Am I a Bad Friend If I Can’t Afford a $15,000 Bridesmaid Dress?


AAPW: I worked hard for my money (and I'm not about to blow it)

by Liz Moorhead, Editor, Ask APW

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Q: I have been asked to be a bridesmaid by a longtime (over fifteen years) and very dear friend. This woman is the sister I never had, and we’re closer to each other than we are to many of our own family members. I happily said yes without realizing that her tastes and budget far, far exceed mine.

She is marrying into a great deal of money, and she’s having a huge, expensive wedding. That’s fine. The problem is that the dresses she selected for her bridesmaids START at $7,000. That’s right—$7,000 is the price of the cheapest of her choices, and that does NOT include alterations, shoes, jewelry, hair, make up, etc. The dress that she favors comes in at $15,000 before alterations.

She did not give us any kind of warning that the dresses she is considering are so expensive. I’m working, but spending $7,000 plus on a dress that I will wear for less than one day (not even) and then never wear it again (it is beautiful, but it is bridal) is an expense I cannot justify. And if she opts for her favorite, at $15,000 before alterations…

I know that being a member of the wedding party is expensive. When she announced her engagement and when she asked me to be a bridesmaid, I immediately started trying to save, but I didn’t think that being part of her wedding would be this expensive. I am also hurt that she didn’t give me a heads-up but waited until we were at the salon and looking at her choices. I pulled her aside and told her that I would have to back out of being a bridesmaid, and I told her WHY (that I cannot afford the dress she chose, nor the shoes, the accessories, alterations, and more). I told her that I would be happy to participate in another way (perhaps do a reading), and if that wasn’t possible, then I would be content to be a guest. She was very, very upset with me, told me that I couldn’t back out, etc. The wedding is still a year from now so I would think there is time for her to ask someone else to be a bridesmaid.

Since then, I’ve called her and emailed her and she hasn’t responded. I finally wrote her a long letter, explaining that I valued her as a person and our friendship, and that I very much wanted to be a part of her wedding, but that unfortunately a $15,000 dress and even a $7,000 dress is completely out of my budget. I have a job but after rent, insurance, loans, and other expenses, I sometimes have to skip meals in order to save even a little for emergencies.

The thing is, she grew up like me—working class poor and didn’t have much. Her fiancé is a great guy and I’m truly happy for her, but I’m hurt that she did not ask me what I could afford to spend on a bridesmaid dress, shoes, and accessories. I have enough debt as it is, and I can’t and won’t spend $20,000 just on the bridesmaid accoutrements. I’d have to borrow to do it.

But now she’s mad at me and sent me a letter in return telling me how hurt she was that I backed out, that obviously I don’t value her or our long friendship because if I did, I would be there for her wedding. She said that none of the other bridesmaids nor the maid of honor backed out (maid of honor is her sister; other bridesmaids are her fiancé’s sisters, and her fiancé’s family is paying for their dresses, etc.) so that tells her that I don’t care about her. She said that I don’t deserve her and she is never talking to me again.

Have you ever heard of anything like this? Are brides now so unreasonable that they don’t take their bridesmaid’s budgets into account when selecting dresses? Should I have told her my limits re: the cost of the dress? She also told me that I was not welcome at her wedding. I am mourning the end of a fifteen-plus-year friendship, and am hurt and bewildered.

—Unhappy ex-bridesmaid and blacklisted ex-friend

A: Dear UEABE,

Most couples honestly don’t ask their bridal party about their budget before picking out dresses or tuxes or whatever else. But most couples don’t pick a $15,000 dress, holy crap.

It’d be awfully nice for her to consider her bridal party’s financial situation (I imagine most of the readers here tried to), but at the end of the day, your budget is your own personal responsibility, not hers. It’s your obligation to keep your finances in check and be vocal if some obligation is stretching you too thin. Which is exactly what you did! You were right, is what I’m saying here. Telling her you couldn’t afford it and stepping down were the entirely right decisions.

Everyone is in a different financial situation. But fifteen grand is… a lot. Even considering the fact that we’re not all coming from the same place financially, that’s a lot of money.

It was your choice to spend that lump of cash or opt out, and it was her choice how to respond to the news. She decided to take it personally, and frankly, I don’t know what you could’ve done to avoid that. It sucks. It’s just not your fault. You couldn’t have foreseen a $15,000 dress, and you couldn’t just dig in the couch to find that money once it was proposed. Her hurt feelings suck, but they’re unfounded and not your responsibility.

You say your friend had the same financial background as you before meeting this guy, but I’m wondering if she just cannot relate to “not being able to afford it.” Even folks who consider themselves on the same financial page are usually in very different places. In trying very hard (so very hard) to give the benefit of the doubt here, I’m thinking maybe she just cannot fathom how you can’t afford this dress, and assumes that means you’re prioritizing other things above her wedding (which you are—rent and food and electricity). But on the other, wide-eyed judgey hand—this girl has lost her mind. Fifteen thousand dollars for a dress? That’s crazy talk, and her accusatory response was out of line. Maybe after the wedding is over, she’ll find her common sense again. But till then, you’ve done what you can, and I would try not to give it another blessed thought.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ASK APW A QUESTION, PLEASE DON’T BE SHY! IF YOU WOULD PREFER NOT TO BE NAMED, ANONYMOUS QUESTIONS ARE ALSO ACCEPTED. (THOUGH IT REALLY MAKES OUR DAY WHEN YOU COME UP WITH A CLEVER SIGN-OFF!)

P.S. We know, we thought we were being trolled too… but we did some digging, and all we can say, is we give this AAPW a very high chance of being 100% real.

Liz Moorhead

Liz is an illustrator and writer who paints custom stationery and types up impassioned opinions about weddings, etiquette, feminism and motherhood (usually while shaking a fist and mumbling expletives around mouthfuls of cheese fries). Her spare time is spent sipping bourbon with her husband and playing Don’t Throw That in the Toilet with her sons.

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  • Kari

    You’ve done absolutely nothing wrong here, and you’ve certainly tried to honour your friendship by being rational and reasonable. I know it feels like a wrench to lose the friendship, but if she doesn’t see how ludicrous this financial scenario is then it’s her loss, not yours.

    Good luck to you!

  • Eenie

    It’s sad to see a friendship end, but even if you magically won enough money to cover the dress, this issue will continue to crop up. It’s hard to spend time with people who have more money than you and don’t comprehend trying to find economical things to do. Yes it sucks, but I don’t think this issue of money and consideration for others’ financial situation will go away with the wedding, so please be prepared for that as well.

  • Charley

    If you explained to her that you simply cannot afford to participate due to the cost of the dress, and you being in the wedding is important to her, she could have offered to buy it for you. (Sidenote: this is customary in the UK anyway, the couple pays for the bridesmaids’ dresses).
    Her unwillingness to hear you on this doesn’t bode well for your friendship going forwards though. Can she really not remember what it is like not to have much money? What other expensive activities will you be expected to take part in in the future? If she can’t be considerate enough to accommodate your differing financial situations, I would consider cutting your losses here.

    • Eenie

      This. I’m not as much worried about the fact that the dress costed $15k. If it costed even an average amount and you explained you couldn’t afford it, her reaction was not acceptable. Acceptable reactions:
      1. Ok!
      2. I think I can cover the cost of the dress if you’re comfortable with that.
      3. What were you thinking it would cost? (then choosing a dress in budget)
      4. I’d love for you to participate by doing XYZ instead!

    • brooksienne

      Good point about future activities. I shudder to think what the bachelorette will entail.

  • La’Marisa-Andrea

    This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read on Ask APW. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around asking and or expecting someone to spend $15k on a dress to be in my wedding and then being offended that a person couldn’t to boot. That you felt you had to explain your financial situation to her is absurd Bc what she’s expecting anyone to spend is. I’m sorry that a 15 year friendship your value ended over something like this but she’s right, you don’t deserve her. You don’t deserve a friend who would be so callous and insensitive and treat you this way. I hope you are able to heal from this and that your other friends show that they truly value you in their lives.
    You sound like an awesome friend

    • Violet

      I agree, this is absurd. Maybe this letter isn’t real? I know advice columnists get fake letters sometimes. I can believe there are some people out there who would pick a 15K bridesmaid dress. But even assuming that part is true, the bride’s response (given their 15-year, as-close-as-family friendship) shocks me more than the price.

      • Eenie

        I personally think it’s fake, but the advice is still good. Substitute an amount that seems high to you. I can’t even find a bridesmaid dress online that would be 15k. I want to know what her wedding dress looks like!

        • Kristen Gormley

          That didn’t even occur to me that it might be fake but now I kind of think it is?!?

        • It has to be fake. What does a $15,000 dress even look like? lol

          • Serafina

            Unless she’s making them all also buy designer wedding dresses?

      • La’Marisa-Andrea

        Or this is like some Tyler Perry movie where one of the sisters goes off and marries super rich guy and has super rich lifestyle and when she comes home for Christmas she doesn’t eat greens and cornbread no more.
        Idk girl.

        • RoseTyler

          Rich or poor I’m not eating greens …. but who in their right mind doesn’t eat cornbread! (allergies etc. notwithstanding!)

        • Kayla

          This is sort of what I thought. Maybe the friend has found herself a rich-ass fiance, and she’s pretending that she too is solidly upper-upper-class, and now she’s freaking out that her close friend and bridesmaid dares to admit being a poor person. (And by poor, I mean not insanely, extravagantly rich.)

          Friend might have just lost her damn mind, but she also might be desperately trying to pretend that she and all her friends and family fit in with her ultra-rich in-laws.

          • I misread this as “solidly upper-middle-class” and thought well, crap, the income lines done cataclysmically shifted on me again.

