Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Guys Don’t Want to Go Into Debt Being Groomsmen

The-Hangover-08

We’ve discussed the high cost of being a bridesmaid a lot around here, but until recently I’ve never heard much said about the cost of being a groomsman. According to a study done by CouponCabin.com, more men aged 18-34 turn down requests to be in the wedding party than women of the same age (12% versus 9%, respectively). That may be in part because, believe it or not, “male bridal party members actually pay more for their attire than females. The average groomsman shelled out $155 last year. Meanwhile, the amount bridesmaids spend on their dress has dropped from $144 in 2009 to $137, a trend IBISWorld attributes to more competition from online sellers.” Another explanation for a growing percentage of young men turning down requests to be groomsmen is their skyrocketing unemployment rate. The unemployment rate for 20- to 24-year-old men is 14.6 percent, while the rate for women in the same age bracket is 11.8 percent. Young dudes simply can’t afford to be groomsmen. Hell, many of them can’t afford to buy 6-month anniversary gifts for their girlfriends either

Finally, the trend of couples throwing destination weddings — which account for roughly a quarter of all weddings now! — and destination bachelor/ette parties is creating a financial hardship on guests and, especially, the wedding parties. Groomsmen and bridesmaids don’t have the option of skipping a wedding and just sending a gift instead. In fact, on top of high travel costs, attire expense, and throwing a bachelor/ette party, the wedding party still has to shell out money for a wedding gift. No wonder so many people are saying, “Thanks, but no” when asked to be in a wedding party.

146 comments… add one
  • avatar

    bethany June 13, 2013, 3:11 pm

    I think another reason why guys might say no more has to do with the “drama factor”- Like a guy can easily say to his friend, “Hey man, I’d love to be in your wedding, but I’m out of work and don’t think I’ll be able to afford it” without drama.
    Meanwhile many women in the same situation would turn it into a huge dramatic event instead of just taking your word for it and leaving it at that, so they’re afraid to say no because they want to avoid all the drama that might follow.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster June 13, 2013, 3:38 pm

      I’ve never turned down being in a wedding (and I’ve been in four weddings to date). I’ve only been asked by my closest friends, and so while I felt a sense of obligation, if I’d had any reasons to turn the requests down, I’m certain it would’ve been taken in stride. I think my friends would definitely have been a bit disappointed, but I doubt it would’ve caused anything hugely dramatic. There were some women who did decline in a couple of those weddings, and the brides never made a big deal out of it. In fact, 3/4 times I was asked the brides prefaced it with: “I know this may cost you x amount of money, so I won’t be offended if you can’t do it, but I’d really love you to be a part of it.”

      I see what you’re saying, of course. There are some brides who make a huge deal out of a friend declining to be a bridesmaid, and those women contribute to this bizarre drama fest that WE TV has capitalized on so effectively. My anecdotal experience does not evidence make, I know, but I think the reality of the drama does not match up to the “reality” portrayed on Bridezillas (at least in relation to who’s in or not in the wedding. lol.).

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 3:18 pm

    The travelling bachelor party thing. Its not cool because you really feel like shit for not attending if you can’t afford it. You really are put in a place were you feel like you have to, and I feel bad for those people. My boyfriend just planned one that required driving only for a weekend of gambling, but the groom complained and wanted everyone to fly for a big vacation. Luckily, my bf was able to say that not everyone in the group will have money for that, and he wasn’t going to ask them to pony up for it and embarrass them. I just feel like when is enough, enough? As if weddings weren’t expensive enough, now everyone wants elaborate vacation/bach. parties.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 June 13, 2013, 3:50 pm

      Yeah I agree it is getting out of control. The last one I went too less than half of the people could go, because it was just to expensive for everything, and the groom didn’t even want to travel. Heck the grooms own brother told the best man that it was too expensive for him, and he couldn’t go if he did a destination bachelor party, then I told him the same thing, but ended up going, because I got my bonus in time to pay for it. Nobody wants to spend $1,000.00 – $1,500.00 a couple of weeks before the wedding that they have to pay to stay over two nights at, because you are in the wedding and have to do the rehersal stuff too.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 3:53 pm

        Yup to all of that. To ask for a big vacation on top of everything else is obnoxious, regardless of whether or not the party can afford it. Like, Peter could’ve afforded to do the big trip, but that didn’t mean he wanted to take the time or money for it.

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    • avatar

      Grilledcheesecalliope June 13, 2013, 3:58 pm

      I didn’t know that was rude. Dammit.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 4:02 pm

        Its just my opinion! I would feel bad asking people to spend even more money. I’m sure that opinion varies between friends. Like, if all of your friends did it, I’m sure they don’t think you’re rude for doing it too.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ June 13, 2013, 9:34 pm

        While she never complained, I now feel bad for asking my high school BFF to be my maid of honor because she lived several states away at the time. She came up once during the summer to help me shop for vendors, and I planned my bachelorette party (which was very low-key) for the Wednesday or Thursday before the wedding, so she just came up early and was able to be part of that. But she was living at home and underemployed at the time, I have a feeling her parents paid for some of her expenses (her mom drove her up here both times – she had business in town anyway). If I had any CLUE about the obligations of bridesmaid/maidofhonorhood, I might have reconsidered and invited her as a guest.

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 3:21 pm

    Oh more wedding stuff, joy!!

