|I was the maid of honor for my best friend's wedding and my parents weren't invited to the ceremony. Isn't it tradition for the parents of the maid of honor to get invited?|
|Message to Christa Vagnocci, Senior Editor at TheKnot.com: Some of us women managed to get married and spent less on our own wedding than you are suggesting bridesmaids spend to be in someone else's wedding? How skewed our priorities have become. All of your information here is being presented as if required by law. Nobody is required to be in a wedding. Nobody is required to have an expensive wedding. And a bridesmaid is "required" to stage a bechelorette party? I mean really.|
|Weddings have gotten sooo expensive. I agree. But I don't see any problem in just letting your friend know that the prices are too outrageous. If she is your friend, then I'm sure she'll understand. Sometimes people just get caught in the moment (myself included), and they just need a reality check.|
"You’ll need to get the happy couple engagement and wedding gifts and bring a gift for the bridal shower"--hardly. Guests in general are not expected to buy gifts for the engagement, and bridesmaids should feel even less obligated given the fact that they are doing the couple a favour by standing up for them at the wedding. The bridesmaid must already pay large amounts of money for her attire and travel expenses, so bridesmaids often each pitch in a small sum to purchase a wedding gift for the couple. They can also pitch in fr the shower gift if they wwould like, but these gifts are expected to be inexpensive and could even be handwritten notes of advice or little cakes or appetizers at the shower. Brides should keep in mind that they are putting quite a financial burden on their attendants, and should not expect gifts other than their presence at the ceremony and their help in planning the affair and/or helping to settle the bride's nerves. It is a pretty greedy couple that expects gifts for the engagement, shower and wedding from any of their guests let alone their attendants.
I also think it is a strange assumption that these customs are universal. These 'American' customs are actually dominant Anglo-Christian values, and are by no means universal. In many cultures, the bride pays for the attire of her bridesmaids since they are doing her a favour by standing up for her. I think that more brides should at least consider subsidizing the cost of each bridesmaid's dress, as this may be a dress that she hates and will never wear again, in which case it hardly seems fair that she shell out her hard-earned cash. It is also a good idea to give general guidelines for dresses (pastels, a light blue-grey, etc.) and let each bridesmaid find a dress that suits her individual style while keeping with the formality of the occasion. You can also set out several swatches of fabric and allow bridesmaids to choose from that colour palette. This way, each bridesmaid can purchase a dress that suits her body type and that she can wear again, and this also allows her to shop around and possibly score a bargain on a dress.
I agree with cjsheldon, who mentioned that many bridesmaids are being asked to spend more than they spent on their own weddings. $1000 is too much, IMO. In the case of a destination wedding, travel, accomodation and/or attire should be subsidized by the couple. It is inconsiderate to expect your attendants to shoulder such a financial burden. If you cannot afford to fund a substantial part of the travel and accomodations, then do not marry at that destination! It is as simple as that. I also agree that weddings have gotten out of hand. These cceremonies and receptions are meant to celebrate the union of a couple and to allow their family and friends to share in their joy. They should not be gift-grabs. Gifts should be thoughtful, and should fit comfortable within each guest's budget. It is not their job to pay for or reimburse the couple for the costs of the wedding.
Also, consider renting bridesmaids gowns. This is a growing industry, and can save you lots of $.
Enjoy the weddings!