Hidden Costs Of Being A Bridesmaid

Maybe the phrase “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” is less a lament of singledom and more of a complaint about being forced by a succession of friends to make unreasonable financial sacrifices in the name of their big day. Women who are asked to be bridesmaids are forced through a gauntlet of brutal financial and time commitments, and should bear those costs in mind before accepting a request from a bride-to-be.

And Then She Saved outlines some of these catches to bridesmaiding:

* The dress. You not only have to spring for the garish garment, but also pay for alterations.

* Travel. If the wedding, bachelorette party and bridal shower aren’t in your neck of the woods, you’ll be making at least three trips in support of the events, as well as pitching in some cash for festivities so the bride doesn’t have to pay.

* A gift. In addition to all the other commitments, you’re still expected to shell out for a present like everyone else.

The post recommends accepting bridesmaid assignments discriminately. If you’d like to help out but don’t want to be part of the madness, politely decline being a bridesmaid and ask if there’s another way you can contribute.

The High Cost of Being A Bridesmaid And What To Do About It [And Then She Saved]

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  1. Extended-Warranty says:

    Frst wrld prblms

    • failurate says:

      What type of problems are you looking for? How can the CONSUMERist change to better fit your needs for information on non-First World problems?

      Maybe we could get Phil to post an article on 10 Ways to Cook a Plantain? Or The 5 Secrets to Successful Garbage Dump Mining?

      • kobresia says:

        I’d rather see an article on “recovering valuable metals from old electronics using only burn barrels and child labor”.

      • caradrake says:

        I could go for some plantain recipes…. those things are awesome.

        Plus, it is lunch time.

        • Cat says:

          Here you go. (I hate jackfruit, so I leave it out of the recipe)

          Turon Saba (Banana Plantain Rolls in Sugar)

          Ingredients :

          1/2 dozen ripe saba (banana plantain)
          1 cup chopped langka (jackfruit)
          1/2 cup brown sugar
          lumpia (spring roll) wrappers
          oil, enough for deep frying

          Cooking Procedures :

          Cut banana in half, and cut each half into 3 pieces. Roll slightly each banana piece in sugar.
          Place coated bananas on top of each lumpia wrapper (this will depend to your liking on how many pieces of banana slices for each wrapper), spread with chopped langka (jackfruit), carefully wrap and roll into shape of egg roll. Seal the ends with water or egg white.
          Fry in deep medium-high oil. Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon of sugar over your turon. This will caramelize and stick to your turon. Flip your turon to coat evenly with caramelized sugar. Fry until golden brown and crisp.
          Remove from pan and set over wax paper for a couple of minutes and then enjoy!

          Variations
          Sesame seeds maybe sprinkled while turon is still hot and the sugar has not set.

          Maybe served with ice cream for dessert or just as is for snack.

          http://www.allfavoriterecipe.com/turon-saba-banana-plantain

    • Firevine says:

      I really want to slap the piss out of people that say that. It’s old, tired, not clever, and right obnoxious

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      2nd and 3rd world weddings and wedding obligations can be just as costly or more (relative to income)

      • Cat says:

        Not only more costly relative to income, but with different rules and expectations as to who pays for what.

        In some countries, the groom is expected to pay for everything.

    • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

      Nobody gets married outside industrialized nations?

    • who? says:

      You’ve apparently never been to an Indian wedding.

    • Snoofin says:

      That term “first world problem” really pisses me off. Its like youre saying our problems shouldnt matter just because some other country has more pressing problems. Well I really dont care what some poor person in Mongolia’s problems are. I LIVE in a first world country and LIVE a first world lifestyle. When I am inconvenienced by something, I want it fixed whether YOU think its worthwhile or not!!

      • maxamus2 says:

        No, actually “first world problems” to me are people complaining about stuff that they really don’t need and has nothing to do with comparing it to some poor country.

        A “first world problem” to me goes something like this “My usual Starbucks was closed so I had to cross the street and go up an entire block to go to another Starbucks”.

        • MMD says:

          Be that as it may, it’s smug and condescending for someone to post that and add nothing pertinent to the conversation. Extended-Warranty should go poop in someone else’s sandbox he/she is so above it all!

      • technoreaper says:

        It’s a hilarious meme. Check it out, it’s so true.

      • milty45654 says:

        You must be a republican and as such a piece of shit…..

  2. kobresia says:

    Those are pretty obvious costs, not hidden at all. Really?