    I really believe if you can’t commit to supporting the couple (emotionally and the financial burden being in the bridal party creates) then you should decline. I also think a lot of couples as WAY too much of their bridal parties- multiple parties, outfits, gift giving occasions, travel etc etc etc. It can be a lot.

    I say we just do away with bridal parties all together.

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    • avatar

      TECH June 13, 2013, 3:38 pm

      I agree. Do away with bridal parties and groomsmen altogether. At the end of the day, it’s about the two people standing up there saying their vows together, and no one else.

      You can be there to support your friends without spending exorbitant amounts of money. At the end of the day, I think people create bridal parties because of tradition and because of pictures.

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      • avatar

        camorzilla June 13, 2013, 5:10 pm

        I was down on not having a wedding party at all but my husband INSISTED that he had to have so and so as groomsmen. So I had bridesmaids because I thought it would look weird to have groomsmen and no bridesmaids. I did argue him down to 3 instead of 5 though.

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    • Jess

      Jess June 13, 2013, 5:01 pm

      Brave woman diving right back in today!

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 6:37 pm

        Haha yeah, but I think I’m on the “anti etiquette” side today! Down with bridal parties!

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  • Lindsay

    Lindsay June 13, 2013, 3:23 pm

    OK, I have some issues with that article. I agree with the overall point, but I think they’re misusing the numbers.

    First, I’m not sure a $20 difference is that big a deal, and even if more guys claim to drop out due to cost, it doesn’t mean that it’s objectively more expensive. It may be that guys are just less willing to spend money to be in a wedding party or just less interested to begin with. Not to mention that a difference of 9 percent and 12 percent is not that remarkable either.

    Second, if it’s simply that the bridesmaid dress costs $137, that doesn’t take into account other stuff like shoes. In my experience, men can usually wear dress shoes they already own, whereas women often can’t. I’ve had to purchase shoes for each wedding I’ve been in, and sometimes specific things like decorative hair clips or whatever.

    Plus, I just got done reading an article about how the average cost of weddings is a poor indicator of what people actually spend because it doesn’t tell you what MOST people are spending and can easily be skewed by people who spend a lot more. Same goes for this. Men may rent a tux, buy a suit or wear a suit they already have, which makes it much more varied.

    Sorry. Statistics for some reason really fire me up.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 3:27 pm

      Did you know tux rentals are over $100? I was really surprised by that. I can’t imagine renting a dress for that much.

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger June 13, 2013, 3:56 pm

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 June 13, 2013, 4:01 pm

        My wife has used this several times, they are very accommodating, with sending multiple sizes, and rush deliveries at no extra cost if you just call them up if there is a problem.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 4:03 pm

        I just can’t imagine spending $100 to rent anything (aside from a home, lol). Why not just buy a dress, its not like they don’t exist for that amount.

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      • Roxy_84

        Roxy_84 June 13, 2013, 5:23 pm

        I love rent the runway! I used it twice when I lived in NYC and it was great.

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    • avatar

      bethany June 13, 2013, 3:29 pm

      Just getting an updo can run you like $85!!

      I’m glad I’m never going to be a BM again!!

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      • Astronomer

        Astronomer June 13, 2013, 4:07 pm

        Haha, BM. That’s about what it feels like, too.

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      • Astronomer

        Astronomer June 13, 2013, 4:07 pm

        Sorry, I’m not very mature today. Poop!

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      • avatar

        Sassy but Classy June 13, 2013, 8:09 pm

        The bride should never require you to pay for your hair. If she REQUIRES professional hair, she should pay for it not the bridesmaid.

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 3:33 pm

      That urked me too, the price of the outfit is a really small factor in participating in a bridal party. I mean the average cost of being a bridesmaid is over $1000, which I’m guessing is WAY more then the costs of being a groomsman (including everything, not just the tux/suit).

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 June 13, 2013, 3:53 pm

        What do you include in the cost for that $1,000.00 dollars? I have spent well over $1,000.00 for the weddings I have been in counting all of the costs.

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      • avatar

        rachel June 13, 2013, 3:57 pm

        Was there a bachelor party trip? I feel like bridesmaids are stuck with higher costs generally for basically looking the way the bride wants them to on the day, while the guys are maybe more likely to do a bachelor weekend in Vegas or something.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 3:58 pm

        Gifts (engagement, shower, bachelorette, and wedding), travel and accommodations for the bachelorette and wedding, costs to host a shower, wedding attiare (dress, undergarments, shoes, jelwery), and hair/make up/nails. I’ll see if I can find the article.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 4:00 pm

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 June 13, 2013, 4:04 pm

        I was just wondering if you did inlcude all of that. I’m talking about spending $1,000.00 pretty much just for bachelor parties, and then you have the tux rental, travel, and accomidations added on to that.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 4:06 pm

        Plus if you include all the money you lost gambling at the bachelor party… 🙂

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 June 13, 2013, 4:09 pm

        Haha I’m lucky that I have never been to a casino for a bachelor party, but all the ones I have been to have include multiple rounds of golf, an extreme amount of alcohol, and some kind of sporting event or strip club (which can be more expensive than a casino haha).

