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My Bridesmaids Stressed Me Out!

Dear Sugar--

I feel as though two of my bridesmaids gave me a lot of stress through everything leading up to my wedding. They didn't help with anything like the shower or bachelorette party. Everything that was expected from them (buying the dress, shoes, and getting their hair done) was a huge hassle for them, and they were constantly stressing me out over it and complaining about the price. This bothered me because they both work full time and don't pay rent. So, they probably have more money than me and I would never complain about this to them if they were getting married. I told them numerous times if them being in the wedding is too difficult or expensive then I would not be upset if they backed out of the commitment. This offended them both.

There's more. I originally told them they could bring guests. They both didn't know who to bring (one broke up with her boyfriend right before the wedding), so they waited until past the deadline was up to tell me their meal choices, stressing me out more. I told them repeatedly just not to bring anyone, but they were insistent about it. They joked around to my fiancé's parents about not being able to find dates. This made me feel stupid because his parents paid for the entire thing. The wedding was spectacular and afterwards I realized that it was wrong of them to act like they were doing me a favor and they should have felt honored to be there. Then the kicker is that neither of them (or their guests) gave us a wedding gift, not even a card. This upset me greatly.

These girls were really close friends of mine. Should I discuss these issues with them? I am not sure if it would do much good. I know it is rude to bring up the fact that they didn't bring gifts. Or should I lose them as friends, cut them out?

--Let Down Lucy

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Let Down Lucy--

First off, congrats on getting married! That's so exciting - so try not to let those two bridesmaids of yours put a damper on your happiness. Since they're not married themselves, they probably had no idea about how stressful planning a wedding was, and that a large part of their job was to help you out. Not getting a gift because they thought they spent enough money on the dress, shoes and whatnot is not an excuse. Or who knows - guests have up to one year to give gifts, so they could be working on it.

What's done is done, and being that you were such close friends with these girls, you should definitely talk to them about how you feel. You don't need to go over every little detail that upset you (since you can't do anything about it now), but just touch on the major things. Chances are they had no idea how much their actions and comments upset you, and talking about it could in turn bring you closer.

That being said, it still doesn't make up for the fact that they let you down on what was probably one of the most important events of your life. Maybe your friends were acting immaturely because they're in a different place in their lives than you are. If that's the case, you may find that you're naturally growing apart so you might need to work on developing a new kind of friendship with these girls. I hope it all works out for you Lucy.

