I have been kicked out of 2 weddings. But I swear, I'm nice!
Just to give you some perspective, I just turned 22, have been a bridesmaid 4 times, and have been to over 50 weddings in the last 3 years.
Yes, my friends do need hobbies.
I am writing because 1. your blog is like finding water in the desert. Seriously. Every bride, MIL, MOB, and bridesmaid needs to read ESB, because my guess is, it would smack some sense and humility into a few of them. Or at least that's what I would hope would happen. 2. I figured if I could help some poor girl in the future with my horrible wedding experiences, they might have been worth it. One of my biggest pieces of wedding advice to ladies is this: IT IS PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE TO SAY NO TO BEING A BRIDESMAID.
Trust me, it may seem awkward or you may be afraid to have that confrontation. If any of you are like me, you just want people to be happy and leave you alone.
But, in many cases, it may actually SAVE your friendship if you say no. Why? Oh, maybe perhaps because most brides I know all said "I am going to be the most laid-back bride you've ever seen. You will love being my bridesmaid." And then 3 months and $1500 later, you are ready to blow your brains out because they are demanding you lose weight, throw them 5 showers, spend another $2k on Vegas, and telling you how much your school and work life is cutting into HER wedding schedule. Well pardon me for having a life, lady. You will start to resent the way your "friend/bridezilla" is treating you and take it from me, she will pick up on that. Especially if she's crazy. However, sometimes no longer speaking to people after getting kicked out of their wedding is a good thing. Which leads me to my second point:
It is also perfectly acceptable to cut horrible friends out of your life. And if you are unsure about any of your friends, trust me, their wedding will flush out their true colors. My mom likes to say weddings are like life trials: they bring out either the best or worst in people. The two weddings I was kicked out of were miserable, because the brides are terrible, selfish people. No thank you, I do not feel like choosing between 100,000 emerald earrings, only to have you hate the ones I picked, and then change the earrings all together. I spent so much time, money, and energy trying to "be there for them" for every little meltdown, buy cute presents, spent hundreds of hours crafting my stupid life away on ugly zebra print Save The Dates. If your friends or family are needy, clingy, rude people, their wedding will only magnify that. Getting kicked out of both weddings were some of the greatest days of my life because it forced me to see how I allowed people to use and treat me. (If anyone is wondering why I got kicked out: Wedding #1: because I finally stood up to the bride and told her to stop gossiping about me to her family and other bridesmaids and to treat me with respect. She promptly kicked me out and I walked away happier than I had been in a year. Wedding #2: This bride felt I didn't "care" enough because I lived halfway across the country. She had her dad call my mom to tell me I was out. Yeah, I know. Also: I told both brides I expected them to refund the money I had spent on shoes, dress, etc. They both refused, despite the fact that I spent nearly $2k on each wedding).
I have only enjoy 2 of the weddings I have been in (I guess 50% isn't bad. Or does that mean I'm failing at being a bridesmaid? That's definitely possible). I absolutely loved my best friend's wedding as well as my brother's (because his fiance is freaking amazing and one of my closest friends). The reasons these weddings were so fun: 1. The brides are laid-back, kindhearted, self-less people. 2. Their taste rocks. 3. They actually picked dresses I have worn again (but then again, see #2).
My point: pick awesome friends, grow a backbone, and don't be afraid to stand up for yourself.
Lastly, and I can't imagine anyone who reads your blog would be guilty of this, but hey, you never know! For heavens sake, please do NOT ask to be a bridesmaid, especially if your friend isn't even DATING anyone yet. I literally had a friend cry when she asked to be my future MOH (I am very much single by the way) and I awkwardly told her that job would be going to my insanely awesome sister. Lastly, don't get offended if your friend puts you "last" in the row of bridesmaids during the ceremony. It's not a freaking competition. She asked you to stand up there with her, out of the hundreds of people she knows. Be honored and happy for her and stop comparing yourself to the other girls.
Mkay, rant over,
Used To Want To Be A Wedding Planner
A little background. Several weeks ago one of my oldest and dearest friends took her own life. I have been dealing with the grief as well as the memory of having been the person who went to her house to be with her mother while the coroner came. My fiance has been a constant source of support.
In light of the tragedy as well as having lost another good friend in the past year, my fiance looked at me and said, "Life is too short to spend a year planning the the perfect party. I want to marry you right away." We quickly found a venue available eight weeks from now, cleared the date with our family and closest friends and made some fast decisions. All has been going well until I spoke with my sister and best friend, both of whom I hoped would stand up with me, about what they should wear.
