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Guilty about how much $$$ Bridesmaids are spending

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modernsparkler

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Hi Everyone,
I am the first of my friends to get married but many of my bridesmaids have been in other weddings before and talked about how expensive it is- from the dress, shoes, travels, etc. I have tried to be conscious of everyone''s budget and everyone decided the dress budget was ok as were plans to get hair and makeup done the day of, and my FI''s mom even bought the dresses to get them tax free since she is an Oregon resident which was like a 10% discount.
In the next 7 weeks before the wedding FI and I are moving across the country, going to close on a house, and pay for our own honemyoon. Point is, we don''t have a lot of extra $$ lying around. My parents are paying for the wedding and are a bit stretched now given the economy and I cannot ask them to say, pay for the BM''s makeup and I wish I could too but it is not realistic. I have bought the girls nice pearl earrings ($70) each as a gift and my mom is having one of our friends also make necklaces for them for $35 each which feels like such a small token of thanks for everything they are doing.
Reason I am feeling guilty is because I just found out one of my BM''s collected her dress from the alterations place where everyone went to find somewhere cheaper- I think they were charging $90 for redoing the hem, the boning to take in the bust, and the zipper as it was not working well. I hate how expensive these things can get and I know that someday I will do the same things for these girls who I adore so much. I just feel bad... grr... Any suggestions on how to handle this?
 

tlh

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Just tell THEM how much you appreciate THEM - OVER ADN OVER. They are doing this because they love you. Also, not requiring them to get their hair makeup done professionally - is a way to save $$...or find a place where they can get it done for cheap.

But honestly, they love you... as long as they understand their sacrifices are recognized and APPRECIATED, that is all they ask. It is a very special day for them - as a loved one is getting married! Trust me, thank you can never be said enough!

 

neatfreak

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Honestly, if they are stretched for money it would be really nice of you not to require them to get their hair and makeup done. I am sure they are capable of doing it on their own-and they will thank you for it.
 

EricaR

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Is there any way you could return the earrings and pay for hair and/or makeup? Or let them do it themselves?
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Date: 4/10/2009 3:37:49 PM
Author: neatfreak
Honestly, if they are stretched for money it would be really nice of you not to require them to get their hair and makeup done. I am sure they are capable of doing it on their own-and they will thank you for it.
I agree.
 

FrekeChild

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Ditto to neatfreak and Erica.

I bought my MOH's dress, and I'm planning on buying her shoes too. And she's fine at doing her own hair and makeup. That way she only really has to pay for the trip, and gets a great free LBD out of it.
 

modernsparkler

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You are right neatfreak... I guess I will just bring this up and offer that if they don''t want to do their hair and makeup they dont have to. No one has said anything and everyone was really looking forward to the morning of drinking mimosas, having breakfast, and all hanging out at the salon together. I guess I will mention that they could do it themselves and come to hang out. A good option, but I think my friends are also proud and might not want to opt out
 

neatfreak

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Date: 4/10/2009 3:42:46 PM
Author: modernsparkler
You are right neatfreak... I guess I will just bring this up and offer that if they don''t want to do their hair and makeup they dont have to. No one has said anything and everyone was really looking forward to the morning of drinking mimosas, having breakfast, and all hanging out at the salon together. I guess I will mention that they could do it themselves and come to hang out. A good option, but I think my friends are also proud and might not want to opt out
Well then that is their problem then-not yours. And FWIW I was the MOH at a wedding recently and even though all of us elected not to get hair and makeup done-we ALL went to the salon and had a great time anyway.
 

fleur-de-lis

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Apr 25, 2007
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Date: 4/10/2009 3:41:42 PM
Author: FrekeChild
Ditto to neatfreak and Erica.


I bought my MOH''s dress, and I''m planning on buying her shoes too. And she''s fine at doing her own hair and makeup. That way she only really has to pay for the trip, and gets a great free LBD out of it.

Oh, sure Freke. That was based 100% on altruism and NOT AT ALL on finding another excuse for you to go shoe shopping!!


But seriously, I think it''s great that you''re thinking about your BMs, ModernSparkler, and as a former BM I will simply ditto neatfreak''s and erica''s alternates. I''m reminded of one of my friends/brides who split the difference and paid for all of our hair (b/c matched hair was important to her), and let people elect whether to pay for their makeup to be done professionally. I think in the end 3 paid and 2 did it themselves.
 

FrekeChild

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Date: 4/10/2009 3:53:12 PM
Author: fleur-de-lis
Date: 4/10/2009 3:41:42 PM
Author: FrekeChild
Ditto to neatfreak and Erica.

I bought my MOH''s dress, and I''m planning on buying her shoes too. And she''s fine at doing her own hair and makeup. That way she only really has to pay for the trip, and gets a great free LBD out of it.
Oh, sure Freke. That was based 100% on altruism and NOT AT ALL on finding another excuse for you to go shoe shopping!!
Ahem. I shall have you know that my BFF/MOH is just as big of a shoe-wh0r3 as me. In fact, she exacerbated it when she got me a job at the shoe store she was working at.

So there.
 

