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Bridesmaid issue - advice needed!

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#1 modegirl79

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    Posted 06 March 2010 - 11:52 PM

    It’s ironic – you would think a destination wedding would be LESS stressful than a big, traditional affair, right? Well, in the past week, I’ve been experiencing major bridesmaid issues – they are major because final payment for our trip is due on Tuesday, so decisions MUST be made (wedding is end of May)! I’m feeling pretty frustrated & disappointed and unsure of how to proceed with handling things, so if anyone has any advice to offer, I’d be hugely appreciative. Here’s what happened:

    I have two bridesmaids, let’s call them H and K – I wouldn’t call either one a “maid of honor.” They are both equally good friends (I have no sisters). I’ve known H for 10 years and K for 8. Anyway, they both agreed to cruise with us for a week, nearly all expenses paid by my parents, staying in the same two-person cabin. And all seemed well…

    …but then, in the fall, H and K each lost their jobs within weeks of each other. K has been diligently searching for a new job, while H has been struggling to figure out what she wants to do. K assured me that if she gets a job before the cruise, she WILL make sure she gets the week off, and I trust that she can (she’s done this before). H, on the other hand, calls me LAST WEEK to let me know that she’s decided to go back to school for a rather “obscure” field of study and needs to take some undergrad classes before she can apply. She needs to take an intro class before she can take other classes. She says she can only find the class at one school, a summer session that meets 4 days a week from May-June. She insists she needs to take the class this summer in order to be able to take other classes she needs in the fall and spring. On top of that, she told me she just can’t miss 4 days of class, and is afraid to ask the professor to make special arrangements for her. She’s afraid she won’t do well in the class if she doesn’t go to nearly every single one. If she doesn’t take the summer session class, she’s convinced she won’t get into a grad program until Fall 2012 and really wants to start Fall 2011. I’ve helped her search for the class she needs to see if there is another option in the summer – it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.

    H put this “offer” on the table, which, in her mind, is perfectly acceptable – rather than cruise out of the departure/return port, she’ll pick up the cruise halfway at one of the ports of call (yes, you can do this, thankfully). This is now going to require a one-way flight she otherwise wouldn’t have had to take, which she said she is willing to pay for. I believe H was expecting me to say “NO PROBLEM!” and that her airfare would also be paid for. Uh…no. It IS a problem. IT’S NOT PRACTICAL!!! Who the heck takes PART of a cruise unless it’s for an URGENT matter?! NOT MANY PEOPLE! And what if she has a big flight delay and doesn’t get there in time? Sorry, but my parents ONLY agreed to pay for cruise fare, and are pretty insulted by this whole thing. Cruise fare is the SAME, whether you are on the whole cruise or not. They aren’t going to pay for her airfare, and you know what? Neither am I! Forget that.

    H says she really wants to be there and that “things change” and she couldn’t foresee not having that whole week available when we first made these plans. When I told her my parents were pretty perturbed by this, she then said “well, maybe I shouldn’t go at all – I don’t want to have a bad time on the cruise.” She’s acting like I’m being the bad guy about this! I’m not! I want to see her figure things out and do well, and I told her exactly that. She’s almost 30 years old, so it’s about time she gets it together. But she’s not viewing this from MY perspective, from my fiance’s perspective, from my parents’ perspective. She even said I owe her an apology for making this complicated. WTF?! SHE is making this complicated.

    I think if she TRULY wants to be there, then it would be best for her to go to the island for a few days and meet us there. But this presents an issue for K – who would room with her on the cruise? My parents don’t want to pay a second fare for someone who won’t be there (for each cabin, you pay two fares, regardless). K said her sister might be able to take H’s place on the cruise (her sister is another friend of mine). If that happens, what should I do? Should I help H get to the island so she can still be in the wedding, as originally planned? OR, should I tell H she should just focus on her class and forget the whole thing? I mean, is this pretty much signaling the end of our friendship?

    Thanks for "listening,"

    #2 bnbrmy

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      Posted 07 March 2010 - 12:37 AM

      Well if she would be willing to pay for the flight then I would let her cover that and as originally planned have her in the wedding and if she can't pay the flight then I'd just tell her it is out of the budget and she should just focus on school. As for the other BM since the cabin has to be paid by twos anyway I'm sure your parents wouldn't mind paying, since they couldn't help losing their jobs a little annoying but it has to be covered.

      #3 ErinB


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        Posted 07 March 2010 - 02:06 AM

        I'm sorry you're going through this.

        And WOW! How super generous of your parents!

        I would talk to H or send her an email that says you HAVE to know something definitive tomorrow before final payment is due. I don't think you owe her an apology or airfare for sure, but you might just say that obviously school is her #1 priority so that is what she needs to focus on. Has she even been accepted to this school or registered for the class? There are a lot of 'maybes' that can happen between now and the wedding. You don't need to be held hostage to those potential plans.

        I know it sucks when friends drop out. I had a BM do this 3 weeks before my wedding after I paid for her trip! But, you do not need the added stress between now and then. It doesn't have to ruin your friendship either. I'm sure H is just upset with her current situation and is confused about what to do. She probably feels guilty on some level for bailing on you but not saying so. If she chooses not to go, simply say you're sorry things worked out that way and she won't be there to share your big day, you don't need to burn bridges.

        It would be great if K's sister or another friend can go! It sucks paying for a room, but there really aren't many ways around that. I don't know anyone that wouldn't jump at a free or reduced vacation! Do you have any mutual friends that you could invite instead? They don't need to feel like a b-string bridesmaid, just say that H can't go and you'd love the new person to attend. It's your choice if that person just goes and has a great time or if she will stand up for you.

        I know it's hard to hear as a bride, but sadly, not everyone else is as focused on your wedding. H probably doesn't recognize the all of the repercussions of her actions. In the end you need to do what is best for you and what you (and your parents that are paying) will be most comfortable with.

        Good Luck!

        #4 modegirl79

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          Posted 14 March 2010 - 07:23 PM

          Sorry for the delayed reply - wanted to thank you for your great advice. I'm very happy to say that everything worked itself out during the week. I politely and calmly told H she has three options: a) go on PART of the cruise (we were all willing to accept this, even though it is foolish); B) go to St. Thomas for a few days or c) don't go at all. Well, I guess she did some serious thinking, realized she was sort of in-the-wrong and called me to say she chose St. Thomas for a few days AND booked a flight. The next day, she booked her hotel. Meanwhile, K's sister is coming on the cruise in H's place. She is THRILLED to be doing so, and I know she'll really enjoy it. I really do wish H could be on the cruise as originally planned, but at least we came to a resolution that works for everyone. I'm very relieved, because I don't know how much more tension I could take! Thanks again.

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