Record Number Of Loved Ones Turning Down Wedding Party Roles

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]