01 Apr
Take This Job And Shove It — A Bridesmaid’s Tale

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I’m in a childhood friend’s wedding in August. I love her, but she’s a micromanager and a bit of a self-centered, spoiled brat. (Friends!) Her maid of honor has already been sending out thousands of emails, including a spreadsheet, and one that provided a bit of a Bridesmaid Manifesto for our obligations.

On this list is the financial burden of both the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Is it the new norm to expect bridesmaids to pay for those parties? And what if I won’t even be in attendance, because I live in another part of the country, and it will be all I can do to pay to get to the wedding itself?  When I mentioned this to the MOH, she basically told me off and now I want to quit the wedding. That could be Question Part B. How do you quit a wedding?


One Angry Bridesmaid


Dear Angry Bridesmaid,

Wow. I’ve read about outrageously demanding brides, and I’ve tortured myself through an episode or two of Bridezillas, but it still comes as a shock that people are this out of their fucking minds as soon as they get an engagement ring on their finger. And in your situation, you’ve got a Maid of Honor who has not only drunk the Kool Aid, but is mixing it and throwing it in your face. Weddings should be fun! Not an opportunity to make your closest friends feel like slaves to your every demand. Gross.

Look, every bride to be does something a little cray-cray, and as her close friend we are obligated to kind of deal with it, assuming she will do the same for us someday. But what you’re describing here is batshit insanity. I’ve never heard of bridesmaids having to pay for parties they aren’t able to attend. Who does that? Still, even though my gut reaction after reading your question is to tell the bride and her 2nd lieutenant to shove that spreadsheet where the sun don’t shine, I think you actually have a few options for how to handle this from here:

1. Call the bride directly. Why are you even arguing about this with the Maid of Honor? She may have been appointed V.P. of Communications by the bride, but so the fuck what. The bride is your childhood friend. Call her and tell her you are so honored (barf) to even be nominated for the role of bridesmaid, but that give the stringent requirements, you don’t want to take away from the most special time in her life (barf-ity barf barf barf), and while you are so looking forward to being there for the wedding itself, you think it would be best for all involved if you respectfully step away from the role of bridesmaid. And then buy her a kick-ass gift.

2. Call the bride’s mother. You were childhood friends, so I’m guessing you know the mom pretty well, too. Think about it, if this is what she’s doing to her bridesmaids, imagine how awful she must be treating her mom right about now. Her mom could use a friend.

3. Tell the bride that you’ve thought it through, and you would be delighted to participate fully as a bridesmaid, provided she signs a contract which states that if the marriage lasts less than five years, you will be reimbursed for every cent you spent as a member of the wedding party. 

Obviously, the first option is really the way to go. I hope it all works out, and that you can still be a bridesmaid, but no matter what she says, you will never wear that dress again. Never.

Good luck,

Karen, TMH


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8 Responses to “Take This Job And Shove It — A Bridesmaid’s Tale”


Comment by suburbancorrespondent.

Makes me feel good about my elopement, I’ll tell you that much…


Comment by Sarah.

Gross, indeed. However, I was SO afraid of being a bridezilla that I went the other direction entirely: I shopped endlessly for my bridesmaids’ dresses so that they were all happy with their dress, I paid for the dresses, I paid for their hair & makeup, I paid for the out-of-town BM’s hotel room, on and on and on. That was pretty much the end of their participation, though: things I paid for. My MOH begrudgingly attended one wedding dress fitting and I didn’t get a bridal shower or bachelorette party, though…I was a little hurt. Glad I’m not ever getting married again, sheesh.


Comment by Sally.

Well said, Karen. Bowing out gracefully is definitely the way to go.

I, myself, had to do the same when the mother of the childhood friend of the bride siezed the control of the wedding and renamed me the “honorary maid of honor” and her daughter the “actual maid of honor”. She then proceded to tell the bride which outfit the MOH’s were going to wear, including a 50’s era pillbox hat. I went to see the bride’s mother and told her that the outfit was going to be far more than I could afford. I dropped off my shower gift at the time since the shower was planned on a day I had to work

To add insult to injury, the bride visited me about a week before the wedding and hand delivered my invitation “because they had to wait to see if some people responded with a not coming”. So I went from MOH to last-minute-fill-in-guest.


Comment by Nicole.

When will be people get a grip on this wedding craziness? This happened to me when I was going through a divorce and had no $$- the bride-to-be was a sweetie but her SILs were horrors. They told us what gift to buy her for her bridal shower, and our portion of the cost. We finally appealed to her dad (no mom) and he ended up paying for the party. We went with our original gift plan, although I was the only one who didn’t care…I’m from CA, where we have never heard of these strange East Coast/NY Jewish/whatever “traditions”.

Karen Reply:

That is completely offensive. The period goes INSIDE the quotation marks. Or, maybe that’s also a strange East Coast/NY Jewish/whatever tradition.


Comment by Vegas.

Just another reason not to make friends.


Comment by Hayley.

I’m from the East Coast, but NJ Jewish. For my wedding I asked the bridesmaids to buy a cranberry-colored dress above the knee and black shoes. They each bought a dress that fit into their individual budgets and that complimented their individual body types. They were all different style dresses, all different shades of cranberry, and all totally comfortable in their outfits. My wedding, if I must say so myself, was BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!


Comment by Acetera.

The worst I ever saw my best friend was during the planning of her wedding. It changed our friendship forever. I agree with calling the bride, or, if you would prefer, bow out gracefully ASAP!

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