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Will I be a bridezilla if...


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#61 JaimeLynne

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    Posted 16 May 2009 - 10:01 AM

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Christy335
    My favorite money guru and author of Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsey, always says not to give a gift if you can't afford it. If you offer a gift to your bridesmaids (which is what this would be) but you will be financially hurt if they don't "repay" you by standing in your wedding, then you can't afford to give that gift.

    Imagine giving someone an i-phone (or other gift of similar cost as what you are giving your BMs) for their birthday and including a contract inside the birthday card that says they agree to answer when you call, they have a 20 minute window to return text messages, they must attend your birthday party when it comes, and they have to get you a comprable gift when the time comes. You wouldn't do that. (I'm guessing.)

    If you aren't considering this financial contribution as a gift, and more as a business deal, then you can probably hire rent-a-bridesmaids that would appreciate the discounted vacation, a free wedding reception, and whatever else you are providing and will agree to your contract requests.

    I think you need to ask yourself why it is important to you that they be there. I am asking my BMs because I want them to know what they mean to me, and I am looking at it as a position of honor, not a duty I am hiring them to perform. I have no expectations of my BMs. I know my friends, and I know that they will want to (in fact they will be excited to) help with making my wedding go smoothly. However, if they didn't lift one finger to help me, and they ended up not being able to make it, they would still know that I loved them enough to ask them to take a position of honor in my wedding.

    The gifts I am giving my BMs are not "payment" for showing up and being in my pictures. They are another representation of my appreciation for their friendship. Conversely, the costs they pay as being part of my wedding are representative of their love for me.

    If I pay for my BMs dresses, that is my gift to them, whether they use it or not. Has anyone ever given you a gift that you didn't use? (Like that ugly sweater Aunt Edna gave you last Christmas.) You are in no way obligated to use a gift.

    Like I said above, if you can't afford to take the hit on an unused gift, then you can't afford to give that gift. This may be an unpopular opinion, but this theory also applies to your situation with your friend's wedding. If you couldn't afford to buy the BM dress and shoes and whatever else you paid for, then you couldn't afford it. That was your gift to her. Hopefully she appreciated it, but not everyone appreciates every gift we give them. You can't control that, and if it upsets you, then you shouldn't give the gift in the first place. (I am of course assuming that she didn't hold a gun to your head and force you to pay for those items.) (Also, yes, I probably would have been annoyed at the situation, but I wouldn't hold it against her for 5 years.)

    Finally, you are not obligated to ask anyone to be in your wedding. (Best friends since kindergarten or not.) If you think that she (or any of your other BMs) won't be a reliable BM, then why honor her with such a position?

    I am honestly not trying to "lay into" you. I am hoping that this way of looking at the situation will shed some new light on the subject for you. Of course, ultimately, it is your decision. We all come to this forum to ask for advice. We don't always take the advice that is given. I'm sure each of us has even read something someone offered as advice and thought, "no way, I wouldn't do it that way." And that's the beauty of the forum. There's lots of great (and maybe some not so great) ideas floating around and we get to pick and choose which ones we want to use for our own weddings.
    Thanks for posting this Christy. I am a huge gift giver, I just love picking out special things for people. Your post gave me a new outlook on things like this! Great advice :)

    ~ Jaime & Martin ~
    "Rain or Swine! 2-0-0-9"

    We had 24 people attend our wedding in Las Caletas, Mexico on May 24th, 2009!

    We all stayed at The Marriott in P.V., and Honeymooned at The Royal Plantation in Ochos Rios, Jamaica!


    #62 foxytv

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      Posted 18 May 2009 - 09:47 PM

      I'm not going to go into detail about my opinion on this ... but will instead offer some alternative options for you.

      My BM's paid for their dresses - but I made sure everyone liked what I liked and was OK w/ the price ahead of time. If you are paying for the dresses - why not pick out affordable dresses or give the girls a color scheme and a price range and let them pick their own within that price range.

      I also let my BM's pick their shoes, I just told them what color.

      I also bought their jewelry and had very nice BM bags filled with gifts for them.

      They had the option of having their hair done (on their dime) or doing their own. One BM did her own to save $$, the rest made salon appts.

      Also, if you said you were paying for your BM's rooms - are they bunking up together or are they bringing significant others? That's awfully generous to pay for their rooms - but it certainly wasn't something we could afford, nor did anyone expect us to pay for it.

      There are so many options out there for you and your girls to keep things affordable. Trust me, money was a major concern for me throughout the planning process.

      #63 FutureMrsLewis

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        Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:09 PM

        I wouldn't write a contract for my bridesmaids, but that's just me. As my mother always said, "to each their own." If your bridesmaids wouldn't be offended by this and this may be the only way to get them really serious about their commitment to your wedding, then by all means go for it.

        FMIL made me sign a contract that if I leave FI then I owe her $2500. (They volunteered to take me across the province to my sister's wedding, then when we got back made me sign a contract stating that if me and FI part ways, I owe them the expenses. We won't get into that.) And surprisingly, I still talk to her. So contracts, although mind-blowing at the time they're delivered, don't necessarily break the relationship.

        #64 missjaclyn

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          Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:23 PM

          My opinion is that when people do not have to pay for things... for example a free gym membership, they tend to value it less. So perhaps something may happen in their lives that they would tolerate if they were paying for the trip and still manage to go, but if they are not lossing any money, they may be more likely to bail! Just a thought! If you are certain that you want to pay then I agree with those who think that it is just a risk that you would have to take. Best of luck!

