Thursday, January 5, 2012

I DO want to be your bridesmaid, but I DO NOT want to go broke!

Today I have a little story from a friend about her troubles of being a MOH. It is always a hard situation to combine friends, weddings and money issues! Enjoy and thanks "T"!

The feeling of being asked to be a bridesmaid by an old friend, a college sorority sister, or a family member is a feeling of joy, pride, and happiness for the couple, but also for you!  It is an honor to be asked to stand next to your best friend on her wedding day.  She wants you to be there to celebrate in the parties, wants you to be the one to fluff her dress, and most importantly she wants you to stand next to her on the most important day of her entire life. Of course, I did not hesitate to be my life long best friend’s MOH when she asked me.  Although we were currently living in different states, we grew up together as young kids, shared in the joys of our first cell phones, first cars, first loves/first heartbreaks, and family tragedies. 
We always talked about being each other MOHs even since elementary school and it never crossed my mind to not be her MOH.  It was, after all, a huge honor knowing of all her friends she picked me to the one standing next to her at the altar.  However, one thing that did immediately concern me was the financial burden on my bank account this wedding would cost me.  Being the financially responsible, but also broke 24 year old graduate student that I was, I decided to make a list of the costs and gave myself a budget.  My original budget looked a little something like this:
-Flights for the shower & wedding: $1,000
-Bachelorette party: $150
-Bridesmaid dress: $150
-Day of costs (nails, food, makeup etc.): $100
-Extra, unexpected costs: $100
            Total expected cost: $1,500.
In retrospect, that number looks pretty good.  There were so many costs and payments that I was not expecting as a first time MOH.  Not only were there additional events that I did not plan on, but the peer pressure from the other bridesmaids and the groomsmen to make our friends’ wedding “EPIC” was hard to ignore.  I tried being extremely creative with inexpensive ideas for events, but those ideas got me nowhere- except nasty e-mails about expenses.  I am not sure where her bridal party was getting their wedding funds from, but apparently money does grow on trees for some people. 
            My original budget was extremely inaccurate. 
Here is a breakdown of my expenses:
            -Flights back East for the shower and wedding: $1,300 (No, I did not fly first class)
            -Bachelorette party: $175 (limo, t-shirts, etc.)
 -Bridesmaid dress: $200
-Gray shoes: $35 (on sale at the mall)
-Day of costs: $200
                        Total cost of being MOH: $1,910
As you can see, I spent way too much on my friend’s wedding!  I encourage you to not let the excitement get the best of your bank account because guess what- in 3 months your other best friend will get married and you will do have to the same things and pay the same expenses all over again.  As much as I would like to say, “Looking back, it is okay because honestly, I would have paid a million dollars to be her MOH.”  However, that is, unfortunately, not the case!  While love is in the air during weddings, money is most definitely not!  
Although not all circumstances are this extreme many times your friends wedding is not right around the corner and there are travel expenses, even a tank of gas can be around 40$. You can never predict what will come up in your life financially, but it is always worthwhile to talk to your bride about your money issues, they should understand! Just remember that you love your friend and your memories will last longer and mean more to you then worrying about the money. Have a meeting with all the bridesmaids and brides and come up with a budget together so you all know what you are willing to spend and where you can cut some money. But over anything enjoy the time with your bride and have fun!

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