XP Cautionary Tale: BP Do's and Don'ts
One of my best friends called me last night very upset. After listening to her vent for over an hour about this situation, I thought it was a great cautionary tale on how NOT to treat your friends and bridal party during the wedding planning process (or ever, really).
Hopefully some of you who have high expectations of your friend or pretty princess wedding dreams will take something from this.
A little over a year ago my friend (we will call her Emily for the sake of this story), was asked to be the Maid of Honor in her friend Samantha’s (name has also been changed) wedding. Emily and Samantha have been best friends for over 20 years, so Emily was the obvious choice to be MOH in Samantha’s wedding. Samantha asked her, and Emily accepted graciously.
Fast forward about six months. Samantha hadn’t done too much wedding planning, but decided at that point that she wanted to have a destination wedding in Jamaica. She excited tells Emily this, but Emily, who had just had her own wedding, still has student loans, and is saving up for a house tells her that she will have to double check her financial situation to see if she will be able to make it to the wedding, which would cost her over $2,000 including airfare.
Emily spoke with her husband, and they decided that they definitely couldn’t afford for Emily to attend the wedding, and if she did, they would have to postpone buying a home. Emily was really upset, but sat down with Samantha and explained why she wouldn’t be able to go. Samantha cried and was really upset in general, then offered to pay for Emily to go on the trip. Emily said she would feel badly about accepting that kind of support, and encouraged Samantha to think about the situation a little longer and decide if she really wanted to spend all of the extra money on getting Emily to Jamaica.
Samantha took a few days to think about it, then called Emily and told her that she just couldn’t afford to pay for her to go. She then stated that most people were unable to attend, so she and her FI decided to get married in a church and have a mini-reception first in the states THEN go to Jamaica and do it all over again. Emily explained that having two weddings was excessive, and since people had already booked expensive trips to see Samantha and her FI get married in Jamaica, they probably would be upset when they found out that they were already going to be married. Samantha just said okay, and got off the phone. She called Emily later that night to tell her how hurt she was that Emily wasn’t dropping the money to go to Jamaica, then hung up quickly and wouldn’t return Emily’s calls for a few weeks.
Emily felt really bad, spoke with her husband, and they decided that Emily and Samantha’s friendship was more important than buying a house immediately. She moved some money around, booked the trip and then called Samantha to tell her. Samantha burst into tears on the phone, hung up, and didn’t answer Emily’s calls. About 30 minutes later, a mutual friend of theirs called Emily asking her, “What did you do to Samantha? She is inconsolably crying, saying you are a liar and unsupportive of her wedding.”
Then lots of calls started rolling in. Apparently, as soon as Emily told Samantha that she couldn’t attend the first time, Samantha started talking about Emily to all of their mutual friends, saying she was a terrible person, selfish, a bad friend, and giving everyone personal details about Emily and her husband’s financial situation. Finally, a few weeks later, Emily got through to Samantha and they talked it out. They both apologized (I’m still not sure why Emily apologized, but whatever), and then Samantha ended the conversation with, “remember, you’re still my MOH, so I hope you’ve been busy planning my shower.”
Because their friendship was already on rocky ground, and Emily didn’t want to shake things up more, she planned a bridal shower and invited all of Samantha’s friends and family. It was all done by her, with no help from anyone else, financial or otherwise. That was three weeks ago, and Emily has still not received so much as a thank you.
She did, however, receive a very detailed facebook message from Samantha describing, in fine detail, exactly what she is expecting of her Bachelorette party. Of course it is a plan that requires her friends to spend even more money on her on an overnight trip to Atlantic City. Emily flat-out just refused this, and is going the route of an evening out at a local pub. Samantha is apparently livid again at Emily for refusing to spend more money on her.
It has gotten to the point where Emily, after keeping this all inside for month, called me last night and just vented on the phone for a long time to get it off her chest. It is ruining a friendship that they’ve had for 20 years. So ladies who have expectations of your BP’s and friends, please take into consideration that the world does not revolve around you, and you will absolutely lose friends if you act this way.
Morals of the story:
When you ask your friends to be in your BP, be upfront with them
about what type of wedding you are planning (especially a destination wedding),
and get feedback on their budgets.
Don’t make your friends feel guilty if they can’t afford to attend your wedding.
Don’t talk about your friends behind their backs.
Don’t ever expect people to spend money on “your day” or the parties that you feel you are entitled to.
Don’t air your friends’ financial information to others.
Don’t ever throw a hissy fit when your friend tells you she is planning something for you, especially if your main concern is that people aren’t spending enough money on you.
Don’t throw two weddings for yourself, and expect people to be okay with it. You only get married one, unless you’ve gotten divorced.
Don’t get pissy if people give you honest feedback about your shitty ideas.
Do thank your friends for being there for you.
Do thank your friends for any pre-wedding parties they plan for you, or any involvement that they have had at all.