Agony Aunt Corner – when is being a bridesmaid too much to take?

Morning everyone. Yesterday I got a question through from a regular reader. She’s having a really difficult time being a bridesmaid. Now usually I’m batting for team bride, but this situation goes beyond anything I’ve encountered before. This bridesmaid has reached the end of her patience and needs some advice from you lovely people. So I’m posting her email, anonymously, and with permission.

Please give her your help and wisdom – and ask yourself – what would you do?

When is being a bridesmaid too much?

“So you have a really great friend and you love her to bits. You go out for meals with other friends and enjoy on another company over a bottle of wine during good times and bad. You get engaged and these amazing girls are asked to be your bridesmaids.  You find great dresses for them, they help you get ready on the morning of your big day and then see you off when wishing you all the best for the future. Then it’s the turn of one of the bridesmaids to get married…

She announces that she will be getting married abroad in a remote and expensive part of France.  You are invited with the other girls round to the bride’s home for a “Girls night in”. When you arrive the fiancé is there too and you are told that you will be “playing major part in our big day as our bridesmaids”. You are then told by the groom that you are expected to spend the week before the wedding with the bride, groom and their families in a rented apartment “You will also want to decorate the venue too, no doubt”.  You think “Fine, I want to be part and help her as much as I can because she is my friend ” Whilst also wondering “Crikey, this is a bit full on!?”

A week later you are phoned by the bride to ask why you haven’t booked your flights and also if you could strong arm the rest of the girls into getting theirs. One of the bridesmaid’s husbands lost his job a while back; the other has had some financial difficulties. You book your flights, for the weeks stay using savings.

Me as Bridezilla on Halloween. We joke but it does happen. And yes, that’s a curtain on my head. 

You are called upon regularly for crisis talks from the bride about why people don’t care enough about her wedding. The bride finds some dresses in a shop but can’t get the right size. There is one dress left in a size 12 twenty miles from where you live, but you offer to drive and get it, which you do. After you have made this trip you are then told that she has changed her mind on the colours. You take the dress back. You don’t mind too much. It’s only took you an hour and a half to get there, cost you £20 in petrol and parking. However, you were a little peeved at the suggestion that you could do with a size 10 if you lost a bit of weight.

You meet for crisis talks again. You are informed by the bride that she no longer wants one of the bridesmaids to be involved as she hasn’t proved to be committed enough, as she hasn’t bought her £600 flights yet! The bride also does not want to engage with her family too much at the moment as one member is terminally ill and she doesn’t need the stress of dealing with this at the moment. Yes really!

You are told that you will have to pay a deposit on the hotel room that are booked for the couple nights before the big day at the venue. That’s fine. You expected that. You are then informed that you are paying for two nights but will only be staying for one night. You ask why? You are told that your partners will being staying separately from you because she need time with just the girls. You are called later that evening to be reminded of the bill you need to pay.

You appreciate that she is stressed with all this planning. So you think you will plan something nice and book some appointments for make-up trials and bridesmaids dress shopping. You are called for coffee. You soon realise that “coffee” was a bit of a trick, and that really she wanted you to try on the most hideous dress you have seen in your life. You think “Well, if that’s what she wants I will wear it!” Anyway, you have planned this nice trip for her so it’s not like it’s the only dress in the country. You will find loads of others.

She photographs you in the dress. You suggest it might be a good idea to send this to the others to see what they think. You’re thinking “Wait until the girls see this!” She becomes a bit aggressive at this suggestion saying “What’s the point? Everyone will wear what I want them to as it’s my decision in the long run.” You meekly agree, of course she is right. It’s her wedding. You could come in banana costumes if she wanted. You say “Let’s wait to see if what it looks like on the others before we buy, because I have a great shopping trip planned for us at a well-known shop.”  She says “Well, I don’t like any of their dresses because they are all cheap.” Right well, that morning planning the day out was a little bit wasted then. You persuade her to come out with you as you have organised a lovely day her having make-up trial at a beauty counter and a trip round some exquisite bridal accessories boutiques. She is rude to all the staff in the shops, snaps at you for not taking her photo correctly and wears a face like she’s chewing a wasp.

You are at this point starting to feel a little undervalued and a bit like a prop for the day. This wedding is costing you a fortune and it’s going to be your only chance for a break all year, despite the fact that you will be working like a donkey for the majority of it. What is your next move? Do you duck out? Swallow it? What do you do?”

So what would you do? Please give our poor anonymous bridesmaid your help! Also please do send any dilemmas you’d like our readers to fix – I’d love to hear from you 

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