The Rantings and Ravings of a Former Bridesmaid

The Rantings and Ravings of a Former Bridesmaid

Sigh...the things we do for love, a?

I just got back from a wedding of a good friend where as bridesmaid number 4, I spent $900 on a plane ticket, $815 on hotel accomodations for the week, about $200 on food/grocery for the week, $275 on the bridesmaids dress, $75 on the bridesmaid shoes, and $110 dollars on a wedding gift and bridal shower gift. In my entire life, I've never spent that much on myself for any vacation I've ever taken, let alone for something for someone else. I had to save for this thing like I was trying to pay for tuition. If I'd known, I probably still would have flown in for the wedding, but not been a bridesmaid or had to stay for wedding activities for the week.

The wedding industry as a whole has completely gotten out of hand and has convinced formerly kind and sweet hearted women, that they need all the things, and the best of the best of the best of, well, of the best no matter the cost to them or unfortunately to their bridesmaids. It's one thing if you warn them going in of your expensive need to have it all tastes, but its another when you find out, already 7 months into the planning when your names have been manually burned into the rustic invitations by some Etsy wedding artist, that you'll need to buy $350 worth of dress and shoes for a six hour gig. Maybe it's just me but I don't have the constitution to make my friends spend that much for something so temporary.

And back to the dress. As I was gritting through my teeth at the dress pricing, I was cheerily told by said bride that (and proceed to groan loudly) its such a universal dress that you can wear it again for sure---clearly trying to justify the high price in her head, to us. Why, why, why do a lot of brides believe this lie? Every event in my life, I have always gone shopping for a new dress. I think a lot of ladies do. It's the idea of the thrill of walking into a room of friends, with your significant other, and geting the oows and awes and compliments a new dress brings. If I know everyone at the wedding, which for the most part I did, and we all travel in the same circles, the next event I go to, that bridesmaid dress is dead. It's been seen and photographed and put on Facebook by ev-er-y-body and they all know it was a bridesmaids dress which of course, I did not pick, and like most bridesmaids, the dress is not entirely flattering to me (or flattering at all), and its not in a color or style I would ever wear. Beyond that, its a Bridesmaids dress. Its too fancy to show up to church in, and not in the right style or fabric to hit up a club in. So unless a gala comes along where I know no one, the dress will forever remain in a bag in a closet until I decide to clean the closet out and donate the thing to good will.

And cue the lists of stuff you must do. I think guys literally plan the Bachelor party, then show up five minutes before the wedding. Not so for the bridesmaid. There are 14 fittings, hers and yours, there are engagement dinners, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, hair and make-up consultations, luncheons to discuss plans, DIY bridal activities, and on and on. I thought at one point, I was pledging for a sorority with all the stuff I had to do..or else.

Then there was the day (or week) before where the bride is freaking out...on everyone..and everything. I stood there for 20 minutes whilst the flower arrangements I'd had to hand construct for 4 hours while my hands got pruney, were torn apart in minutes by a bride who forgot that I and the other maids were given a list and strict instructions to do it her way. Now could we re-do them the way (she apparently imagined she'd told us to). Oh and let's work out at 4am instead of 6am. Oh and could you not smile that weird way you do. Oh and could you make sure that you stuff the 200 programs with instructions to get to the other venue but put the insert on the first page instead of at the back like you did. Oh and let's review 2 more times how difficult it is to remember that the four of you need to walk down an aisle one behind the other. Yep, breathing, breathing, breath-iiiiinnnnnng!

In 2015, I feel as though the bridal industry, which is an actual thing now, has spoon fed brides this idea that everything has to be this certain way and the more things cost, and the farther you go, and the more stuff you do for the photographs, the better your wedding will be. In all of that, where is the fact that you're marrying the love of my life and that's all that's important, the main thing anymore. Everyone seems overly concerned how the wedding will turn out for the Pinterest page they intend to make, or how many likes their $10,000 gown which they can't afford, will get on Instagram and Facebook, or having a rare species of rose flown in from France which no one will notice or even care about. (Side note in case you were already thinking, well you'll be her some day too: I'm eloping, only 10 invited guests, bridesmaids and groomsmen picking their own outfits with a little instruction, instead of any gifts or pre-parties, asking everyone to make a small or big if they can or want to donation to a local children's charity).

