Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)
Question: My friend is getting married next year. She has started asking people if they will be her bridesmaids and mentioned to a mutual friend that she plans to ask me. I’m absolutely honored, but also worried, because this is the first time I’ll be a bridesmaid and I don’t know how much everything will cost. I’m the last one of our friend group that is still in college, plus I work and both my schedule and my budget are tight. How much should bridesmaids be expected to spend?
Answer: What a fun time for you. Every wedding and wedding budget is different, so there really isn’t an average cost for bridesmaids. But, there are ways to figure out at least an idea. If you decide to accept, you’ll always remember the experience. The key words here are “if you decide to accept.” It is OK to say no. In fact, I always recommend not saying yes immediately. Say something like, “Thank you for asking me! It is such an honor. I would love some time to look at my schedule and budget, because I don’t want to commit and not be able to fulfill my role.” Be sure to give your friend a big hug (if they are a hugger). Then ask her a few questions about what’s being requested and what you will be responsible for covering on your own. For example, if it’s a destination wedding, will hotel rooms be paid for or is it every man for him or herself? Will there be a destination bachelorette party as well? She may not have all of the answers at that moment, so if she needs time to get back to you, offer it. Once you have a more complete picture of the obligations, it’s also OK to say, “Because of my work and school schedule and budget, I can do X, Y, and Z, but not A, B or C. If that’s alright with you, I’d love to be your bridesmaid. If not, I totally understand and would love to help in some other way, because I want to support you.” Note that it’s important to include the reasons. Most people understand concerns over time and expenses.
Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email Melanie@MyNewOrleans.com.
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