Having trouble being a bridesmaid

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from teacherinmass. Show teacherinmass's posts

    Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    I just got back from my friend's bachelorette weekend. The weekend was held in the same city as the wedding, an expensive beach community. We don't live near here, so we got a hotel and then went to the beach and out in the city at night. It was a great weekend- beautiful weather, fun things to do (swim, sun bathe, lunch outside, gifts in the hotel, dinner and drinks and dancing at night), but the bride was constantly complaining about the cost of her wedding.

     She told us how much the wedding cost per head ($180) and all the other costs, which have left her broke (the wedding is extravagant by my standards, but she claims that "it has to be this way because it is what people expect these days") and how many people did not give extravagant shower gifts or have been sending simple wedding gifts from her registry. She is "outraged" about it. She is also upset because people have been calling her family and her fiance's family to inquire about cheaper lodging because the hotel they recommended is $180 a night, with a 2 night minimum (and no one attending the wedding lives close enough to not stay overnight).  She feels that each of things are a violation of wedding etiquette and wanted us, her bridal party, to comfort her about these things.

    I honestly didn't know what to say. It is an expensive location and most of the items on her registry are expensive, so I'm not surprised people are buying up the inexpensive stuff. I walked away from the weekend with a really different impression of my friend- I had never seen the side of her that was so money conscious. She is so focused on financing her wedding that she seems totally unfocused on celebrating this event.

    I realize this is mostly vent. Is there anything I can say to her? I'm also nervous about my present- I bought some towels off her registry, as I am spending $1200 total (hotel, dress, hair, bachelorette, and gifts) to be a bridesmaid and I just can't afford to give her a large amount of cash, which I now know is what she is expecting.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    Well, for one thing, do not worry about how your gift will be received.  If she's selfish and greedy, that really shouldn't be your concern with respect to your gift to her.  If she cuts you off as a friend because you didn't buy her enough towels, she's not a friend in the first place and you'll have wasted $1200 on her.

    As for what to say?  Say nothing.  Your being blunt with a crazed bride will NOT teach her a lesson or change her mind about how she feels.  It will fall on deaf ears and, at most, cause strife between you.  So, sit there in silence while she rants.  Throw in an active listening "Mmm" here and there and let it be.  If she asks what you think directly, respond indirectly with a passive, "Gosh, I dunno what to think about it all."  If she presses you, keep repeating that phrase.  She'll get the idea that you won't enteratain her by discussing it further.

    GL!

    ~kar
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from augustbride20. Show augustbride20's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    All I have to say is that it was her fault for picking a venue that is $180 a plate, not anyone else's. She sounds really obnoxious, I am really sorry you are going through this. As a bride-to-be, I would NEVER complain to my bridesmaids about any money woes I may be having about my own wedding. It is not their responsibility to comfort me on that.

    And...towels are a fabulous gift! She put them on her registry, meaning she wants them. In fact, my friends being in the wedding, is gift enough for me.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    Well, you can't say anything now, but if she goes on another vent, just try to be supportive, but point out that she may be taking things too personally.
    Such as "Well, maybe they wanted to get you something nicer, but just don't have the money right now. People have many weddings to go to, I know it seems unfair, but thats just the way things are." or "It's clear they want to come to your wedding, but maybe can't afford two nights at your hotel because they's rather spend the money ony our wedding gift, or maybe if they can't find a cheaper hotel they won't be able to make it."

    She is acting bratty, but my guess is that she feels a lot of pressure coming from her family or other places to throw an elaborate wedding, and is just upset that others aren't feeling the need to spend as much money on it as she is.

    I'm not excusing her behavior, but I know that many brides lose their ability to be rational when they're so stressed about throwing a platinum wedding that they're draining their bank accounts in order to do it. That alone shows that she's unable to exercise good judgement right now. She's not even thinking about her own rational needs, let alone the needs of anyone else.

    So, I'd do what you can to help her see things in a more positive light, there's not much else you can do besides wait for the bridezilla to pass. I guarantee you that no one dislikes her more right now than herself or else she wouldn't have turned her bachelorette weekend into a pity party.

    *OR* if it's not too late, talk to her FI privately. Ask him if he knows why she's so committed to a wedding she can't afford. Maybe it's not too late for him to talk her out of it, or for all of you to stage a platinum wedding intervention.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from laryan. Show laryan's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    where she's at the "bachelorette party" stage, its obviously in the late planning stages.  