    • Kaleey says:

      most ladies get excited about the wedding and don’t even think about these when they say “Yes.”

      Not really hidden, more like the person taking them on is temporarily blinded.

    • missy070203 says:

      not hidden at all – much unlike the cost of the shoes$60 for shoes $30 for dye – because a bride usually insists all bridesmaids where matching shoes or have shoes dyed to match the dress- and jewlery- I was a bridesmaid in a wedding once where the bride wanted us all to wear the same necklace and earring set which we all had to dish out $80 for and since i have skin allergies and had a bad reaction to them had to take perscription allergy meds all day and don’t even remember half the wedding…. not to mention could never wear any of it ever again- or when the bride insists that all the bridesmaids have their hair professionally done in the same exact way – there goes another $60-$100

      I have been a bridesmaid 6 times and only twice was I able to get away with spending less than $500 on the ordeal-

      • RedOryx says:

        See, that’s bullshit. The two times I’ve been a bridesmaid, the bride bought our jewelry for us as our gift.

        • Jillia says:

          Same here. It’s usually a gift from the bride, but it varies. Last wedding I was in, the bridesmaids were lucky. The only provision was that our dresses had to be the same color. We could pick any dress from within a designer collection. Shoes were to be silver or white. All of our jewelry, hair, nails, etc. were all up to the individual. It was really nice because if you’re going to spend that much money, you should at least feel/look great. Not everyone can pull off the same dress/hair/makeup.

          • RedOryx says:

            The first wedding, mani/pedi and hair at the salon were required. For the second, she didn’t care. Some did their own hair, some of us had the salon do it. Only two of us got a professional mani/pedi, everyone else either did their own nails or just went without. We all did our own makeup (except the bride, who had it done for her). I liked that way about it, because if someone wanted they could have done all of that stuff, hair/makeup/nails, entirely on their own without it costing them anything but those that wanted to have it done at the salon could.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        You could say “no thank you” and spend $0. Just sayin’.

    • JMH says:

      This. None of these costs are “hidden”.

    • friesentl says:

      Agreed. I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding this May, for one of my best friends. The dress is $170, plus shoes, hair, jewelry, etc. Add to the fact that since she got engaged I moved to California (from Nebraska) and we’re talking a pretty high-end trip.

      But I wouldn’t turn it down for the world…sure, it’s a terrible dress and a strain on my pocketbook, but I knew what I was getting into and I love my friend and want to be there on her wedding day.

  3. MutantMonkey says:

    This article is now about penguins! GO!

  4. Dallas_shopper says:

    I had 2 bridesmaids at my wedding. I asked them to collaborate on what they would wear; I did not choose the dress. Rather I told them what were not acceptable colors or styles, and asked them to at least wear matching dresses. I only dictated the color of their shoes (black) but let them choose the style of shoe they wanted to wear. Hair, makeup, accessories, etc. was at their discretion. They agreed upon a lovely full-length rose-colored sheath dress that was flattering to both, and both wore their dresses multiple times after the wedding.

    Opposite of Bridezilla, I guess. I was more concerned with people just being there to celebrate with us than with controlling every tiny aspect of the wedding.

    • littlebigland says:

      I’m getting married and I’m planning something similar. My bridesmaids are all over the place in size and height, so rather than attempt to find a dress that flatters such a range of bodies I just want to give them a swatch of fabric in a color (or just a guideline of colors, I haven’t decided) and tell them to find something that color that works for them. Budget-wise I hope this helps out my bridesmaids who want to spend less and know how to bargain shop.

      I personally wouldn’t be surprised if two of my bridesmaids wind up making their dresses, actually.

    • Extended-Warranty says:

      I don’t know if I agree with that last part. The paragraph about wedding control was 3x longer than the celebration part.

    • katarzyna says:

      Same here – my two bridesmaids had a very similar body types, which is completely different from mine, so I let them work it out themselves. They ended up with two little black dresses, and wore a pair of black shoes they already owned. I was very confused when people not in the wedding party approached me to ask me whether they could wear a particular dress or shoes or whatever. I really didn’t care what my mom wore or what his mom wore and I sure as heck didn’t have an opinion on their shoes or jewelery. I mean, I kinda hoped no one showed up dressed like a pole dancer (no one did, though in retrospect it would have made the pictures more interesting), but these were mature adults who managed to dress themselves properly on a regular basis.

