"This dress is more than I pay for rent!"
...said every bridesmaid ever. If you haven't heard it yet, prepare yourself. It's coming. The shock of that price tag on your dream bridesmaid dress.
If she has never been in a wedding and is not married, then this sticker shock is bound to happen.
The stress of being a bridesmaid
This is one area that a majority of brides experience an obscure amount of drama around. A bridesmaid refuses to pay, or refuses to come to your wedding altogether. Remember, this stress is what we are trying to manage. Like that's literally the whole point of The Overwhelmed Bride.
So follow my advice, and pass the advice along to your bridesmaids. Sorry to break it to you, but your bridesmaid is not always in the wrong. And if you are a bridesmaid reading this post, I promise you it is not always the bride's fault. We can point fingers at the wedding industry for being so dang expensive and be done with it but we all know that pointing fingers will only make matters worse. So here it is...
Please hold up your right hand and repeat after me.
"I (your name), promise to follow the rules of The Overwhelmed Bride as stated below, in order to keep stress from entering into this wedding party."
Great! You promised! So now you have to listen to me :)
Rules for the Bride:
1. First of all, don't choose the most expensive items out there. I know you saw it on Style Me Pretty and you just have to have it but we don't always get what we want. You don't want to be stressed and I sure hope you don't want your bridesmaids to lost their homes because of your wedding, so let's work together on the price of the dress you choose. A good range is $150-200 for a bridesmaid dress and if you can find it for less, that's even better! But don't expect your girls to fork out $400 for a dress she is going to wear just once. And take a look at our "$ Bridesmaid $ Expectations $" chart from Monday to make sure your choices are all within a reasonable range.
2. Choose a dress that can be worn again. This is much easier said than done but if you can find one, she will be more than happy to spend a little extra if she knows she will get some great use out of it :)
3. Let the girls choose their dresses. If you choose a color or even a color and a fabric and allow them each to choose a style, they will feel more happy about their purchase and not as forced to be spending $200 on a single, wear-one-time item. It's her decision, so she can't complain to anyone about price but herself! My bridesmaids chose their dresses...and they all wore the same dress. Not sure how that worked out but it can happen!
4. Offer to help. And please keep reading. If you have a bridesmaid who is really tight on money, I am not saying you have to pay for her bridesmaid expenses. But you do have a wedding budget set aside, correct? Lend her some money from your budget and let her pay it off slowly. Just make sure her "payment plan" is completed well before the wedding so you aren't caught having to fork out more. I know it may seem a little scary, lending your wedding funds, but she is one of your best friends so I sure hope she wouldn't try to cop out of that one!
5. Let them choose their own shoes. I gave my bridesmaids a color of shoe and let them all purchase their own. If you choose a neutral color like black or tan, some of them may already have shoes they can wear. And that is a savings right off the bat!
The Bridesmaid Promise
I haven't done it in a while but for those of you who have followed The Overwhelmed Bride from the beginning, you know that I love to get my point across using math. Want to know why? Because I am literally proving that I am right. Obviously I hope you all take my advice into consideration, but with math, there is no denying that I am wrong. So here is goes (let's hope this goes well):
one $8 drink at the bar = $8
three drinks in one night at $8 = $24
Now let's pretend that you go out once a week for drinks. Over the course of the year, if you go out one less time each month (or just don't drink that one time), you will have saved yourself $288.
And for those of you who don't drink...
one $30 meal = $30
Let's pretend you go out to eat once a week. Over the course of a year, if you go out to eat one less time each month, you are going to be saving a total of $360 in a year.
The next time you complain to a bride (and stress her out) about the price of a dress, please think about where your money is being spent currently. Is it worth stressing your best friend out over drinking one less night a month? Or one less meal out a month? Put yourself in her shoes and ask yourself the same question.
When your wedding day comes around, you are going to realize that doing anything in your power to make this experience the best experience for your best friend, is well worth it.