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 4:11 pm

        Yeah I was going off the info graphic. I actually underestimated per the info graphic. Also, you live in Boston right? I imagine the average cost up there (even when traveling) is way higher than where I live (well the wedding was in NC). But I still spent pushing $2000 on two different weddings.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 June 13, 2013, 4:14 pm

        Yeah I definitely think women spend way more on the actual wedding, and if a guy does spend more it is just because somebody planned a way to expensive bachelor party, because that is pretty much the only extra thing we have to pay for.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 4:01 pm

        This one is easier to read

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger June 13, 2013, 3:55 pm

        Except that men seem have more expensive bachelor parties than bachelorettes in my experience. In my experience, I have had to fly to destinations, but usually where the bride lives. Men seem to gamble more, and just generally expect a weekend of debauchery in more exotic places.
        Anyone else experience that?

        (Though idea that a rental tux is the same including makeup, jewelry, shoes, hair, purse, is crazy. Plus, if they are asked to buy suits, they invariably can wear them many many more times, where we can basically throw our BM dresses away).

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 13, 2013, 4:24 pm

        Mine are split. One b-party involved us all flying to a destination, which meant we had to pay for flights, food and drink. The bride’s sister (who makes a shitload of money) paid for us to share a hotel room. One I threw was at a home, and I just cooked and provided alcohol. So, I spent maybe $200 and the guests spent $0.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary June 13, 2013, 3:34 pm

      I read the same article and if I have a moment I’ll send it to Wendy for possible Friday links. It’s a basic lesson in statistics that when talking about what most weddings cost we should look at the median, not the average. So the “average wedding” is actually a lot less expensive than you think and companies like TheKnot and bridal magazines use that “average wedding” to fool brides into thinking they can spend more than they need to. Like “Oh the average photographer costs X but mine only cost Y so I’m saving $200”, when really they aren’t “saving” anything.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 13, 2013, 3:37 pm

        Yes! I found it super interesting.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 June 13, 2013, 3:57 pm

      The tux rentals come with the shoes so you don’t have to worry about that. Most of the cost comes with the bachelor party, and things like that. I do agree women will spend more on the wedding day stuff like hair, make-up, jewelry, a dress for the rehearsal, and things like that. I have noticed that I have always spent way more money than my wife when it comes to bachelor/bachelorette parties though.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 June 13, 2013, 4:12 pm

        I’m also starting to wondering if I’m one of the only ones who helps their SO pay for the wedding shower gift? I mean even though I’m not going, it usually a gift that they are both going to use, I don’t care if she doesn’t put my name on the card.

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      • avatar

        bethany June 13, 2013, 4:17 pm

        My husband has never contributed to a shower gift, nor have I put his name on the card.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 4:20 pm

        I’m curious how others deal with that too. I usually pay for every wedding cost related to my family or friend’s wedding, and he does the same if its his. Its actually evened out quite nicely as we’ve had an equal amount, coincidentally.

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      • avatar

        bethany June 13, 2013, 4:29 pm

        We usually do it that way too- Your friend, you pay for hotel/gift. The year we got married we had 2 other friends getting married, too, so we all “called it even” on gifts. We all just agreed not to get eachother anything- it was awesome!

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 4:23 pm

        We split gifts except the bachelorette gift. It is weird for my husband to contribute to buying undies for a friend/family member.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 June 13, 2013, 4:27 pm

        Yeah I don’t want to pay for any sexy out fits, or penis related material!

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      • KKZ

        KKZ June 13, 2013, 9:41 pm

        Gifts for weddings come out of our discretionary budget from our joint account, so I guess that counts as both of us paying. But we have yet to go to a wedding for anyone but family, so maybe it would be different if one of my college friends who he didn’t know invited me with a plus-one.

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    • avatar

      WAPS June 13, 2013, 8:22 pm

      The scientist in me is pretty irritated that they couldn’t bother to report a standard deviation and perform at least a Student’s T-test!

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark June 13, 2013, 3:26 pm

    Plus it seems lately that every other wedding crashes and burns in divorce the very next year…

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 June 13, 2013, 3:59 pm

      People did not know you were going to say that…

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary June 13, 2013, 4:40 pm

      Maybe you should find a different social circle where people don’t get divorced so often.

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  • avatar

    TECH June 13, 2013, 3:36 pm

    I’m really glad you mentioned this Wendy! Groomsmen often get left out of the conversation. I find it hard to believe groomsmen are shelling out more the bridesmaids.

    The only reason I mention that is because while men have bachelor parties and women have bachelorette parties, usually only women are involved in bridal showers. So they have one more party they have to plan and spend money on.

    Secondly, most women pay to get hair and makeup (and sometimes manicures) at the bride’s request, and men don’t have to worry about that. I’m also shocked that the average cost of a bridesmaid dress is $137. I’ve been in a few weddings, and they’ve all been in the $200 + range. And I’ve always had to pay for alterations. Guys usually get out of paying for alterations when they rent tuxes.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle June 13, 2013, 3:40 pm

      Wait, do brides really request that their bridesmaids get hair/makeup/nails done? I can’t even see myself doing those things for my ~own~ wedding. (And I’m not trying to start shit, I swear, I’ve just never been a bridesmaid & am not sure if these things are generally mandatory??)

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 3:43 pm

        Oh sure. I’ve had to.