      • Vanessa

        I wondered if maybe she was off by a decimal point. $750/$1500 are still a shit ton of money to spend on a dress, but approaching an amount that feels less fictional.

        • Violet

          Right, or at least, less fictional vis a vis where both bride and LW are coming from financially combined with the closeness of their relationship. Something about the HUGE price tag plus supposedly REALLY significant relationship devolving like this feels… off to me. Again, I totally believe people out there pick 15K dresses. And I totally believe emotions run high at weddings and people get upset when they think someone is not going the extra mile for them, even a close friend. But being this upset over that much money when the relationship is that important? Just not adding up for me.

        • laddibugg

          Even on ‘Say Yes to the Dress’, $15,000 is more than enough money for them to find a lovely WEDDING dress.

        • Alanna Cartier

          I’m wondering if it’s some fancy made to order designer type thing. Jenny Packham, not of the rack maybe?

      • Lisa

        That’s what I thought. Like this is trolling, pure and simple.

      • Serafina

        I had the same thought — can this letter be real? Does someone actually think that $15,000 for a bridesmaid dress is actually something you can request of someone? It doesn’t make any sense to me.

    • VKD_Vee

      I feel like I came here to write exactly this. This woman’s friend is an insane person.

    • SC

      +1

  • RoseTyler

    I can’t imagine spending 7-15K on a bridesmaid dress or asking someone else to do so. Were these dresses made of gold?! My first wedding dress cost just over $3K and I couldn’t believe I was spending THAT much money on an item of clothing. I know many folks do spend more, but WOW.

    • La’Marisa-Andrea

      It’s a ridiculous amount of money even if we are all millionaires and got it like that. If I had $15k lying around that I didn’t need I wouldn’t spend it on this. This is probably one of the most entitled brides I’ve ever read about.

    • Roselyne

      That’s a year and a half of my mortgage payments, OR tuition and rent for a full university program (Quebec prices, obv). I don’t CARE how good a friend you are, I will NEVER prioritize a dress for someone’s wedding over housing or schooling or taking care of my kids. And I’d consider it a bullet dodged if someone DID make it a criteria for friendship.

  • Hannah Paige Woodard

    In my personal opinion, if a bridesmaid can’t afford the dress the bride has requested, a good friend would either step in and help her buy it or understand when she declines. It sucks that your friend doesn’t get it, but you did nothing wrong here. It’s possible that wedding planning is just making her crazy and eventually she’ll regret her decision/apologize to you, but if not, I don’t think you need that kind of toxicity in your life. Here’s hoping she’ll come to her senses someday!

    • Roselyne

      “In my personal opinion, if a bridesmaid can’t afford the dress the bride
      has requested, a good friend would either step in and help her buy it
      or understand when she declines.”

      ^This.

      And this, regardless of the cost of the dress. I have some friends who are skirting (/under) the poverty line, and you wouldn’t necessarily know it to look at them because they HUSTLE, but even if the dress was 100$ (which… is not unusual for a dress, right? Most people wouldn`t think twice about that for a bridesmaid’s dress, or would think it was cheap?), those friends would absolutely not be able to afford it. And I’d feel super-shitty saying that someone’s friendship was contingent on them spending money they can’t afford. (Granted, if they’re going on 3 cruises that summer, I might feel kinda bad about their priorities, but you can’t know the realities of someone else’s financial situation, so regardless…)

      • RoseTyler

        Yes. This was exactly my debate in choosing bridesmaid dresses – I knew my people. One was married with a new baby, and a couple were fresh out of school and hadn’t found jobs yet … yay recession. $150 or so was pushing it.

        • Eenie

          Target has some super cute affordable dresses. I wore one to a wedding 2 months before a friend’s wedding – it cost $40 and looked eerily similar (and fit better) than the $200+ JCrew dresses.

          • RoseTyler

            nice! I’ll remember this for wedding #2 :)

          • Amanda

            I was in a wedding in which everyone was just going bananas over not picking a dress (the maids HATED the brides choice and the bride HATED the dress they were all gunning for–I was the only one on the bride’s side). So one day, she and I went to H&M and bought six dresses in a bunch of sizes and said, “godspeed.” Personally, I’d rather spend $150 on nicer fabric than $60 on shitty fabric (I think that’s too much money for something so cheap), but I get that isn’t everyone’s priorities. It was done.

        • Caitlin

          Sort of tangential to the topic at hand, but I’m doing mix and match little black dresses for my upcoming wedding out of thoughts on choosing for my people. That way those who want can use it as an excuse to treat themselves to a dress that they will actually wear again and those still in school could wear something they already have or borrow one of mine. Bonus that it works great for transitioning from the formal ceremony to the laid back reception!

      • Sparkles

        This is exactly why I let my bridesmaids choose their own dresses. I was just going to let them choose whatever, and then they told me I was being too vague, so when we went wedding dress shopping together they pulled me aside and got me to pick out some bridesmaid dresses I liked the look of so they had an idea. I think some of them were able to spend $20 on their dresses and some of them who could afford it spent more, but they all looked hot.

        • Roselyne

          Hah! Same here: I had a bridesmaid (who is my super-fashion-aware sister) and a bridesdude… so I told my sister to ‘pick a dress you look good in’, and the bridesdude matched his tie to it.

        • Yup, me too. Provide some solid guidelines and then let them spend whatever they are comfortable with. I have no interest in putting people in uncomfortable financial positions. Just show up and party with me.

        • Sarah

          On the day of my wedding, all my bridesmaids were in the room getting ready with me and comparing notes on how cheap their (black, knee-length, self-chosen) dresses were. “Nice, you got yours at an estate sale for $20? Mine is from Marshalls, $16!”

          I’ve never been so proud, or so sure I’d picked the right people to stand up next to me.

      • Basketcase

        One of my bridesmaids was a student. $60 on special from a high-street store for her dress was as about as much as she could afford for the dress, and her shoes were bought much later, also on sale, for about $50. That was also all I was willing to ask her to pay, knowing what its like to be in that financial situation, having only just recently left it myself at the time.

    • Caroline

      For sure. We asked my best friend to hold the chuppah. We didn’t ask him to wear anything specific, but we also knew he didn’t have any semi-formal wear and was really struggling with money, and would look out of place without a suit or a sports coat so we offered to buy him one. It was about $100, but even that is a lot of money sometimes for some people.

      $15,000 is a lot, and the same principle applies.

      • Basketcase

        My brother and one of my oldest friends were our drivers, and two of our good friends were our ushers. Three of the four already owned suits, so that was easy. My brother got kitted out by my parents – a nice shirt and dress pants (he didn’t want a suit jacket, which was fine). We could have done it, but the timing for us was really tight, and my parents went to see him a couple of months before the wedding and sorted it for us as a treat.

    • Amanda

      My MOH (and only maid) and I were looking at dresses, and kept gravitating to the expensive styles ($300 range). I was planning on surprising her at the store & either buying her dress or splitting it with her, depending on the final $$. This girl has been a maid 5 times in two years, and was underemployed during part of that time. But then she intimated that she was worried about the price, so I told her my offer. She was so freaking happy. She maybe even jumped up and down. Who wouldn’t want their friend to feel a little relief??

  • Eenie

    I wanted to post some pictures of $15k bridesmaid dresses and found this instead:

    • La’Marisa-Andrea

      Ha! I’m being totally judgmental here about this dress! And not even from girl what are you thinking point of view. More like in what world did you not consider this is a lot of money to ask folks to spend?!

    • Meg

      lol amazing, also it’s reminding me that my entire wedding definitely cost less than this bridesmaid dress!!!

      • Kristen Gormley

        Same! Well, just about ;)

      • Alice

        Right?! My down payment on my house was like 1/3 of that.

    • EF

      you wouldn’t even find it by searching though, would you. it’d be one of those places that doesn’t list prices, because if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

    • KH_Tas

      So far I’ve found $1K flower girl dresses, but the fancy bridesmaid dresses don’t have price tags.

    • Meg Keene

      I almost choked on my lunch. True story.

  • Just to try to give the bride the benefit of the doubt (tho I agree she’s in the wrong here): the LW mentioned that the bride came from the same working-class background that she did, and is now marrying into money. Maybe that transition has been really hard for her and created a lot of insecurities about the way she relates to her future spouse’s family, and she’s trying so hard to fit into that world that she’s embarrassed by the fact that she had a friend who can’t afford a 15K dress.
    That is still a really horrible reason to treat the LW the way that she did, but I think a lot of times, wedding stress comes from trying to balance your childhood self with your current self as you carve out this new “married” identity. But maybe I just don’t want to believe that there are people who think that 15K isn’t a lot of money to spend on a dress!!

    • La’Marisa-Andrea

      You’re sooo much nicer than me. I think sometimes people act like jerks and it is what it is, wedding stress or not. This, her reaction really, is a jerk move.

      • Ha, I agree the bride is being a jerk, and I think the LW is totally justified in abandoning the friendship at this point. But I thought it might be useful to think through the issue at a slightly more… relatable? level. I could see similar tensions playing out with the bride who grew up non-religious, converted, and now wants her atheist best friend to “just say amen” during the ceremony, or grew up Mormon but now wants all the bridesmaids to drink the champagne toast, etc etc. It’s still never justified in any of those cases IMO, but I think the APW commentators can understand how those situations could develop better than we can wrap our heads around a 15K dress. (I mean, every time I type 15K dress I throw up a little in my mouth. :P)

        • Meg

          Yeah, I really just hope the bride realizes how messed up this is and apologizes to her friend. I totally get how she can get swept up in this, trying to please these rich people.

          • Kayla

            Going out on a limb here, but I think the bride is probably trying to get rid of her childhood friends. They are evidence that she didn’t grow up rich.

