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How Would You Handle a Broke Bridesmaid?

What Would You Do? Broke Bridesmaid

Imagine that you're a bridesmaid in the wedding of one of your closest friends, and you've been selected to spearhead the bachelorette party. Organized is your middle name, and you've been planning the weekend practically since your friend was engaged, all the while including the other girls on emails and asking for feedback every step of the way.

It's a month from the big bachelorette weekend, and you get a call from one of the bridesmaids who you don't know very well. She asks if she can pay you in installments of $50 per week, after the weekend has come and gone, instead of handing over her portion of the expenses at the start of the weekend. If you were the in-charge bridesmaid, how would you handle this situation? This is a true story — it happened to my friend who is planning a bachelorette— so to see how my she handled it just


She told the bridesmaid that her proposal was absolutely not an option. Instead, she suggested the girl put a portion of the weekend on her credit card and pay the rest in cash upon arrival just like everyone else. I think that the situation was handled well, though I know my friend was totally shocked by the request from someone she doesn't know well to essentially lend her money for the weekend. The bride has been engaged for a year, so there wasn't much of an excuse why she couldn't save $30 per month for the bachelorette party, other than the fact that she's notoriously bad with money.

Would you have handled things differently, or do you think this was the best solution?

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Join The Conversation
bridget2112 bridget2112 9 years
I am getting married in August and have told my bridesmaids that I do not want them to be spending alot of $ on my bachelorette. It is such a waste of money to wake up in the morning with a headache. My fiance and I actually might be doing a jack & jill party. It will end up costing a couple around $50. Very Reasonable. I recently stood up for my cousin's wedding. For her bachelorette we all rented a limo and went on a wine tour. The cost was $40 and then we went to the bride's house and had a cookout and drank some of our wine. There was a group of us that decided to go out later that night. One of the girls (not a bridemaid) decided that she wanted to go even though she only had $7. Yeah, I said $7. That didn't even get her in to the first club and a drink. I could not believe that this girl did this. She actually ended up asking my cousin (the bride)to borrow money. If she wanted to go and hang out then she should have told us all before we left that she was low on cash. I would have understood and been ok with buying her drinks all night.
thatsjoanna thatsjoanna 9 years
Yikes...she new this was coming up and should have saved up money.
joy76 joy76 9 years
Why so expensive??? A best friend is getting married soon, and I am flying in for her wedding it is already costing me a lot of money, that I would rather spend upgrading my bathroom to add to the value of my property! That said I hope I will not be expected to contribute for a bachelorette party?! as I am not! I understand a bit awkward for someone you don't know to put you in that position, this is a message to all the to be brides out there BE REALISTIC!!! Your wedding is not the be it and end all!! there is life afterwards and we don't want to be BROKE after your wedding, YOUR FRIENDS ARE NOT YOUR PARENTS!!!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Ooooooops! *Less than $100!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Lynne said it perfectly. The first time I read this question, I just thought about how outrageous it was for the bridesmaid to ask for this sort of financing ESPECIALLY since she is so bad with money! But really, she could be a perfectly nice person who had no idea what to do in this situation, and really wanted to be there for her friend. Even though I wouldn't have ponied up the cash either, I would NOT have organized some stupid super expensive event that people had difficulty attending due to financial reasons. I think spending excessive money on a wedding is not the wisest decision, so I'm a bit biased, but honestly, at least the money spent on the wedding is the couple's choice. Asking people to spend a ton of money on a trip/party is just kinda rude. There is a lot of fun to be had for >$100, and I think for me my bachelorette party won't be fun if people can't afford it.
cat1121 cat1121 9 years
Miss Manners just solved it for us.
samontague samontague 9 years
Why on earth are these things so expensive? Is it not enough that our bridesmaids/maids/matrons of honour are doing us a giant favour by standing with us at the wedding, paying for their dresses, etc.? I have absolutely no expectation that any of my 'maids should cough up ridiculous amounts of money for something like this, or frankly, any at all. I want my best friends/family with me - not footing the bill for something that, in the long run, is unimportant and can obviously be divisive within the group. You really don't have to spend insane amounts to have a good time. See the comment re: the baseball game, bowling, food - that sounds like a blast, and it's far cheaper! Having to save $30 a month for a year leading up to the wedding? As someone who's seen her share of extreme budgets, sometimes that's not even an option and I don't think it's reasonable to expect it of someone!
Indigo4320 Indigo4320 9 years
Jeez, $360 + wedding gift + bridal shower gift + B-ette party gifts + whatever her bridesmaid dress, shoes, hair and makeup will cost is just NUTSZO!! I'm NOT going to be a bride that just assumes a bridesmaid can pay for all of that. It pisses me off that a bride expects her bridesmaids to foot the bill for HER wedding day. YOU want a big wedding? A huge b-ette party? Then YOU pay for it!!! Don't expect your bridesmaids to fund it all! Sorry I get into a grouchy mood over ignorance like this
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
A friend of mine is a bridesmaid and she's experiencing a similar situation...the bride was thinking of a simple, fun day out with the girls but the bridesmaid in charge of the party planned a weekend out of town (expensive hotel, fancy dinner, dancing at a club, spa day) which was completely out of my friend's budget. Not to mention the less than 30 days notice...if she had had more notice she might've been able to save up. When she voiced her concern to the bridesmaid, her response was "Well you can get a salad, and skip the spa day if it's that big of a deal.." Needless to say, she's not going. Which is completely unfair in my opinion. You can't expect everyone to have the financial freedom to splurge on a huge, expensive weekend. Put some feelers out, see what people can or can't afford, and plan accordingly. It's about the BRIDE, after all.
