So, when a frustrated bridesmaid decided to vent to the gloriously petty 'Wedding Shaming' group of Reddit about a cheap bride, people were eager to hear to gossip.
between the US (where I live) after two years apart between the US (where I live) and and the UK (where I'm from), I need to reach out to this bride to say that I will be visiting home and let's meet up... but after her wedding, I get a sense of dread and 'I don't want to' after this:
Bride was my best friend from college. She has a great tight group of friends from high school, but to keep her wedding party small her bridesmaids were me, her sister, and her SIL.
I was delighted to be asked, but had regrets a few months in as she was very upset that I wasn't hands-on enough in planning. I am five hours behind her in time zones and was just starting out in a career in investment banking, so was working insane hours.
Any time she was available, I was in work. I apologized and tried my best to be more hands on. I made sure to fly back to help her pick her wedding dresses, and of course for the bachelorette. One thing to note is that in the UK, it is standard for the bride to buy the bridesmaid dresses.
She requested that I buy my own, which I did with no complaints. I am not from the same part of the country as the bride, and the wedding was in the bride's countryside village, so getting to the rehearsal and the wedding was crazy.
It was a combination of flight from Chicago, multiple trains from the airport, and cabs around villages (drop my boyfriend at an inn, get me to the church for the rehearsal), and there was no offer of help, somebody picking me up from the train station etc.
Bride's relative was the hair and makeup artist. The bride's beauty was the wedding gift from this relative, and the families purchased it for SIL and sister. I was quoted a very high amount, so opted to do my own- this felt really 'odd one out' getting ready, but I couldn't afford the price quoted. I'm not badly off, but I was 23 and just beginning my career.
The whole experience left me feeling stressed and slightly taken advantage of- bride is not lacking money and the wedding was extravagant. But this was my first time being a bridesmaid, and I didn't really know any better. I just knew that I was hemorrhaging money and super stressed out.
One month later, I received a call from the bride. She was a bridesmaid for a mutual friend, and the mutual friend had purchased her bridesmaid dress, but requested that my bride pay for the alterations that she wanted made it it. My bride asked me to lie to mutual friend and say that she had paid for my dress, hair, and beauty.
She was refusing to pay which was causing a rift with her high school friend group.
Her justification was that our mutual friend's parents in law had bought her and fiancé a very expensive house, and that my bride could have afforded a bigger house without the expense of her wedding.
This killed me. I had gone into debt to be my friends bridesmaid. I was floating by paycheck to paycheck and did not raise any complaints about the costs she asked me to incur.
I agreed, but the resentment flickered up. Then, a childhood friend asked me to be her bridesmaid, this time in Ireland. I almost said no, but I didn't. This experience couldn't have been more different.
The bride was relaxed, and everything was collaborative, fun, and she just thought about making sure her bridesmaids were all part of the experience. When her mom picked me up from the airport and thanked me for making the trip, I felt so loved. The wedding felt like a true celebration of the couple and it was the most wonderful day.
I was not able to make any trips back to the UK like I used to. My communication with the first bride faltered and I now just feel ashamed that I was her bridesmaid.
I shouldn't have accepted. It was my first time being a bridesmaid and I just didn't know any better, but I should have said no. Our relationship would be better now if I had just been a guest.
Wow. That first bride is a stingy b*tch. The icing on the cake was trying to charge you for hair and makeup when the relative got it for the bride, sister and SIL.
How hard was it to get it for you too? I’m glad your second bridesmaid experience was much better in Ireland.
You learn a lot about people when you go through these type of events. Some people are amazing and very thoughtful and others are not. Looks like you got to experience both.
Delete the idea from your head that you owe this bride any future contact! She used you. She is not your friend. If I had had a friend fly from another country to be in my wedding I would certainly have arranged airport pick up and showed my appreciation for making such an effort! Hell some of my college friends didn’t even drive two hours to my wedding and I was fine with that. I didn’t expect them to.
You should never feel like you “need” to call a friend and dread it. If that’s the case, they are not a healthy person to have in your life. Our actual friends we want to call and look forward to seeing.
Try never contacting her again and see if she reaches back out to you. If she does reach out to you, see if it’s asking you to do something for her. My guess is you will never hear from her again in any kind of friendly “just checking on you cause I love you” way.
You sound like a total sweetheart, and that first bride seemed to take complete advantage of you and your nature as a person. None of it was your fault, and it was a sh*t experience.
However, maybe it was a life experience you had to have to understand that people will try to take advantage of someone as kind as you. And I hope that you fully embrace that you deserve and should surround yourself with positive, generous people like yourself.
If you are putting that kind of positivity out there as a person, it’s bound to come back at you!
I was a bridesmaid who had to pay for her own dress, it's the ugliest thing I own and I'm stuck with it. After that I vowed to never be a bridesmaid again unless it's for my sister, the unmarried one.
I have been a bridesmaid ~8-9 times and each experience was different. In all but one I bought my own dress (US) and I paid for my hair and makeup for each. It was expected. I have spent lots of money but never to the point where I was financially impacted in the way you were. Multiple international trips? Negative! Your friend was a bad bride. You didn’t do anything wrong.