EricaR

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Date: 4/10/2009 4:02:18 PM
Author: FrekeChild
Date: 4/10/2009 3:53:12 PM

Author: fleur-de-lis

Date: 4/10/2009 3:41:42 PM

Author: FrekeChild

Ditto to neatfreak and Erica.


I bought my MOH''s dress, and I''m planning on buying her shoes too. And she''s fine at doing her own hair and makeup. That way she only really has to pay for the trip, and gets a great free LBD out of it.
Oh, sure Freke. That was based 100% on altruism and NOT AT ALL on finding another excuse for you to go shoe shopping!!
Ahem. I shall have you know that my BFF/MOH is just as big of a shoe-wh0r3 as me. In fact, she exacerbated it when she got me a job at the shoe store she was working at.


So there.
Off subject here for a sec, but Freke - did you actually make money at that job or did you spend more than you earned?

On topic:
If everyone else was getting their hair and makeup done I''d have a hard time not paying for it too, even if money was tight. Did you try and negotiate a package deal with the salon? Maybe get a discount for having X number of people all doing hair and makeup?
 

modernsparkler

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Apr 26, 2008
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Date: 4/10/2009 4:04:42 PM
Author: EricaR

Date: 4/10/2009 4:02:18 PM
Author: FrekeChild

Date: 4/10/2009 3:53:12 PM

Author: fleur-de-lis


Date: 4/10/2009 3:41:42 PM

Author: FrekeChild

Ditto to neatfreak and Erica.


I bought my MOH''s dress, and I''m planning on buying her shoes too. And she''s fine at doing her own hair and makeup. That way she only really has to pay for the trip, and gets a great free LBD out of it.
Oh, sure Freke. That was based 100% on altruism and NOT AT ALL on finding another excuse for you to go shoe shopping!!
Ahem. I shall have you know that my BFF/MOH is just as big of a shoe-wh0r3 as me. In fact, she exacerbated it when she got me a job at the shoe store she was working at.


So there.
Off subject here for a sec, but Freke - did you actually make money at that job or did you spend more than you earned?

On topic:
If everyone else was getting their hair and makeup done I''d have a hard time not paying for it too, even if money was tight. Did you try and negotiate a package deal with the salon? Maybe get a discount for having X number of people all doing hair and makeup?
I am actually going to call and see if the woman will do the makeup at some type of discount given that there will be 7 of us total including my mom!
 

FrekeChild

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Date: 4/10/2009 4:04:42 PM
Author: EricaR
Off subject here for a sec, but Freke - did you actually make money at that job or did you spend more than you earned?
Sorry for the threadjack modernsparkler.

I will have you know, that combined with the permanent 25% off, and the once a month 40% off coupon, combined with my salary as a manager AND commission, I would only spend the commission and brought the rest home. That was maybe 15% of what I''d bring home.
 

modernsparkler

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Messages
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No worries on the threadjack Freke. I could never work in retail for the same reason. I spent one summer working at Nordstrom and somehow I ended the summer with only a few hundred dollars... and a new wardrobe. Oops!
 

katamari

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May 18, 2008
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I think that everyone knows the financial obligation involved in being a BM, so you shouldn''t feel bad. I do think that anything you can do to help with the cost will be appreciated, but your BMs are more than happy to do this for you! (As you will be for them, when the time comes).
 

Haven

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Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
I agree with kata.

As for the hair and makeup, a bride really shouldn''t *require* the bridesmaids to have their hair and makeup professionally done if she isn''t going to pay for the services. I''m not sure if you are requiring these things, but if so, I do think you should pay for them.

That being said, bridesmaids know they must wear something to the wedding, and that something usually consists of a dress and shoes, and they absolutely signed up to purchase their own attire when they accepted your invitation to stand up in the wedding.

Don''t feel badly, I''m sure they are excited to be there with you when you marry, and wouldn''t have it any other way!
 

iheartscience

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Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
I felt guilty at first, too, but I basically had them pick out the dress themselves, so I think they're all happy with it. Plus, if there is such a thing as a bridesmaid dress they can wear again, the one they got is it! (Very simple silk J. Crew dress in light pewter.) And they ordered it with a 20% off coupon code, so instead of being over $200 it was $170 with tax and shipping.

One of my BMs whined about the price to me once, but I think she just likes to make me feel bad (she's a smidge of a frenemy at times) so I just ignored her. Honestly, I know all of them can afford it. And if she brings it up again I'll mention to her that it's not too late to return it.


