Bridesmaid blues...

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out Archives' started by TeacherGrl7, May 6, 2007.

  1. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    I apologize in advance to all the blushing brides out there, but I need to vent!

    I am in a wedding in early July. It is the first wedding I have ever been in, it is for a friend that is getting married young due to her fiance being in the military (they are 22)- they are getting married earlier than usual in an effort to keep him stationed in one place longer. I'm 23.

    Obviously, being a bridesmaid is a huge undertaking. I knew that it would be when I agreed to it, but I don't think you can know just how much it requires until you've actually done it for the first time. I am learning the hard way that even though I am so happy for my friend, and I want her to have a wonderful wedding, to be perfectly honest my wallet could care less. I'm trying very hard to keep in mind that I agreed to do this understanding that it would cost me some money, but being called by the maid of honor every few weeks to discuss some other detail that is going to cost me money to do something for the bride is frustrating me. Like I said, I'm 23, I'm in grad school, I teach but I don't make very much money and I live in an area where most people my age are being driven out because of the expense. I partially agreed to be in the wedding because the bride is a very simple girl and we discussed in the beginning that she was all about saving money and understood that everyone she was asking to participate was currently in college and on a budget. What I did not account for was her mother more or less taking over. Suddenly the simple wedding I agreed to has turned into a monstrous affair. I have already spent 200 dollars on my dress and alterations, 50 on shoes, and I haven't accounted for my hair and nails yet. Plus there are all the expenses of throwing the bridal shower, the bachelorette party, presents, covering my meal at the wedding and a date, blahblahblah.

    At any rate, financially I just have to deal with this, it sucks but I made a commitment and I have to honor it. My main issue now is a date. This girl is someone that I worked with for years in high school and later at a different job in college. We have some work friends in common, but for the most part although we are close, we don't run in the same circles. When I was asked to be a bridesmaid, the few work friends that we both know were originally supposed to be invited to the wedding. As they got further into the planning of the wedding, they realized that they had a larger guest list than intended (due to her mother inviting random people that she does not know, and his having a huge step-family). The plan changed from automatically inviting these work friends (5 or 6 people), to waiting until the first round of invites came back and then inviting them once they were certain there would be room. Invitations were sent to his entire step-family, scattered around the country. Nobody expected them all to come, since he is only step-related, so it was assumed that there would be several "no" responses. Then the step-family decided to use the wedding as a family reunion, so they are aaaaall coming. Hence, no room for the friends. Basically the only friends the bride and groom have coming are the people in the wedding party. I feel bad for them being in that position of course. But I am also concerned about myself! Now that our work friends are not on the invite list, I will only know a few people at the wedding, and they are only people whose names and faces I am vaguely familiar with- the bride and groom obviously, her 2 brothers, her parents, the other bridesmaids, and one of the groomsmen. Nobody that I actually would say I KNOW. So, unless I bring a date, I basically do not have many people to talk to. The people in the wedding party all know each other from high school and are all bringing boyfriends/girlfriends that know each other from high school. So I will automatically be uncomfortable spending the night with all of them. Much as I tried to add to the conversation, I felt left out just going bridesmaid shopping with the 4 girls.

    The problem is, I know that I am going to be busy throughout the wedding. I don't have anyone to go with that knows any of these people, so whoever I brought would be basically left on his own during the ceremony and cocktail hour. Even during the reception, I don't know how much time I will have to socialize with a date. I feel terrible asking someone to be put in that awkward position. But I am afraid that if I say nah I just won't bring a date, I will end up being lonely and left out if I end up having time to dance and things and have nobody to dance with or talk to. Any advice??

    I put on a smile and do whatever I need to do as far as the bride is concerned, but I needed to get this off my chest somewhere, I would never want to be responsible for throwing this all on her and giving her additional stress. I know this is crazy long but thank you!
     
