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!