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Don''t know what to do.....

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So_happy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
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1,084
We all know that wedding planning can cause otherwise happy realtionships to become..um..strained. Unfortunately, my bridesmaids and I are at times in that category. And when this happens, I stress to my FI. Some of the issues have actually been pretty crappy for me. For instance, one BM stopped speaking to me for 2 months straight after I changed my mind on what kind of dress i wanted them to wear. Another example, my sister/moh is repeatedly snippy with me and pretty much tells me all of my ideas aren''t good enough for a "nice" wedding. I also get this undefinable sense that pretty much they all would much rather NOT be a bridesmaid. It''s just the overal sense I get from just about all of them. At least 3 of them. I have talked to them about how I feel and it seemed to just get worse so I simply leave it alone. I figure I can do better without all the stress of trying to please 5 women and myself all at once


So, today I emailed them along with our moms to inquire as to how many would be interested in getting thier hair/makeup done professionally the day of the wedding. My aim was to get a show of hands and then begin looking for someone to accomodate those numbers. It is of course completely optional and I noted that clearly in my correspondence. One BM emails me an hour later listing all of her financial costs to be in my wedding and (rightfully) asks what other expenses she should be aware of. I was glad she let her concerns be known and I was able to be creative with her and minimize some of her expenses (ex. let her stay at our apartment instead of getting a hotel room, using one of our cars instead of renting one etc.). I also recieved a note from my sis/moh a little after that in all caps proclaiming that she does "not have the money for this". No begining or end to that statement. Just "yells" it and then sends the email. I was stunned as I can obviously tell that she wasn''t writing it in a happy tone. If fact, I found it rather rude and it did upset me. After my first BM telling me her financial issues and then my sister responds how she responded, and taken with the past issues, the toll of dealing with them all just washed over me. I was quite peeved and I vented to FI.

I told him I feel like I do not have thier support and that it feels like crap. It would almost be better if they were just hands-off (which they definitley are) but they are actually hostile in regards to the issues that as bridesmaids need covered. Let''s put it this way, I want to go shopping for veils next month if my gown comes in on time and I would love to have my sister with me. However, I am actually terrified to hear her answer my request with more "I don''t have time for silly things like that" comments. Anyhow, I was upset and I guess I really got into it with FI tonight over it all.

On to my acute problem: I just checked my email and it seems that my dear fiance has actually copied me in on an email he composed and sent to my bms
after my diatribe about my bms. He pretty much told them they need to be more supportive and then he actually pasted a huuuuuuge list of bridesmaid "duties" as bridesmaid101.com would have it!!!!1
I am just so shocked he did that. A part of me wanted to tell them exactly what he wrote to them in exactly the same way but I just feel so........strange now! I feel angry at my FI, too, for doing that behind my back
Now I am just sitting here stunned and wanted to ask your advice for what the heck do I do now??????

I just can''t imagine the fall out from this and I''ll have to deal with it as it comes tomorrow. Did I say that I am shocked that my FI did this? I don''t know whether to feel completely betrayed or feel completly supported ???!!!!!! Sorry this is so long....and there is so much more to this story than I could possibly type right now. Any words of reflection on the crap storm that will be my life tomorrow?
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
haha i have no real advice for you on how to deal the BM's and now the FI's email, but i wanted to say kudos to your FI for sticking up for you!! obviously he got that this was really upsetting you, and he tried to help you out, albeit in a way that is really not helpful at all but you have to love the thought behind it.....haha. men!! gotta love them.

hmm i do have one thought on the whole BM thing. can you talk frankly to them and say that it seems like they are not really that jazzed about being in the wedding and if that is the case, let them off the hook and off their obligation. i mean do you really want hostile BM's in your wedding? bitter about the money they are spending or time they are giving or whatever? i'd rather have them as just happy guests...and less people in my wedding party giving me a headache at the end of the day. i have a friend who is getting married and she has 2 junior BM's who have no responsibilities and one matron of honor who is not really that local (aka 2-3 hours away). because she doesn't have a bunch of BM's...other friends have helped her out where she needs it, aka one of her friends helped her make her final decision on her dress...i went with her to her final dress fitting and helped her find her jewelry, and also i helped her out with creating and filling up her registries. it was really fun to be involved and help but on a kind of low-key basis. so there are ways to have friends/family be involved but not be a BM with financial responsibilities. just a thought.

anyway good luck dealing with it all..
 

