Unfortunately for the victims of the Bridezillas of the world, the perks of being in a bridal party are non-existent. So, when a conflicted ex-bridesmaid decided to vent to the gloriously petty 'Wedding Shaming' group of Reddit, people were ready to hear every detail.
I searched out this community because I need to talk to someone about my recent experiences with a total f*cking nightmare of a bride. Hopefully some of you here can relate. Here's what happened!
The bride, my best friend of many many years (since childhood). We'll call her X, in a sneaky attempt at anonymity. Got engaged in 2018, but did absolutely zero wedding planning until the end of 2019 and January 2020.
She was aware that I said no to being a bridesmaid in another wedding, the whole thing makes me uncomfortable, I'm not wild about having photos taken of me, etc. But she asked me anyway with a card and a gift, and I said yes. How bad could it be, right?
I am a graphic designer. At some point I guess I agreed to design the invitations and save-the-dates. In the time that elapsed since I agreed to that, I was accepted to grad school and started classes, which take up a lot of my time. I am a full-time student; my school has quarters instead of semesters, so classes are extra time-intensive.
At first, wedding planning was fine. I was given the task of finding a relatively unusual bridesmaid outfit for myself, a suit instead of a dress, as I am more of a suit kind of lady. It was kind of difficult to find one in the colors that she wanted but I eventually managed it. That was fine.
The real issues began with the design of the save-the-date. Again, I'm not clear on when exactly I agreed to do this for free, but it became a very intense project with many, many, many nitpicky revisions. But it got done.
She wanted to use a cheap, fast printing service (any graphic designer can tell you: cheap/fast/good - pick two). They did a terrible job. She had me harass customer service and demand a full reprint for free, which I managed to do- while I was doing this, she decided to send out the ones she already had. So she got a full reprint that is unused. Also, the reprint ended up looking the exact same.
At this point, the costs of the wedding were starting to add up. The suit I found was not super expensive, but the wedding is 1200 miles away from where I live, and a plane ticket plus a room in the 'bridal party recommended' hotel was over $1,000. Plus ubers, food and whatever for the time period that I would be there.
I was also informed that I'd be getting my hair and makeup done and would be paying for it myself. Then I was told about a bachelorette party, 1600 miles away from where I live- that would be an additional $1,000 for me with airfare & the place they were staying. I was met with some unpleasantness when I said, (as politely as I could!) I couldn't afford to do that but I hope they have fun!
I was feeling irritated that I was just expected to spend this much money without a second thought given. It probably won't be surprising to hear that bride comes from a wealthy family and has never really had to give much thought to finances.
Every single day, multiple times a day, some request was made of me re: the wedding, and never just a simple yes/no question. It was always 'send me a picture of your suit laid out again so I can see the color' (it's the same as the color it was the last few times) or some other task, usually while I was busy doing schoolwork. This happened A LOT of times. However, I answered all the texts and did my best to be polite. It's her big day, after all.
Then it came time for the invitations. As I mentioned, she had well over a year to do this part, but waited until 2 months before the wedding date to start. She asked if I could get them done within 3 days.
I said no I can't do that, I have papers due this week and school has to be my priority. She said ok, I understand... then asked if I could get them done within 4 days. I had to tell her I cannot do the invitations right now and she should find another artist.
At some point last week after I told her I can't do the invitations, she texted me to tell me how disappointed she is in me that I'm 'ignoring her' and 'acting like this'– upon the advice of friends and family, I'd been super careful to be polite and as accommodating as possible without sacrificing schoolwork.
I told her that I've answered all of the texts she's sent, sometimes not immediately but always within a few hours (and sooner if they were actually urgent), and that I was finding her requests hard to deal with but I understand it's her big day.
She didn't reply. Then a few days later she started texting me about hair for the wedding. We had already discussed hair and agreed on a price. I had literally just left my beloved coworker's funeral, and she was talking about hair, asking what style I want. I don't know, and told her so.
She got increasingly rude about it, I remained neutral and said I had already agreed to do the hair thing and I would be happy to do whatever the other members of the wedding party are doing.
But then I got a text from her, about me, intended for someone else: 'I want her to drop out sooooooo bad.' I replied 'Cool.'
She made no effort to remedy it, apologize, even pretend like it was something else for a couple days, then sent me an extremely apology-free text 'I'm sorry you had to hear about how I felt in that way. If you still want to be in my wedding party you can. You'll have to answer my questions about wedding planning though.'
I told her I don't want to be in her wedding because she'd expressed that she doesn't want me to be and she said 'Thanks for letting me know.'
So again..... this person had been my best friend for a VERY long time. At least 20 years, and I am 29. She is a person I really really thought was in my corner. And to receive a text like that broke my heart.
I thought she was just stressed about the wedding, but the cruelty of that text and the lack of any kind of apology has devastated me. I haven't heard from her since. I canceled my plane ticket and returned my suit and I've cried every day this week.
Because even though she was being absolutely annoying as fuck I was still going to be there. I agreed to do all of the expensive sh*t she wanted except the bachelorette party, and I would have done the invitations if she'd asked even a month earlier, but her lack of planning is not my fault and I truly do not currently have time.
My whole family is still going to the wedding because her family and mine are close. But now I won't be there, and I've lost one of the most important people in my life in the process.
I've been going through a lot of emotions this week, but it boils down to total annoyance at the f*cking ridiculousness of weddings (really, she's having two receptions, a bachelorette party, a shower.....)
And the total disposal of a near-lifelong friendship in favor of ONE DAY of her life that will probably go by fast and be pretty stressful. Has anyone here ever lost a friend because of a wedding? I'm so sad, it's so stupid.
Of course, the jury of internet strangers was here to offer support. Here's what people had to say:
I’m so sorry this happened. Sucks when such a long friendship can just be so easily thrown off track. I was De-bridesmaided a few years ago over something ridiculous. It ended the friendship and made me sad but eventually you get over it.
You made the right choice though, she was putting impossible demands on you. It’s a shame so many brides interpret wedding as it’s 'my princess day and everybody must do my bidding regardless of how badly I behave.'
She lost a great friend. You discovered a hard truth; people change. I’m sorry it turned out this way but you deserve better.
Most people don’t lose their minds when planning a wedding. Most people understand that while it is a very important day, it’s just a day. They understand that it can get quite expensive for their friends and family and don’t go crazy with demands.
Most people know invitations should be ordered with plenty of time to send out 6-8 weeks ahead of the wedding. Most people understand their friends and family aren’t nearly as invested in the wedding as they are. Most people understand that the entire point is getting married to the love of their life.
Your friend clearly doesn’t understand the true meaning behind her wedding day, and thinks everyone around her should bow to her every whim, regardless of what’s going on in their own lives. A single day is more important to her than a friendship of twenty years. She’s lost sight of what’s real.
I hope she realizes what she’s done. And I hope you are able to move on after grieving the loss of your friendship. It really sucks and I’m sorry you’re hurting.
The bride wasn't acting like a friend. She was using you. Her lack of planning was not your problem. She assumed that she could mistreat you and you would take it because if the friendship.
I haven't had a friendship end because of a wedding but I have lost a couple great friendships to to moves. Sine friends are friends of circumstance and serve that purpose during that time.
I’m sorry you are having these feelings. I recommend a thought exercise; go back through tour memories and see how “balanced” the friendship was. You may find that this situation isn’t really out of character.
On the bright side OP your friendship with her probably lasted longer than her marriage will. She sounds like one of those who gets married for the wedding not the marriage.