Being a bridesmaid can be easy and fun, or difficult and absolutely horrendous—depending on the bride. Hayley, a woman who wrote an essay for Mamamia, learned this the hard way by agreeing to be one of seven bridesmaids for a friend of hers named Carol. She assumed it would be easy, based on previous experience and the sheer number of bridesmaids. How much could she be asked to do? Little did she know she was in for the friendship-ending ride of her life.
For anyone who hasn't had the experience and might not know (*ahem* men), being a bridesmaid is a costly and time-consuming endeavor. And sometimes brides go a little cuckoo bananas with their requests,
requiring asking their minions bridesmaids to do things like wear khaki dresses (which no one looks good in except redheads), cover their tattoos, and even dye their hair. That's on top of paying for the dress and committing to help organize the bridal showers and bachelorette parties (and attend the stupid parties, too).
Hayley and the rest of the bridesmaids had been saddled with a lot of email requests for input on everything from the bridal gown to the groomsmen's buttonholes (which she had to Google, because nobody but a bride would know what that was—probably not even a groom). One day she received an email from Carol asking her for a little help in the cake-shopping department. Immediately, if not sooner.
"Hey Hayley, How’s it going? I need some cake-maker suggestions by COB today please, Jase and I really want to get a wriggle on with this and need the contact details, price brackets, flavours and an idea of how prestigious the vendor is – in a table would be great. Excel is probably best please. Thanks!"
I had to read the email about three times to gauge what she was asking me. After the third disbelieving scan, I felt my blood start boiling.
What the—? Hayley, like many humans, has a job as a schoolteacher and couldn't possibly get that done in one day. She wrote that she'd get the requested info to Carol the next day, but received no reply. After sending the damn excel sheet the next day, she received a thank you from Carol. Sort of.
"Thanks for this, would’ve been really helpful to have it yesterday when specified but I appreciate it."
Ouch. I put it down to “bridal stress” and got back to my normal life, hoping she wasn’t too mad at me.
Fast forward to a few months later, when Carol is finally buying her wedding gown (after forcing her bridesmaids into spending three weekends in a row looking at dresses). She chose a beautiful one that cost about twice what she'd allotted for the gown in the budget. So she emailed her trusty bridesmaids asking for a little financial assistance. Yes. For real.
The latest bridal update was a long email outlining how she and Jase were hugely over their bridal budget now that she’d splurged on the dress. That it was "totally fine if you can’t" but she would really love if we could "pitch in" around $150 each towards her "dream dress." That it’d mean so very much to her and would mean that as she walked down the aisle, she’d be wearing something we’d all had a part in.
Yes, she was essentially asking her bridal party to chip in for her dress. As well as our own outfits, accommodation, the hen's party, bridal shower, and the three spa days she wanted us to plan prior to the wedding. My bank account was already taking a battering from the wedding and now this?
I nearly threw my phone across the room, such was the rage that consumed me. It’s been three days since she sent the email and three of the seven bridesmaids have replied saying they’d love to pitch in for her dress. Whether they genuinely wanted to or not, I just don’t know.
But I’m starting to think I might have to bail on this wedding, and friendship
Hey, it wouldn't be the first time a friendship ended over a wedding. Maybe she could just reply "UNSUBSCRIBE" and see how well Carol takes it?