    • Amy March

      I hate to be the one sticking up for the 1% here, but I think even most of them understand that not everyone has $15,000 to spend on a bridesmaid dress!

      • Eenie

        But to Jessica’s point, the bride isn’t a 1% person. She’s (potentially) marrying into a family that is.

        • Basketcase

          Yeah, I can see how that might totally screw with her preception too, trying to willfully forget that she is from a less priviledged background – especially if she is having to swallow dead rats about it to fit in with husbands family, who probably see her (rightly or wrongly) as a gold digger.

    • Kayla

      This exactly. I have seen actual real life people do this.

      Which… that doesn’t make it even remotely okay. But I think it does make it make more sense.

  • brooksienne

    Major Bridezilla penalty flag thrown!!! HOLY CRAP!

    I could do all sorts of speculation on class issues involved in jumping up several levels… Oh, wait, I did, and my initial take is this is an instance where someone who doesn’t know how the wealthy really behave, or maybe only sees how one small segment of the wealthy behave, and is trying to act wealthy. Old Money wouldn’t pick a $7K bridesmaid dress, and certainly wouldn’t throw a massive hissy if someone couldn’t afford it. And if an Old Money Gal did, you can bet Old Money Gal’s grandparents would look on with GREAT disapproval.

    But, I digress.

    LW, I am so very sorry your dear, longtime friend is behaving this way. I cannot imagine the shock and hurt you are feeling right now. But trust me – YOU are not in the wrong here. Your friend is. She is revealing herself to be small and insecure. I’m sure you are not the only longtime friend she is alienating. The best thing you can do is take the high road. Even if you are not invited to wedding, send the couple a gift along with a note expressing your happiness as their union and best wishes for the future. And then grieve the loss of this friendship. Maybe she will come around, maybe not. But even if she does come to her senses your friendship will be changed.

    • RoseTyler

      and short of being Microsoft or Apple, new money didn’t become new money by spending like this.

    • A.

      Yeah, this is Palm Beach Donald Trump Kardashian kind of nonsense. I’m actually inclined to believe this letter is real because I know those types of folks (my high school had a My Super Sweet 16 episode filmed in our hallways, TWICE)

      • Kayla

        I think it’s real. I have met people who would be judgmental about guests not wearing designer attire to their weddings. I can only imagine that their bridesmaids would have to be in designer gowns.

    • Amanda

      Yesssss Old Money does. not. do. this. And would be fucking offended. Not even grandma side-eye. Like, grandma side-eye & getting an inheritance halved in secret. In the U.S., social status and wealth are often closely entwined, but when I hear about someone trying to drop that much money for show…I get *very* Lady Dowager on that shit. I just was to scream “You guys know that the Great Gatsby is social satire and *NOT* aspirational, right?!”

  • Kay

    UEABE, this whole situation is actually bonkers. You did nothing wrong, nor did you deserve to basically get turned into Kristen Wiig’s character in the “Bridesmaids” dress shopping scene (minus food poisoning, hopefully).

    You should absolutely allow yourself to mourn the end of the friendship. I will add that if you aren’t ready to let go entirely, I’d reach out to the sister/MOH. If your friend grew up working class poor, her sister also did, and maybe the sister would be less drunk on riches than the bride appears to be and more able to understand your position. That said, I think you’re under no obligations to explain yourself further when it comes to not being able to afford a $15K dress. And while I’m at it, I’m slightly relieved for you that this happened when it did, before you bought even a $7K dress and then got the bill for whatever madness the bridal shower and bachelorette would be…

    • Basketcase

      Oh man, thats another consideration no-one has mentioned – the PARTIES… My word.
      LW, you have totally dodged a bullet here.

  • Amber Kay Maslanka

    This is complete insanity. My bridesmaids and I went shopping together and I didn’t even weigh in on their dresses much, except to say, “You look beautiful!” when they came out of the dressing room.

    Their dresses were all around $150-$175. But if one of them had come to me and said it was too much, I would have told them they could get a dress from Dress Barn or Old Navy that was a similar color. They can wear a paper bag for all I care. The most important thing to me is that they’re there because I want to celebrate with them, and that they’re comfortable and feel beautiful in what they’re wearing.

  • HannahESmith

    Am I the only one who is super curious to see this dress? Seriously, what does a 15K dress even look like?

    • Liz

      DYING TO SEE THIS DRESS.

      • Eenie

        I googled to no avail. Is it a ball gown? Covered is Swarovski crystals? Covered in 150 $100 bills? Can Maddie do a roundup?

        • Sarah E

          Omg, 150 $100 bills sewn together.

          So, not only it is $15000, but it’s also most likely a mini dress. But don’t worry! You can just shorten the hem when you need to tip the bartender.

          • Eenie

            Alterations actually give you money instead of cost money!

          • Sarah E

            And each time the seamstress makes a cut, the strip she cut off magically turns into a smaller denomination. When you pull a fuzzy off, you open your hand and find a penny/nickel.

        • NatalieN

          Seconding Maddie doing a round up for 15k bridesmaid dresses

        • VKD_Vee

          I demand an immediate APW round-up of “15 Bridesmaid Dresses over $10k That You Can’t Afford NOT To Force Upon Your Wedding Party!”

          • Eenie

            Some ppl have posted links, and there’s a surprising amount of Star Wars dresses! I feel like they’re overestimating the overlap between Star Wars FANS and ppl who spend 10k on a dress. For that much you’d get a super awesome cosplay costume…

          • Sparkles

            I want to see this round up really really badly.

        • Meg Keene

          Can. Maddie. Do. A. Roundup.

    • Caitlin

      @disqus_1zLnHrUvAQ:disqus below posted screenshots of Harrods and Selfridges, which both have 15k dresses! I choose to believe that LW was referring to this one: http://www.selfridges.com/US/en/cat/rodarte-r2d2-draped-silk-satin-gown_238-3003945-F967/?previewAttribute=Multi ;)

      • HannahESmith

        WORTH EVERY PENNY! Time to cash out my 401K…

      • Kayjayoh

        [dying]

      • YESSSSSS

      • Meg Keene

        She can’t NOT be, right?

      • Maddy

        well it is VERY special.

    • MABie

      I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit this, but I have seen a solid handful of episodes of SYTTD that feature BM dresses in this price range. They are, of course, custom designs by the inimitable PNINA TORNAI!

      But let it be said that in every episode I have seen in which the bride has selected a BM dress in this price range, she has paid for them…

      • Colleen

        I wish someone could explain to me the irresistible allure of the Pnina Tornai gown. I can’t wrap my head around spending so much money to wear a dress that often looks like lingerie with a long skirt attached. Those ladies on SYTTD are always throwing their budgets out the window as soon as they step into a Pnina. Are these dresses magic? Do they make the wearer feel like a super hero? Are the gems sewn on by actual fairies and angels? Would I understand the inability to keep a budget in mind if only I went and tried one on?

        • MABie

          RIGHT!!? I have seen exactly ONE Pnina dress that I liked — and I have watched nearly every episode of SYTTD. (It was the only thing I could watch while I was studying for the bar, for some reason.) My thought has always been that they must feel really incredible on your body. Otherwise, I just. Don’t. Get it.

          Also, Pnina herself scares the sh*t out of me.

          • Lisa

            This is EXACTLY how I feel. I’ve seen maybe two Pninas I’ve liked, and one of them was almost an exact replica of the dress my mother made me for my wedding. (Maybe that’s part of the magic Colleen mentioned her dresses have…?)

        • “Are these dresses magic?” was my thought when reading the OP. For 15k I would expect the dress to grant wishes- literally you rub the sequins and a genie comes out. Or wearing it transforms you into a Disney Princess, with trained woodland animals doing all your housework for you.

        • Amy March

          I’m not a fan of Pnina Tornai, but if you love it and you have the budget for it, go for it. They have a ton of work in them, a very unique look, and if you want something revealing but also sparkly but also lacy but also with a poofy skirt, they are great representations of the genre. And she often lines the lingerie dresses so they aren’t quite so revealing.

      • Meg Keene

        Damn it. Even though we did enough research to confirm that this letter was *probably really not a fake*, I was still choosing to believe it was a fake on the grounds that a $15K bridesmaid dress CANNOT EXSIST. But it does. Oh. God.

      • Maddy

        Hmm, I love the dress, but I just don’t like the skirt WELL THAT’S OK BECAUSE PNINA IS HERE TO MAKE YOUR DRESS DREAMS COME TRUEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111 <3 <3 <3 <3

    • NatalieN

      No, that was my reaction too. Does she want all of her bridesmaids to wear bridal gowns?

      • I’ve actually been in that wedding. The bridesmaids (of which I was one) were in fluffy white dresses with lace. When my partner and I left the reception to go back to our hotel, we were congratulated by one drunk woman and two honking cars.

        The bride’s dress, btw, was so enormous (hoop skirt plus two petticoats underneath) that she had to abandon the plan of her parents giving her away because they LITERALLY WOULDN’T FIT in the aisle of the church with her when she was wearing the dress.

  • EF

    what in the fresh hell is this.

    just…nope. nope. I’ve never been convinced that the UK standard of the couple buying the wedding party clothes was the best way forward…till now.

    like, could this bride, if $15K is reasonable for a dress for her, toss a dress or two (or 8) at my student loans? that’d be cool.

    I’m just gonna shake my head and thing about inequality for a while.

  • LucyPirates

    As I am about to be a bridesmaid for the 4th time and will be again, stories like this make me very glad I live in the UK… If the bride and groom decide to make their bridal team dress a certain way, then they foot the bill.
    I am more than happy to pay towards hen parties (or not) bridal showers (or not) etc but that is my choice.
    If you want to dictate to me which dress I must wear, that is no problem at all – even if I don’t especially like it, I will gladly wear with a smile… but I should not be expected to pay for it!