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      • avatar

        TECH June 13, 2013, 3:46 pm

        Oh, yes I been made to do all those things.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 3:47 pm

        Yes, some brides “require” it (meaning the bridezilla ones) and in my experience most encourage it. It’s always been phrased to me “I am going to X Salon at 9 am, who is coming with me?” Which, IMO, is a “nice” way of saying I expect you there.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 3:50 pm

        Is that really bridezilla-ey? I’ve had to do it plenty but never thought that.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 3:55 pm

        To require hair/makeup/nails and make them pay for it themselves, I think so. IMO, the only “requirement” of being a bridesmaid is to purchase the selected dress and show up to the wedding clean, groomed, in said dress, and on time. Not have a certain hairstyle, nail color, etc.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 4:09 pm

        I disagree, but you don’t really think that’s the only requirement, do you? What about showers, bach. parties, etc.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 4:15 pm

        Yes, I think it is the only requirement. But I also think bridal parties are silly.

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        6napkinburger June 13, 2013, 4:08 pm

        Ive always felt it was optional even when they did that, and I would love guidance on how they want my hair (and they always say, however you want!). And my friends have made sure to choose somewhere not outlandish, also because you can get a group rate if you all make appts at the same time and “take over” the salon. But I could imagine wanting to go to “my guy” for my wedding and being willing to pay out the nose for exactly what I want, but not wanting to make my bridesmaids do the same…

        how do you manage that, assuming that you know some of your friends would PREFER to have their hair done than do it themselves? (but don’t want to pay ridiculous rates) Can you meet them at a different salon? Is that weird?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 4:11 pm

        I think its fun to do it all together, but fine not to.

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        lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 4:12 pm

        Oh, you might get a discount if they all do it together too.

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      • MaterialsGirl

        MaterialsGirl June 13, 2013, 4:16 pm

        6napkin.. you can hire someone or people to come to your house to do your makeup. the bride’s makeup is always more expensive, but you can get the associates of the salon to do the bridesmaids and its cheaper that way. I am paying for everyone’s hair, but offering the makeup services if they want them.. completely optional.

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        6napkinburger June 13, 2013, 4:25 pm

        I guess I meant hair. I totally will get my makeup done for my wedding because it is so important for pictures, but I usually don’t bother for other people’s.

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      • MaterialsGirl

        MaterialsGirl June 13, 2013, 4:26 pm

        oh, hair too! the same people are doing the hair and makeup

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        GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 4:29 pm

        Some places will give a discount the more you have done. I think the best way to handle it is to say “I’ll be going to X Salon at 9am wedding day. If any of you would like to get your hair/makeup done at the same time please let me know so I can make a coordinating appointment for you. If you don’t want to get your hair/make up done, feel free to join as at the salon to hang out or arrive to thehotel by 2pm to get dressed.” or something like that.

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      • avatar

        Amelia99 June 14, 2013, 9:54 am

        For the last wedding I was in we were asked if we wanted to get manicures / pedicures and then our hair and makeup professionally done. And since everyone else said yes,I also agreed. At the salon, we got whatever hair we wanted, and then picked out matching nail polish together, although one girl got a french manicure instead. We were expected to pay for ourselves and it was $130 for all of it; however, the bride bought our dresses and paid for a rental house a lake for 3 days before the wedding.

        Another wedding, the bride’s family sewed our dresses by hand (for 9 bridesmaids!) and we did each other’s hair and makeup, while the bride had her hair done professionally. This one, we we contributed to the pre-festivities lodge house, though.

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        bethany June 13, 2013, 4:00 pm

        When I got married, I told the girls (2 of them) that they could get their hair done if they wanted, and I really didn’t care if they did or not. They both look great in everyday life, and I was certain they’d look nice for the wedding. They both ended up getting it done, but I paid for it.

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      • Copa

        Copa June 13, 2013, 4:08 pm

        I think I’d pay if I got married and my bridesmaids got their hair done. I’ve never stood up in a wedding before, though, so I have no idea how weird that’d make me.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ June 13, 2013, 9:48 pm

        I had the limo pick us up in the morning and take us all to the salon, and paid for all my bridesmaids’ hair. I got my makeup done as a nice treat for myself (on a reclined heated table! so nice, considering I’d been awake since 3 a.m.), they did theirs at the ceremony site on their own.

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      • avatar

        rachel June 13, 2013, 3:52 pm

        I “had” to get my hair and nails done. Well, I mean I’m sure she wouldn’t have thrown a fit, but I was definitely expected to participate with the rest of the wedding party.

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        rachel June 13, 2013, 3:52 pm

        I don’t wear makeup though, and no one said anything. I have expected the MOH to attack me with makeup while we were all getting ready.

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      • avatar

        rachel June 13, 2013, 3:53 pm

        half* yikes.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 13, 2013, 3:53 pm

        I’ve never been forced to, but I’ve been in weddings where we all sort of established that we’d have updos, and most people felt that it was best to have someone do theirs. I did my own, but mostly because I needed to go to the venue early and tie up some loose ends.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 13, 2013, 3:57 pm

        Thanks for answering, everybody! I’ve really never thought about it before…I can see all going to the salon together as an ~activity~ to, like, do? As bridesmaids? But I don’t understand the purpose of having all the girls look the same, down to hair/makeup/nails. (With that said, if I ever was a bridesmaid & the bride asked me to do it, I would.)

