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Dealing With Cost of Being a Bridesmaid

Group Therapy: Stressed About Bridesmaid Costs

This question comes from Group Therapy in our TrèsSugar Community. Feel free to add your advice in the comments!

I'm a bridesmaid in a very good friend's wedding this coming October. I knew saying yes when she asked me to be a bridesmaid would be tricky because I've been saving half my income for an extended trip to South America (leaving in January). Since the soon to be bride is in school (and not working) I figured their wedding and events leading up to it would be fairly economical and I could make my tight budget work.

Now that the bridal shower, bachelorette, etc details are coming together and I have my budget laid out through the end of the year the numbers just aren't working in my favor. I've been helping plan the bachelorette party/trip to San Diego (she's having two bachelorette parties, one is a traveling trip to SD and another in the city we live) and I'm beyond stressed. If my trip in January weren't so important, I'd be happy to charge the SD trip to my credit card and pay it off later. But I can't put South America off and I can't leave the country with debt. The bottom line is I can't afford this bachelorette party and I need to back out but I'm at a loss for how to do so gracefully. Is it even possible? Should I back out as a bridesmaid altogether?

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phatE phatE 7 years
the fact that this even stresses you out is sad - of course you can't go to her shower, and she should get over it. you don't have to explain or apologize - you had these plans and can't change them. if she has an issue w/ it, that's 100% her deal & she needs to get over it. the world doesn't revolve around the bride, people's lives don't stop just because they are in your wedding. dealing with the crap and drama i've delt with as a bridemaid makes me want to elope. people are totally missing the entire point of it all.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 7 years
What Karlotta said. Go to the local event, not to the San Diego one. The bride has absolutely no grounds to be upset about that, unless she is a completely self-absorbed beyotch. I also have never heard of so many pre-wedding events...two bachelorette parties, plus a shower, and then the wedding? Unbelievable. Having been in 7 weddings myself as either bridesmaid or MOH, I have to say that I didn't have any expected "duties" other than being there to support the nervous bride on her day. None of my brides expected me to do anything but that, they were thankful enough that I took the time and expense to be there with them on their day. If there asked me to run an errand, whatever, sure, but there were no "duties". That is a load of crap is you ask me. Hello brides, yes it is your day, but it doesn't mean EVERYTHING is about you. I am in my 40's though, and this was 20 years ago, so maybe things have changed and brides are just more entitled.
karlotta karlotta 7 years
I think people are crazy with their weddings. I'd be so embarrassed to have my friends spend a penny for me. I know you don't realize it because you're all so taken by it, but America has become the land of bridezillas. It's insane!
bluerose462 bluerose462 7 years
I've been in more weddings then I can count and stuff like this happends. You dont have to back out of the wedding, tell her woman to woman the truth.Let her know she and the wedding are important to you , but your having a few cash set backs.If, your friend isnt bridzilla she will understand.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
I don't think it's unacceptable to explain your situation to her and back out of the San Diego party (as long as you attend the one in town and are still adhering to your other bridemaid duties). You aren't skipping out on the entire wedding, you're just skipping out on one bachelorette party. I'm sure she'll understand your situation!
kurniakasih kurniakasih 7 years
Go to one, and talk to the bride on why you can't afford to go to the other one. Or don't go to both if you can't afford it. These days, there's no shame on telling them that you don't want to be in debt because you now can't cancel your upcoming trip and such. She'll understand, I'm sure. Good luck.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
If you can't afford both parties, just go to one. It's really not a big deal.
redchick152 redchick152 7 years
just be honest with the bride. your trip sounds important, so chances are she knew about it when she asked you to be in her wedding. i don't think there is anything wrong with backing out of the more expensive bachelorette party, especially since there is another one. i would never expect my bridesmaids to drop their priorities (especically financial ones) to help me celebrate my "last single night out." i know that this doesn't really compare, but a few years ago i was in my best friend's wedding. her bachelorette fell right in the middle of my sorority's formal recruitment and i just couldn't be in both places at once. she understood and knew what i was doing was important to me. i still made it to her shower, fittings, etc. we're just fine, no feelings were hurt.
jenni5 jenni5 7 years
Don't back out, just talk to her about not attending the SD trip. I would hope she can understand.
medenginer medenginer 7 years
I would just explain that you have over extended yourself and can only make the local party. Your budget doesn't allow for the planning of two trips within such a short time period.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
Also, I agree with nbnb that you shouldn't back out of the wedding party altogether. If you suggest that, the bride will likely get the idea that you don't want to be a bridesmaid. I would say something about how you're so excited to be a bridesmaid, etc., so that she understands your reasons for not going on the trip are purely financial and not a reflection on her.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
I don't think there's anything selfish about the bride having two bachelorette parties - my best friend did it, and probably everyone in my group of friends will. However, if you can't afford to attend both of them, there's nothing wrong with missing one. You need to be honest with the bride and explain your financial situation. Ask her what she wants you to do, which events are the most important for you to attend, and which events she wouldn't mind you being absent for. Be apologetic about it and stress that you WANT to do everything, you just don't have the money. If she's your friend, she'll understand. Since you're trip is an "extended trip," I'm guessing you're going to South American for some legitimate reason and not just because you think it would be a more fun vacation than a bachelorette party. No bride I've known would expect a bridesmaid to cancel all their pre-scheduled plan for the next year upon being asked to be a bridesmaid. You haven't done anything wrong, and the bride would have absolutely no right to be upset with you.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
I don't know why you're going to South America, but I'm pretty sure that if you cancel one trip to celebrate a friends' impending nuptuals so you can afford (or better afford, or whatever) your own personal trip, you're going to come off bad. You can cancel this trip if you want, but she might be mad at you.
nbnb nbnb 7 years
If she is a good friend, you need to just talk to her and explain the situation. it sounds like you can go to the party that is in the city in which you live. so you can just explain that you will be unable to attend the san diego party, maybe you two can do something special (and cheap) together. I dont think there is any need for you to back out of the wedding party, especially if you've been involved in the planning, i assume she needs your emotional support even if you cant attend both parties. just be honest with yourself and with her. obviously this is a special time for her, but you cannot jeopardize your life plans.
njau njau 7 years
you said she is having two parties?? If so, I think it's acceptable to state your case and your situation to her on how you really want to attend both but it's just not feasible. if you an afford one, chose that one and go. I'm sure she will be a little bummed but at the end of the day, she should understand that debt is hard and if you dont have the money, you don't have the money and nothing will change that. i don't think you initially need to step down being in the wedding party just yet unless she asks you too.
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