    This sounds like a scene from a movie in all its ridiculous glory – no matter how much money you have, that is one expensive ass dress. There is only one tiny sliver of hope that she actually misunderstood what you were objecting to and if that’s not the case… good luck to her and your life is about to become infinitely less stressful.

    Also, I have NEVER worn any of my bridesmaid dresses again (apart from that one time I went to fancy dress as Prom Night Barbie…) because they look like bridesmaids dresses!

    • emilyg25

      I’m so grateful I’ve never been a bridesmaid and that the one person who might ask me plans to just suggest a color. I make a good salary, but I don’t want to spend a couple hundred on a dress for one day. What a strange tradition.

      • Ashlah

        I was a bridesmaid just once and the bride picked a $20 department store dress and was super nervous to ask me to pay for it myself (which I happily did). It was a dress that a lot of people would wear again, but I won’t (too short for me), but I didn’t mind because she kept it cheap. Having considerate friends is super.

  • EF

    guys i have found expensive dresses.

    I went on the harrods and selfridges websites. these are all in GBP (times by 1.5 for USD).

    WHY IS THAT STAR WARS DRESS £11k!?

  • Lisa

    And I thought paying $275 for my bridesmaid dress in a color I can never wear again was a lot for my friend’s wedding! (Damn being too tall and have to pay for extra length, too.)

    LW, you did everything right here, and your (former) friend did everything wrong. I know how hard it is to lose a friendship, even when the friend has been treating you poorly for a while, and you have every right to mourn the loss of this friendship the way you would any other break-up or loss in your life. Give yourself time to grieve and sort through all of the feelings you have surrounding this break. Hopefully your friend will come to her senses at some point, but I would focus your energies on moving yourself forward instead.

    • Ashlah

      This. LW has every right to be upset with the way her friend has treated her, but I bet more than anything she’s mourning the potential loss of a valued friendship. Losing a friend is hard. Take care of yourself, LW. It’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to just be sad, it’s okay to be entirely confused. You’ll probably feel all three depending on the minute. I lost an important friendship 6 years ago, and still when I talk about it, sometimes I need to vent angrily about how I was treated, and other times I’m just sad and miss her. I agree with Lisa. I hope your friend comes around, but either way, focus on yourself right now.

    • Meg Keene

      AND NOW YOU FEEL BETTER. $275! You got out for cheap!

  • Amy March

    Obviously, a 15K bridesmaid dress is completely absurd. What interests me about this letter is why the letter writer didn’t immediately laugh it off herself. Apologies, letters of explanation- what? All this calls for is “hahahahhahahah there’s no way I can afford that what on earth are you thinking have you even met me.”

    If this letter isn’t fake, I think soon to be former bridesmaid has some real work to do on developing her own confidence and backbone. When a friend does something completely out of the realm of normal, you don’t write her a long letter of apologetic explanation.

    • Julia

      “hahahahhahahah there’s no way I can afford that what on earth are you thinking have you even met me.” <<< my reaction.

    • La’Marisa-Andrea

      Right. And also: I NEVER explain the details of my finances to people. If I can’t afford something, I feel no shame, embarrassment or need to explain why. ALL of us has a limit on what we can spend bc money isn’t infinite and I’m ok saying sorry, can’t do that, I can’t afford that. And none of my friends have ever made me feel bad bc of it.

      • Danielle

        “That’s not in the budget.” — something I heard my German colleague say once about a proposed trip, and just loved her straightforward, clear-cut approach! No shame, emotions or extra detail — very German and very effective!

    • Liz

      I think it’s possible she just didn’t know if this is a crazy request in life in general, or simply a crazy request to her and her budget, specifically. I sometimes have a complex about being “the poor friend,” and as recently as two months ago someone asked me to pay for something that was out of my budget. I had to sort of covertly ask friends, “Psst… is this a crazy amount to spend on this thing, or am I just naive?” (Friends agreed it was a crazy amount to spend on that thing. But I honestly didn’t know! I just knew I would never spend it.)

      • Amy March

        ITS 15 THOUSAND DOLLARS WHAT THOUGH

        I mean, I agree with your point that yes, affordable is different for everyone, and there are a lot of dress amounts where this wouldn’t be as clear cut. But I think a solid take home is that it’s okay to just be confident in your own assessment- if you’re thinking a request is completely outside the realm of possible, trust your instinct because you are right.

        • tr

          Seriously, there are many, many gray areas out there. A $500 bridesmaid dress and $200 Kate Spade heels? Depending on background, people could disagree as to whether that’s nuts or not. A bachelorette trip to Vegas? Again, reasonable minds could differ.
          However, NOBODY IN THEIR RIGHT FREAKIN’ MIND THINKS $15k BRIDESMAID DRESSES ARE NORMAL!!!!!!

          • Alanna Cartier

            Also- if the friend is so rich now that she can scoff at $15,000, wouldn’t it make sense that she could just pay for the dress? I mean, if there friendship is that valuable and she wants he friend to be in the wedding so much…

    • laddibugg

      Even Liz’s response is way too long for me lol………

      • La’Marisa-Andrea

        Right?

        Here’s my short version: Girl, bye.

    • macrain

      Maybe some people can write off a lifelong friend after she does something weird like this, but I don’t think I could. Unless there is a pattern of behavior like this, I would absolutely want to attempt to salvage things. This does not mean I lack a backbone.

      • Amy March

        Who said anything about writing her off? There’s a huge path between writing her off with no attempt to salvage and attempting to salvage by apologizing and explaining and justifying your own perfectly reasonable behavior.

        If you don’t have the confidence to say you can’t afford $15,000 on a dress without feeling the need to apologize or second guess yourself, I do think you need a big boost of backbone. (ETA generic you- not meaning you macrain specifically here).

        • macrain

          You said all she should do is laugh hysterically at the bride and leave it at that. Her letter, which you are admonishing, was an attempt to salvage the friendship.
          Maybe you didn’t say write her off explicitly, but it doesn’t look like you are exactly on team “work things out.”

          • Amy March

            What I’m saying is attempt to salvage the friendship without apologizing. Sure, reach out. “Hey, I was really disappointed that you weren’t more considerate of my budget. It’s not like you to be unkind like that. Is something else going on?” Or “You seem really stressed. I don’t want to add to that. I’d love to talk- let me know when you want to connect and I’ll be here.”

            In that moment though? When someone says that they expect you to spend $15,000 on a dress? Yeah. I think hysterical laughter is a solid choice.

          • K.

            I don’t even think I could *help* the hysterical laughter if one of my friends asked me that. It wouldn’t be a CHOICE, it would be an involuntary impulse, 1/4 out of discomfort (if it were possible the request were serious) and 3/4 out of sublime absurdity. Because…WHAT?!

    • Alison O

      Yeah, unless this was consistent with a pattern of behavior, in which case I doubt I would be friends with this person, I would wonder if my friend was actually experiencing some kind of impaired cognitive or dissociative state. It’s just too bizarre. I can’t imagine feeling even remotely self-conscious or bad about myself for declining to purchase a $1000 dress, much less $15K, regardless of the friend’s response.

      • Lindsay Rae

        That was my thought… if these girls have been like family for 15 years.. how could this be a new thing for the bride to have this expensive taste/style without warning??

    • yup, I would have had only one response to this request.

    • brooksienne

      She was probably too damn shocked to think to play it cool. If it were me I’d probably spend the entire session in a dazed, anxious panic.

  • eating words

    This is insanity. LW, I am so sorry that your former friend doesn’t seem to know what friendshp actually means. Since when is a dress more important than a fifteen-year friendship? Since when is your financial capacity a measure of your regard for someone? You’re generous for even *thinking* you might have been the one in the wrong here.

    Elsewhere in the thread there are some good insights about how this could have just been the beginning: not just the shower and bachelorette, but about how she’d want to spend (ha) time with you if this is any indidication of her new priorities.

  • Kristen Gormley

    This is blowing my mind. I read ALL THE WEDDING BLOGS, look at ALL THE PINTEREST STUFF, and I am a wedding planner on the side. Never have I ever encountered such a ludicrous situation! Wow. Just, wow.

  • Alexandra

    This has to be fake. It’s such a classic problem, just exaggerated for satirical purposes.

    Thanks to APW, I used littleborroweddress.com (which I’ve noticed is now something else, but still super awesome) and my gift to my bridesmaids was to pay for the rentals myself. I will be patting myself on the back for that for the rest of my life. I’m a fairly frugal person and spending $200 on a bridesmaid dress has irked me every time I’ve had to do it I’ve smiled all the way through each experience, and never said a word, but I have to admit: irked. $200 is a lot of money for a dress you don’t even get to pick out yourself! And ordinarily I’m super good at finding great stuff on clearance.

    • K.

      I didn’t pay for the rentals (wish I had thought of that!), but I also used LBD (now UnionStation.com, just fyi :) –they are so great!). I thought it was very telling that ZERO of my bridesmaids (5 out of 6 super feminine types) purchased the dress in order to do their own alterations and ALL of them thanked me profusely for offering a lower cost option that didn’t require cluttering their closet. And they looked fabulous on the day to boot! I will endorse Union Station to the moon and back.

  • WOW. That’s…a lot. I’m really surprised that she didn’t offer to cover your expenses, especially since all the other bridesmaids are not paying out of pocket. When you decide to have a super expensive wedding, I think most reasonable people recognize that it’s a hurdle for others, and offer to cover all or some of the costs. I’m really surprised she didn’t do that. I wonder how she can be so upset that you cannot afford to participate without ever really considering if you can afford her choices.

