Posted in: Lifestyle

Record Number Of Loved Ones Turning Down Wedding Party Roles

too expensive to be a bridesmaid or groomsman

No, it’s not because you want me to wear an ugly, ill-fitting dress.

Wedding season is upon us, but more and more friends and relatives are turning down the honor of being a bridesmaid or groomsman as the expense is becoming too great – especially for those in the 18 to 34, with a lower-socioeconomic status, and males 20 to 24 who have the highest persistence of unemployment.

It’s not just the brides and grooms, or the father-of-the-bride sweating out the financials. Unsurprisingly, the tendency to turn down the request to stand with a bride or groom is inversely related to household income; lower-income correlates to a higher refusal rate. Don’t take it personally.

On average, US couples spend between $25,600 and $32,000 on their wedding – paying for flowers, photographers, food and alcohol, formal wear, and a venue. The cost of just attending a wedding has risen over the years, as according to an American Express survey from 2012, a wedding guest will, on average, spend about $329. This covers the cost of the gift and travel expenses.

What about the costs of the wedding party? Based on the same survey, the elite participants pay a little more, $577 – having to cover the expense of parties, travel, a gift, along with bride-approved attire and accessories for the big day.

But for some it’s not always about the money – granted that is a factor, but true bridezillas often have extraordinary demands that put people off from wanting to participate. These divas, who foam over every little detail, expect everyone to acquiesce and embrace the same vision of their special day, paying out to the point of night-sweats for whatever extreme want the bride decrees – no questions asked.

In one infamous leaked email from a bride to her bridesmaids that went viral last year, Gawker quotes key passages, “If money is tight and you can’t afford to contribute to say the bachelorette party or won’t be able to afford a dress … [we] don’t have time to deal with that, I’m sorry.”

The unnamed bride-to-be goes on to callously explain the rules and expenses for those in the running to be part of her bridal party. “This includes flights as well, everyone knows the states (wow, states, seriously?) where the parties are going to be held so if you won’t be able to afford a flight (sounds more like many flights) then that means you can’t make a party which ultimately means I can’t have you as a bridesmaid … That goes for bridesmaids dresses as well. Everything will be affordable but if you think by affordable it’s going to be a $25 Forever 21 dress then you’re going to the wrong wedding.”

The aforementioned bridezilla makes unrealistic assumptions that people can afford to travel to multiple states for multiple pre-wedding celebrations, but can also plan out months in advance and can let her know “this week” if they’ll be busy anytime between February 1 and August 31. If so, they need not apply – err accept – the honor of being part of her elite bridal crew, and will be relegated to the status of a guest.

Another demanding bride went a step further, requesting not only her wedding party, but all guests do a 21-day cleanse leading up to the wedding – sustaining on a vegan only diet so that everyone looks their best on her big day.

Are you getting married this summer? Do you think you’ve made any unrealistic demands of your loved ones regarding your big day?

[Image via Shutterstock]

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22 Responses to “Record Number Of Loved Ones Turning Down Wedding Party Roles”

  1. Teri Turner Bennett

    M y hubby and I paid for our wedding with a little help from my mom it wasn't lavish but it really was the best day we could afford probably spent about 5000.00 for us I had a semstress make dresses for BMs but also that was in 1994 I think girls pit there parents int the poor house sometimes if your workin help pay there's no reason to have to be a bridzilla.

  2. Angela Camara Kelley

    and you are just as married as anyone else. i think we spent $200 TOTAL for our elopement. that included a dress, gas for the drive, money for the jp, and breakfast at mcdonald's on the way there.

  3. Amber Nicklas Brown

    I just got married yesterday and had an actual wedding with cake, food, and attendants for right at about 250.00! Holy crap these people are nuts! Who would put themselves through that nightmare mess? I had a big wedding my first time through and remembered nothing at all about it! This on was as low key as any wedding can be and we all had a great time! More $$ does not always mean better wedding!

  4. Paula Cloat

    We had an outdoor evening maid of honor, one best man, flower girl. A simple metal arch to stand under a pink and blue sky, the arch decorated with beautiful flowers. Over a hundred guests and cost us just a little over 500.00. Everyone kept telling us how beautiful the wedding was. WHY put your self in debt or your parents when you don't have to. WHY spend thousands on a dress? Mine was simple and beautiful. I also had a beautiful 3 tiered cake my sister made and it looked professional and she also catered the food. It could not have been any nicer if had spent thousands of dollars and or starting us in debt right off the bat. IT CAN BE DONE!