    I've found myself at the listening end of a bride complaining about money, etc. and I've been a little too blunt in my thoughts, ideas and opinions..

    sounds like she needs to get her priorities in order, quickly...maybe she's not aware of the tough economic conditions that have affected everyone?  maybe this is a "teachable moment" in budgeting and money managing?

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from augustbride20. Show augustbride20's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    stage a platinum wedding intervention??
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    Have you seen the show, Platinum Weddings?  It's what Pink is referring to - it showcases weddings that are $100,000+.  They usually spend more on flowers than we did for our entire wedding.

    Either way, it's too late for an intervention - the bachelorette party is usually pretty late in the game.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    In Response to Having trouble being a bridesmaid:
    [QUOTE]I just got back from my friend's bachelorette weekend. The weekend was held in the same city as the wedding, an expensive beach community. We don't live near here, so we got a hotel and then went to the beach and out in the city at night. It was a great weekend- beautiful weather, fun things to do (swim, sun bathe, lunch outside, gifts in the hotel, dinner and drinks and dancing at night), but the bride was constantly complaining about the cost of her wedding.  She told us how much the wedding cost per head ($180) and all the other costs, which have left her broke (the wedding is extravagant by my standards, but she claims that "it has to be this way because it is what people expect these days") and how many people did not give extravagant shower gifts or have been sending simple wedding gifts from her registry. She is "outraged" about it. She is also upset because people have been calling her family and her fiance's family to inquire about cheaper lodging because the hotel they recommended is $180 a night, with a 2 night minimum (and no one attending the wedding lives close enough to not stay overnight).  She feels that each of things are a violation of wedding etiquette and wanted us, her bridal party, to comfort her about these things. I honestly didn't know what to say. It is an expensive location and most of the items on her registry are expensive, so I'm not surprised people are buying up the inexpensive stuff. I walked away from the weekend with a really different impression of my friend- I had never seen the side of her that was so money conscious. She is so focused on financing her wedding that she seems totally unfocused on celebrating this event. I realize this is mostly vent. Is there anything I can say to her? I'm also nervous about my present- I bought some towels off her registry, as I am spending $1200 total (hotel, dress, hair, bachelorette, and gifts) to be a bridesmaid and I just can't afford to give her a large amount of cash, which I now know is what she is expecting.
    Posted by teacherinmass[/QUOTE]

    Don't say anything. Just listen and be as non-committal as possible. Sometimes people need to learn the hard way. If that means that Princess has to find a way to pay off a $50K+ wedding that she can't afford, b/c people don't give a gift that equals the cost of their plate, too bad.  Give her what you planned on giving her; if she doesn't like it, that's too bad.

    And who, other than immediate family at most, gives 'an elaborate' shower gift?  Even if they are my nearest and dearest, I never spend more than $100 for the shower gift.  For friends, I spend about $50 for a shower.  When I was single, I gave $100 for the wedding gift; it's $200 now that I'm married.  That's still not going to cover the cost of a plate at this place. What was she thinking?  Did she really think people were going to spend more $$ for her wedding b/c she had it in an expensive venue?  It doesn't work that way. Besides, if she's not from a 'fancy' family who routinely has big blowouts like this, her friends and family are probably going to have to spend quite a bit of money on new clothes to wear to her fancy pants wedding; if I had to do that, rather than wear something in my closet already, it would come out of the amount I had set aside for the wedding. 
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from ajuly09. Show ajuly09's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    I agree with others and say as little as you can and save your friendship.  Weddings bring out the worst in people and even the most rational can seem irrational. I know I stressed about things that in the big scheme of things should never have been worries at all.   Seems like what's done is done, you can't change that she booked an expensive hotel and a really expensive place to get married. It's too late, and she's the one that needs to deal with that fact, not you. I am sure you just want to yell at her and call her a bridezilla, but that won't do any good.  Stay with your gift, if she doesn't realize all the money and effort you have put into this wedding for her than she doesn't deserve more of a gift anyway. 
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from augustbride20. Show augustbride20's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    Yes, I have seen that show...I just meant, you can't really do an intervention like that.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    In Response to Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid:
    [QUOTE]Yes, I have seen that show...I just meant, you can't really do an intervention like that.
    Posted by augustbride20[/QUOTE]