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  3. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    May 6, 2007

    this sounds so much like my situation ...but im not a bridesmaid ..lol long story

    good luck! bring a great guy friend that wont mind being alone for a little bit, or just invite him to the reception so he desnt have to sit alone at the ceremony ...what about asking one of the work friends as ur guest...they know the couple and u
     
  4. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    I wanted to ask one of the work people. Problem is, one of them is a dancer and has her recital the day of the wedding. Once my friends found that they wouldnt' be going to the wedding they purchased tickets to go to her recital. I can't really ask them to back out- her boyfriend, brother, and his girlfriend. The other couple of people I haven't seen since summer, I feel a bit strange calling one of them out of the blue and asking them to go with me. Weddings are a pain! I'm going to elope lol.
     
  5. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    No advice on the date situation, but I've been in 7 wedding parties, 5 s Maid of Honor. You have to be truthful with these people and tell them you have X amount of funds to spend. Anyone should understand that. You need the essentials like the dress, shoes, and makeup/hair- I know that get's costly.

    As far as a gift... are the girls going to chip in for one gift. Maybe suggest that.
     
  6. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Why do you have to pay for your meal and your dates meal?
     
  7. Teacher4Kids

    Teacher4Kids Rookie

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    Meal?

    I was just about to ask the same thing. I've never been to a wedding where I had to pay for my own meal, whether I was in the bridal party or not.
     
  8. Ms Z

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    bring a girl friend, so you can talk about everyone at the wedding!!! and why do you have to pay for your meal? that is normally covered...
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    This is the very reason that I paid for the dresses, shoes, accessories, and meals for my bridemaids. (DH did the same for his attendants.)

    I was 30 when I married, and I didn't really even want or need any showers, although I ended up with several because people WANTED to have them for me.

    The only thing they had to pay for was their hair if they wanted that done.
     
  10. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I think that is sooo kind, Imateacher. Good for you. I've never heard of having to pay for your own meal at a wedding. I don't think I'd go if that was the case - even as just a guest.
     
  11. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Do you mean give a gift that would cover the cost of both your plates. Actually, I do the same thing. Around here 75 a plate is typical....
     
  12. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 7, 2007

     
  13. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Frizz, we have the same ideas. When I got married I chose dresses from a catalog inexpensive ($40 or so) & something that could be worn again. Plus the shoes we found at store they were on sale for $5 a pair...they happened to have the size of all my girls!! My dress was around $150 simple & me!!!

    I didn't want anyone to spend a whole lot of money on anything!!!
     
  14. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    ;)


    The girls really appreciated the hair and makeup... it was $200 for both.... but I thought what else could I possibly do to make their lives easier.... I didn't want to give them any dust collectors as a thank you... so even though it was pricey.... I was still living at home and could afford it.
     
  15. TeacherGrl7

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    Haha yes I meant give a gift that covers the cost!! Not actually paying for my food! And they are paying about $100 a plate, that's an entire day's pay for me. I'm starting a new motion that if you are a bridesmaid, THAT should be your gift to the couple. You spend enough money and time on it.
     
  16. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Around here there usually aren't meals at the reception, just "finger foods". I paid $1200 to have food catered for 200 people, and we got lots of compliments on the food. We even had a "to go" box for the honeymoon!

    Three of my four attendants were pregnant, so we had an interesting time finding dresses! We got really lucky. I found the color I wanted (navy) in an empire waist. I also got tea-length to avoid tripping issues, and we found cute dyeable flats, too!

    Sometimes I think brides can go overboard a bit and forget to think that there are other people to deal with, not just what they want. I'm the type that's always looking for a deal anyway, so I just shopped and shopped until I found what fit my ideas in the price range I wanted.
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I was so lucky to have a dear friend design and make my gown and bridesmaid dresses as a wedding gift! The bridesmaids paid for the fabric for their day length dresses (came to about $30.00 I think). I didn't care if their shoes were the same or not, but all wore black sandals.
     