So_happy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
1,084
Mara:
The thought behind it was definitely pretty great, I have to admit. But omg! Two of the BMs didn''t even need to be dragged into that email. And that list?! I don''t even need them for half of it lol. I got the really happy-for-you reactions for like the first week and after that, it''s really been an uphill battle so I learned pretty quickly that I was better off doing most things with FI or alone. And I actually already made plans with my collegue from school to come with me to try on veils :) (I would rather not even ask sis as I mentioned in my OP).

I totally understand thier financial concerns. I am a grad student for crying out loud....I AM a financial concern lol. And I am always one to look for a better deal before buying and that was true for thier BM dresses too. They can wear any silver shoes they want and they can wear thier hair and makeup any darn way they want, too. I''ve offered my apartment to alll 5 of them so they don''t have to stay at a hotel (I thought it would be fun to have them all with me the night before anyway!). Literally, they need to cover thier dress and alterations. That''s it. One is very OOT but I assumed when I asked her to be in the wedding and she said yes that she understood she''d have to travel. She actually didn''t even balk at the dress price ($100). But I send this optional only-if-you-want-to makeup email and BAM now she has to list all these financial obligations associated with my wedding. She even listed $150-$200 for travel expenses (not including flight and rental car)! What am I supposed to say to that?? Then she says at the end "i just need to know what else I will have to cough up so i can choose now which card to max out!". Seriously? The choice of words..."cough up" just sound so pissy, y''know?

Bleh. Thank you for your lighthearted view on this :) It is helpful to see the one good piece in all this.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
Oh, man! Things seem to have gotten a little beyond control, huh?

Your FI seems to have had the best of intentions in sending an email detailing their bridesmaidly duties, but honestly, I've seen those lists--and they seem like a LOT to ask of a person. I feel as though those lists are to be taken the same way those lists of "who pays for what" are to be taken. (i.e. a tiny grain of salt--how many couples actually expect their families to foot the bill in the "traditional" way?)

I think that everyone needs to lay out all their cards, especially the bridesmaid(s) who have expressed concern at the amount of money they're spending to be a part of the wedding. Everyone needs to vent their concerns and (more importantly) limitations before you can move forward. Finances are one thing, but if your sister/MOH really doesn't have the interest/time to participate in the planning process, well, you can't really blame her. I've seen people mention countless times on this board that we should all remember that this is OUR wedding we're planning, and no one else in the world can be expected to care about it even 1/2 as much as we do. Good advice from PS land



However, as for the one bridesmaid quoting money she "has" to spend on travel expenses, etc.--wouldn't she be spending that anyway, even if she weren't a member of your wedding party?? She is first and foremost there as a guest at your wedding, whether as a bridesmaid or not. That would have gotten to me, too!


hope that wasn't too rambley, it's sooo late...
 

So_happy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
1,084
Musey~ Thank you for your perspective. I totally agree with you about how the list is just overkill. Most of the things on that list are not even applicable anymore (i.e. Offer to go with the bride to pick out her gown etc). I hadn''t thought about BM expenses the way you framed it before :) You''re right that they most likely would buy some sort of outfit and proably even get thier nails done for the event, and then travel if they were regular guests.

And when I asked my OOT bm to be a bridesmaid, she said wonderful things like "I will be there for you guys so fast!!!" and "I am so happy for you!" and even "I wouldn''t miss this day for the world". And now 5 months later, this? Her kids will be here in RI with thier dad for the summer and since my wedding is at the tail end, I think she is attemtping to coordinate all of this so she can pick up her kids and take them home at the end of it all. Sounds like a great plan to me as she would have had to come out here to pick them up anyway (they are 4 and 8). And, I remember her telling me that the father is responsible for paying half of her flights when they do this....as part of the custody agreement. So, technically.......she really shouldn''t be using the flight costs against my wedding!!!


