There are a few things about the bridesmaid tradition that I really don’t understand. Like the tradition of making your bridesmaids look terrible in embarrassing dresses so that by comparison you look amazing. Does this really occur in real life or is it a myth perpetrated by Hollywood? Surely no one wants a hideous wedding party. And also – if you need to make your friends look awful so that you look better… well, let’s just say that it’s really hard to look bad on your own wedding day. You’re also the only one in a long, white dress, so you kind of draw the eye anyway.
Also, I read a lot about women who make their bridesmaids not only fund their entire hen party out of their own pockets, but everything wedding-related as well. As in, they have to pay for their own dress, shoes, alterations, hair, make-up and all the other ‘fun little activities’ that some brides want in the lead up to the wedding, such as massages, spray tans, manicures… the list goes on and on. And that doesn’t even include the expense of travel and accommodation if you live in a different city to the bride, not just for the wedding but for dress fitting and bridal showers beforehand.
Which is all a bit much, if you ask me. I paid for everything for my bridesmaids when I got married because I didn’t feel that they should be forking out their own hard-earned cash on my wedding. And no, crazy bride lady, unless you are letting your bridesmaids choose their own dress from a regular store, they will NEVER wear their bridesmaid dress again, so don’t try and pull that one! The fact is that if you have to pay for everything yourself being a bridesmaid can be pricey – and if you are unlucky enough to have more than one friend getting married in the same year, well, there goes your holiday money!
A friend recently confessed to me that she had to turn down the offer of being a bridesmaid for her best friend recently because she knows the bride wants a big fancy wedding with all the trimmings and that means lots of expense for the bridesmaids – and she just doesn’t have the cash to spare this year. The bride – one of her closest friends – hasn’t spoken to her since, even though she tried to explain it as gently as possible.
Do you think it’s unfair for brides expect their bridesmaids to pay their own way? Have you ever been put in an awkward position by a demanding bride? How did you handle it?