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        rachel June 13, 2013, 4:11 pm

        The bride picked out the colors for the people at the nail salon to use, and we all had to buy the same (SO UNCOMFORTABLE) pair of shoes. It’s strange to me, but I didn’t mind too much doing it to make her happy.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ June 13, 2013, 9:53 pm

        I gave all my ladies a color of dress from David’s Bridal and told them to pick whatever style they wanted (but encouraged them to talk to each other so they wouldn’t all wind up in the same one, or like 3 in one dress and one random outlier), and their own shoes. It turned out REALLY nice because two of them wore long dresses with no shoulder or one shoulder, and two of them chose shorter dresses with a similar neckline. It looked very coordinated! I also bought some polish for toenails for funsies, but didn’t even think about their fingernails. And let them do whatever they wanted with their hair, too, I just picked up the tab.

        My friends aren’t clones! I love them all for their differences, why turn them into cookie cutter barbie dolls?

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 13, 2013, 3:45 pm

        In my experience (4x in a wedding party, the latest being this past weekend), it’s never been required. I do my own nails (which I’m actually really good at, if I do say so myself!) and makeup, and the bridesmaids do each other’s hair. I had my hair done once and the mother of the bride generously paid for us all to have it done.

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        bethany June 13, 2013, 3:47 pm

        I was a BM 3 times. Twice I got my hair done. Both times I wasn’t forced to by any means, but everyone else was getting theirs done, so I did, too. The 3rd time I had short hair (like this )
        So, it didn’t make any sense to get it done, cause they couldn’t have done anything with it anyway.

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        TECH June 13, 2013, 3:54 pm

        When the bride says she wants all the bridesmaids to have their hair done the same way, have their nails painted the same color, etc. what are you going to say, no? You just suck it up and pay that big salon bill. When I expressed thoughts about not getting these professional services done, I heard things like, “Well, I wouldn’t want you to feel different than the other girls.”

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        6napkinburger June 13, 2013, 4:03 pm

        I’ve always had the choice to have my hair and makeup done or not. I usually say yes to hair and no to makeup.

        Though, I have to say, the matching nail thing isn’t really all that bridezilla-y to require/request. It would look really weird if one person had bright nails that totally clashed with the dress. Plus, it’s like 11 bucks for a mani. And, more to the point, I can’t imagine a bride who really wanted everyone to have matching nails who required a professional manicure, rather than just a particlar color, and any bride I can imagine would have a bottle available the night before or earlier the day of for her bridesmaids to use. Plus a lot of people LIKE having pretty nails for occassions and would get it done anyway.

        I could imagine asking my bridesmaids if they would choose between no polish/mani or a particular color (or a generic light pink, light ivory or something), and not something wild and crazy. Is that bitchy?

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        GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 4:08 pm

        I don’t think it’s bitchy to ask them to be in a range (natural to like light pink or something) but I do think it would be bitchy to require them to get a specific color done and have the bridesmaids pay for it. With the range they can either go free (natural nails) or a salon of their choice (meaning their price range) or buy a bottle and do it themselves.

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        lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 4:10 pm

        I guess I don’t get why its ok to expect your bridesmaids to pay for an expensive dress of your choosing, but not ok to ask for a $10 nail painting.

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        GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 4:14 pm

        I don’t know why either to be honest. But, IMO, you should ask your maids their budget and pick a dress with in the lowest budget. But I also think bridesmaids are silly and didn’t have any at my wedding so.

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        6napkinburger June 13, 2013, 4:10 pm

        Plus, if I find a color I like, I can always just give a bottle to each girl; every place I know lets you bring your own nailpolish. (And if I’m having a wedding I care this much about their nails, I should be willing to pay for it).

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      • Lady_Red

        Red_Lady June 13, 2013, 7:48 pm

        I bought nail polish for each of my bridesmaids! Most of them did take the bottle in to get them done. But it was totally up to them.

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        SpaceySteph June 13, 2013, 4:24 pm

        Yes definitely. I was in a wedding where she required us to have professionally done hair and makeup.
        She is one of my best friends, but definitely got caught up in having the perfect pictures.

        When I offered my bridesmaids the choice to do their own hair/makeup or have it done professionally, this same girl told me that I shouldn’t trust the girls to do their own makeup because they could “look bad.”

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        6napkinburger June 13, 2013, 4:34 pm

        Well, at least she was consistent. It would have been funnier if she was put out that you wanted it professionally done

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        Sassy but Classy June 13, 2013, 8:17 pm

        IF the bride wants that extra stuff she needs to pay for it. It’s never required to get that extra stuff done, but TLC wedding shows and the wedding industry make it seem like those are necessary.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 June 13, 2013, 4:23 pm

      There is also more time involved with being a bridesmaid too, with planning the showers, and getting that stuff done, plus going to pick out dresses. A guy says hey you are wearing this tux go get fitted whenever the heck you want, and you don’t have to pay for it until the day before the wedding so you have time to save up. Oh and we don’t need to dress each other, just hangout, eat pizza and drink beer until somebody tells us to line up some where or get in a limo.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 13, 2013, 5:00 pm

        I got so angry when I went to deliver a check for the groom to give a vendor and found all the groomsmen playing pool and swimming, while the rest of us had been putting on makeup, doing hair and helping the bride into her dress.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ June 13, 2013, 9:57 pm

        Ha, mine were playing euchre on the stage because my mom got there early and did all the setup they were supposed to do. Re: stage, we got married in the auditorium of a nature center, how’s that for offbeat bride? 😉 His family is very Catholic and all the other weddings have been church affairs with mass and everything, and here was ours in this cinderblock building with no religious insignia, and neither God nor Jesus were mentioned in our 20-minute ceremony, so we were giggling about being the family heathens.