    well, maybe not this late in the game, but if a friend of mine was distraught and planning to go broke over a wedding she felt it's what "people expect these days" I would do my best to have her understand that people *do not* expect you to go broke and throw a fairytale wedding if you can't afford it. Hearing your closest friends and family tell you (individually, not all in a room at the same time like a real intervention) that no one will think less of you if you have the wedding you can afford might go a long way.
    And I woud hope that her FI isn't letting her drain their bank accounts simply because she feels that if she doesn't throw a big production that it won't be good enough for anyone. That's why I would talk to her FI and find out what the heck is going on. When your friend is acting weird and you're at a loss, your best bet is to speak with the person closest to her to get to the bottom of it and see if there's anything that can be done. Like "At the bachelorette party X kept saying how she was really upset and stressed out over the cost of the wedding, and it seems like she's boiling over. Have you noticed this? Has she said anything to you? Do you think there's anything I can do to help?"
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    Yikes, I would never talk to my friend's FI about how much they are spending on their wedding.  I doubt that would be received well!  Even if the bride was complaining about the cost, it is not really your business.

    I made the mistake of talking to my friend who had recently gotten married about the wedding cost.  She didn't care about telling me (we talk openly about money) but her new husband overheard and was  not happy that we were talking about it.  Money is a really private subject and tough to discuss with even your closest friends.

    In this case, I think you just need to let it go, let her vent (no need to say much in response) and wait for the wedding to pass.  At this point, with the wedding fully planned and probably less than a month away (if they had the bach party), telling them they don't need to spend that much on a wedding (when they have already paid all the deposits, too late to cancel, etc) will probably just make her feel worse about it (since she already spent it) than reassure her.  And you really don't want to start a fight between her and her FI by telling him she told you how much the wedding cost, when he may not be okay with that.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    In Response to Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid:
    [QUOTE]Yikes, I would never talk to my friend's FI about how much they are spending on their wedding.  I doubt that would be received well!  Even if the bride was complaining about the cost, it is not really your business. I made the mistake of talking to my friend who had recently gotten married about the wedding cost.  She didn't care about telling me (we talk openly about money) but her new husband overheard and was  not happy that we were talking about it.  Money is a really private subject and tough to discuss with even your closest friends. In this case, I think you just need to let it go, let her vent (no need to say much in response) and wait for the wedding to pass.  At this point, with the wedding fully planned and probably less than a month away (if they had the bach party), telling them they don't need to spend that much on a wedding (when they have already paid all the deposits, too late to cancel, etc) will probably not be well received.
    Posted by trex509[/QUOTE]

    I don't mean talk about their money troubles, I mean talk about her being so stressed out, her complaining constantly and asking if he'd also noticed that she was acting strangely and if there was anything he thought I could do to help relieve some stress. If she couldn't even relax at her bachelorette party, then she could be close to total bridezilla meltdown.
    If you don't really know the FI that well you could just ask "Do you think the wedding stress is really getting to X?" and if he says no, then leave it at that.
    or better yet, ask her. "You seem a little out of sorts due to all of the wedding planning stress. Is there anything I can do to help?"

    I only mentioned an intervention *if it's not too late* and if it is, then it's too late and all you can do is try and be a supportive friend and do what you can to help with the stress.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    It's never good when bride feels her guests "owe" her. 

    I agree with Pink, however, in that sometimes a bride's behavior is due to extreme stress and might not be an adequate portrayal of her personality... then again, sometimes they are her true colors.  Hard to know, really, until the whole thing is over.

    I hope she's reserving this behavior for her bridesmaids only, and that her other guests don't catch wind of it.  Her close friends might be able to overlook/forgive the obnoxious things she's saying, but many guests won't.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    sorry but I disagree.  If I ever behaved like a total idiot, like this bride, I would rely on one of my close friends to smack me across the face and say, "Who ARE you?  Where has my friend gone?  Your behavior is disgusting."

    It's one thing if she was always on the "princessy side" but it sounds like this behavior has come out of nowhere.  I think you should have a one-on-one kind-hearted chat with her before she keeps mouthing off in front of other guests, at the Rehearsal Dinner, and even during the wedding.

    At the very least, it might make her dial it back so she could actually enjoy the festivities.  At worst, you'd lose a person you thought was a friend but actually turned out to be a jerk.

    Good luck. 

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    Honestly, I would hope that one of my friends would say something before I booked a venue at $180/person (unless, say, my parents decide to pay for the whole thing).

    Unfortunately, from what I've seen on Bridezillas, it appears that these types of discussions are rarely productive and usually result in the offending BM being kicked out of the party after she spent hundreds of dollars on a dress, shoes, etc.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    In Response to Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid:
    [QUOTE]Unfortunately, from what I've seen on Bridezillas, it appears that these types of discussions are rarely productive and usually result in the offending BM being kicked out of the party after she spent hundreds of dollars on a dress, shoes, etc.
    Posted by lucy7368[/QUOTE]

    Maybe I've been watching too many bridal shows, but this is what I'm afraid of happening.  The bride is obviously under a lot of stress.  Unless you are close enough friends that she'll take it well, I'd just stay out of it rather than upsetting her even more.