I''ve had no calls or emails as of yet so I decided to be a bit proactive by emailing each of them a little individualized note explaining that I had been very stressed out with wedding planning and that FI thought this note would help but that I felt it was not. For two of the BMs I wrote another sentence on how much they HAVE been responsive and even helpful when I needed them. For the other three I took the route of minimal honesty and said that I had been so stressed about finances (true....but not MINE at that point) and wished I could help with all of them. (which, again is true).

What I really want is for them to bring up the wedding with me once in a while!!!! I call them/write them all the time and I NEVER bring up wedding until they mention it or it''s a really need-to-know type wedding email. So far, those TWO have been 1)dresses adn when to order them and 2)do you want you hair and makeup done?. When they do ask a quick question, I give a quickie answer that usually minimizes the entire process lol! (ex. them: So, did you find your dress? me: Uh....yup. It is lovely.).
But the crazy thing is.......those answers seem to satisfy them. So I know implicitly that that is what they want. If they kept prodding for more details then I would certainly tell them more!!!

Okay, officially blabbing. I''m stressed. And it''s really a complex situation so I write alot to try to give all the pertinent detail. But, with human relationships, I guess they''ll never be enough space to capture the whole story.

Thank you for reading my vent!!! I suppose at this point I''m looking less for advice and more for commiseration (lol) and "this happend to me......"s
 

surfgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
4,438
As someone who has vowed to never again be in anyone''s wedding due to past bad experiences, can I share? While it IS an honor to be asked to be in someone''s wedding, it can be a huge financial burden, especially depending on the individual financial situations in each person''s lives. It sounds like you''ve been respectful about this but clearly there is something going on with your BMs. Maybe they''re jealous. Maybe they have other issues going on in their lives that they''d like to talk about? Maybe they''re stressed about personal issues and really dont want to hear about someone else''s happy news? Who knows?!? If I was you, I''d do as others have suggested and simply talk to each one personally, and ask them if they''d prefer to simply be a guest instead of in the wedding. Be caring and sympathetic and if the take you up on not being in the wedding, accept their decision gracefully and move on. It''s so difficult to know what the two BMs that are problematic for you are thinking.

As for the issue of hair and makeup, I''ve always been under the impression that if a bride offers that to her attendants, it is at her cost, not theirs. I''m not sure if that is "proper etiquette" or not but that''s been my past experience.
 

So_happy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
1,084
Surfgirl~ Thank you for sharing
I do think things are going on in thier lives that have nothing to do with my wedding. My OOT bm is a single mom with 2 kids, my sister does not work during the winters (her choice) because as a waitress she doesn''t have too many options once the winter begins. Those are real issues and I have never had children nor have I ever been on unemployment but I do know what if feels like to live on a miniscule budget for long periods of time. So I get that they have those things going on for them. And since they are my friends/family, and I know this about them, I have not picked expensive dresses. I have not made it "mandatory" that they get thier hair done a certain way and pay $60 for it. I do not need them to buy matchy silver sandals. Further, I have offered to secretly help my sister (who will be doing showers etc) with the shower. I do not put any "I must haves" on those parties. In fact, I told her all I really want for my B-rette, if she does one, is to go out dancing right here in Providence. No limo needed for that!!

My point is, I recognize thier life stuff. They recognize thier life stuff. But they still said "yes" to being in the wedding. It''s a little unfair to get snippy with me when I want to offer the services of a stylist the day of the wedding. It''s not something they have to do. They know that. I thought about that if it were me, being in someone''s wedding where obviously lots of pro photos would be taken, I''d really make an effort with my hair and makeup or I would really enjoy splurging and getting it done professionally. Personally, I''d think to myself what a nice perk it was to have the choice.
I''d love to pay for these splurges for them but I just can''t. I regret that but I still didn''t want to assume they wouldn''t/couldn''t take part in such things.