Lynne Lynne 9 years
I agree and disagree with TOO many people to say who!! But the thought that keeps coming to my mind is for the girl doing the asking. I imagine she was pretty embarrased and asked some others what they think she should do, and was probably told that asking the bridesmaid wouldn't hurt. "The worst that could happen is she'll say no" keeps playing in my head! I agree that these parties are getting excessive and to try and save for a year just for one specific party is pretty unreasonable in my opinion. With so many other things we need to save for nowadays (a tank of gas!), a bachelorette party would be way down on the list for me! I'd rather spend a portion of that money on a nice wedding gift, bridesmaid dress, shoes, hair and makup and be able to make it to the day and look good for the bride, instead of spending the money on partying. A reasonable bride would understand and respect her friends financial situations.
MindayH MindayH 9 years
The weekend is about the bride, so if the bride is the kind of person that is ok with having a night in and watching movies, that is what she should do. Most all of my friends have wanted the crazy weekend in vegas or the relaxed weekend away. If that's the case, then you save up for it (all of mine, I knew about 3 months ahead of time) Or you don't go. If the bride is your friend, she should understand if you can't make it for $$$ issues.
verily verily 9 years
If a bridesmaid can't afford to go to the bachelorette party, then it is over the top and too expensive anyway. This kinda reminds me of the movie "Friends with Money". When I was planning my sister's party, I kept in mind the budget of everyone attending and tried to set a max of $50. In the end, we had a fabulous time going roller skating, eating BBQ, boozing it up and singing karaoke.
julieulie julieulie 9 years
Bookish, you are absolutely correct. It is TOO MUCH. Frankly, the bridesmaids should be able to attend (provided they can make it, the weekend is free, etc) at all costs, because they are obviously the closest friends of the bride. Picking something that they cannot afford is inconsiderate, rude, and tacky in my opinion.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I would never lend money to someone I barely knew. Sorry, find a way to get the money.
Bookish Bookish 9 years
Putting away 30 dollars a month over a year-long engagement? That's 360 dollars for the bachelorette party, right? That's probably on top of the cost of a pricey dress, shoes, travel. I think that if you're going to ask your bridesmaids to pay for their attendance in your wedding (and wedding parties), it's the bride's duty to either make certain all the people involved are able to afford it, and if they can't, to scale back. I can't believe how expensive weddings are these days, and how much people expect their friends to pay to stand beside them.
emalove emalove 9 years
I would've handled it the same way...tell her to put some of it on her credit card and pay the rest in cash. Just like everyone else. And if she REALLY couldn't afford to do it, she probably should skip it (although I wouldn't say that to her).
vanprooyen vanprooyen 9 years
I'm not even having a bachelorette party. I think they're tacky.
mayara mayara 9 years
As the bride, a bachelorette party that could have led to that situation would have squicked me. As a maid of honor, I wouldn't have planned a party like that, as no one who'd pick me for their maid of honor would be comfortable with something like that. I just treated my bridesmaids to dinner at a local Tibetan restaurant. Spending time with them was plenty good for me. (And they slept on the floor at my house for the extra night they were in town for that.)
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
I wouldn't lend her diddly-squat, especially since I hardly know her. I think that your friend handled the situation very well.
ash_marisa ash_marisa 9 years
Most of the B-parties I have been to have been about $30-50/pp for one entire weekend was $100...I cannot imagine spending more than that for a night and a weekend
aeryn aeryn 9 years
FIFTY DOLLAR installments?! Darn, what was the total cost? That's insanely expensive. I thought it was pricey that my bridesmaids treated me to a massage, but that was only like 20 bucks per person when they split it. Why do people have to go all crazy for these parties, anyway. I say, go out to dinner, get a bunch of appetizers and drinks at home and stay up and watch 80s movies. That's my idea of a perfect night. Oh, you have to start it out with a massage, too, if possible.
lovelipgloss lovelipgloss 9 years
This story sounds scarily familiar.... I was engaged for over a year and had a broke bridesmaid. She lived out of state, and was my best friend in high school. It took forever for me to get her dress measurements. Then, probably 3 weeks before the wedding I found out she had never even picked up her dress when it came in! I learned this from the dress shop because she never told me. When I called she said she didn't have money... but her delaying this meant she was in a crunch and couldn't have the dress altered to fit properly! My parents ended up paying for it (it was about $150) and for her shoes. Her dress was never altered and was a little baggy at the bust. Closer to the wedding she still didn't have her travel arrangements worked out. Her ride bailed on her and she didn't have enough money for a bus ticket. Her parents refused to help until the last minute, but I was in a panic wondering if I needed a replacement. I had already had to replace one girl! Then, of course she had no money for a hotel room so she had to bum with me. All I wanted to do as the BRIDE was to relax and not keep lending her my hairbrush or shower gel. The day of she opted not to get her hair done, which was fine, but she had no makeup. Thankfully while I was at a makeup counter getting mine done, she bummed off a bored makeup artist at another counter. *shakes head*
elle-j elle-j 9 years
i agree that the bridesmaid should have saved the money up before, but to be honest, if i were the one collecting the money, and had the extra cash, i would allowed the girl to pay me in $50 installments. You never know people's financial situations, and if the bride trusts her, then so do I. Its kind to help someone out once in a while, and to avoid an akward and embarassing situation.
moxierain moxierain 9 years
That's just embarrassing. If I didn't have the money then I would have either found a way to get it ahead of time, months before the event took place, you do have to plan for these things or not come if I somehow could not pay for my own way.
mazdagirluk mazdagirluk 9 years
I have been to parties where I pay in advance. She should pat 50 per week before the party - not after! Otherwise don't go or borrow money from someone else.
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