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Bridesmaid tells bride that she won't 'bankroll' her wedding. AITA?

Bridesmaid tells bride that she won't 'bankroll' her wedding. AITA?

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"WIBTA for telling my friend I won’t bankroll her wedding?"

My friend is getting married later this year, and her sister, Bridesmaid#1, Bridesmaid#2 and I are bridesmaids. Bride got engaged in 2022, but plans to marry this year. In this 1.5 year span there’ve been several instances which have accumulated and it finally started bugging me.

She's planning a 100k EUR destination wedding, expecting a lot from guests and bridesmaids without considering the financial strain. My opinion about it is, if you can’t afford it, don’t do it. Highlights of my grievances include:

- An engagement party, which was technically a BBQ at the lake. Everyone had to bring their own drink and food.

- A bridal shower (not a bachelorette) which was a brunch and everyone had to pay their own (c. 100 EURpp). For the bachelorette party we plan to fly to yet to another European country and all attendees chipped in to pay their and her part (ca. 1000EURpp)

- A civil wedding requiring a day off (which annoys my bf the most) and a pricey dinner at a 3-star restaurant (c.300-400EURpp.) paid by the invitees.

- The wedding itself (flights, rental car, hotel – an overprized hotel she’s staying) costs my bf and me ca. 3000EUR. This excluding additional costs for pre-pre (day1), pre-(2) and post-wedding parties (4) where guests are expected to cover their shares.

- Forced into a costly, continent-wide scavenger hunt for a specific bridesmaid dress (that the designer no longer produced, so we looked into odd lots in Europes), ending in a 600 EUR unflattering outfit. Despite efforts and discussions (BM1 and I), the bride's insistence led to frustration and compliance with her demands.

- Experiences of being treated cheaply, like being asked to reimburse 8 EURpp at a BBQ the day after my bf & I hosted a party without expecting repayments.

Non-financial demands extend beyond bridesmaid duties, including organizing music, translators, makeup specialists, and more, which feels more like labor than honor.

I've reached my limit after being asked to contribute another 500 EUR for a civil (!) wedding gift organized by another friend. I’ve told this friend that we've decided not to further bankroll the wedding, telling the friend Bride should have a more affordable wedding that doesn't overly burden guests.

I had initially planned to discuss this with the bride after the wedding, but the friend urged me to talk to the Bride before the wedding and not wait another half year. WIBTA for telling my friend I won’t bankroll her wedding?

Background context: We're all in our mid-30s, living in Western Europe but except for me (who’s local) all others are Eastern European. My friend and I know each other since first year of university in country #A, I moved to country #B (neighboring country) straight after uni, my friend moved here 5 years ago, and all of us are expats in country #B. We all have solid careers and incomes. While we all earn well to very well, I think the financial expectations for this wedding have become unreasonable.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

LeamhAish said:

You're right, if you can't afford it, don't do it.

Bitbatgaming said:

NTA, you’re not ruining her wedding day, you’re just fed up of having to “chip in”. There’s a difference. Plus , you are a bridesmaid . Honey, 100K destination weddings and all this pay for yourself stuff means that these people would be better off buying themselves a personal vacation.

bcelos said:

NTA - You've already spent over $5k and a lot of mental energy and time, this is actually insane, unless you and your friends are multi millionaires, and even then, it's getting a bit unreasonable.

Planning 5-6 expensive parties and expecting guests to pay their own way, plus bring more and more gifts is tacky and unnecessary. Usually you have the parents of the couple pay for a bridal shower and engagement party. And I think the civil wedding party dinner and parties at the actually wedding itself should be paid for by her.

Sufficient_Lynx7869 said:

She's not just a choosing beggar, she's a vampire. Is she really THIS good a friend? NTA.

FuzzyMom2005 said:

NTA. Wedding invited are not summons nor INVOICES. You should never ever spend more than you're comfortable with for a wedding - doesn't matter if it's a friend's or a family member's, whether you're in the wedding party or not.

This is too much for you. You back out of the party and the wedding if necessary. "I'm sorry but this is too much for me financially. I'm sure you understand." And even if she doesn't. Her response will tell you how much of a friend she really is.

GingerWhoDrinksTea said:

NTA. While destination weddings have a more significant financial burden for guests & the wedding party (due to travel & accommodations,) it seems like the bride is using you and the other guests to bankroll her wedding.

If the happy couple are having a civil ceremony separate from the formal wedding, they don’t need a separate gift for that ceremony. If her dream designer is no longer producing, she shouldn’t be dragging her attendants all over the continent to look for discontinued dresses. You may need to have a conversation with her about the excessive expenses related to the wedding for you & the other bridesmaids.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for these friends?

Sources: Reddit
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