Moms and Maids

Spending priorities for bridesmaid

CLoGreenEyesCLoGreenEyes member
1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
edited September 2013 in Moms and Maids
Hey all! I am a bridesmaid in the wedding of one of my best friends. It is in April 2014.

I really want to be a part of it and help her out, but because of nursing school and unexpected financial aid issues, I am not sure I will have enough money or time. Obviously I will need to buy the dress she picks, and I have already saved up enough money to cover something reasonable. I will do my own hair and make-up, use shoes I already own, etc. As far as the other stuff, though, I'm not sure how to "prioritize" whatever money I'll have to spend on the wedding. So my question is, as a bride, would you rather your maids splurge on your bachelorette party, your shower, or a gift?

In fact, if worse comes to worst, would it be incredibly insulting if I ended up turning down the role of bridesmaid? And at what point should I figure this out by (though I can already feel the financial stress falling off of me just thinking about it)? I cannot even guarantee that I won't have a clinical rotation during her wedding at this point. It would be a lot easier and more affordable for me to attend as a guest, but this woman is seriously like my sister. I would love to help her with making centerpieces or addressing invitations or anything (at least on breaks, lol), but during the semester I need to focus on school.

Re: Spending priorities for bridesmaid

  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    If she's your dear friend, she should understand that you're in school, which obviously means strapped for cash and time. All you're obligated to do is show up in the dress on time and sober on the wedding day and smile in the pictures. Anything above that is gravy, as you know, and it's wonderful that you're willing to help her out so much. I think given the financial aid situation, it might be better to attempt to prioritize time over money - it's still a gift to her, but then it's a little easier on your wallet.

    It wouldn't be insulting if you turned down the role of bridesmaid, and there's no time limit on figuring out whether or not you can be. Is there any way you can be sure you'll be free for just the day of the wedding?
  • @keptinstitches, unfortunately I won't know my schedule for spring semester until January or February. It is entirely possible that I could have a Friday evening clinical, which is when her wedding will fall. I seriously have no idea, but I'm pretty sure I would have to order a dress more than two months beforehand, right?

    I've started thinking about this because she wants to go shopping for dresses with everybody at the end of this month. I have no clue whether that's the usual timeframe or not, but I'm just not excited about the possibility of buying the dress, getting it altered, and then finding out I'll be in clinical that night anyway.

    The more I think about it, the more I think I should just tell her that I'm not sure I can be a bridesmaid, but I am happy to lend an ear to listen or hands to DIY. I really hope I can go, I would haaaaaate missing this, but I just don't know if I will be able to.
  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I think it would depend on what she's thinking for dresses. I mean, if she gives you a color, length, and fabric, then you could go get something at a department store and not be in a bind for the dress. Maybe give her that as an option, if you think she'll listen?
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Honestly if you are already having reservations about not having time or money and then you aren't even sure that you will be able to go to the wedding until a few months before I would probably tell her you can't be a bridesmaid. I'm sure she will understand.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Just be open and honest.  Say you aren't comfortable purchasing a dress just yet, and tell her your budget for a dres.  Tell her you won't know your clinical schedule until Jan or Feb, that's why you want to wait as its possible you won't be able to attend at all. And also be upfront & clear with the rest of the BP, that you won't be able to assist financially, but would be willing to help out any other way.  Your a student, they should understand.
  • CLoGreenEyesCLoGreenEyes member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited September 2013
    She has already narrowed it down to a few dresses from David's Bridal and wants us to be basically identical, so unfortunately just getting a color and length is out.

    Thanks for your responses, everyone! I will just go ahead and tell her that I can't give her any definite answers right now about whether I can be there. I might see what she ends up picking for dresses and try to work it into the budget. I do have a little money set aside for the wedding, but I was hoping to be able to save more before other stuff came up. And yeah, I will definitely work with the rest of the BP about contributing in other ways whenever I can. And if it comes down to it, at least I know I've done something for her even if I'm stuck in clinical on the big day.
  • If you were my friend I would hate to know that my wedding was any source of stress for you, financial or otherwise. Especially with you in school! I would feel terrible to know that you spent months stressing over paying for a dress, worrying if you were "contributing" enough, etc. because as your friend all I would want is you standing there beside me, not all the extras. I'd totally understand if you wanted to plan on coming as a guest if it saved you from stressing or being stretched financially.

    I think you need to be open with her from the beginning, before dress shopping, etc. Especially if you think there is a chance you may not be able to attend.  That will save any hurt feelings resulting from lack of communication.

  • Honestly, you don't have to pay for anything else other than the dress, so don't stress too much. I would definitely make sure she knows you might have clinical during the wedding, just as a heads up, so it doesn't shock her to find out.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • As a bridesmaid, your "duties" are to buy a dress (within the budget you dictate to the bride) and show up at the wedding on time and sober. Other than that, there are no other obligatory expenses associated with being a bridesmaid. If you offer to throw or contribute to parties in her honor, then you're on the hook for that, but you can control whether or not you offer.

    I'd just tell her what you said here about your concerns and work from there.

  • I have a maid of honor with similar financial constraints. I (privately) offered help with paying for her dress and she volunteered to do non-monetary contributions to the bridal shower. She didn't attend the bachelorette (she lives out of state) but sent a playlist for us to listen to while getting ready with a lot of songs that had a strong meaning for us. The most important thing to me was her with me on my wedding day, and that's probably your friend's priority.
    This is your dear friend - talk to her! - most brides are reasonable people and understand these things - tell her what you told us and see what she thinks, and go with that. If there is a chance you cannot even attend her wedding due to school, that would be important to note, but, maybe there is time to wait to make a final decision. A David's Bridal dress will come in in a week or two, so you don't need to order crazy ahead of time.
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