I need some advice, ladies. Throwaway account since I need to vent.
It's a long story. To start, I have two bridesmaids who were my best friends growing up. Let's call them Alice and Betsy.
My FI and I have been engaged for forever, and struggling with the wedding for forever minus a day. Right after the engagement, we're all excited, and they both asked me if they could be bridesmaids. Of course I said yes! Alice asked to be my MOH because she would LOVE LOVE LOVE to help plan a wedding. I said at the time I didn't think I needed a MOH, but I said Alice could still help my FI and I plan and we'd decide if we need a MOH once we had things planned.
Time goes on, FI and I decided to wait on the wedding, planning falls flat, and we ended up not doing any planning with Alice anyway. Eventually because of work/life/reasons, Alice, Betsy, and I are all in different states now.
Because of the distance, Alice and I have grown apart, but Betsy and I have grown so much closer. Also, between us originally getting engaged and now, Betsy was a bridesmaid for another one of her friend's wedding, and thus has a knowledgeable and realistic idea of the work and $$$ involved. Alice has never been a BM and hasn't been to a wedding since she was young.
Every so often, I talk to both of them about my struggles, and how planning a big wedding just isn't what I want anymore, and how picking a close-to-me-but-far-from-family venue puts too much pressure on our families, because they'd all need to fly far from their homes, and a lot of family is older and couldn't be on a plane that long. I tell them both how we're thinking of eloping because I'm running out of ideas. Betsy has a "whatever you do, I support you!" attitude, Alice says that she *needs* to be there, even if we get married in Hawaii wherever that she'll be there.
After much suffering through planning, FI and I finally decide on a small DW with just close family, my two BMs and his GMs. We decide it's what we want because we want a vacation with our family (who we rarely see, sadly) more than just a few hours at the reception. It's much closer to where our families live, so our hope is it eases a lot of the travel stress for them, even if it adds it for us. Finally we made progress, a wedding is in sight, and I'm thrilled.
Of course, the first people I tell are Betsy, and then Alice.
Betsy is THRILLED. She knows how hard I've been struggling and is super excited that now we have a date and venue. She talks about how she's already saving up and is drafting her speech. I ask Betsy to be my MOH, because I decide I really do need some help. She's SO excited.
Then I tell Alice. She FLIPS OUT. Alice thinks a DW is a stupid idea. It's too expensive and no one will come. I tell her we don't expect anyone other than close family to come (maybe 10-15?) anyway, and that's perfectly fine with us. We're treating it like a vacation, and would rather spend the money pampering our few guests who can make it than spreading it out over extended family and acquaintances. I told her we don't have a room block yet, but that I checked flights+avg hotel cost, and it's is about the same as what we were looking at before when we were looking at more local venues. (She'd need to fly+hotel even if it's not a DW, since she doesn't live anywhere near us anymore).
Doesn't matter. Alice is pissed. She says that she doesn't have vacation saved up and that it's a lot of money+time for her to commit. I tell her that this is the first wedding idea my FI and I have both been excited about, but if she can't come, I'd understand, and it wouldn't change our friendship. She says no, that she has to come. I tell her that being a bridesmaid is even *more* money and commitment, and I don't want to make her be a bridesmaid if she's worried about money. She says she has to be a BM and I should try and find a cheaper or non-DW option. I add that if she's sure she wants to commit, it's over a year away, which gives her plenty of time to save money and vacation days.
I had no idea she was struggling with money/work. She's working at a great job, bought a brand new sporty-luxury car, and she was a couple months ago asking if I wanted to go to Hawaii with her and her friends at this $6k per week private beach house (it didn't pan out, because no one else wanted to spend that much). She's always had very expensive taste, so I'm sort of surprised that now that my wedding is suddenly "expensive" to her.
Meanwhile, I know for a fact that Betsy is struggling with money. She just got into the grad school of her dreams, but there's no financial aid. She just bought a small apt near campus, so she has tuition + mortgage. She's saving every dime. But she's hasn't brought up once that the wedding will be a financial burden for her, and she's just happy that we're finally getting married, and so excited to share this moment with us.
So now I'm not sure what to do, and I need advice.
FI says that I should stop talking to Alice about the wedding. That's hard, though, since she wants to be a BM, and she's still my friend, and I don't want to go all Bridezilla and say "we're fighting you can't be a BM!", because that's not who I am.
I could pay for them both to come, but it's an expense I hadn't originally budgeted for, and I had already planned to cut traditional costs as much as I could. For instance, I was going to cover their hair/makeup, and gift them their accessories. Since it's a DW and we're all in different places until the actual wedding, I'm not asking for a bachelorette party or a bridal shower. Their cost is basically travel+dress only. Plane tickets +hotel is still > $500, but that's an expense all the guests have.
I was also thinking of sending out an email to both of them, saying, here are the costs and your responsibilities of being a BM. I love you both, but if you decide you don't want to be a BM it's honestly okay. However, I'm not sure how to send out a clearly communicated email without coming off as too controlling. Did anyone do this?
My other concern is that even if I send out an responsibilities email, Alice is going to say "but I still want to be you BM" and then she'll still keep complaining about costs and in general not being really helpful.
This forum has been amazing to me so far. Do any of you guys have any advice on how you handled the Alices in your life?