    ETA:  also, do you ever really know how much your friends actually pay for their weddings?  None of my friends really talked about it (at least not before the wedding) and I would *never* ask (especially after the one time I did talk about it and accidentally upset my friend's husband!).  Isn't that kind of a topic too personal for most people? 
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    I never knew how much any wedding I ever attended cost, not even the one I was in.

    Maybe these wedding reality shows have changed the expectations of how much people are supposed to gab about what used to be private details.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    trex- I talked about the cost of things a lot with my close friends. Sometimes to say what a great deal I got, or sometimes to express shock over how much wedding-related things cost.
    I think there's a right way and reason to ask. A few friends asked how much certain things cost (like invitations and food) just because I was the first of the group to get married, they all want to get married soon, and they liked whatever it was they were inquiring about. And it was always phrased as "If you don't mind me asking, how much does something like that cost? I only ask because I really like it/want to know what prices on that are like." My group of friends is small (only 5 of us), and we're all really close and have known each other for 10-20 years, so it works for us. I understand why it's not the case for everyone.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from booklover. Show booklover's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    The most fun wedding I ever went to (other than my own) was at a low-key function hall with a buffet meal and Motown tunes playing the entire time.  The only time I sat down was to eat.  I never danced so much in my life and the love the bride and groom felt was obvious and heartwarming.  They are still married (23 years later) and still in love and although I've been to "platinum weddings," they pale in comparison to that one. 

    When all is said and done, what the guests "expect" these days is to go to an event where the bride and groom are happy and where the marriage is being celebrated, not the wedding itself.  And if they expect a high-end function, then that is a shame and says more about our society in general.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    In Response to Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid:
    [QUOTE]The most fun wedding I ever went to (other than my own) was at a low-key function hall with a buffet meal and Motown tunes playing the entire time.  The only time I sat down was to eat.  I never danced so much in my life and the love the bride and groom felt was obvious and heartwarming.  They are still married (23 years later) and still in love and although I've been to "platinum weddings," they pale in comparison to that one.  When all is said and done, what the guests "expect" these days is to go to an event where the bride and groom are happy and where the marriage is being celebrated, not the wedding itself.  And if they expect a high-end function, then that is a shame and says more about our society in general.
    Posted by booklover[/QUOTE]

    yes, but if you've only been to two or three weddings your whole life and don't know where else to go but bridal magazines and The Knot, you'd never know low-key, lovely weddings like that exist. I can understand where people get crazy ideas about what people expect.
    That's one of the reasons I love this board and OffBeatBride.com so much. It gives people really useful and wonderful alternatives to elaborate or cookie-cutter weddings.

    heck, even with all of the weddings I've been to, only two of them were low-key and really personal. And those were the best ones out of the lot. When I planned my wedding and wanted a low-key fun dinner party feel, I often felt like I had to make it up as I went along. and people looked at me like I had three heads when I said things like "I'm not having any flowers" or "I'll be making my own centerpieces". So there are expectations out there, and not everyone knows well enough to say "who cares what people expect? I just want to throw a fun party!"
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    In this case, the bride is obviously very freely talking about how much things cost, since the OP knows exactly what the cost per person is, as well as "all the other costs" and that the bride is going broke over it.  It's unfortunate that the bride is so wrapped up in what people think/expect she's letting it ruin what should be a wonderful day (and quite possibly ruining her reputation along the way).
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from Rapunzel41. Show Rapunzel41's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    Whenever I say something like, "They say you should do such and such," my FI ask "Who is 'they' and where can I find them so I can punch them in the face?"

    LOL!
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    In Response to Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid:
    [QUOTE]Whenever I say something like, "They say you should do such and such," my FI ask "Who is 'they' and where can I find them so I can punch them in the face?" LOL!
    Posted by Rapunzel41[/QUOTE]

    LOL!
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid

    In Response to Re: Having trouble being a bridesmaid:
    [QUOTE]Whenever I say something like, "They say you should do such and such," my FI ask "Who is 'they' and where can I find them so I can punch them in the face?" LOL!
    Posted by Rapunzel41[/QUOTE]

    And yet he is the one who wanted the chair covers and musicians!  :o)
     

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