    • vorpalette says:

      This. We’re having 5 or 6 on each side (my fiance has a HUGE, very close family and a TON of close friends), but I’m just giving colors and I have some ideas picked out for them, but I am giving them total control over what they choose. It has to be in the color family and they have to be able to afford it (bonus points if they already have a dress or can make it). Most of them are flying in from out of state AND then have to drive about 4 hours, so all I’m really concerned about is them being there. I looked up maid of honor/bridesmaids duties and was shocked at what the lists said.

    • kalaratri says:

      I told my bridesmaids the color and let them pick their own dresses and shoes. I paid for their jewelry (pearl necklaces that they could wear again), hair and makeup.

    • Not Given says:

      I told my one maid of honor to pick out some material and a pattern for a dress that she could wear again, I told her what color should be dominant in the fabric and my grandmother made the dress. That may sound worse than it was, she had several times paid my grandmother to make dresses for her. Quick, cheap, better fitting, better quality and more selection for someone whose family didn’t own a car and had to limit shopping to a small town discount store.

    • GameHen says:

      Pretty sure mileage varies depending upon the bride.

      I had two bridesmaids as well. I paid for their dresses which my mother sewed. I gifted them their jewelry as the traditional “bridesmaid gift”. My wedding was in town. I had a “luncheon” which my mother paid for (one of my maids was my 12 year old sister).

      Friends in other circles threw me a bachelorette party so the bridesmaids weren’t involved.

    • magnetic says:

      I tried to delegate bridesmaid stuff to mine, but they wanted me to make all the decisions. Seriously, I don’t care what you wear.

  5. Tim says:

    Conclusion: weddings are just plain expensive.

    • tamstress says:

      Further conclusion – there’s no need for bridesmaids or attendants of any kind.

      • Jules Noctambule says:

        Conclusion from someone who is married: You generally need witnesses to sign those official forms, and the registrar doesn’t always have someone there you can use for that.

  6. Hi_Hello says:

    hahah American weddings, I can never understand why it’s soo expensive. It’s just a church and some food afterward.

    Only good thing I heard about it, guy pays for the ring, girl’s parent pay for the wedding. Although, I don’t know how many people still do this.

    anyway, I’ve been a groomsman and best man a few time. Cost me nothing, plus I got to keep the tie, sock, and hanky. As for the ladies, dress was paid for by the bride, same as hair, and accessories. I don’t know if they got any freebies afterward.

    one of the wedding, all the groomsmen paid for the groom’s trip to somewhere…. that we can’t really talk about but that was out of the normally traditional stuff.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      “Cost me nothing”

      How much did the stag cost you? You did throw a blowout stag right?

      • Hi_Hello says:

        Let see one wedding, the guy wasn’t into that. I think we went to his place watch some sport, drank some stuff that he had lying around.

        The other one… what did we do…oh, football game. but we would’ve gone to the football regardless if him getting married.

        what else….I can’t remember what I did with 2nd guy who got married.

        Only one guy cost me money but I can’t talk about that. And like I said, it was something that part of the our traditional wedding.

    • vorpalette says:

      Well, if you don’t get married in a church, then no, it’s *not* just a church and then some food. My fiance paid for my ring, but we see money as “ours” anyway, so as long as it was paid for and didn’t cost a ton, we were both happy. We are paying for our own wedding, unless people offer to pitch in.

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      Hahahaha oh yeah those Americans who spend so much money on weddings those morons right? I take it you’ve never been to – or possibly even heard of – an Indian wedding. One day of my cousin’s wedding in India cost more than my entire wedding here in America (though that was inexpensive, I admit). But please, feel free to make fun of an entire culture for doing things differently than you do.

      • Hi_Hello says:

        The article was base on an American wedding. or seems like that…base on the pictures. If the blogger mention other type of wedding, I would equally bash on them too if they were expensive on the bridesmaid/groomsman.

      • Not Given says:

        How many days does an Indian wedding take?

  7. SamiJ says:

    The dress. Alterations. Shoes. Sometimes split the cost of the bridal shower. A bridal shower gift. A wedding gift. Sometimes split the cost of a ‘spa day’ or a ‘hen’s night’. Plus you must attend the shower, the bachelorette party, the rehersal dinner and then the wedding & reception.

  8. Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

    More Phil-anthropic goose droppings. Either that or the shark just crapped out The Consumerist.