    I really hope this isn’t the end of your friendship, as you said, this is the sister you never had. But at the same time…sometimes friendships run their course, and this may be the ending for you two. You may be diverging and moving on different paths, which is ok. Whatever happens, best of luck OP!

  • Sara

    I know everyone is focusing on the insane amount of money that the dress costs (because it is) but I think that the LW is more concerned about the end of this lifelong friendship. LW – i’m not sure how far into the wedding planning this has gotten, but there is a good chance that the bride has either (a) been completely blinded/overwhelmed by a huge class shift for herself and her desire to not ’embarrass’ herself in front of her future in-laws is making her nutty or (b) she’s honestly just being a bridezilla. Both options have potential to wear off after some time. I’ve never had something this extreme happen, but I did have a best friend tell me she was considering not inviting me to her wedding because she thought I might cause drama. The drama was in her head, I was completely bewildered. When she had time to cool off and destress, things were great between us. Try to be her friend from the sidelines, maybe talk to her sister if you and her are close. But don’t take this personally – there isn’t something you could have done differently. Money makes people do crazy things, she might be very scared they won’t accept her. Hopefully she’ll come to her senses, but it might be after the wedding, or further down the line.

    • Jess

      I would be REALLY interested in a follow up on your point A: that the bride has “been completely blinded/overwhelmed by a huge class shift for herself and her desire to not ’embarrass’ herself in front of her future in-laws is making her nutty” because this would totally be something I could relate to (definitely not on the $15K scale, but whatever). There is a reason people’s behavior can classify them as new or old money (right or wrong, that exists). Going from working-class to $$$$$$$ is a very large shift, with a lot of imposter feelings.

      This said, I totally side with Liz’s advice of doing what you have to in order to care for your financial situation. This is insanity.

      I would definitely make a side conversation to her sister if possible, just to say to somebody less in-the-moment, “Hey, I really want to be there for her. I really cannot afford to do it in this way. Please help her understand that?” Because at some point, the coming-down-from-money-high will probably happen, and having some roots would not be a bad thing for the bride.

    • Kayla

      I totally think it’s A, but I don’t think it’s very likely to wear off. This bride is looking for reasons to cut ties from her working-class life, IMO.

      If I were the friend, the question I’d ask the bride is, “So hey, are you still down to be friends with us common people, or do I have to make a quick billion for us to stay friends?” That feels like the real issue here.

  • Nell

    Anyone who picks a dress over their friends is doing it wrong. Sorry, I know we try to create a space of non-judgment. . . but if you want someone in your wedding, you want them in your wedding REGARDLESS. I told my bridesmaids “navy, knee length.” One said “can I wear this sorta navy, sorta grey dress?” I said fine. One said “I have a long navy dress, is that ok?” I said fine. I had friends who told me I should have “stood up for my choices.” That’s Pinterest talking, not real friendship.

    • Amy March

      Eh, I think “real friendship” can also include- “no, really, navy and knee length please.” On the one hand you have “I love you whatever you wear” but on the other I think you can have “wait, but can you show up for me on this completely reasonable request though?” Obviously you need to be conscious of your bridesmaids’ budgets, but within that constraint I think you can be a real friend and a friend who just wants them to show up in what they were told to wear.

      • K.

        I totally agree with this, but especially if we also take body comfort into consideration. If someone doesn’t feel good about themselves while wearing a strapless dress (for instance), I also think it’s a very kind thing not to force your good friend into one just for the sake of uniformity. But otherwise, yeah, yup, totally.

        • Amy March

          Yes fully agree- many different facets of reasonable to consider.

        • RoseTyler

          yes. one of my bridesmaids religious convictions necessitated knee length and long-sleeves. I chose a dress that almost worked and she added a jacket for coverage.

  • dearabbyp

    Sorry, all I can think is this.

    • K.

      This is my favorite AD quote. I use it all the time. Maaaaaybe because my grandmother IS Lucille (which is funny to realize when you’re watching AD and *only* when you’re watching AD…)

    • MABie

      Aaaand I think you just won APW.

    • dearabbyp

      I don’t know you guys. I’ve been thinking about this a lot (admittedly, maybe too much).

      What if the bride IS Lucille Bluth? And she’s finally getting married to Oscar? I always thought those crazy lovebirds would end up together. This makes the LW Lucille Austero (naturally), who even those she has plenty of money, has worked hard for it and doesn’t want to shell out $15K for Lucille’s crazy second wedding.

      The people want to know, LW! Your secret identity has been uncovered!

      Also: is there a market for Arrested Development fan fiction?

      • Meg Keene

        I THINK THIS IS THE ONLY EXPLANATION.

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  • april

    Umm, our whole wedding (with 100 guests!) wasn’t much more than $15,000. So, yeah … I’d say that’s an unreasonable amount to spend on a bridesmaid’s dress.

  • Stella

    Seriously, this has to be made up — 15K for a bridesmaids dress before alterations? Pippa Middleton’s custom alexander mcqueen was apparently 20K. Are these people royalty?

    • Danielle

      “Dear AAPW, My best friend is marrying Prince Harry…”

      • La’Marisa-Andrea

        LMAO!!!!!!!

      • La’Marisa-Andrea

        But really my best really IS marrying Prince Harry.

      • Amy March

        When I do, I promise a “How We Did It” post.

  • Meredith

    oh my. That’s as much as I just used as a down payment on my first home. That’s probably only okay for, like, Beyonce to ask Solange to spend that much on her bridesmaid dress.

    • K.

      And even then, Solange could totally be like “B, your net worth is $245M more than mine. You’re picking up the check on this one.”

  • champagnetaste

    Oh stop. I actually just signed up to Disqus so that I could comment here. This is utter nonsense. It’s got to be made up. This cannot be a situation in real life. If it is, then the LW needs to stop with the unnecessary handwringing. Letters of explanation? No way. Accept your “friend” has lost her mind and move on with your life with this hilarious anecdote forever at your disposal when you need to make people laugh. That said, I still think this is fake because, hello, madness.

    • emilyg25

      As a serious advice column aficionado, I typically dislike the “This is fake!” chatter, but I just refuse to believe this is real. That’s how ridiculous it is to 1. pick out a $7-15K bridesmaid dress and 2. give your friend a hard time if she then declines.

      • champagnetaste

        Agreed. I like the AAPW section on the whole although I do often think “Really? This seems obvious to me” while appreciating the LW needs the back up. This though?! Straight up nonsense. This is just not a thing.

      • Eenie

        I hate the this is fake chatter too. But I really think the advice is still solid if you put a cheaper, yet still expensive to you dress in the equation.

        • Saxyrunner

          Agreed. As far as the advice goes, the exact price is irrelevant.

        • CMT

          Yeah, but half of the comments on this post are about how insane the $15k price is, *not* about what people would do/have done in other situations with expensive requests. So I think the “this is fake” chatter is warranted.

          • Eenie

            That’s because $15k is insane! But there is other very good solid advice from Liz and in the comments (especially about how watching a 15 year friendship end). I personally don’t feel the need to smoke out fake letters to advice columnists (regular Dear Prudie reader!). Maybe it’s fake. I just don’t really care.

    • Chris

      I’m joining the this is fake train. It all seems so implausible, and kind of designed to be clickbait. I mean, who can resist saying: that dress cost more than my car/wedding/mortgage-for-a-year/etc. . . !

      • Meg Keene

        Well WE didn’t make it up, I guarantee you that. Look, ya’ll, I am not that talented. I can’t make up something that crazy.

        OBVIOUSLY our first guess was that we were being trolled, but we did our research and came to the depressing conclusion that there was an extremely good chance we were not being trolled.

        There was also excessive staff debate about if it was a typo, but there are other numbers in the letter so it can’t be, and I pointed out, it’s not like a $1,500K dress would be fine either. Just… 10X better… I suppose.

        • Bee

          Result is the best comment thread in a long time!

    • BeeAssassin

      Just wanted to chime in to folks who think this is a trolling – this is absolutely a thing. I used to have to work with people who described salaries as “low seven figures”, bought luxury condos and cars in cash, and thought $200k a year was a poverty wage (“how would you ever be able to RETIRE on that?!” is a question I actually had to answer once). I think if I hadn’t glimpsed that world I might also wonder if this was made up, but trust me – there are absolutely people out there who wouldn’t blink at $15k for a bridesmaids dress. It’s truly amazing what obscenely wealthy people can waste their money on, and how much their sense of reality is skewed.

  • lolwut

    • ItsyBit

      ^Perfect response.

  • I spent less than $15K on my CAR. How could ANYONE think that a dress for that amount is feasible or reasonable for the average gal?! As almost everyone has said on this thread: this is insanity.

  • greenish

    How is this even remotely a thing. If you want your ‘maids to wear anything that isn’t off the high street, you should fricking pay for it without even being ASKED.

    Seriously. If this actually is a thing, we need a phrase for it. Hos before clothes? Girls before garb?

  • Saxyrunner

    I’m comparing the cost of this dress with my salary, and I just… that fraction is too large. 1/3 of my money for a year just cannot go to a dress, end of story.

    Hopefully this blows over once the crazy weird wedding stress dissipates, LW. You did everything you could.

    • Aubry

      Yes! Granted I make a pitiful amount of money (yay husbands who don’t work in the arts!) but that is actually more than half of my gross annual salary for 2014.

      Being a bridesmaid is expensive I realize (I’m in two weddings in 2016) but it has to be realistic. And for the record both brides asked all the maids what their budget is (one is letting us choose our own) and for my wedding my dresses were $150 and the shoes were $40. I gifted jewelry and hair was free.

      • Bee

        Yup, half for me! (says the teacher)

  • RoseTyler
    • Meg Keene

      That real pretty. I’ll give it that.