        Aww now I wanna go look through ALLL my wedding photos again…

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        Amelia99 June 14, 2013, 9:58 am

        So frustrating! I was a bridesmaid where after the rehearsal dinner bbq, we were expected to make our own bouquets. And the bride was very laid back, so there almost wasn’t enough guidance, and we didn’t know what she wanted. But it was very frustrating that we were inside working hard while the groomsman and the bride were outside still socializing.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster June 13, 2013, 3:53 pm

      Oh and just wanted to agree with you on the cost of the dress + shoes thing too. Only one of my dresses was under the $200 mark (after alterations) and that was because we rented bridesmaids dresses from a Korean bridal shop in Flushing, which was a very unique experience to say the least… we wound up in the wrong color dresses with the wrong length and style and I looked like a chewed piece of pink bubble gum (if any of you are my FB friend, feel free to peruse the album and laugh yourself to death). FUN.

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        bethany June 13, 2013, 4:02 pm

        OMG- you had a butt bow!!!!

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 13, 2013, 4:26 pm

        I looked like a present. Like a cartoon present from Alice in Wonderland at the Unbirthday Party.

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      • MaterialsGirl

        MaterialsGirl June 13, 2013, 4:26 pm

        it’s so awesome. do you have a closet full of dresses like in 27 dresses?

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 13, 2013, 4:33 pm

        I’m well on my way! I have at least two more friends who will certainly ask me to be in their weddings in the next year or two. One of them, at least, I know will be super awesome and offbeat bride-like bc she wants to sort of elope locally and have me officiate. Yesterday she said, and I quote, “You can wear whatever the fuck you want.”

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      • MaterialsGirl

        MaterialsGirl June 13, 2013, 4:09 pm

        oh taramonster i need to see this…

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        6napkinburger June 13, 2013, 4:13 pm

        Ive basically taken a “no alterations” stance on bridesmaid dresses. They fit how they fit… I’m not going to look good anyway.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 13, 2013, 4:35 pm

        I’ve never had alterations done on bridesmaid dresses. I think they fit OK. They were all short, so it was a difference in where on my leg they fell, not like whether they’d touch the ground or anything.

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        SpaceySteph June 13, 2013, 4:28 pm

        What if they’re too long? Just wear bigger heels?

        Maybe you’re not short like me but I have never tried on a commercially made dress for any occasion that was not comically long.
        However, length is the only alterations I do, for a different reason: Once I got a bridesmaid dress taken in at the waist (it was really loose there) and when the lady pinned it I told her to move them out a little bit so it wouldn’t be snug. Well it came out snug anyways (if I hadn’t made her move them out, I wonder if it would have fit at all) and I thought it looked terrible. Nobody else noticed but all I could see on myself was a fat roll at mt stomach.

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        6napkinburger June 13, 2013, 5:09 pm

        I’m 5’7 and the dresses have been short.

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  • MaterialsGirl

    MaterialsGirl June 13, 2013, 4:14 pm

    Taramonster how many weddings have you been in!?!?!?

    i’m seeing some serious bridesmaid dresses. The purple one: please explain the top on that.

    i really like the navy blue one, though (but that is a sh8t ton of bridesmaids)

    and i finally found the pink one. HOLY CRAP

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      bethany June 13, 2013, 4:21 pm

      Yeah, what’s with the weird cross cross top?!

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 13, 2013, 4:30 pm

        The purple one was one of those wrap dress ones that David Tutera has made a craze out of because you can wear them so many ways that the look good on everyone! WELL THEY DON’T. And also, since they’re one piece of fabric, when your best friend and MOH who just had twins needs to pump breast milk in the bathroom during the cocktail hour, she needs an entourage to help her get the thing on and off… hypothetically speaking 😉

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      • MaterialsGirl

        MaterialsGirl June 13, 2013, 4:35 pm

        hahaha.. oh that’s hilarious!

        so she’s basically sitting around nekkid from the tummy up. that sucks.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster June 13, 2013, 4:39 pm

      The blue one is my best friend’s wedding. Explanation of the huge ass bridal party: my best friend has FIVE sisters (and one brother who was a groomsman), a sister-in-law, and a cousin who was basically raised alongside them, plus her 3 bffs since elementary school (me and 2 of the other weddings I’ve been in; I’m the last in the group to get married IF that ever happens!). She’s also very Bronx Italian (and so is her hubby) and her wedding had 350 people at it.

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      • MaterialsGirl

        MaterialsGirl June 13, 2013, 4:44 pm

        oh that’s a lot of family! she did pick beautiful dresses though and everyone truly does look good

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 4:17 pm

    Just remembering one wedding my daughter was in, as a flower girl mind you. I spent over $1,000 on her being in it. Cah-ray-zee!

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    • katie

      katie June 13, 2013, 4:20 pm

      WHAT??? how is that even possible?? please tell me that was just travel and a dress.