  5. Tonya Hice

    As WE were the ones getting married & pretty much knew the financial situation of our attendants, WE paid for dresses, shoes, & tux rentals. We didn't do more than we could afford & I've NEVER had super-expensive taste. I'd rather have a CZ ring & still be married than to have the "Hope" diamond & be divorced.

  6. Tonya Hice

    Ours was in 2003 & cost about the same as yours. My dress was tailor-made for me n only cost $400. We bought our BM's dresses at David's Bridal for $99 each. Our wedding, our expense. Still together today :)

  7. Tonya Hice

    CONGRATS!!! I hope you share many happy years together! I didn't get married til I was 32 & we just celebrated 10yrs Friday.

  8. Beth Parker

    Just goes to show you how narcissistic our society has become. The world does NOT revolve around one person.If a bride treated me that way I would very quickly cease to be friends with her. I also think these marriages cannot possibly last with one person in it being so totally self absorbed. It seems to me, the wedding is way more important than the marriage to these bridezillas. I can't believe anyone would actually marry them.

  9. Darlene Richardson

    I would rather spend the money on the honeymoon and our life together after the wedding. I don't believe in draining folks for my special day. Something memorable and inexpensive with a small gathering of family and friends would be great in my own home.

  10. Fionna Rhys-Jones

    My husband and I eloped cost? about a 1000 bucks! It was a beautiful day in Gatlinburg TN married under the tree canopy. We wandered around looking for a nice restaurant for our wedding dinner. We found this lovely place were seated, menus placed in our hands when lo and behold "Peg" by Steely Dan comes on! We had met online at a Steely Dan fan site and that was the song that made us both Steely Dan freaks in our youth! The perfect wedding! Married 7 years and still going strong!

  11. Pat Duran

    Yes, it's nice to have a memorable wedding occasion. My son and his wife married 2 years ago. They paid the biggest part of the expenses, themselves. We, the parents, of the couple helped fill in the gaps where needed. I can say my son and his wife did not go into major debt. They had formal evening church wedding and reception with a sit down dinner. They prioritized what and how much they could spend for their special day. Why break the bank, and be in debt, especially if you have student loans.
    Generally speaking, this society plans beautiful wedding and receptions, but how much do the lovebirds plan for their marriage relationship?

  12. Priscilla Memento Mori Toledo

    Yeah no…I'll be getting married next year in the fall and we are no were near planning anything that extravagant for our guests I'd rather spend a little extra on a great honeymoon or putting it towards the down payment of our new home..but never on something that's only going to last ONE day..these bridezillas are insane!

  13. Toni Dubovsky-Modar

    Got married at a JP. Our reception was almost 2 wks later at a park complete with volleyball, hamburgers, and mac & cheese. I had less than 50 guests. I don't remember the cost. We paid for the park pavillion and JP. Mom made the decorations and the mac&cheese. Dad helped out. We celebrated 16 yrs last week. :-)

  14. Erin Kawasaki

    Come August my husband and I will have been married 6 years. We spent $600 total for our wedding. Since I got married on the beach my wedding dress was a sun dress from Banana Republic. It was only $35. The amount of money some people are spending is absolutely ridiculous

  15. Tee October

    Wow, your wedding day is supposed to be about the bride, but is it worth putting yourself, people you love and everyone else through hell for one day and the big possibility that you will be divorced in 3 years. Where has this ME ME ME attitude come from in the last….this self gratification is really getting out of hand. Life is about more than just you.

  16. Pat Reynolds

    You can have a Beautiful wedding if you take time to look before you jump. Sales and do it yourself will cut a bundle of the cost, my youngest daughter had a magnificent wedding and we found her dress for 250 it was 750, remember that the dress is not what make the bride the bride makes the dress. family pitched in and we did the reception and it was very pretty the grooms Mother wanted to do the decorations for the reception and it was done with magnolia blossoms and leaves white linens and ivy. Very pretty!

  17. Donna DeMuro

    Yeah, but Beth these brides think the sun rises and sets on them. You'd be surprised at what lengths these girls will do to get what they want.