Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Feeling used, please help

Hi again,

I guess I have a kind of philosophical question.  I am a bridesmaid, and I posted last week about feeling offended that the bride invited me to her destination wedding w/o a plus one, and I also posted other things she has been doing that are bothering me.  It's so many little things, that it's hard to type out all my grievances and actually expect anyone to read them.

So my question is: how do I handle my feelings of resentment?  Like, dropping out of the bridal party is a friendship-ending move, right?  I certainly don't want to create that kind of drama.  And I also worry that if I drop out of some certain events, I'm totally going to stiff the other bridesmaids, who will end up having to pay a higher share w/o me chipping in.

I'm also not close enough to her that I'm really interested in having any sort of heart to heart about how she should stop getting her expectations of what being a bridesmaid is from ROMANTIC COMEDIES.

I guess I'm wondering --- should I just like "be the bigger person" and try to let it all go and just enjoy the [VERY expensive] festivities?  I'm having a hard time, knowing that ALLLL we are doing for her is basically going to be unappreciated.  I mean, sure she will say "Thank you," but I mean "unappreciated" in the sense that she feels she's perfectly ENTITLED to everything she is asking.  And I don't feel like she will ever look back and be like "Damn, I was a demanding bride."

Sorry, I'm having a really hard time phrasing this and wording my thoughts, but any insight would be appreciated.  How do you handle it when you are offended, and know the offender and you will never see eye to eye??  Do I just hope I'm reaping good karma by going along w/ everything and not creating a scene?

Re: Feeling used, please help

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    I don't think dropping out is necessarily a frienship ending move. I would just put to here that unfortunately due to personal finances you are no longer able to afford to be a bridesmaid and would still love to attend her wedding as a guest.
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    I always thought that ppl said on here that it was a friendship ending move.  OR, is it that kicking someone out of your party is a friendship ender?  But a BM leaving on her own is different?
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    Kicking a bridesmaid out is considered a friendship ender.

    If a bridesmaid leaves on her own, whether or not it's a friendship ender depends on the dynamics of the relationship between her and the bride.
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    edited July 2013
    I don't think declining to be in a DW is a friendship ending move especially since it comes with so many more costs. Honestly, she sounds like a shitty friend anyway. 

    ETA: I think weddings tell you a lot about a person by how they treat their family, guests and WP. She's showing you who she is right now. 
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    auriannaaurianna member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited July 2013
    If one of your concerns is stiffing the other bridesmaids can you contact them and let them know that you will not be able to contribute to any parties or will only able to contribute XYZ to give them a heads up?
    I forget if you've already talked to them, but is it possible if even one person speaks up about the costs that they might all start agreeing that it's just too much? Maybe if all the girls are on board you could host local, less expensive events.
    If the bride throws a fit over that then I think true colors reveal and you'll probably have even less qualms about dropping out closer to the wedding (assuming you aren't already absolutely sure you want to do it now).

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    Dropping out of a WP (especially due to finances) shouldn't end a friendship. I'd just tell her all he events are adding up to too much cost, and you cannot afford to be in her wedding. HOPEFULLY, she'll do something to defray said cost, but even if she doesn't, she should be understanding. If she isn't, it isn't really much of a friendship.
    All of this!

    Anniversary

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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all your input.  I guess that I should have mentioned that I have already bought and paid for the dress and airfare.  For the flights, I was able to use a $500 voucher I had, which covered all but $10, so that was really good for me.  And my dress is getting altered right now, so at this point, I've already shelled out for the major expenses.

    We have also already finished throwing/hosting the bridal shower.

    In addition to standing up at the wedding, she is still expecting us to do a Bachelorette in Vegas and have a "slumber party" at the destination a couple nights before the wedding.

    At this point, I am going to opt out of Vegas.  I WAS worried about stiffing the other BMs, but she sent out an email yesterday, saying that she wants us to all stay at a friend of hers who lives there.... because it will be "free."  But this will involve "sleeping bags" and "air mattresses" bc she's inviting like 20 ppl.  Well, I am just not comfortable w/ such sleeping arrangements (sorry if that makes me stuffy and annoying).  ALSO, I recently stopped drinking a few months ago.  I don't identify as a full blown alcoholic, but I really do prefer not to be around heavy drinking, partying and clubbing.  It's just easier on me to not be around it.  And honestly even if I WAS drinking, I have always HATED clubs and clubbing and "dancing" w/ an intense passion.

    As for the "slumber party" she also sent some info about that, which indicates that she's into more bed-sharing for the sake of saving money.  Like, she's thinking 3 to a king size bed will be "perfectly comfortable AND economical."  Well again, not for me.  I mean, I am like a 35 yr old woman.  Not to necessarily bring age into it, but I just don't sleep great anyway, and I effing HATE sharing beds.  So I'm going to get my own room for that night too.  I'll kind of leave my options open to participate in the slumber partying, but at the end of the night, I just need to retreat to my own room and be able to sleep peacefully.  And the drinking at this slumber party will be something for me to consider too.  I don't know that I'll necessarily be super into hanging out w/ a bunch of drunk ladies in a hotel room, depending how the night unfolds (NOT that I'm judging.. bc I'd love to BE one of the drunk ladies myself, but just can't for health/personal reasons).