      • RoseTyler

        Yep …. it’s on my “maybe wedding dresses” pinterest board. I’m kinda sad to see its no longer available.

  • Crayfish Kate

    Perspective…I just bought a (brand new to me) car, certified pre-owned, and it cost less than that dress.

  • laddibugg

    The friend is out of her GD mind. People who pick $15,000 dresses either pay for the dress themselves OR they know their friends can afford it.
    I really did do this while reading the letter.

  • Katie

    I just want to say, in all caps to adequately convey my feelings on the matter: THIS IS A CRAZY PANTS REQUEST AND YOU SHOULD NOT FEEL BAD IN ANY WAY THAT YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BUY THAT DRESS. EVEN IF YOU COULD BUY IT IT WOULD STILL BE A CRAZY PANTS REQUEST.

    Ahem. I support you.

  • Sarah E
    • Meg Keene

      #best

  • Alice

    Wow. If you can buy a car (or a few cars!) for the price of a bridesmaid dress, something is wrong (unless she graciously foots the bill, of course). I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with that insanity, and you are by no means a bad friend.

  • Kayjayoh

    “P.S. Informal poll—are we being trolled?”

    My thoughts on the letter itself is that it is either fake or very bad about decimal points. However, subbing in “more expensive than I can afford” for the actual dollar amount, the situation is one that people do find themselves in, and Liz’s advice is spot on.

  • Mrrpaderp

    I have to admit, I winced a little when LW said she had the I-have-to-step-down conversation in the bridal salon. Unless the bride was actually pressuring LW to place the order at that moment, and maybe she was, that’s really a conversation to be had in private, away from the potentially-judgy ears of bride’s new in-laws.

    I can only think that perhaps when you’re planning a $100k+ affair (which it sounds like this will be), 5-figure price tags start to sound a lot smaller. Particularly when 3 of the 4 bridesmaids are egging you on.

    I’m not sure what else LW can do at this point, though. She’s certainly made every effort to repair her relationship with bride. Bride could’ve come clean and explained that she’s feeling pressured to present the appearance of wealth to her in-laws. But instead she decided to throw LW, and their 15-year friendship, under the bus.

    • Amy March

      Nah. The conversation to be had in private is “hey bridesmaid, here’s what I’m thinking for dresses, how’s that fit with your budget.” Who cares if the in-laws are judgy or the bride is embarrassed? She deserves to be- she has been rude and inconsiderate and LW did the best she could.

  • Alyssa

    A $15,000 bridesmaid’s dress is obviously NEEDED, y’all.

    • Liz

      Oh I wish this question had been submitted during your tenure. This lady needed an Alyssa response.

      • Alyssa

        No way, she got a Liz response; which is infinitely better and contains significantly less heifer’s and y’all’s.

        I am a little sad that giphy.com didn’t exist a few years ago. I may have only responded to letters via gif. Meg would have fired me, but I would have tickled myself on a weekly basis.

        BUT HONESTLY. Okay. I can’t stop myself. But for real. Who hears “I can’t afford this,” and interprets that as “you don’t love me”? Even if the LW exaggerated by a couple of zeros, the bride can easily solve this by helping her friend out so that she CAN be in the wedding. If it’s so damned important, buy the effing dress for her. Help her find the money. Give her a long-term loan with no interest. Have a bake sale. Sacrifice the Jordan almonds or something. Make an active effort to have your friend in your wedding instead of standing around wringing and crying about how she’s not your friend anymore. Because that just shows that the bride doesn’t actually care about having her there, she cares more about being important enough that someone will go beyond their means for her “big day,” and that the effort is more important than the end result.

        LW needs to pool together some resources and spend .015% of this bullet-dodged on a spa day or night on the town, and remind herself that she’s still a good person. Because I
        doubt it would have stopped at the dress, can you imagine the bachelorette or the bridal shower?

        $15,000 on a damn dress when you can’t afford it. JFC on a cracker…

        • JC

          “Because that shows that the bride doesn’t actually care about having her there, she cares more about being important enough that someone will go beyond their means for her ‘big day,’ and that the effort is more important than the end result.”

          This. I was in a wedding very much like this, regarding both monetary budget (though not to the LW’s extreme) and time budget. The bride was offended by things like:
          1. I flew in for her wedding (only out of town bridesmaid, only one buying plane tickets) a week early, arrived at midnight on Friday, and couldn’t be available at 8am the next day for an event two hours away from my lodgings. I asked her when was the best time for me to join the group based on the day’s events, and she responded, “Well you should just be there the whole time like I told you.”
          2. I did not carpool with the rest of the bridal party to the rehearsal because my lodgings were in the opposite direction, so arriving to carpool would have added 3+ hours onto my commute to the venue. I was “not a team player.”
          In the end, it did seem to be enough that I was there, standing by her side on her big day, and she told me so. But during the process, it sure felt like she was more interested in my performing the role of bridesmaid by being deferential and helping her act out some fantasy, rather than participating as her whole, human friend.

        • Bee

          OMG best comment. Ever. Alyssa, come back in some form! Love your humor.

  • Ashley McManus

    Question about the question – which dress was it?? I’m only asking because maybe that dress was available on renttherunway.com or somewhere similar used…for $15k I have to assume it’s a designer dress and wonder if she looked into all the options. If it was unavailable, no shame in backing down – that’s a totally unrealistic ask of your bridesmaid and friend. I’m surprised the bride wasn’t considerate of her “friends” budgets and didn’t pose a few more budget-friendly options. If she’s this willing to throw away a friendship over something so trivial, maybe she wasn’t as good of a friend / would have done something similar to this at some point in the future. Then you’d be down $20k and friendless.

  • Chris

    yes, you’re being trolled. The LW is articulate, concise, practical enough to skip meals to save for emergences, writes long explanatory letters to her friend about how sorry she is about not being able to afford a dress that costs more than many cars….. and 1) completely blindsided by the reported bizarre behavior from her very dear friend of fifteen years and 2) needs to write to an advice columnist to check if her dear friends behavior is unreasonable.

    The behavior reported about the bride is so far outside of anything I can imagine and the story is too picture perfect to seem real to me.

  • ClayJar

    While I can at least hypothesize about people to whom $15k for a dress would be fathomable, I would certainly be among those having to politely decline the opportunity to spend that much. I come from a slightly different bracket than that.

    I’m a guy who doesn’t wear dresses, so while I have never considered a $15k dress, I have spent $15k on an outfit before. It was this nice red and black thing with gleaming crystal-like accents and shiny polished accouterments. I personally felt I looked fantastic in it, and once I added the hitch-mount bike rack and a roof rack for my canoe, who was anyone to say that spending $15k on a brand-new Kia hatchback wasn’t worth every penny?

    • OMG LOL-ed so hard at this one.

    • Jess

      “accouterments” I died. Amazing.

  • Megan

    I don’t comment very often, but I thought I would share my reaction.

    Here is a list of things that I could buy INSTEAD of that dress:
    1) An entire graduate degree (After scholarships, I paid about $15k for mine)/
    2) Flights, hotels, and front row tickets to every event at next year’s Olympics in Rio.
    3) The rest of my car payments and a down payment on my next car.
    4) A European vacation every year for the next five-ten years.
    5) A solid start to my future children’s college savings.
    6) About a million other things.

    Liz’s advice was spot on, but to tack on a bit more – any friend that thinks your love and commitment to your friendship can be quantified or is represented by the amount of money you spend on/for her is really no friend you need.

    • Rachelle

      Agree with the premise, but I’d love to know how you plan a $1,000-$1,500 European vacation… For just the flights maybe.

      • Megan

        haha fair point, I think I meant to write “flights to europe” every year for the next five-ten years. Although, it’s possible I’m sure! I know some super savvy travelers.

        • I’ve never paid more than $750 to travel overseas. Flying to Japan in May, and even that, with domestic and international flights is just over $1k. So maybe not every year for ten years, but several, for sure.

    • K.

      I do think we have to be careful with this line of thinking though. For the LW’s perspective, absolutely this makes sense to think about (and remind her that $15k on a bridesmaid dress is, in fact, out of the ordinary, to put it extremely mildly). And I’m in complete agreement with your last sentence. But when it comes to listing out all the other More Worthy things that large sums of money can buy, I’m also (more generally) reminded of this APW article written by Meg: “You Could Buy a Car With That Wedding” https://apracticalwedding.com/2014/04/wedding-costs/

      • Megan

        Oh, I was by no means criticizing people that want to spend a lot of money on their wedding. I don’t think I would even criticize someone spending that on a wedding dress alone, even if I never would. To each their own and I realize the “more worthy purchases” conversation is a slippery slope. I was more just considering that if I were in this particular situation and this was a friend of mine (especially one that is as close as LW makes it sound), I would have no problem saying that this dress is nowhere near the top of my priority list.

  • NTB

    $7k is a pretty nice used car.
    $15k is a nice new car.

    yikes.

    :-0

  • LTurtle

    When we were young (21 I think?) and broke, my childhood bestie got married and I was her MOH. Her rich daddy paid for the wedding. She wanted me to spend $400 on a dress, and I said no because BROKE. She had three options – let me get a dress I could afford (less than $100), find a new MOH, or buy the dress for me. She bought it for me and there was no fuss about it. She also bought jewelry for her bridal party to wear day of as a Thank You and treated all of us to manicures the day before. On the other hand I spent nearly 2 years helping her plan the damn thing, did her hair and make-up for the wedding and acted as her day of coordinator. I earned that ugly dress.