  9. milk says:

    From the article: “No one wants to be the friend that’s all, ‘How ’bout we do a potluck y’all!'”
    Then I guess no one’s coming to my wedding, because that idea is pretty appealing to us since we’ll have just purchased our first home. Why can’t people just come to my house, hang out for a little bit, watch a couple folks get married in the backyard? I have no expectation for gifts. I feel about weddings the same way many people feel about Christmas: it’s all about money and possessions. Just wasteful.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      that’s how I want to do it.

      nice and simple, and you get the tax benefits.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      Are you a guy?

    • caradrake says:

      For my wedding (we dressed up but went to the courthouse, the judge brought out some rose flowers and threw them over us, it was AWESOME), we did a potluck reception in the clubhouse of our apartment complex.

      I asked everyone to bring the recipe for their dish as a wedding present. A couple people did, and I really appreciated that! I much preferred something personal, like a recipe they love, than an appliance or gadget that would just take up space in our (then) tiny apartment.

      We did get a traditional three-tiered cake, which cost more than my ring! Looking back, I regret doing it, but I really wanted a fancy cake. We only ate a quarter of it, spent $150, and when we got it, it was a mess. I wish I had gone with a $30 sheet cake…

    • SheTastesLikesCigerecxh says:

      This. I have seen a few couples get married. They decided to keep it simple, and have lovely cookouts/parties. Most couples these days live together before getting married, so expecting tons of new household items is sort of out dated.

    • Snip says:

      This is a great idea. One of the sweetest weddings I’ve ever attended was a lot like this in concept.

    • yurei avalon says:

      I’ll come to your wedding and bring tasty nom noms too! :D That’s precisely what I want to do and just what my mother did for her second wedding to my stepfather since she’d already done the whole wedding shebang once. We cooked all of the food ourselves (way better than crappy, overpriced catering) and gave the guests gifts for attending (we held it out of state so everyone had to travel).

      She had it on a friend’s farm. The best part was the rooster crowing in the middle of the exchange of vows, lulz.

  10. dulcinea47 says:

    No, no, and no. You do not *have* to do these things. Ugh, don’t be so stupid, people.

  11. FatLynn says:

    They forgot the “friendship” that it inevitably costs you as well. Don’t be a crazy bride, ladies. You can have a lovely marriage without asking your friends to shell out thousands of dollars.

    • orion70 says:

      Don’t be crazy, and try to reciprocate just a little with your time. Oh and try and remember that your single income friends w/o kids have been shelling out for years on your wedding and babies and all associated activities.

      • FatLynn says:

        I’ve been a bridesmaid three times, and two of the friendships were enhanced by it. The third one, well, it was over a year before I started hanging out with the bride again.

    • pinkbunnyslippers says:

      Thank you for pointing this out. Many people have incredible fallouts over this and unfortunately it’s not always the bride causing the ruckus.

      And to those women who ARE the brides causing the ruckus – nobody will remember what favors you gave out, or what the color of the bow was that tied the chair covers, or whether your bridesmaids all wore the same shoes. Trust me. NOBODY CARES ABOUT THIS ALL AS MUCH AS YOU.

      I wish people put half as much energy into caring about the MARRIAGE as they do about the wedding.

  12. crispyduck13 says:

    Choose your friends wisely.

  13. failurate says:

    My wife was a bridesmaid in quite a few weddings before we got married. For our wedding she picked dresses of an impractical fabric (iridescent brown, close up, looks like an oil slick) for her 10 bridesmaids.
    I think she partly did this because she had (she recently donated them) a closet full of completely useless, very expensive, prom type dresses forced upon her by most of these women.
    It is an endless cycle of abuse they dish upon one another.

  14. aloria says:

    The first (and probably last) time I agreed to be a bridesmaid, I was totally unaware you had to pay for the dress and alterations. I was fresh out of college and had never been in a wedding before or known anyone who had.

    I didn’t mind buying the dress, but the bride ended up insisting on a rather expensive style of dress that ran large– its smallest size was at least three sizes too big for me. The alterations ended up costing as much as the dress, and of course the dress looked weird after taking out so much fabric.

    Lesson learned: figure out the maximum you can afford to spend and let the bride know BEFORE you agree to be in a wedding.

  15. aleck says:

    The plights of pretty girl bloggers:
    – how to reheat leftovers
    – tips for bridesmaids

    and in the next installment of Cosmo-sumerist: how to make your man go wild in the bedroom.

    • Verdant Pine Trees says:

      interesting thought.

      Unfortunately while there are “bridal dress rentals,” I had never heard of a “bridesmaid dress rental” place the two times I was asked.