Does that make any sense? I''m grateful that I''ve had PS thru this process as I have realized from these boards what hell BMs go thru financially for some weddings. I would never do that to mine.
 

akw94

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 10, 2006
Messages
1,937
I am so sorry! What a pain to be going through this w/your sis and bm''s. Actually, I can relate a little. I won''t go into my whole thing w/my bm''s but basically, they''re so thrilled to be in the wedding, etc.. but it''s been a painful process getting them to order the bm dress or do anything else. Two still haven''t ordered and it takes 12-16 weeks to get in.
Here''s what I''ve decided: I''m done! If the two that haven''t ordered the dress don''t get it in time, they won''t be in the wedding. As far as all of them are concerned, my communication is limited. They say they''re interested and even ask from time to time but have made no effort to do anything. The one bm that is in town didn''t come the two times I went dress shopping. She is one of the ones that still hasn''t ordered hers and I''ve volunteered over and over to go w/her.
My FI has commented and wonders if they really want to be in the wedding. Good question! They say they do and the other who hasn''t ordered even apologized for being a slacker, etc..., but still hasn''t ordered.
Ok, sorry, I can just really relate to what you were expressing! I think the two''s responses to your email weren''t right. Like you said, they said yes! We''re all grown-ups. I hate it when people say they want to do something but then act so passive whenever it comes to participating or respond in some negative manner. Just say no if you''re not interested!
I think it was thoughtful of you to ask if anyone wanted to get their hair done and people can say no if they don''t want to be part of that.
Too bad we''re not in the same town b/c I''d love to go veil shopping w/you!
Sorry for making your vent into my vent!!
As far as your FI''s response, that is funny! I don''t think you should be mad at him b/c he certainly meant well but I can see how it didn''t necessarily help the situation. I think your response of sending an email to each one was a good idea and really, you don''t owe them more than that.
 

So_happy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
1,084
Dixie~ Thank you for your supportive words! And I am glad you vented
I believe I even asked for some commiseration
That makes me feel better!!! My sister was the only one who responded today and in her note she didn''t sound horribly offended at all. But she did express her confusion over why I need to book hair and makeup people "so soon" (!!!). She went on to attribute it to my "constant need to be impulsive"(!!!). And I think she actually wrote those spiteful words in a friendly tone somehow


Goes to show you that people who have not planned a wedding or at least haven''t been very involved bms before do not know the first thing about what we''re going thru. She actually suggested I wait to make the appointments like I would with any hairstylist.......to which I exclaimed that I can''t even get my regulare colorist within an 8 week time frame!!! Nevermind the person who''ll be doing my wedding style. gggrrrrrrrrr.


I am quite sure there would be SOME florist, hair stylist, venue and maybe even caterer who can fill in at last minute 8-weeks-till-the-wedding time slots. But who the holy he** would WANT to do that on purpose????? lol. It''s laughable.

Ps. Too bad we don''t live closer, we''d be great pseudo-bms for eachother!!! lol
 

akw94

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 10, 2006
Messages
1,937
You are very welcome! Too bad people just don''t think before they talk/email! I think you''re probably right, to some extent, people who haven''t dealt w/the planning before can''t quite relate. But on the other hand, I don''t think that gives them the right to be mean or difficult. But like I said before, I''m done! They can participate on whatever level they want but I just won''t count on them for anything. I don''t feel it should be like that but I have too many other things to concern myself with. Two big ones are flowers and invitations.

Yeah, I don''t think I''d want to wait too long before making the hair appt. I am making my next scheduled appt and at that point, will schedule my final one for about a month before the wedding which will also be my hair trial day. Then there''s the actual wedding day. Yay! I''ve had my stylist since I was about 10 so I''m excited that she''ll be able to do my hair on the big day.
Did you hear from any of the other bm''s?
 

firstbase32

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 12, 2006
Messages
366
So Happy-

I can''t understand where you''re coming from...sort of. I''m the groom in this situation and my fiancee vents to me a TON about her BM''s. Last year the 3 of her roommates and her were GREAT friends. This year with the wedding planning things have changed a TON. All of the BM''s talk about her (my fiancee) behind her back and things have just got out of hand. They complain about not having money to spend on the wedding but then every other night go out to eat and buy each other gifts. They have added much more stress to this wedding for us than we hvae needed and my fiancee even made the comment that after the wedding she could careless if she talks to 2/5 of her bridesmaids. At the beginning of the year they were great friends and ever since things have went downhill.

