotels.  Like I said before they are coming from a significant distance and with it being a day wedding, it's best so that we can ensure everyone is there.  

    Shoes = your expense
    Hair = your expense
    Makeup = your expense

    She has shoes, she can do her own hair and she can do her own makeup.  If you want specific shoes or her hair/makeup professionally done, that's on YOU to pay for, not her.


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