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loveydovey4 loveydovey4 6 years
As a currently frustrated bridesmaid I want to say this: It IS a favor to be in someone's wedding. That is why you are supposed to ASK nicely and it is usually customary to give a small thank you gift... That being said, I try not to act put out by some of the over the top demands of my well meaning bride. Also, I kind of take issue with the whole gift thing. $200 dress (w/ alterations) + $75 for a SPECIFIC pair of shoes + $50 for hair + $30 for nails + however much for makeup + the out of state bachelorette party (which is supposed to include a hotel, limo, spa day, and night out- $$$) = your wedding present!!! Congratulations! I'm in college and this is seriously KILLING me financially. I am just going to grin and bear it but the way I've been feeling about the financial part is making it hard for me to be excited about the wedding. Every wedding I've been in has made eloping sound more and more appealing. Point of the story is this: your bridesmaids are most likely spending enough money on you as it is so expecting a gift from them is a little selfish.
peony80 peony80 9 years
Let down Lucy, This could completely have been my story, except that I was on the other side. I was a bridesmaid...a bridesmaid that is no longer friends with the bride. While many of the points you bring up are understandable, they are also coming from a bride's viewpoint. As a former bridesmaid, I have to say that brides may be giving off a (hate to say it) "bridezilla" vibe not even realizing it or thinking it will be excused because they are "stressed" or "busy" or "its their day." While I loved my friend and wanted her wedding to be great, many things (behind the scenes) were said or were inferred that made my participation in her wedding less than enthusiastic. For example, did you in any way make your bridesmaids feel it was their obligation to do all the things you said, even if they are customary bridesmaid duties? I often got emails from the bride "barking" orders of what things I need to do, what I needed to look like, how my alternations needed to look, what shoes I needed to buy, how my hair needed to be...all things typical of one participating in a wedding...but it was the way she said these things that made the event feel more of an obligation rather than a celebration. Instead of asking, we were told the exact specifications of how things needed to be, right down to the bachelorette venue! The money/expense issue also came up but, in all honesty, it would not have been an issue if the bride had been a little more considerate in her treatment of me. Another bridesmaid and i joined forces because we could not believe or understand how things were playing out. We DID buy an expensive gift for which we never received a thank you note or call. Bottom line is that I'm sure the bridesmaids did you wrong but i'm also sure you did the bridesmaids wrong. Its a matter now of how much you feel your friendship is worth salvaging. You may need to put these recent tensions aside and think about how your friendship has been up to this point. If you can honestly say these girls have been good friends to you and their behavior at your wedding was an aberration, then it should be worth talking about with them. You may also need to look into your own behavior at the time, to see if you had done anything to offend your friends. Best of luck.
nycgirl nycgirl 9 years
I am a bride to be, and I truly sympathize with your plight. Thankfully my BMs are wonderful (one-out-of-state the other out-of-country) and the first one would definitely help coordinate a shower/bachelorette party if I wanted one. At the same time, you should not be so presumptuous about their finances and their ability to pay, esp. if the dresses you picked out were very pricey and needed major alterations. RSVP-ing late or not at all is RUDE. Unless you know that the wedding is a casual free-for-all with no assigned seating and an open buffet, you should definitely RSVP!! My wedding is a sit-down four course dinner to the tune of $275/head, and I would absolutely freak out if people just decided to RSVP a week before or worse, just show up! It is true that people start becoming giant walking dollar bills (like how they become chickens in cartoons to hungry people). Be respectful-- this is a big day and a big expense!
junebrug junebrug 9 years
They committed a very serious faux pas and they don't sound particularly mature, but no one is perfect, even friends. To be honest, I seriously doubt that you have a gift, an apology, or anything else coming your way, so deal with the situation as it is. Truly, you have only question -- do you value their friendship enough to let this slide? If so, don't say a word about it, it's done with, and they'll no longer be friends if you make a big to-do about it. Remember, the human mind works in mysterious ways and all their grousing may be indicative of fear that you'll no longer be their friend once you have a husband to hang with. If they're not worth it and they're immature in general, tell them how you feel. And don't invite them to anything else since they obviously can't cope with an event that's for adults who are expected to act like adults. If you want to be a real...rhymes with "itch", send them each a book on manners, such as an Emily Post edition on weddings. Trust me, message shall be recieved.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
The way you lay it out makes it sound like they let you down. But, then you say things like Everything that was expected from them (buying the dress, shoes, and getting their hair done) was a huge hassle for them, and they were constantly stressing me out over it and complaining about the price. This bothered me because they both work full time and don't pay rent. You have no idea what their financial situations are just because you know they work and don't pay rent. If they are telling you it's more than they can afford, then it probably is. They still chose to be in your wedding party, and it doesn't seem like you appreciate that at all. You also say it was wrong of them to act like they were doing me a favor and they should have felt honored to be there. They *were* doing you a favor. Of course it's nice to be included in someone's big day, but being a part of the wedding party is not *for* the bridesmaids, it's for YOU. It sounds like all three of you are a little focused on yourselves, and that made for some friction. If you had a spectacular wedding and other bridesmaids that worked really hard for you, I don't understand why you're so hung up this. Seems like the spectacular wedding and great friends are more worthy of your focus than these grievances.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