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        lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 4:26 pm

        No travel (aside from driving and a small toll)!! Dress, shoes, jewelry, hair. That’s it. Not even including the gift. Granted, the bride’s shoes cost over $15K, so you can imagine how nuts that wedding was cost-wise. I will say my daughter looked absolutely beautiful, but I always think that, so…
        The bride wanted a very specific look for lil_b_h. It was pretty cool actually. The dress was handmade, the top half was all gold sequins and the bottom was short cream colored silk with a long netting overlay (what’s that netting fabric?). She wanted gold, pearl and pink bangles going up her arms. Its hard to find quality, kid-sized bracelets by the way! Real gold dusting in her hair. I mean, just as over the top as you can imagine, but at least it was a cool look. She wore it to another wedding already actually. And she gave an equally over the top thank you gift for being in the wedding, so that was nice.

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        bethany June 13, 2013, 4:32 pm

        What shoes cost 15K?!?! I mean I’ve heard of $1000 shoes, but 15,000?!?!

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        lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 4:38 pm

        I don’t remember the name.

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        GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 4:45 pm

        I’m sorry but why the fuck does one need real gold dusting in a child’s hair? Anyone’s hair for that matter. That total grosses me out.

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        lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 4:47 pm

        Why the fuck doesn’t EVERYONE need gold dusting in their hair, is my question 🙂

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        kerrycontrary June 13, 2013, 4:59 pm

        So she looks like a little cherub. DUH!

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      • katie

        katie June 13, 2013, 5:15 pm

        thats absolutely fucking insane. i have no other words for it.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 June 13, 2013, 4:29 pm

      Crazy!

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 June 13, 2013, 4:31 pm

    Ok, I have to leave it is my mothers birthday, everyone have a great day!

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      lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 4:33 pm

      Happy b-day Bagge Mom. Tell her she gets a night off from doing your wife’s laundry!

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  • avatar

    TECH June 13, 2013, 4:46 pm

    Can I also add that I think the gifts groomsmen get are usually far cooler than what bridesmaids get? Every wedding I’ve ever been in, the bride has given the bridesmaids a necklace or some sort of jewelry she wants them to wear to the wedding. Do you guys think that’s a selfish gift on the brides part, or is it a good gift?

    The guys I know have gotten cool things like flasks, money clips with their initials engraved on them, etc.

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      GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 4:54 pm

      I think it is selfish. It is not truly a gift if it is part of a required attire for the day.(IMO obviously)

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      lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 4:58 pm

      Eh, I think its fine. I know guys who’ve gotten expensive ties to wear at the wedding as the gift. Just because you have to wear it at the wedding, doesn’t mean you can’t wear it after. Plus, I once got a lovely strand of pearls and still wear them.

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        TECH June 13, 2013, 5:00 pm

        Well, I was actually given a bracelet that had the bride & grooms names on it along with the date of the wedding. So I never wore it again lol

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        lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 5:02 pm

        I feel like most wedding favors (yes, different than bridal party gifts) are like that though. Eh, gifts aren’t required, so at least they did something. I can’t imagine why you don’t wear it daily though 😉

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        kerrycontrary June 13, 2013, 5:09 pm

        Yes I agree about the wedding favors. Like who wants a pot with your wedding date painted on it, unless its like the couples parents? And I notice that wedding guests leave their favor on the table a lot. But I dunno, I see these all as gifts. And gifts aren’t necessary, and I wouldn’t think about the meaning of them too much.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ June 13, 2013, 10:02 pm

        That’s why my favors were little boxes with some Dove chocolates and hershey kisses in them. My mom is very crafty and wanted to do DIY stuff so she assembled all the boxes, tied them with ribbon and put these charms on them that said “To love and to Cherish” which we picked up cheap at Michael’s. I don’t recall any favors being left on tables.

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        Liquid Luck June 14, 2013, 12:07 pm

        Edible favors are the only kind of favor worth having, in my opinion. Seriously, I do not need another shot glass or beer koozie with someone’s wedding date on it. I always just feel like it was a waste of money, because so many are left behind. There were probably much better ways they could have spent that $200.

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        Sassy but Classy June 13, 2013, 8:31 pm

        I think favors at weddings are unnecessary. The reception is the thank you for coming, there doesn’t need to be a physical token gift that half the people don’t even take or want.

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      kerrycontrary June 13, 2013, 4:58 pm

      eh, my SIL gave me a necklace from Tiffany so it’s something almost everyone would wear again. So I don’t think it was a selfish gift and I was very surprised by it. But she’s my SIL, I didn’t need a gift. I was just happy to be there. I do think that groomsmen get cooler gifts. Like no thanks, I don’t need a monogrammed totebag or flip-flops you ordered from a chinese sweat shop.

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        lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 5:02 pm

        Good call kerry. I never felt like I needed a gift because I was part of the wedding, so anything is nice.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ June 13, 2013, 10:08 pm

        For my bridesmaids, we got canvas totes at Michaels, and my mom helped me decorate them. She is a ceramicist, so we made custom buttons in my wedding colors that she sewed on to the bags. Each girl had one large button that was specific to who she is, like one is a pharmacist so she got the snake-on-a-staff thing, and another is Irish so she got a shamrock, etc., and the rest of the buttons were just random designs like swirls and dots. I’m sure those buttons didn’t last, they were pretty fragile, but I loved doing something custom-made for each girl. I filled the bags with stuff too, each girl got a different fragrance of B&BW lotion, and using my mom’s kiln again, I made them each oil burners using different glazes and got them oils to burn in them too.