I thought I was being laid back by telling them there is no time to worry about traditional bridesmaid attire. I let them know that what is important to me is that they are there by my side, and feel comfortable and beautiful in whatever they select. Since both ladies are infinitely more fashionable than I am, I didn't think it was my place to tell them what to wear. They both are familiar with the venue, know what my dress looks like and attend formal events on a regular basis. Wrongly. I assumed they would be thrilled for the chance to either shop for something new and fabulous without any restrictions, or wear something beautiful and appropriate that they already own. I offered to go shopping with them either as a group or each individually if they would like. `
Since I discussed this with them there has been nothing but drama. Both are very concerned that the other is going to select something that will be "better or more sexy" than their selection. I tried providing guidelines, based on their input, I even suggested that both just wear black to keep it simple. This escalated to more infighting and no one willing to even discuss what they might wear because they want to wait until the other one selects something. I finally asked if it would be easier if I just picked a dress off the rack for both of them. This was met by looks of horror and the exclamation of one with "You know Matron 1 is a completely different body type than me." and "That just won't work. I am not a cookie-cutter person." from the other.
How do I handle this? Do I give them each other's phone numbers and tell them to hash it out? I was in both of their weddings and wore the dresses they selected for their bridesmaids without complaint. There is so much bad blood about something so trivial that I fear that the real reason My fiance and I are getting married is being eclipsed by this diva war.
Any advice would be very welcome.
My MOH is my best friend and generally pretty awesome. She is also FH’s cousin and currently planning her own wedding to FH’s friend. She got engaged a week before me (the fellas unknowingly bought rings on the same day) and set their date a few days later. FH and I had a harder time setting our date. We’d always envisioned fall, but have siblings getting married this year and next, and our other siblings couldn’t afford to fly across the country twice within a few months. Outdoor wedding was a must, so we chose next summer, six weeks before MOH’s wedding. She wasn’t happy but seemed to get over it, and our weddings are turning out to be quite different. Hers is a sit-down dinner at a beautiful but expensive country club. Ours is a (hopefully) relaxed and cheap beach ceremony followed by a party in my parents’ backyard nearby. A friend’s cousin will be doing our buffet-style catering. His wife is a DJ and offers discounts to people who book both of them. Sounds obvious that we should hire her, right? Nope. MOH was the one who first talked about this DJ, and then declared that we can’t have the same one because our weddings will be too similar and will have the same music. I thought all wedding DJs played basically the same music? The standards with some requests thrown in? Anyway, I never even wanted a DJ in the first place. After I got engaged, I started happily creating a playlist of my favorite love and dance songs peppered with the weird crap I like. But FH really wants a DJ and MOH convinced me that I should compromise. I agreed, and he said he would take care of the pricing, contract, etc. Then MOH called dibs on this DJ. FH thinks it’s ridiculous and plans on pursuing her anyway. A part of me feels like I should just let the two of them work it out. They’re family after all. But I love them both dearly and don’t want this to cause a fight, especially over something that is so low on my list of things to give a shit about. Any advice would be appreciated.
Still Secretly Updating My Playlist
I'm 1 year married, and have been reading your blog forever. Love everything about it, keep it up!
So my sister in law is getting married in about 6 weeks, and has (obviously) been pretty stressed with last minute planning. To top it off, the caterer she had scheduled just fell through, and she's in a tailspin trying to find another one who's available on such short notice (total bummer)! Anywho, she has 6 bridesmaids who are all individually close friends of hers. One of them is kind of needy from what I can tell and is always texting her about her boy drama and "needs her." Well, my sister in law is the best and wants to be there for her Bridesmaid and help her with her problems of course, but it is SUPER stressing her out! We have talked about it a few times, and I can just feel the stress radiating from her body. She does not have time to deal with her trivial made-up drama, when she has actual drama to take care of, you know... a wedding to plan. I am not friends with this Bridesmaid, but I feel like I should interject and make her realize just how uncalled for this is right about now. I want to email her and tell her to back off! Nicely pointed out, of course, maybe she doesn't realize what she's doing. Is that totally rude, or is it something I should do in order to help the Bride out? Sister in law will definitely not lay it out for her. She is toooo sweet. Help!
happily-done-with-stressful-wedding-planning, but know-how-it-feels, bridesmaid
I told my 'maids to pick a gray dress. This is what my sister ordered.
I really didn't think I had to specify that the gray shouldn't be so light it photographs as white. And yes, she's sent me pictures. It looks pretty light in person.
I know they say weddings bring the worst out in people and two of my friends recently got married so I’ve heard them sound off, but I honestly didn’t think it was as true as it is. First of all my mother had serious health problems last February and I had gotten engaged that previous fall. My maid of honor and cousin didn’t talk to me for six months during the time just after my mother fell ill and during the beginning of my wedding planning. I emailed, called…nothing. So I had to go pick out my dress without my mom or my MOH, all my bridesmaids but one were out of state, so thankfully my wonderful coworkers and one bridesmaid came with me and it was wonderful, but it’s like really? Then when I finally did hear from her, she proceeds to sob at the bar about how she is single, and going to turn into an old maid and I’m consoling her telling her it’s going to be fine, she just needs to be positive etc. So after all that she pulled it together, it was a wonderful shower that she planned, but she did forget to invite my godmother who is now mad at me and she blew off my bachelorette party and told me the week before.