Sounds like they are just jealous of your marriage and weren't prepared to put in the effort to help you enjoy your day. They'd expect you to honour their weddings of course, but don't do it for them in return.
katie225 katie225 9 years
grr, brides bug me. i'm going to sound way harsher than popgoestheworld, but my message is basically the same: you're freaking out over nothing. you're stressed YOURSELF out, they're just being their normal selves. you expected too much out of them. just because you're the bride does not give you the right to boss everyone around and stomp your feet over every tiny little thing. bridesmaids dresses are flipping expensive, as well as every other little thing the bride decides the BMs have to do (like the same hair, the same makeup, the same shoes...). so what, they didn't get you a gift. what makes gifts GIFTS is the fact that they're given, not expected. the fact that people expect gifts at any sort of party really bugs the bejeesus out of me. brides should be grateful that anyone wants to be a bridesmaid anymore. there is this cult of the bride that dictates to the world that "it's MY DAY, and you will do everything i say!" and it's really annoying and makes people like me not want to take part in your "special day". i was a bridesmaid for my sister, and she was the best bride because she always smiled even though i was the most annoying little sister you could have for a bridesmaid. she had a sense of graciousness and happiness for the situation that many brides lose sight of because they're stressing over the tiniest little things. here is my vow: i promise that when/if i get married and IF i decide to have a bridal party (because honestly, i don't want to have one!), i will not stress out over anything that the bridesmaids do or don't do. i will not be upset if they don't buy me a present because their presence at my wedding is gift enough. i promise that i will let my bridesmaids have a choice in their dresses, and i will let them wear their own shoes and do their own hair. i also promise not to freak out about people who show up without RSVPing because, truthfully, i never RSVP either. it's really an outdated custom. let's all just crash parties! oh, and if anyone crashes my wedding, i will laugh and have a good time because everyone is there who loves me and wants to celebrate my new life, not judge me based on what floral arrangement i used. actually, scratch that, i'm just going to the justice of the peace, because this wedding industry is annoying. :)
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 9 years
Congrats on the wedding. I agree with the comments above including DEARSUGAR. I am sorry you had to deal with two horrible friends leading up to the happiest day of your life. Wait until they have to plan a wedding. It is hard for me to plan a wedding - and I am the professional that gets PAID to plan weddings! I wouldn't take these two girls seriously. They both seem a little immature and unreasonable. How horrible not to get a card from either one of them! Hallmark has them for under $3.00. I was pinching pennies when my cousin got married and I was her bridesmaid - and I bought them a gift. How did I pay for it? It is called a credit card. My advice is to move on and let them go. I would just think twice when it comes to including them in any future event planning - such as a baby shower. Good Luck! p.s sorry if I seem a little grrrr. I get defensive when I see brides taken advantage of.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
i think you should relax and move on. you said yourself that the wedding was "spectcular", why do you give a crap about some petty things going on with those 2? think about the good parts, sounds like there were lots of them.
MrsJigglesworth MrsJigglesworth 9 years
I'm sorry you are feeling this way. It is hurtful, and I can totally relate b/c I had a similar situation. I have pulled away from most of the people that were not supportive. It was a real eye-opener for me. It definitely showed their true character. BTW- I would say over 60-70% of our guests did not bring gifts or even cards, including 3 out of 4 bridesmaids and 2 out of 4 groomsmen.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
Okay, these girls don't sound like the best bridesmaids ever, but maybe you expected a little too much from them? Even if they do make money and don't pay rent, who wants to spend a ton of money on dresses they'll never wear again and on getting their hair done for a few hours? It gets extremely expensive! Dear is right though - people have no idea how hard it is to plan a wedding and what a pain it is if people are late in RSVP-ing - until they have their own wedding. I think the parents probably weren't looking at your two friends as trying to mooch off them by wanting to invite guests. Again, until you have a wedding, you don't realize that brides can start looking at extra guests as a pricetag. People generally assume it's roughly the same cost with or without a couple people. They were probably just trying to make light of the fact that they couldn't find dates. Also, they have plenty of time left to get you a gift. In my opinion, the only thing they did wrong was to not get you a card, which seems like it would have been a nice thing to do. I think these girls sound flaky, but not mean spirited, and I forgive the former much easier than the latter.
kungfubunni kungfubunni 9 years
MAN! I was my sister's bridesmaid when I was 18 and I sucked. she is mine now and has been great and it makes me feel so bad. but I really was so young and had no idea what I was doing. I also wonder now did I get her a gift!? anyway, I'm only having her as my maid of honor, so I get to skip all the drama of bridesmaids!
ilove2ski ilove2ski 9 years
Also, CONGRATS ON THE WEDDING!!!!! ****************************************** Is butter a carb?
ilove2ski ilove2ski 9 years
Oh wow not even a card? It doesn't sound like they were too busy doing things for the wedding to not even squeeze in a minute to give a card. But, I do believe they have up to a year to get you a gift. So HOPEFULLY THEY MAKE THIS UP TO YOU!! ****************************************** Is butter a carb?
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