As far as hair and make up, I told them they can just do it themselves. I can't afford to pay for them to all get their hair and make up done and I'm certainly not going to require them to. I would tell your BMs that you know they've shelled out a bunch of $ already so if they want to just do their own hair and make up it's totally fine with you.
 

modernsparkler

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Messages
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I know there are expected costs of being in a wedding and all of my friends are mid 20''s with good jobs and can afford it and I know they want to be part of everything, but I was feeling bad about the $.... I am not requiring them to do their hair and makeup- we all made appts. at the Salon and planned the morning of the wedding together. However, as of now I am going to reiterate that it is not necessary and I think I am going to add a $30 gift certificate to each BM to the Salon to help with the extra costs. Not a lot but it is what I can afford and hopefully will help a bit!
 

neatfreak

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Date: 4/11/2009 9:39:18 AM
Author: modernsparkler
I know there are expected costs of being in a wedding and all of my friends are mid 20''s with good jobs and can afford it and I know they want to be part of everything, but I was feeling bad about the $.... I am not requiring them to do their hair and makeup- we all made appts. at the Salon and planned the morning of the wedding together. However, as of now I am going to reiterate that it is not necessary and I think I am going to add a $30 gift certificate to each BM to the Salon to help with the extra costs. Not a lot but it is what I can afford and hopefully will help a bit!
I think they would appreciate that.
 

elrohwen

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Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
5,392
I agree with others that letting them do their own hair and makeup would be nice.

Also, are they in a good financial position? I feel really guilty about my MOH flying all the way out from LA (twice), paying for a dress, paying for her makeup (I''m paying for hair), paying for a hotel, etc. But at the end of the day, she has a good job and is happy to spend the money because it''s my big day. I even had to go behind her back to pay for half of her dress because she wanted to pay for the whole thing herself (all $220 of it)
. I guess what I''m trying to say is that, as long as they''re not hurting financially, they''re probably more than happy to support you on your big day and aren''t too stressed about the money. Just make sure you let them know how much you appreciate them and continue to think of little ways you can make their lives easier. And like you said, you''ll probably be returning the favor soon!
 

Elmorton

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Date: 4/11/2009 12:55:56 AM
Author: katamari
I think that everyone knows the financial obligation involved in being a BM, so you shouldn''t feel bad. I do think that anything you can do to help with the cost will be appreciated, but your BMs are more than happy to do this for you! (As you will be for them, when the time comes).
I actually disagree with this (that BMs know what they''re agreeing to) - I''ve been a bride, and now I''m a BM for the first time. I had no idea how much it cost to be a BM. Also, I said yes before I even knew what state it would be held in, what level of formality, etc. While I guestimate that it cost around $500 to be a BM in my wedding (and bring a date), for me (and my DH) to attend my friend''s wedding, and for me to be a BM, we''re going to be spending about $1500. I nearly died when I figured that out. There are a lot of added expenses that I never, ever realized, and honestly, I''m a little shocked. I said yes to be a BM because I truly love my friend, but the truth is, I didn''t know what I was getting myself into, other than the cost of the dress/alterations. While I''m happy for her, and I''m excited to be a part of her wedding, it''s also really hard because that''s a lot of $ to me, and it hasn''t been a lot of time to save, since it''s a short engagement.

So when my bride friend has been sending out e-mails, saying things like "let me know if you want a hair appt, but feel free to do your own" - it''s been a ton of major sighs of relief. Just knowing that she''s aware of the situation and that she doesn''t want to "require" us to spend more makes me feel a lot better, and I think anything you can do to lessen the financial stress, the better.

Other ways you can save $ for BMs/make life a little easier -
-Cheap shoes! We''re all wearing $20 ones from Target, my BMs wore $12 from Payless (I picked up the tab for that)
-Let them do their own hair and makeup -at my wedding, only 2 of my BMs actually got their hair done, but they all decided to tag along and hang out at the salon. No biggie!
-Purchase flip-flops for the reception (my friend is doing this, bless her - I love having one less thing to drag around)
-Offer to host a girls'' night prior to the wedding. If you friends are all coming in on Friday night, invite them to stay with you (I did this and it was super, super fun to wake up the day of the wedding with all of my best friends - and it was one less night of lodging that they had to pay for)
-Make sure you''re covering meals - bfast and lunch the day of the wedding, etc.
-Specify mani/pedi colors prior to the weekend so they can do their own (OR like my friend is doing, paying for manicures prior to the wedding, and BMs can arrange appts for pedis if we want extra)
- When booking hotels, suggest a cheaper option (my friend did this and I''m so glad she did)
- Set up a FB group so BMs can communicate if they don''t know each other as well - my friend is doing this, so we''ve been able to figure out car rental, sharing rooms, etc.

In terms of your friend''s dress - if hers is the only one with issues, maybe you can chip in just a little bit to help just her? I did some small things (paying for shipping for BMs who lived farther out) to help defray the costs for a couple of my BMs who were traveling farther distances to be there.
 

AmberGretchen

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I think it sounds like you are being really thoughtful and considerate. Above and beyond that, there''s not a whole lot you can do, so I wouldn''t stress too much about it if I were you.
 

Rhea

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Premium
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As a bridesmaid, I''ve never been asked to pay for anything beyond the dress. The shoes were left up to each person and we all did our own hair and makeup. I was supposed to be in one wedding, which was cancelled thank christ, where the bride had our dresses, hair, make up, shoes, etc all planned out to the tune of around $900 all told. It put me off weddings for a couple of years.

The best way to make it less expensive for your friends is by making nothing, beyond the dress, a requirement. You sound like you''re keeping in mind that they are your friends, not just members of a wedding party there to look good.
 
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