      Men get off very easy when it comes to formal clothing that can be rented.

  16. Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

    Color me dumb, but I always thought that the cost of maid’s dresses and groomsmen’s tuxedos was handled by whomever was paying for the wedding?

    • damageddude says:

      Aside from my own, I’ve been in a few weddings. I always paid for the tux rental.

      Next wedding I see myself in is I expect to pay as it will be my daughter’s or son’s, which will not be for many years as they are 7 & 11.

    • mikedt says:

      Nope. Costume expenses are traditionally paid for by the wearer. That’s why I told my best man his tux rental costs was his wedding present to me.

      The whole thing’s a scam, but then there’s no way out of it since little girls start doing pretend weddings as soon as they can walk. Except for a small handful, you’re not going to talk any of them into an inexpensive wedding.

      • yurei avalon says:

        Female here, I want a small, cheap, private event. I don’t think I will get that lucky though, most guys I’ve dated always seem to have a huge, nosy family :(

      • TeriLynn says:

        I had an inexpensive wedding, and it would have been even more so if my husband and his family hadn’t had their own specific ideas. Same goes for my sister. My sister-in-law wanted a small wedding, but it was my brother who’d had big wedding dreams since childhood. In fact, I don’t know any woman who wanted a big blown-out wedding.
        What I’m trying to say is, many generalizations are crap.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      it is in my culture. i selected my groomsmen base on friends I know who could use the free ride.

      I’m OCD, so i told them they don’t need to plan anything for bachelor party. i’m already plan it, we are going hiking/camping for a week. Those who can’t make it, it’s all good.

    • RedOryx says:

      Nope.

      The only time I have heard it done was when a girlfriend was actually in the *groom’s* party and he paid for her dress as his gift to her. She wasn’t supposed to tell the actual bridesmaids, though, because they had to buy their own dresses.

      The two times I’ve been a bridesmaid, I had to buy everything. The brides bought us jewelry as our gift.

  17. damageddude says:

    My sister’s best friend since kindergarten asked her to be a bridesmaid (or maybe it was maid of honor, I forget). They have haven’t spoken since the wedding.

    When we got married, my wife only asked all her bridesmaids to wear dark blue/black dresses, which she made sure they already had (only 3 bridesmaids so it was pretty easy). The bridal shower was just a night of drinking, same as the bachelor party, and other activities which, 15 years later, I still don’t ask about (it was Fleet Week in the city).

  18. weathergirl says:

    I was maid of honor in the most awesome wedding ever a few months ago. Bride told us, “Find a dress that is dark blue and at least knee length. Make it something you will wear again. Have fun.” When we were getting ready the day of the wedding we had a mini-competition to see whose dress was the cheapest. The $3 dress from Goodwill won (that was not me, unfortunately), and the bride was thrilled.

    Also, instead of the bridal march or whatever, she entered the room to the Imperial March. My speech included a Lord of the Rings reference. Like I said, best wedding ever.

  19. bhr says:

    I’ve read in the past that groomsmen/bridesmaids aren’t expected to provide a gift (though most do). I know when I was a poor youngster that 2-3 nights in a hotel, a tux rental and my share of the bachelor party cost more than I could afford to start with, let alone having to buy a nice present on top of it.

    If you are close enough to a friend to be asked to be in the wedding (unless they are one of those people just bulking up the wedding party) than they should be aware of your financial situation. I think most folks would rather have someone close in their wedding than an additional present if it comes to it.

  20. yurei avalon says:

    I honestly don’t understand why anyone cares what the bridesmaids wear. I wouldn’t if it was my wedding. People are there to see the bride and groom, not the rest of the party. Let ‘em wear whatever they want, however they want.

  21. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Assuming I ever get married *eye roll* I really don’t care to do any of the traditional things except 1) I would like a nice dress and 2) a pretty cake. Neither one has to be uber-fancy. I want my wedding to feel like a WEDDING, but as far as thousands of dollars on the perfect party, that’s bogus.

    Something nerdy-themed, with family and close friends and good food, is fine. I have my own household items so I don’t really need much of anything in the way of gifts and at my age, I’m pretty sure anyone I marry will be the same. My current BF has more cool kitchen stuff than me and he’s 18 years younger.

    I can’t imagine having anything but a maid of honor. My sister asked me but the designer dress she picked wouldn’t fit (too big) and couldn’t be altered so her BFF ended up doing it. She was bustier than me and blonde, so the lavender dress looked awesome on her. The hardest part for her was planning everything with everyone out of state. I figure that will be my problem too, since my family and friends are somewhat scattered.