Next there is my bridesmaid who said she planned a “girl’s night” after my shower for me, which consisted of all her friends and her sister’s friends?!? She got into a fight with her sister and bff during my bachelorette party and didn’t talk to me the whole time, and she got married two years ago and they didn’t take a honeymoon and so she lets me know that they have planned it during the same week I am taking mine, in Mexico where we are going and are asking my fiancé and I if we want to go on excursion together while we are there…how bout NO, it’s my honeymoon!
My future sister-in-law just got divorced, which fine, that sucks, but I didn’t want her in my wedding party to begin with because she is a flake, not dependable and ends up pissing off my fiancé and his dad. But she got crammed down my throat by the in-laws so I included her at the expense of my other sister-in-law who I actually wanted to ask to be in the wedding. Then guess what, about 3 months before the wedding she tells me she can’t be in it. Awesome! Her flowers and gift are already purchased and because we asked her, we had to also ask my three brothers to be in my fiancée’s wedding party to be fair, so the wedding party is now massive and Rob couldn’t even ask a few of his good friends because of the dynamic. Now I will say my other bridesmaids have been awesome, and I am SO GRATEFUL to have them!!!
But let’s talk about the boys now. Best man DID NOTHING, I mean nothing, he screwed up the bachelor party and didn’t plan anything and it was almost canceled until my brother took over and planned the whole thing, and he sees nothing wrong with this.
One of the groomsmen ditched out on our Jack and Jill to go to his high school reunion, another “can’t make it to the wedding rehearsal,” but don’t worry he’s taking the Monday after the wedding off so they can enjoy a min-vacation.
Finally our wedding website caused controversy believe it or not! We have a page like most do that list the wedding party, I have them in order with how the procession will go. I had to take my future sister-in-law off because she’s out, so the last entry was my fiancée’s childhood best friend, I included descriptions and tried to list some accomplishments etc. well my fiancée’s childhood friend was unemployed at the time I created this, so I talked about him being a sports enthusiast, his beautiful wife, how he is sweet and funny…apparently his father-in-law disapproved of them coming to the wedding because he thinks they need to save money. Instead of staying this to him, he tells him that clearly from the description we must think he is stupid because we listed everyone else’s jobs and schooling but not his and we put him dead last, and said why are you going to a wedding for people you barely know…my fiancé was his best man! And instead of the childhood bestie and his wife defending us, and oh wait, my fiancé’s parents are paying for their plane tickets, we have never been anything but nice, we drove six hours to be at their wedding and paid for the hotel, attire etc… they felt the need to call us and confront us about it.
Well here is what I say to all this nonsense! I get it, this is more important to us then it is to others, but seriously we are so laid back, with barely any expectations, we haven’t asked anyone for anything we either wouldn’t do for them or haven’t already done. And we have forgiven all this nonsense and take the high road, but the website garbage was the last straw. We are in our late twenties, seriously people, you can’t pull your heads out of your asses for your friends who are asking the bare minimum of you! Well I guess now we know who are real friends are an who we can depend on and who we can’t. And it’s going to make things a lot simpler now! Gone are the days of me feeling obligated, or overly generous for these folks! And for every wedding I go to from here on out, I vow not to be an ass and put myself before the couple!!!
I never thought I would have "issues" with my wedding planning, but obviously I was wrong. Here is the Dilemma, two of my bridesmaids want to rip each others hair out. We all used to be close friends, but about two years ago me and lets just say "Suzy" had a falling out. Because me and Suzy were no longer friends, but me and "Kelly" were still friends, Suzy didn't want to be friends with Kelly either and Kelly took offense to that, and now thinks Suzy is a godforsaken bitch for shutting her out of her life. Anyways, to make a long story short, last year me and Suzy rekindled our friendship, but Kelly doesn't approve of it. She thinks Suzy owes her and apology for not staying friends with her, and Suzy things Kelly is immature and needs to grow up. Its obvious this whole situation is stupid and immature, as far as I am concerned they both need grow up! This puts me in a awkward place because I CANT have this kind of drama at my wedding, or during the planning. I just want them to all get along so that we can have fun parties and not sabotage each other. This is all getting so complicated I am starting to feel like neither of them really care about me or my wedding because they are being so SELFISH. In their own ways both of them have told me without actually saying it that they think I should just pick "her", but both of them are my friends, I cant choose one or the other. This puts so much pressure on me, and is starting to ruin the good chi of my wedding.
Please, please give me some non biased advice on what to do!