I hate to sound so dramatic, but there is no other way to put it; my bride is driving me into debt! Let me explain: when my best friend asked me to be in her wedding, I felt it was a no-brainer and said yes. I was aware that I would be expected to spend a reasonable amount of money, but with the $500 bridesmaid dress, the $400 shoes and the $1,500 bachelorette party, I am already leaning on my credit card for support. There’s still the shower, the wedding itself and the gift! I shared my feelings with her sister (the MOH) who told me to look at it as a one-time expense for a lifetime friendship and not to burden the bride with my monetary concerns. Unfortunately, I am starting to worry I won’t be able to make the destination wedding if this continues. Should I bow out? What do I do?
No Daddy Warbucks
First things first; I am sure your girlfriend values your friendship. In fact, she values it so much that she asked you to stand with her on one of the biggest days of her life. Something tells me that, while she may be splurging on her big day, she’s not asking you to splurge on items and vacations to push you into debt, but to make sure you look and feel as fabulous as she does on her big day and throughout the planning process.
That said, not everyone has the same means as those they love. While money talks aren’t the most comfortable conversations to have, I have seen the exchange of information save many friendships, which is why I suggest that you take the lead and give your friend the respect of candor before you infuse an important relationship with unnecessary (and often misguided) resentment. Why don’t you meet your girlfriend for a lovely (and budget-friendly) one-on-one brunch where you toast her good fortune and share that while you love her with all of your heart and are thrilled for her, you cannot indulge all of the wonderful events and splurge as much as you want to. You want to be there for her wedding day and need her help in choosing the other events and expenses in order of importance to her. For example: can you skip the bachelorette party and use that money for the shower, hair and makeup with the gals on her big day? Or would she be OK nixing the label requirements on the shoes in exchange for a plane ticket to Miami? The key is showing her that you respect her enough to be honest with her and want to be there for her, and that kind of support is invaluable.
Readers: Do you think it is a bride’s job to think about the finances of her maids? Have you ever had a bride ask you to spend too much? What’s your advice for this bridesmaid?