Hi! I’m Mia Alicata, owner of Merry by Mia, an event and wedding planning and day-of coordinator service. I believe every event needs a day-of coordinator. With all of the time, money and emotion that goes into a wedding day, you need a third party to manage your vendors, venue, family and bridal party. We take all logistical stress away!
More and more I have girlfriends talking about how “sometimes it’s better to not be a bridesmaid”, I see memes about how much money has to be shelled out as a bridesmaid and I see bridal groups on Facebook complaining that their bridesmaids aren’t doing “enough”. The wedding industry and the impossible expectations it puts on couples (BRIDES!) has trickled down to put stress on bridesmaids, too. From expecting your best gals to pick up the tab, wear something they don’t want to wear and manage parts of your wedding day when they just want to celebrate YOU, being a bridesmaid can be more stress than it’s worth.
Let’s change all of that.
Let’s make sure your girls have a blast alongside you. Let’s make sure they feel their best. Let’s not let them break the bank and feel resentful of the expensive hairdresser you required them to use. Let’s make sure your bridesmaids are with you on the dance floor and not mitigating a problem that arises behind the scenes on the wedding day. Here’s how you can do that:
Tell them up front what you expect from them. Let’s paint the picture: you’re engaged, you’re so excited to share the excitement with your closest friends and ask them to be in the elite group that is your wedding party- but, it’s not that simple.
When you get a new job, make dinner plans, plan a weekend getaway… what is the number one question? How much money are we talking?! (“how good is the salary”, “Okay, I CANNOT afford Eleven Madison Park, we’re not going there for dinner”, “How much will the hotel cost for our weekend trip?”). It comes down to money and comfort. Brides- do your homework and present the facts when you ask your favorite people to be in your party. We know you want to run out and create a fun way to ask, but it will save their wallets and your friendships if you pause.
By drafting a simple Google Sheet like the above (seriously how was wedding planning possible before Google Docs and Google Sheets?!), you’re outlining what this will all cost. If you’re unable to cover the cost of your girls’ dresses or hair/makeup, it’s totally appropriate to let everyone know that getting their hair and makeup done is not required and to find dress shops that won’t break the bank. Put yourselves in their shoes. Your wedding may feel like the center of the universe, but remember, it’s the center of YOUR universe. They still need to pay loans, save for their own weddings, take care of family members and contribute to their savings. The best way to be a best friend is to encourage financial stability! You may think you know your best friend’s financial situation, but it’s vital to respect everyone’s bank accounts no matter what you think their priorities may be.
Yes- when you’re caught up in the emotion of it all, it’s so natural for your best friends to not think about money or think money is no object, but when you’re asked for the 7th time in a year to be a bridesmaid or the wedding is creeping closer and the credit card debt is deepening, the money panic begins. It is so important for your gals to really see if they can afford what you expect of them. Personally, I would much rather someone be honest with me than be frustrated when they drag their feet on purchasing the dress six weeks out from the wedding day because they simply cannot shell out the cash.
This outline can save friendships. Do you expect them to throw in for the bridal shower? Are you wanting an international week-long bachelorette party or something more local? Is professional hair and makeup required the morning of your wedding? (Note: If it’s required, YOU should be treating them). Are you going to require them to buy new shoes and jewelry? By giving estimates, you’re laying out what YOU want up front. We wouldn’t want bridezilla to rear her ugly head as the wedding day approaches, right? Protect the friendships, protect the wallets.