  • anonymous & pissed for her

    This is, frankly, an INSANE thing to ask anyone. I don’t care how rich you are. When I got married I paid for my bridesmaids’ dresses because I saw it as an honor to include them, and appreciated the fact that they had to travel, take off work, etc., in order to participate–and because they had already done so much for me as a friend, even more so during the year I was engaged. I really, honestly, cannot fathom a world in which it is polite and/or expected to have someone who you are asking to be in your fancy day to foot a bill that huge.

  • Kyle

    There is no amount of money I could possibly have that would make me spend $15,000 on a bridesmaid dress! I don’t care if I had $15,000,000 in the bank, I still wouldn’t!

  • anon

    Ok, the dress is an insanely expensive request, and ending a friendship because one won’t fork out double digit G’s is basically insanity in a nutshell. But, hear me out, I see a slightly different angle on what happened here. (And I still totally think that the bride to be overreacted and the LW has nothing to apologize for, to be clear)

    The first thing that the LW said was – I have to back out. Then she explained it was because of the cost.

    The next thing that the bride to be said to explain her freak out was -“how hurt she was that I backed out, that obviously I don’t value her or our long friendship because if I did, I would be there for her wedding.”

    Are we totally 100% sure the beef is the bride saying YOU HAVE TO BUY THE DRESS OR YOU”RE NOT MY FRIEND!, and isn’t over the fact that the bridesmaid said she wanted to back out, and the bridetobe might be interpreting the dress cost thing as the “excuse”?
    I am totally ok with everyone telling me I’m missing the point but I just had to throw it out there, because the alternative interpretation makes me want to puke/go drinking/punch someone.

    • Amy March

      She said she was backing out because of the budget and that she still wanted to be involved. Instead of responding with “ok, we can make the budget work, please don’t drop out” the bride responded with “why you no love me you mustn’t be a real friend.”

      I’m pretty sure here. And even if the bride was confused, she had plenty of time to clear things up.

    • BDubs

      Engagements and weddings bring out the worst in people, and after a certain amount of backhanded, passive-aggressive nonsense, I couldn’t entirely blame a bride who had this reaction if it was suspicious. But for a long-time friend, I would hope she’d have the courage to have a real-talk conversation.

  • Bsquillo

    Am I the only one who read this and thought, “Girl, you need new friends”? No thanks, bye.

    • La’Marisa-Andrea

      IMMEDIATELY

  • Carolyn S

    Let’s have a thought experiment here. Obviously $7-15k is an obscene amount to have to spend as a bridesmaid, and while it’s possible that the letter isn’t accurate, at what price point would these comments turns on the LW? My (one) bridesmaid had pretty low costs, she got to pick her own dress and shoes (I don’t like telling people what to wear, she was the only attendant and I knew she would pick something nice), I paid for hair and makeup, and she had to spend 2 nights in hotels to attend. So she probably spent… $700-$800 to be in the wedding, which she can easily afford, and some of those costs were her own choice but it’s still a lot of money. I would have been hurt if she didn’t want to spend the money, but in reality, what right do I have to say “being my friend and being at this event are worth x dollars”

    But something really tricky about asking people to be in your wedding is that you are sort of quantifying friendship a little. This even goes for attending a wedding. I used to listen to a podcast where they host would often bring up a story about a friend who chose not to go to her destination wedding even though she knew she could afford it, and how that was the beginning of the end of a friendship, which I think is dumb, but you might not. Attending a wedding/being in a wedding probably shouldn’t be a prerequisite to sustaining a friendship, and yet it’s actually more complicated than that isn’t it. What is our friendship ending price point?

    • BDubs

      I’m pretty sure that when you ask someone to be in your bridal party, they are officially agreeing to one thing – showing up to stand beside you on the wedding day. Everything else is an act of generosity and goodwill on their part, not an obligation… It’s not how most folk think about weddings and bridesmaids (especially).

      • A.

        I’m not sure how practically applied this always is though. If most folks think about weddings and bridesmaids as requiring, at minimum, a matching dress along with the showing up, at what point does that actually become the Official Thing They Are Agreeing To? It’s not like Emily Post will come down from the sky and admonish the bride for her expectations—and many good friends aren’t going to be willing to take that principled stance of “I can afford this dress, but I’m going to refuse to wear it because I’m a person not a prop.” I’d say the majority are actually quite happy to wear reasonably priced dresses. And so then, what happens when someone DOES take a stance like that? Are they the jerk or is the bride/groom/getting married person who’s going along with a demanding societal expectation the jerk? I think one could argue both ways, depending on your ideological perspective.

        • BDubs

          Perhaps, but I feel it’s important that brides understand this. We can’t create a culture of men and women who treat this event in their lives as it truly is unless we discuss it and make it part of the narrative when we ask friends and family to be in our bridal party.

    • Eenie

      I think if the cost of the dress was, for example, $50, then the LW probably should have had this conversation up front for sure if that was something out of budget. But honestly if a friend tells the couple they need to bow out as an attendant and just be a guest due to financial reasons that should be respected. I think the majority of couples would like their nearest and dearest to make sound financial choices and not worry about money because of their wedding.

    • brooksienne

      “…which she can easily afford…”

      See, here’s the thing, unless your friends are super open about their finances we really don’t know the full picture. And even if they seem to be super open about their finances we STILL can’t really know what’s in their bank accounts. Or what the money in their bank accounts is for. For example, if I wanted to, I could raid my emergency fund and plan a really nice wedding. But, um, no. Unless a shotgun is involved a wedding is NOT an emergency. And even then you can get buy with a Cracker Jack box ring and a JP. So we’re saving up for the big day bit by bit.

    • emilyg25

      I don’t think bridesmaids should be expected to buy a dress, stay in a hotel, throw a bachelorette or shower, or any of the rest of it. We didn’t have a wedding party in part for this reason. My best friend did speak during our ceremony and she chose to buy a new dress and shoes for that, but they were totally her choice. Same with the beautiful bachelorette she arranged for me. Folks can stand up for you on their own terms.

    • tr

      Honestly, there’s not a single friendship I’d end based on the person’s willingness to be a bridesmaid/attend my wedding. I can’t truly know my friends’ lives, so just because I *think* they can easily afford a $100 dress and a four hour trip to our wedding destination doesn’t necessarily mean they can. Also, just because they technically can afford it doesn’t mean they don’t potentially have more important uses of their time and money.
      Would I be hurt if say, a friend dropped out of my wedding, didn’t attend, and then went to Jamaica the next month? Sure, but even in an example that extreme, it’s not my time/money/family. Maybe they’d been saving for that Jamaica vacation for the past five years. Maybe it was someone’s bonus from work. Maybe it was a gift from the in-laws. That’s not my circus, and it’s not my monkeys. I might adjust my own willingness to go completely out of the way for that friend in the future, but it wouldn’t be something to end the friendship over.

  • We had this same scenario play out between the three coworker/friends who were asked to be in our friend’s wedding (many multiples of dollars less, though). We all worked at the same crap jobs with the same crap pay, and the bride decided that she had to have us all in ONE SPECIFIC dress. IIRC, that cost about $400, when we were making, at best, $9/hour at the time. Not very surprisingly, since the bride refused to budge, and since none of us wanted to drop out and cause a scene in that respect, I stayed friends with my fellow bridesmaid but none of us stayed friends with the bride.

    These days, a $15K bridesmaid dress? Sure if you’re paying. Otherwise you’re out of your ever-loving mind. I have a rule: No one makes my money for me, so no one gets to spend my money for me.

  • CMT

    This letter is fake, right?

  • Alison O

    This wedding sends such mixed messages. SO FANCY MONEY MONEY MONEY WE ARE WEALTHY – and no, we can’t cover the costs of our wedding party…. ??

  • Carolyn S

    I do really want to see the wedding photos though.

    • Meg Keene

      Me too.

  • MegE_N

    Can we get a link to this dress? I wanna see it.

  • Leela

    I sympathize with LW. This isn’t about the dress. It’s about the pain of losing a dear friend over something that seems outlandish and cruel. I hope that after the wedding, the bride realizes that she was completely awful … but I doubt she will. Not that it makes this easier, but LW, I truly think you are better off without someone who treats you this way.

  • WAT.

    Any chance your friend with a similar background is embarrassed about where she comes from now that she’s joining a family where a dress equaling the budget of some people’s entire weddings is a thing?

    In any case, that’s not your problem. Her lack of compassion is troubling and it sucks that the friendship had to end like this. Sorry about your friend. I think there would have been some hope if she was dissapointed but understood, but since she’s acting like you are being totally unfair by wanting to …eat and have shelter and stuff, I think it’s time to call it a day.

  • Megan

    $15,000 is more than the cost of my ENTIRE WEDDING. To spend that on one garment, for someone else’s day, is absolutely absurd.

  • S

    I guess the good news is, whether this letter writer is a troll or not, anyone who is ever in this situation for real (???) can now just link their Scrooge McDuck bride friend to this thread and be done with it. Like, girl, there are 210 comments and counting of people having a ball making fun of this and dissecting whether this is even a REAL situation, that’s how crazy what you’re asking of your friend is. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

    • ItsyBit

      “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

      #DYING

  • tr

    What on earth?!?!?!
    I mean, seriously, I went to a pretty notoriously ritzy college with some people who had way more money than sense, but this?!?! I don’t even think I’d know where to find $15,000 dresses if I wanted to! I think your friend has officially lost her ever lovin’ mind!

  • hipsterbarbie

    The average salary in America right now is, what, just over 25k? For me personally, this dress is almost 50% of my yearly income! And this “friend” had the audacity to get mad at OP for very politely and apologetically backing out because she isn’t part of the 1%?

    OP deserves better friends with more humane salaries.