At the end of the day, I could have said no to this bridesmaid thing (and been black listed for the rest of my life), but sometimes I suppose in the interest of love, friendship, and family, you just have to bite the bullet, don't complain (to the bride anyway), smile, show up, look pretty, and hold in all your bridesmaidy rage and save it for the appropriate time by which I mean a much needed rant and rave to the fine people of Gag.

Thank you for listening. I feel much better now.

The end.


Most Helpful Guy

  • High society problems. Well, a life experience, I suppose. Where was your head before the expenses, I wonder. Is your worthiness measured by how much you are willing to spend? I can't follow that logic, I really can't.

    • I wouldn't try going all into deep analysis over this. Just needed to vent.

    • Well, I guess that's one less thing on your to-do-list.

Most Helpful Girl

  • This is why I loathe weddings that aren't low-key. They feel stiff. You can feel the stress of the bride and groom. And everyone else who had to put up with their shit.

    If/when I get married, it will be low-key. Only close family and friends. The bridesmaids can wear whatever the fuck they want. They don't even have to wear the same color dresses. As long as they're comfortable. My dress and shoes would be something basic. Probably something I'd buy for a cheap price online. I'd do my hair and makeup myself. My friend who's a great photographer would be the photographer. Fuck flowers. I'd hire a good caterer though. Buffet style. I'd put someone good in charge of the music, we'd play it from an ipod with a massive list all night. And I want fairy lights.
    That's it. That's all. Fuck flying all over the globe, fuck flowers, fuck making everything perfect or by hand, fuck stressing people out, fuck color coordinated dresses, fuck anything that's stressful and a burden, fuck expensive stuff. Fuck all of it. I want it to be cozy and low-key and unfabulous/extravagant.


Join the discussion

What Guys Said 2

  • The wedding is ENTIRELY about the bride... NOT the groom !! All the big expenses go on the bride ( the dress is usually extremely expensive !! ) & yes , you lovely bridesmaids are an expensive accessory too... hence the huge costs. Men are opting out of marriage at an ever increasing rate due to the risks to them... plus the huge cost of a wedding , as you well know !!

  • You could always get married in jeans at the park...


What Girls Said 4

  • I was always told that it was tacky and ill-mannered to make the bridesmaids pay for their own dresses and things. That's down to personal taste but I know that when I was a bridesmaid I didn't have to pay a thing, it was all bought for me by the bride. My dress, shoes, jewellery, hair and makeup. If I were to get married, I do want a wedding and I will also pay for the dress, jewellery, etc. of my bridesmaids. I would hope that if there are any costs I need them to pay that they will be straight forward with me and tell me either "I can't pay those costs" or "I don't want to pay those costs" and I'll simply say that's it's ok, it's their choice and I can either replace them or just go without one bridesmaid. I know not every bride is me though haha. I still love weddings and the idea of them and now I've studied wedding planning and events, I think more brides should go for a wedding planner because they overestimate their expenses and then need everybody to chip in. Weddings have always been huge lavish events, though, across many cultures. In some cultures it really is all about how much you spend and how many people attend even today.

    But at the end of the day, it was an (expensive) experience and the bride must've been happy right.

  • I notice on tv on these weddings when couple talk about their weddings the ones who spent less on their weddings were still together and when I look online the bridezillas are usually not with their husband anymore. I just want say it because I find it interesting.

  • you shouldn't have to pay for your dress your not the one who chose it. also you should have sag hacked up with other bridesmaids and saved join hotel costs.

    no way id spent 1,000+ on a wedding.

  • Having workred at a guest house, I understand your pain >.<
    Some brides just like to think that their the top of the world. And often they can't plan anything logically and change their minds too quickly to comprehend.
    Luckily, for me, these bridezillas are rare (at least, in our country)

    • Years back, before all this wedding industry madness started, I attended a couple of weddings, and it was so not about everything having to be a certain way and having to spend all this ton of money, it was about the groom and the bride and joining of the family. I think people have forgotten what weddings are supposed to be about sometimes. BTW: what country do you hail from?

    • I'm from Latvia