  18. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    TeacherGirl-

    Is this on LI? I thought you mentioned you were from Long Island
     
  19. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I was in a wedding party once and there was only two people in her bridal party so it was really expensive for me and took a lot of my time. I really enjoyed it but we spent so much time together that we started getting our periods at the same time. Unfortunately the wedding dress stores usually had 1 chair so we used to run for it on our crampy days :D . I have turned down every invitation since due to the cost and the large weddings. I told myself that I will not be a part of another wedding party unless it is a large wedding or a destination wedding.
     
  20. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Yes, it's on Long Island.

    I mentioned to a close friend, half-jokingly (half!) that this will be the first and last wedding that I am in, aside from my sister's. I will come, be overjoyed for the couple, and bring a nice present, but that is it. Her automatic response was, "Well, you know you better be in mine!" I love this girl dearly, but she is one of those where you imagine her wedding day and just SEE the dollar signs. It just seems like so many people, although they complain about the price of other people's weddings, completely forget when it comes to their own big day. I dread the day she announces her engagement because I am already so torn as to what to do about that! It's a shame that a day that is supposed to be so special for the bride and groom often ends up with resentment or frustration for their closest friends... Blah! :rolleyes:
     
  21. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Where is the reception going to be?


    You know Long Island.... it's excess:rolleyes:
     
  22. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I was in a wedding last Fall that I didn't spend a dime except for gas. But I thought they shouldn't get married. I had agreed to be in the wedding so felt I couldn't back out. Anyway she ended up being 3 weeks pregnant. So I'm going a little crazy with baby gifts.

    I'm also in the maid of honor in my best friends wedding this summer. i figured after all said and done I'll have spent about 500 dollars. She went with fairly inexpensive dresses $120. I don't think I will need any alterations. She also has the four sisters in the wedding party. Only problem is one of the sisters is getting married July 7th, and also has all of the sisters in her wedding. The three younger sisters don't have any money to help with bridal shower expenses or the bachelorette party, so the older sister and myself are doing those. My mom has offered her house as a place to hold the bridal shower. And we are going to spend a night in Boston for the bachelorette. Doing manicures and pedicures and walking around Boston. It should be really fun.
     
  23. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Sounds like fun JM... I'm dying to go to Boston
     
  24. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Miss Frizzle, the reception is at Jericho Terrace. I know, how did Long Island get to be so crazy?? You would think we were all rich!
     
  25. Ms Z

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    I wnt to a party there it was alot of money...
     
  26. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I liked it there. I've been to a few weddings there. Mine was at Verdi's .
     
  27. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    If you look at the numbers you would think so. The sad reality is that a lot of people are just scraping by and a LOT of young people are leaving.

    Once you leave LI, you're gone. No one can afford to come back here and buy a house!

    But we went to a wedding last fall at Jericho Terrace-- it was lovely!
     
  28. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Times like these make me glad that I live in a tiny, unknown town. Things are less expensive here. The biggest problem I had with my wedding was finding people who would drive here without charging us WAY extra. LOL
     
  29. sophie1

    sophie1 Comrade

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    You are not alone, my childhood friend asked me to be a maid of honor too about two years ago. Her husband was going to Iraq and so they secretly got married the year before and didn't tell anyone. When he came home, they planned their "big" wedding.

    I was the witness for one and maid of honor for the other. She was very picky the whole time and never told anyone she was married already, wanted it a big secret. Well, I kept it the secret but I didn't like how she acted during this entire time. Thus, we are not friends anymore. She doesn't seem to notice that I am letting her go (rarely emailing her back etc.), but I think she will eventually get the hint. I don't want to hurt her, but she is a rude person and not someone I want to be friends with anymore. I apologize for rambling but do understand your situation. I hope things work out for you. Don't pay for your own dinner... that is really bad. I hope you are able to keep your friendship in the end. :)
     
  30. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Honestly? I believe that a wedding that works a hardship on the bride/groom's friends is one of the most inconsiderate things a so-called "friend" can do. I paid for my attendants' dresses and Tim paid for the tux rental for his. Our friends were all as broke as we were; to ask them to shell out a dime would have been a truly horrible thing for us to ask.

    Asking a friend to pay out the big bucks for a wedding is something I would never dream of doing. If the bride's heart is that set on a splash, and she simply MUST HAVE expensive dresses for the attendants, then the bride is the one who should ethically pay for them.