One interesting aspect was that they constantly said that we didn''t share enough with them about the wedding. But when talked to them about how stressful it was and how much planning we had to do my fiancee later that night overheard them talking about us and how all we did the entire time was complain about the wedding. Needless to say....i used to think the world of them...but now...i have a MUCH different aspect of them.

So I sort of know where you''re coming from. I hope things get better!
 

piccolascimmia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
342
So_happy - I feel for you. Rather than retype, I''ll just say I wholeheartedly agree with Mara. Calmly ask them if they''d prefer not to be a BM, and let them go or encourage them to let it go if you think that they''re going to continue to be unsupportive. I think most won''t think to say no to being asked to be a BM, and then later down the road they realize/remember how uninterested they are in helping or how financially tough it can be.

Personally, I''m about to ask someone to be my MOH, and I''m going to just pick one person and then barely ask them to do any "work" to avoid these kinds of issues.

I do hope your friends either get on board or get off the boat. Why drag around dead weight who don''t support you? But YMMV
 

FireGoddess

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
12,145
I just wonder why they seem so combative? Maybe his email put them off? Not like they didn''t deserve it though, from what it sounds like. Come to think of it - I recall that this has been going on way before he sent the email, which is unfortunate.

I just wonder why they agreed to this in the first place if this is how they are going to act? From your post it sounds like you ASKED them if they wanted to get their makeup and hair done, not DEMANDED it. What''s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. Your question did not deserve a point by point list of expenses incurred by them - it simply required a ''yes I''m interested'' or ''no I''m not interested'' response. They seem very very combative, which is not how bridesmaids are supposed to act!!!

I would not let them jump on you for your fiance''s email. If any of them start, simply be honest and say that you have gotten the impression from them, based on their behavior, that this is becoming a ''chore'' instead of having fun with it and celebrating with you, that your intent is not for them to empty their wallets but to be there with you for one of the happiest days in your life. That you feel they have been somewhat terse, tense, and short in their responses to you and you''re having trouble understanding why. He loves you and wants to fix this for you, hence the email. Maybe not what you would have done but it is akin in part to how you feel and don''t want to be feeling this way.

In response to someone''s post - I have been in wedding parties where the bride paid for hair and makeup, and other wedding parties where the bride didn''t. I certainly don''t expect the bride to pay for this, but if she offers, it is a nice gesture. Some couples have to pay for the wedding themselves and I don''t expect them to shell out money for my primping.
 

So_happy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
1,084
Dixie: I too take the "I''m done" approach. It is freeing. However, that only gets me through the days and nights in between mandatory comminications. When those come to town (case in point...the makeup email) I dread it. And I can see why given that it does seem I can''t bring up anything without an issue being made over it from someone. Bleh.

First Base: My fiance is usually a great listener but I think this time he had just had enough. lol. And I actually love him more for doing that stupid thing! What gets me is his groomsmen are like these perfect attendants that I''d just die for!!! They call him all the time and ask about wedding plans. They talk excitedly about getting together for the parties. They have even asked my FI when he was getting his butt to the tuxedo store :) I love those guys!!! In contrast, my women are like evil fun-sucking strangers. At times I can''t even believe I picked them. I know, that was harsh.........but again, I''m venting........and you all can''t send them an email outlining thier duites!!! lol. And similar perhaps to your fiance, while 3 of them are skating on the thin ice that has become our friendship, 1 really might be already on the other side
This particular BM has gotten very angry (passive agressively to the other bms mind you) because I did not want to invite a guest for her invited girlfriend so her girlfriend would have a guest too. (ridiculous!!!) and also because after much thought and a different wedding gown purchase, I had to change the style of bm dresses.

I know that I am the only one that is supposed to care about the stuff. I get that. But part of beign a friend includes knowing that the two of you will not agree on everything, but still being able to be supportive (or at least be able to talk about it) despite it. Sure, we have lots of similarties.....but if I can''t change my mind or say I don''t prefer something.......for my own damn wedding........that''s when she needs to step up and be a friend and understand. Those issues are the underlying reasons to our stressed relationship. Not really the wedding stuf that precluded it. Does that make sense?
 
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