    So anyway, there's that.  Thanks for listening and thanks for the input.
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    arrichter1arrichter1 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited July 2013
    I feel ya.  I was in a similar situation a few years ago, although not quite as bad as yours sounds.  The bride chose a really inconvenient OOT location with no lodging nearby, and invited more people than the place could comfortably hold.  My boyfriend and another bridesmaid's boyfriend ended up with nowhere to sit for dinner.  I never received a single thank you note for shower or wedding gifts.  Like you, I felt my efforts to celebrate with her and help her enjoy her wedding were unappreciated.  

    I have no great advice, but I think opting out of Vegas and getting your own room sound like a good compromise, especially if she's inviting so many people.  I also think that limited finances and vacation time (which I think you mentioned in a previous thread) are very valid reasons to not show up several days before the wedding.  And I agree with PPs that if she takes this as a friendship-ending move, you probably need to rethink the friendship.

    edited for typos.
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    Being in someone's wedding doesn't mean that you are required to attend events like Bachelorette parties, showers, or anything else.  It certainly sounds like you have legitimate personal reasons for foregoing the Bachelorette party, and your request for your own bed at the 'sleepover' is a completely reasonable one.  You sound like you've been a wonderful friend and supportive member of the bridal party, I don't think stepping back from the bachelorette party would be a friendship ender for you.

    Curious-how old is the bride?  I'm on the same page with you, sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag stopped being fun about 5 minutes after college.  Yuck.  
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    I have no great advice, but I think opting out of Vegas and getting your own room sound like a good compromise, especially if she's inviting so many people.  I also think that limited finances and vacation time (which I think you mentioned in a previous thread) are very valid reasons to not show up several days before the wedding.  And I agree with PPs that if she takes this as a friendship-ending move, you probably need to rethink the friendship.
     
    i2i. I think your compromises (skipping Vegas and attending the slumber party but sleeping in your own room) are completely reasonable.  I'm sorry your friend does not appreciate all that her friends are doing for her.
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    Well-put arrichter, I feel like we're not appreciated for helping her to enjoy the big day.  Oh well, I kind of feel like a jerk for complaining about it, but glad to know I'm not alone.

    Radley, she is a bit younger than me -- earlier 30s.  But yeah, we're pretty much all in our 30s, so kind of past bed-sharing and sleeping bags.... at least *I* personally am.
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    Sort of a side note, I'm old too (38 in a couple of days), but I do not understand the lure of a bachelorette party in Vegas.  I travel enough for work, and maybe I'm just an old home body, but I wouldn't dream of asking my friends to give up a weekend to travel states away for no other reason than to drink and party.  We can do that here in town, spend a lot less money, and sleep in our own beds.  Just a personal preference.  

    Sorry to digress.  Hope it all works out for you, Kinsey!  
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    I was in a similar bachelorette party experience. I was a bridesmaid and the maid of honor and another BM insisted on a trip to Vegas. We live in CT. The entire thing was supposed to be a surprise from the bride, but they insisted that they knew it was what she always wanted. Airfare alone was ridiculous to me. I finally put my foot down to the other girls and said I was not participating. Then they went to the bride all in a tizzy because I wasn't "being helpful" and she was mortified that they wanted to go the Vegas and said she has no interest in being away that long. In the end it worked out, and we stayed local.
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    ashleyepashleyep member
    First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited July 2013
    Have you mentioned your issues with the sleeping arrangements? My entire family (including aunts and uncles in their 50s and 60s) are used to squeezing in someone's house overnight, so air mattresses and potentially 3 girls to a bed isn't an issue to me, especially if it's only for a night or two. Seriously, we end up with 30+ people in a tiny two bedroom cottage near the beach on holiday weekends during the summer. I'd probably (wrongly) assume it wasn't an issue for most other people if no one said anything. Let her know you'd like to sleep in your own room for the sleepover, just make sure you spend as much time with the girls as you can.

    And I think she would be completely out of line to be mad at you for bailing on the bachelorette party. A destination wedding and destination bachelorette party is a little ridiculous.
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    I've been in your shoes, many, many times. I felt very resentful of friends who I thought were too demanding and not appreciative enough. I bitched and moaned and one friendship ended after the wedding. the bottom line is -- just do the best you can. This is the time to celebrate and help your friend. It's not your day together, it's her event, and if you have it in your spirit to be celebratory for her and a bit selfless, then do it. And one day, when you are getting married, your friends will rally around you, and you'll think back to your days as a bridesmaid, and likely regret some of the bitching you did. Because having bridesmaids who are excited and supportive and there for the events is incredible. 

    If you have to skip vegas, just skip it. And be fully engaged in the other events. 

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    Hi all,
    I just wanted to drop back in w/ an update.  I talked to my bride, and I am skipping Vegas, and getting my own room to sleep in for the sleepover.  Bride has been totally gracious about it, and I feel much better.  Also I realize my own role in creating this problem: which is that I just get stressed out and worked up over not wanting to let anyone down, when the reality is, she has been very nice about me "dropping out" of V, and maybe the reality is that it's not really THAT big of a letdown for her.  Yes, she has been a bit of an intense bride, but hey -- weddings are a big deal and who am I to judge??

    Thanks everyone, I really appreciate your advice and support.
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