    I can not even imagine asking a friend to fork over money to be in a wedding. That seems like such an UNfriendly thing to do.

    The person who most wants the big splash should be the person who pays for it. ALL of it.
     
  31. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    My wedding dress cost 20.00 from a boutique in our small town. It was floor length and had a ruffley thing at the bottom and on the sleeves. Little bit of lace on the front and it had very tiny roses all over it. I wore a size 5! My hair was very long and I did it myself in ringlets in the back. My mom and her friends made the "ham sandwiches and potato salad. A friend made the large tier cake in heart shapes. My maid of honor wore a long red velvet dress. The men were in suits of some sort! We said our vows in a church and ate in the church basement, opened our gifts with everyone there that night and we cleaned up the basement after we were done.The wedding was at night and when we left the church, there was snow falling the size of marshmallows. We went home and drove our car into the front lawn. In the morning the cops came by and asked us to get our car out of our lawn. We were back at work Monday morning. Anyway, no one was "put out" and we were very happy.
    Oh and my wedding ring was a handmade coral that a friend made and it cost 20.00.
     
  32. TeacherGrl7

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    Mamacita, I'd be in your wedding any day! I completely agree with you, it's completely unfair to ask someone else to spend money for you to enjoy something. I shudder to think of the amount of people that will ask me to be a bridesmaid in the future. In the meantime, I'm just consumed with this looming RSVP date and no idea what to do about a date!!
     
  33. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    more of my two cents ...lol

    thats EXACTLY how I feel!! I think that its wonderful to be inluded in someones big day but I cant afford $500 for dress hair makeup etc, especially since I am just an honarary bridesmaid! I love my friend dearly but come on!

    The person who most wants the big splash should be the person who pays for it.
     
  34. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I'm one of those scrapers Alice:p :p :p
     
  35. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    You and me both. That's why I went back to work this year with a then-3-year-old still at home.

    But I wouldn't leave it for all the money in the world :)
     
  36. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    One of the reasons my son isn't getting married right now is because they want a small wedding somewhere special to them, but MIL isn't seeing things that way. I told them to do what they want to. It's THEIR wedding, not hers.
     
  37. dillpickle

    dillpickle Rookie

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    Uh..I'm in my sister's wedding in June. Her bridesmaids dresses were 225$. That is outrageous to me. WOW! That's not counting the money I will need for shoes. We're picking out own shoes based on a style that she picks. I will also do my own hair and makeup. I never waste my money on that when I can do it myself and it look just as nice. I would like to have my nails done though...that's 35$. Plus, I'm hosting the lingerie shower/bachelorette party in Memphis. It has been a real hassle, especially since I'm not working this year b/c I've stayed home with the baby. She's also had 2 showers and one gift card party. Bridesmaids are expected to give a gift to every shower they go to...mine have been pretty small though since I have to get so much. One gift was one of her every day glasses. I did get her nice lingerie though. She really needed that. Wedding expenses are so high. My wedding wasn't near this high. My bridesmaids dresses were 99$ from Victorias Secret catelogue.
     
  38. kem

    kem Companion

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    I will be in my 5th and 6th wedding this year, and yes, the cost is unbelievable! As far as a date, I guess I wouldn't worry too much about it. I've found that I am so busy with getting ready, the pictures, the reception, etc., that I rarely see my poor boyfriend! By the time the dance comes around, I've spent so much time with the wedding party, that they are almost like friends to me anyway : )
     
  39. weno88

    weno88 Companion

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    So sorry to hear about your situation.
    Honestly... it makes me glad I haven't kept in touch with many of my friends. I'll never have to be a bridesmaid or buy gifts! ;)
     
  40. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oh, you can still be pulled in by sisters, brothers who marry, cousins.. you name it.

    You're NEVER safe:eek:
     
  41. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    RSVPs are due in on Tuesday and I am still SO lost as to what to do about a date. I can't wait until this is over!!
     

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