    The best weddings I’ve been to are the simplest ones.

  22. Snip says:

    Yep. It’s expensive. Been a bridesmaid twice, and that was enough for me to realize I could never do that to my friends. If I ever get married I’m eloping.

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      Or you could, you know, just not pick out expensive things for them to wear. My cousin’s (off-the-rack, non-matchy-matchy) dress was the most expensive in our wedding party, coming in at a whopping $25. Silk with embroidered details off the clearance rack at Ann Taylor. She wore it to her graduation as well as several other events and I’m told she still has it in her closet for last-minute occasions, eight years on.

  23. Boiled for your sins says:

    Was a bride in 2006. Chose the dresses, shoes, hairstyles, jewelry, etc for my matron of honor and bridesmaids. Didn’t let them pay a cent towards my selections.

  24. Krazycalvin says:

    I thought the hidden cost was the morning after pill and emotional scarring from having sex with the best man… awkward…

  25. RyanK80 says:

    I wasn’t aware that these costs were hidden.

  26. daemonaquila says:

    Anyone who has ever been to a wedding, had a friend/family member get married, etc. KNOWS THIS ALREADY. People don’t get in over their heads because they don’t realize how high the costs will be. They do it because they don’t want to disappoint a friend or family member, and they figure that somehow, eventually, they’ll manage to pay for it.

    Next up: having a baby is expensive. Wanna bet how many people will pay heed to that, also?

  27. iblamehistory says:

    My husband and I had 2 people in our wedding: our best female friend, and our best male friend. My parents paid for the bridesmaid dress because our dresses came to a total of about $250. Hers was brown, simple, and something she’d wear again. Mine was a gorgeous olive green color and technically a bridesmaid dress.

    Shower and bachelorette party? Christ, I’m glad I’m barely female. Absolutely pointless. You have a wedding, people give you things. Why have a shower where people give you things before they give you things? That always seemed just as trashy as a bachelorette party.

  28. Starphantom12 says:

    Man, apparently I went easy on my bridesmaid. Just had the one, told her she could wear the dress she already had from her sister’s wedding, we had the ceremony in town. My bachelorette party involved the two of us and an episode of MST3k.

  29. Aliciaz777 says:

    I definitely wasn’t a “Bridezilla”. My mother in law (was my soon to be mother in law at the time) paid for and helped me plan my wedding. My husband’s sisters were my maid of honor and bridesmaid. The only thing I required of them was that their dress was lavender and their shoes white. Whatever style dress, shoes, jewelry, hair, makeup they wanted was up to them. It may have been MY wedding, but I felt I didn’t have the right to dictate how much money they had to spend. Being in my wedding was something generous they were doing for me and there was no way in hell I was going to have them spending hundreds of dollars for one day.

  30. serke says:

    I was asked to be a bridesmaid. As second choice, a few months before the wedding. And though we lived together, I’d never been even remotely included in any of the wedding planning.

    I made the mistake of saying yes, having been put in an awkward situation, especially with the way her first choice bailed.

    Luckily as my naive self learned more – you have to buy this dress. You have no choice in style or color, and you’ll probably never wear it again. – I came to my senses and told her thanks, but no thanks.

  31. Nogling says:

    I was a bridesmaid for my best friend. Grand total of my expenses? About $150. She got married in a local reception hall. One of the other bridesmaids made our dresses – out of $1 a yard fabric on clearance, so total cost of the dress was about $4. Reception was at a friend’s bar – the bar owners catered it out of their own kitchen. My biggest expense was the cake – she wanted a carrot cake for her wedding cake, and I had to purchase pans to accommodate the number of people invited to the reception.

    Total cost of the entire wedding was about $1200 – including her wedding dress, the groom’s suit, and renting the ceremony space. We did all of the flowers ourselves (silk, in bulk from a hobby supply warehouse). Invitations were printed at Kinko’s – the bride is a graphic designer, so she whipped them up herself. The invitations also specifically stated NO GIFTS – she asked folks to make a small donation to the charity of their choice if they wanted to give a gift.

    I have nothing but sympathy for people who don’t want to disappoint their insane girlfriends, but seriously, people – the wedding should be about the MARRIAGE, not the things. My bestie will be celebrating her 2nd anniversary tomorrow – and she didn’t have to alienate anyone, or spend a fortune, to get her marriage off to a good start.