          #65 BachataBride

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            Posted 19 May 2009 - 01:59 PM

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by FutureMrsLewis
            FMIL made me sign a contract that if I leave FI then I owe her $2500. (They volunteered to take me across the province to my sister's wedding, then when we got back made me sign a contract stating that if me and FI part ways, I owe them the expenses. We won't get into that.) And surprisingly, I still talk to her. So contracts, although mind-blowing at the time they're delivered, don't necessarily break the relationship.

            OMG...Did you sign it I can't believe that!! Was it a joke or something!?!
            You said that they volunteered...that to me is the same as a gift.

            #66 Chanti

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              Posted 19 May 2009 - 02:21 PM

              I tried to look at this question as if it was happening to me. In all honesty, if a friend asked me to be a BM I would feel honoured. But then, if presented with a contract, I would feel like she didn't trust me. I'm not sure I would want to stay friends with her... I would definitely have a chat with her to understand where she was coming from, and let her know that by accepting to be in her wedding party I've inherently accepted to pay my dress and everything else (because traditionally, this is what wedding party members do). If at this point I felt our friendship was worth keeping AND I still wanted to be her BM (2 big "ifs" in my mind), I would let her know that I would rather not sign the contract AND pay for my own expenses.
              So, in other words, presenting your wedding party with a contract may cost you some friendships, I'm afraid. You have to decide if that is a risk you are willing to take.
              I hope it all works out in the end!
              Chantal

              #67 FutureMrsLewis

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                Posted 19 May 2009 - 10:51 PM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by BachataBride

                OMG...Did you sign it I can't believe that!! Was it a joke or something!?!
                You said that they volunteered...that to me is the same as a gift.
                Yep. I was so flabbergasted I didn't know what else to do. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry, so I just kinda did this and signed it. I thought it was a gift, my parents would have paid for me to travel on the bus or paid for a rental car, but FIL's didn't want me driving by myself nor did they want me spending 15 hours on a bus, so they said "That's okay, we'll do it!"

                The contract is still in my briefcase, honest to God.

                #68 BachataBride

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                  Posted 20 May 2009 - 08:52 AM

                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by FutureMrsLewis
                  Yep. I was so flabbergasted I didn't know what else to do. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry, so I just kinda did this and signed it. I thought it was a gift, my parents would have paid for me to travel on the bus or paid for a rental car, but FIL's didn't want me driving by myself nor did they want me spending 15 hours on a bus, so they said "That's okay, we'll do it!"

                  The contract is still in my briefcase, honest to God.
                  "Honest to God"...LOL You really are a Newfie!!! I LOVE IT!!!!

                  Wow...that blows my mind! Were they joking though?? Maybe they did it as a kind of joke thing?? Hmph....Takes all kinds I guess!!

                  #69 FutureMrsLewis

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                    Posted 20 May 2009 - 05:47 PM

                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by BachataBride
                    "Honest to God"...LOL You really are a Newfie!!! I LOVE IT!!!!

                    Wow...that blows my mind! Were they joking though?? Maybe they did it as a kind of joke thing?? Hmph....Takes all kinds I guess!!
                    Sadly, no joke. I was hoping and praying it was a joke, but no dice. It remains a gift as long as I stay with FI (not that I had any plans to leave, because I didn't) but if something happens and I leave him, then I have to pay them back... They're definitely strange cookies lol

                    Oh, and I should add this little guy: lol

                    #70 BillysBride

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                      Posted 22 May 2009 - 12:11 AM

                      First off, with that much incentive...gorgeous locale, surrounded by friends, eating, drinking and lounging in the beautiful sun...at barely any cost to them, WHO do you think is gonna flake on ya? lol Seriously. If i could pay for my bridal parties rooms outright, they would have all said yes before I could even get the question out of my mouth. The fact is, a few took their time, thought it through and asked questions because we live in the real world with kids and bills and responsibility. I admired them for it instead of knee jerk responding to me.

                      I actually think I "get" it as far as why you would want them to. You're...extending quite a bit of additional expense on their behalf. BUT...it's actually YOUR behalf when all is said and done, y'know?

                      You said you think it's tacky to ask people to be a part of your day and then expect them to pay everything...I can accept that as a personal opinion. I don't question it because after being in my share of weddings, it just is what it is..as soon as I accept being a BM, I do it knowing "OK, wonder how much this is gonna set me back." and I've even REFUSED a couple of offers at times in my life when I was struggling financially because I didn't want to put a good friend in the position of counting on me with the potential of me not being able to come through for them. Show your attendants the courtesy of having that faith in them. BELIEVE they won't promise to be there and back out for any other reason than something they truly cannot avoid. I don't think it's tacky to expect people to pay for their dresses/expenses. But it IS VERY NICE if you can help them out. Absolutely. Would that all of us were in the position to do so...but did I mention I ain't tacky just because I can't? lol

                      Having said that, you are doing so of your own volition. And most of these girls, if they are truly close friends of yours, would do this without the financial coverage. So, if you're worried about it, give them the option. ASK them to please put a lot of thought into whether they will truly be able to make it, and let them know why...because you love them enough to want to cushion the financial aspect for them to be part of your day, but you'll be out a lot of money on top of the wedding expenses if they just don't show. Stress that you understand ..life happens. I think people can understand a request like that, but not when you want to get it in writing. lol

                      Hey, better yet...take that photography money you're spending on them, and put it into their trips. If they cancel, chances are (depending upon how you're booking and with whom) you should still get your money back or credit toward another trip YOU and FH can use at some point. I don't see a reason to...worry and stress over trying to..entice your bridal party with free photos if it's going to put you in a position of potentially offending some of them. It just seems like the pics are bait and you want insurance that your line won't get cut before you hook a fish. lol
                      Savannah

                      http://i17.photobuck....inecollage.jpgThe Fab Four (my quads) Meryn, Kellen, Nico & Layla
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