  • S

    I’m sure this has been said 200 times already, but WTF?!?! $15k for a bridesmaids dress? That’s so far beyond the realm of being even remotely reasonable that I think your ‘friend’ is actually certifiably insane. If a friend asks you to spend more than $500 on a bridesmaids dress they should be picking up part of the tab. (and that’s the upper limit, obviously in some situations asking your friends to spend $100 on a dress is a burden you should be aware of and possibly mitigate for them if it’s just about your weddig photos looking nice).

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  • Amanda

    So, I went to the Saks bridal salon tab on their website, out of curiosity, and clicked on the “above $2,000” tab, because I literally cannot fathom a more expensive place to go. And the most expensive dress there was a $5K Zac Posen. In their regular evening gowns the most expensive dress is an Elie Saab for over $12K http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306422140&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446893924&R=400887448238&P_name=ELIE+SAAB&N=306422140+399545629&bmUID=l4yqoBH. I can imagine something super expensive at an Elie Saab boutique or something. But really. Even for the super rich, that’s insane. Also, I’ll point out: The super rich don’t get that way by spending $15K on a bunch of gowns (they save their money, which is how they get rich). Just to be really, really classist for a moment: Spending obscene amounts of cash on an object like a bridesmaid dress, even if you’re loaded, is really declasse.

    • Lisa

      Holy cow, that gown is gorgeous though.

  • Here’s the accountability factor this bride needs: if you tell people what to wear, you buy it for them. Also, they still get to say no.

  • Sara

    “This girl has lost her mind” sums it up nicely. Chuck deuces and walk away from this wedding party. Then enjoy the delicious food and open bar at the swanky ceremony.

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  • marybeth

    I’m the LW is this week’s discussion. I am not a troll, and, as bad at math as I am, I did not add a zero too many or misplace a decimal point. Thank you for your comments, and thanks to Liz for not only posting my question but for her kind, thoughtful reply.

    Yes, the dress she favored did clock in at $15,000. Even though I wrote “bridesmaids” dresses in my letter to Liz, what the bride really chose for her bridal party was to have custom-designed, custom-made dresses. They’re all bridal dresses rather than the usual “bridesmaid” dresses. She did choose to go to a very swanky, expensive bridal salon in NYC, so this wasn’t a matter of checking out bridesmaids dresses at a department store. Her dress costs $30,000 (also very high-end designer label and custom-designed for specifically for her), so there are no photos, no links I can provide to you to show you what her dress and what the bridal party’s dresses look like. Her dress is white; she required her bridesmaids to wear ivory with a small touch of color, corset-back, beading, ruching, etc. For those of you who have seen the tv show “Say Yes To The Dress”, think of the highest end designer dresses and then customize them. Her bridesmaids really aren’t wearing the standard bridesmaid dresses; they’re wearing bridal gowns customized for them. I apologize for not making that clear in my original letter.

    And yes, she is marrying into a great deal of money. Her fiancé’s family is in what I think of as the 1%: his parents own 6 homes, a yacht, businesses, property. These are the kind of people, nice though they are, who use “summer” as a verb. For those of you who remember when Mitt Romney was running for president in 2012 and he was asked about what he made in speaking fees, he replied “oh, not much at all, only $374,000”. That is where her fiancé’s family is: their money works for them rather than having to work for the money. But from what I gathered both from my old friend and from conversations with her fiancé, they’re not “old” money. They do focus a great deal on material things, and there’s nothing wrong with that when you can afford it. Hence the multiple homes, sports cars, designer clothing, lavish vacations, and more. Her sister is the MOH, and his sisters are bridesmaids. I was the only non-family member asked to be in the wedding party. His family is paying for the wedding, and it is going to cost well over $150,000. His parents bought her dress, her sister’s dress, and their daughters’ dresses. I am sure that if I had been her blood sister, my dress would have been paid for as well.

    I knew that she was both excited and overwhelmed by the whole engagement (you should see the rock on her hand!) and wedding thing. She has no say in the wedding planning itself (future in laws are paying for everything) and even though she didn’t say it outright, I have suspected that the only arena in which she has some say are the dresses, hers (though her future MIL nixed her first top three choices) and her bridesmaids and maybe that is part of the reason for her reaction to my decision to pull out of bridal party.

    To those of you who suggested that I should have told her earlier, it never occurred to me because I had no idea that she was going to require us to wear designer label, custom-designed bridal gowns! She sprung it on me at the salon. And no, I didn’t know which salon–that too, was a surprise. It was “come to my fiancé’s NYC loft for the weekend for bridesmaid dress shopping”. It was that vague, though I started to get an uneasy feeling as we headed into Manhattan and the area where the upscale shops are located.

    I also took her aside (went into a private dressing room, closed the door) to tell that I would have to back out. I explained to her that I simply could not afford the dresses she was looking at, much less one that would be custom-designed. I told her that I’m so happy for her, that her fiancé is a great guy, that I’m honored that she asked me to be in the wedding party, but that my salary and budget allow no room for me to purchase a gown that costs $15,000 (or even $7,000) before alterations, plus shoes, jewelry, etc. I told her that I still wanted to be part of her big day, and offered to do a reading, to light candles, whatever kind of task you give to someone who you want to be part of your big day but who isn’t in the wedding party. Her wedding is a year out, which does give her plenty of time to ask someone else. I told her that I would be happy to help her select her bridesmaids’ gowns, to back her up.

    In all honesty, even $500.00 for a dress would have been a great deal of money for me to spend. When she asked me, I had thought, her fiancé and his family are well-off, that I probably wouldn’t be able to get away with spending less than $200 for a dress, and extra for shoes and accessories, plus, as others noted, money for all of the pre-wedding parties, plus a wedding gift. Never in my wildest imagination did I think she would be talking about $15,000 for a dress as if it were a trifle and then pitch a fit when I told her that I couldn’t afford it.

    I’ve read through all of your comments, and as I think about this more, I am inclined to agree that perhaps what is driving this is her desire to fit in with her future in laws and wedding insanity. I can’t do anything about the former, and can only hope that the bridezilla behavior and wedding insanity is temporary and she’ll come back down to earth after the wedding.

    And many of you are right—I’m not upset about the dress thing and haven’t given my decision to bow out of the bridal party a second thought. Her fiancé’s family won’t pay for a non-family member’s dress, and I simply can’t afford it on my own. What I was more upset about was the sudden ending of a 15 year close friendship. Maybe we would have drifted apart anyways as we occupy completely different worlds. We had been friends for so long, though thick and thin, good times and bad, supported eachother, picked eachother up, that I was truly hurt by her behavior. It is like a death, and I think perhaps I just need to mourn the end of the friendship and move on. If I were getting married and my dear friend could not afford the dress I wanted her to wear, I would either find a less expensive dress, offer to buy it for her myself, or find another role for her so she can still be a part of the wedding. Maybe the money has gone to her head, and it is possible that she is trying to forget her own humble roots.

    Thank you for the suggestion to reach out to her sister. Her sister is much older (sister was out of the house and married when we were still in grade school) than her, and I don’t know her very well, but it might be worth a shot.

    Thank you again for all of your comments and feedback.

    • Saxyrunner

      I’m sorry you have to deal with this. It sounds like you’re handling it like a champ though. Hugs!

    • ItsyBit

      This is just really, really rough. I’m sorry you have to deal with this bananas situation. Hopefully she’ll realize what’s what in the future, and yes, I second (or 40th or whatever) the suggestion to reach out to her sister. Even if it gets you nowhere now, on the small chance that someday in the future your friend is lamenting to her sister that she can’t believe how she acted towards you, sis might have something helpful to say.

      Sending you internet-hugs and hoping for the best!

    • BeeAssassin

      I’m sorry you have to deal with this, and I’m even more sorry about the loss of a friendship you value. I think people who think this was a troll question, haven’t seen that world and don’t understand exactly how much money obscenely wealthy people can spend on totally random shit. I used to do some work that required me to be around people who described salaries as “low seven figures” and paid for Ivy League educations in cash, and I think even in those circles asking a bridesmaid who was not of the same income bracket to spend $15k for a dress would raise at least a few eyebrows.

      For your friend’s sake I hope she regains her sanity and apologizes to you, but being in that world (even peripherally, let alone marrying into it) can totally skew people’s sense of reality, even when they try to be mindful about it – which it sounds like your friend is not.

    • Danielle

      Hey girl. Well, if it’s any consolation (at all), the responses show that your story fascinates many (like, 99%) of us and boggles our minds. If you ever want to write more about your broken friendship, class differences, and crazy expensive dresses, you obviously have an audience.

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  • FluffyFaery

    I’ve never, ever heard of bridesmaids’ dresses costing that much, unless you’re royalty or something. What is your friend spending on her own dress if the bridesmaid dresses cost that much?? I like the way it is here in the UK, where the bride pays for bridesmaid dresses, so she can’t ask her friends to fund her wedding. (Bridesmaid’s will usually pay for their own hair, makeup, shoes etc). Sadly, the US trend of bridesmaids paying for their own dresses is catching on here. If I couldn’t afford to buy the dresses for my bridesmaids, I’d let them pick their own that suits their style and budget.

  • Jd

    Dude I felt bad picking a $150 bridesmaid dress and had numerous conversations with my bridesmaids about their budget. $200 MAX was their rule. I spend $15000 total for my wedding…

  • Levi Gray

    http://bit.ly/2jaNpcg Girl, I am giving your ex friend this look times a thousand. NOPE, no way any rational human being would prioritize a one-time-use dress over having a place to live. I want to kick this girl in the shins a few times.

    I feel really badly for you for losing a friendship over a dress. How rude and ridiculously bridezilla of her.

  • Marie

    I bet the Kardashians didn’t even spend $15,000 on a wedding dress. Or maybe that’s why they had only sisters as bridesmaids haha