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Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

Do we really need a whole article on choosing bridesmaids?

Absolutely we do! I am amazed by the number of brides that choose 8, 9 and 10 bridesmaids, sometimes as many as 12! I personally do not believe that anyone has 10 best girlfriends. Yes, you may have that circle of friends that you hang out with, but there are always a few that stand out. Of course, there have been large wedding parties that had no drama and were just fine. Having so many girls can get crazy, especially when choosing the dress they are to wear.

I am a big fan of the new trend allowing the bridesmaids to choose the dress that is fitted for their body (of course the bride can specify certain guidelines, color, length, etc.) Another problem with huge bridal parties, is the logistics of keeping up with so many people. Did you choose your dress yet? Did you make an appointment with the seamstress? Did you go back for your second fitting?....and so on. So many things to consider. Also, it is customary for the bride to purchase gifts for her bridesmaids as a way of saving thank you for standing with me. You certainly do not want to go cheap and chintzy when it comes to your special friends...right?

I recently came across an article that talked about a bride who was asking her bridesmaids to chip in $150 each towards her $10,500 wedding gown. This is a little bit off the topic, but it does have to do with who you choose to be in your wedding and how your requests whether reasonable or unreasonable will be received.

Here is the gist of the situation. Bride takes bridesmaids gown shopping three weekends in a row (wow!). The brides finds a gown that she falls in love with and it is $5,000 over her budget. The bridesmaids (not sure if all of them) encourage her to splurge. She takes the plunge and buys the gown. Several hours later, they receive a text asking if they would contribute $150 each in that she had blown her budget on the gown. What would you do?

Here are a few comments from the article:

"You also don't buy something for yourself then charge people for it, just because they encouraged you to."

"If the girlfriends feel she has to get the wedding dress she can't afford they should all get together and buy the dress as their gift to her."

"I've known one of my best friends since freshman year of high school when we met on the bus and had classes together. We've been through a lot with each other. I was the maid of honor at her wedding. She also had 2 bridesmaids. And as such we didn't try to convince her to go above her budget on her dress. Now to me that's a (best) friend."

"Only solution I see is to decrease the price of the bridesmaids dresses and use the difference to pitch in."

My response is this and I am sure you will not be surprised at what I am about to say. For starters, this bride is obviously not budget savvy. You should never double your budget on any wedding item, when you do not have the money. If you do, then be prepared for frustration, pressure, grumbling and complaining. If you did not budget for a $10,000 gown then you cannot ask your bridal party or anyone else for that matter to pay for it. I believe that at that time, you have moved away from the objective and now we are moving into trying to impress.

Wedding costs can add up, it is a very emotional and exciting time, and we can easily get caught up in the hype, especially if we watch a lot of wedding TV. I agree with one of the comments that said, true friends will help you to stay within budget, and a bride that is a true friend will not make unreasonable requests.

I forgot to mention there were seven bridesmaids, of which three agreed to chip in. Perhaps they were the ones who were encouraging her to buy the more expensive gown. Nonetheless, that is their decision to spend more money on top of their expenses ($550 was stated). I understand that this is a very important day for the bride (and groom), however, brides have to keep in mind the financial burden this may place on some of their friends.

Here are a few suggestions to consider when choosing your bridesmaids.

#1 Choose someone who has truly been in your corner for your entire friendship and not just when you became engaged.

#2 State your expectations up front and what the possible costs may be for each participant.

#3 Be considerate of everyone's budget.

#5 Do not choose someone that you really do not want in your wedding, just because you feel like they will be angry later. Hmmm...maybe not a true friend?

#5 Look at what each person brings to the table, remember weddings are fun, but they are a lot of work!

#6 Do not make unreasonable requests in order to have a grander wedding than you are able to afford.

Remember, this should be a time of celebration, and laughter, not a lot of strife and contention about things that have absolutely nothing to do with the marriage. Stay away from the complainers and those that find fault with everything you do, even before you were engaged. Choose friends that are lovingly honest and that choose to celebrate you and not tolerate you! Be reasonable, be considerate, and most of all HAVE FUN!

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