        I swear I’m not bragging sharing all these details from comment to comment, I’m really enjoying the trip down memory lane.

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      Liquid Luck June 14, 2013, 12:01 pm

      I think it’s not selfish if they actually take time to choose jewelry that suits each person’s individual style, even if they’re meant to be worn for the wedding. However, if they give everyone a matching set of pearls (just for example) even though three of them have never expressed any desire to wear them in their real lives and won’t touch them again after that day, then I do think it’s selfish. It’s fine to expect them to be worn, but I wouldn’t really consider it a “gift”.

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        lets_be_honest June 14, 2013, 12:06 pm

        Giving something that does not need to be returned = gift, no?

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        GatorGirl June 14, 2013, 12:08 pm

        But in this case it’s more like supplying an item that they need to ware for the event- a kin to if the bride paid for hair/shoes/bouquets. It’s not a gift if it’s part of a required “uniform” for the day.

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        Liquid Luck June 14, 2013, 1:22 pm

        Sure, in the most literal sense of the word. But if someone gave me a tissue and told me I could keep it, I wouldn’t really consider it a gift.

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        lets_be_honest June 14, 2013, 1:26 pm

        Well they purchased the tissue specifically for you and didn’t expect it to be returned ever. I mean, no, a tissue isn’t a gift, but I think if someone purchases something to specifically give to you and not expect it to be returned, than its a gift. I’m trying to think if I consider a paid-for-by-the-bride bridesmaid dress as a gift to back up my argument.

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    GatorGirl June 13, 2013, 5:02 pm

    All of these questions about hair, gifts, requirements etc are exactly why I avoided the whole mess that is bridesmaids. It was a huge relief and a lot of stress we didn’t have to deal with.

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    Liquid Luck June 14, 2013, 11:57 am

    This article shows exactly why etiquette still needs to be observed. According to “the rules” so many people around here seem to think are so terrible, bridesmaids* are only responsible for buying their dress, and brides are meant to ask each girl (or guy) for a budget privately beforehand, choosing a dress under the lowest number (or paying for them herself if she wants something more expensive). If the bride is REQUIRING that they have specific shoes/jewelry or get their hair/nails professionally done, then again, it’s on her to pay for it.

    It also reminds people that showers and bachelorette parties are meant to be gifts to the bride, and she doesn’t get to dictate where they take place (so no demanding destination trips or super expensive restaurants). Whoever is hosting the party gets to choose. Most will ask the bride for a preference and follow it as closely as possible, but again it’s up to the hosts and their budgets.

    I’m sure a lot of people will respond how that’s isn’t how it’s worked for them or it’s not what happens in their area, but that’s exactly my point! The wedding industry here has convinced everyone that they need to be spending hundreds to thousands of dollars to be in a wedding, when it’s not necessary, because they end up with all the profits and don’t care if you offend your friends in the process. If you want to spend that much on a friend or family member, then go for it! But it’s also ok to tell the bride that she’s being overly demanding and taking advantage of people by demanding they spend tons of money on her (because really, you aren’t buying that dress because you can’t live without it).

    *I worded this as addressing the bride/bridesmaid, but obviously the rules are the same for the groom/groomsmen.

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      GatorGirl June 14, 2013, 12:06 pm

      Yes. Exactly. Hooray etiquette!!

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        Liquid Luck June 14, 2013, 12:09 pm

        I know, I probably should have just left it alone, but work is really slow today. Plus, every time someone here says that etiquette is just stupid arbitrary rules meant to make people feel bad for not following it, it makes me absolutely certain that they don’t actually know what etiquette is. It’s just another name for respecting people and having common courtesy!

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        GatorGirl June 14, 2013, 12:14 pm

        It’s almost hysterical that all of the craziness that has become the “norm” surrounding bridal parties (and so dearly hated here on DW) is actually pretty opposite from tradition etiquette. When I see those pins on Pinterest with “The Maid of Honors Duties” it makes me cringe. The duty is to show up, at the appointed time, in the correct dress and support the bride on her wedding day! Not to host showers, bachelorettes, arrange for elaborate gifts, etc etc. That is all the wedding industry complex machine craziness.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 14, 2013, 12:22 pm

        I’m not opposed to etiquette as a whole, but when someone breaks a “rule” that doesn’t inconvenience or upset anyone, it just seems silly to me to get worked up about it or act like they’re super rude. Like my roommate was telling me it’s rude to say “congratulations” to a bride and that it’s supposed to be “best wishes.” That kind of stuff doesn’t matter to me as much as things like what you posted about what brides should provide for their bridesmaids.

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        GatorGirl June 14, 2013, 12:29 pm

        Oh well I don’t care about that either! Also the congratulation to the groom only thing is weird- it’s like to celebrate him “catching” the bride…huh?? I don’t know if that is an etiquette rule or just a “tradition”.

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        Liquid Luck June 14, 2013, 1:24 pm

        Yeah, that’s just silly and not etiquette at all. Saying “best wishes” as opposed to “congratulations” is a tradition (and superstition to some people), which is not the same thing. I think most people seem to confuse the two, when they’re very different. A lot of traditions suck.

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