Am I A Guest At The Worst Bachelorette Ever?

Or is this just... me?

Q:Dear Amy,

I’m a freelance, self-taught wedding planner and also currently a maid of honor for a best friend, but I’m not a bridesmaid for this bachelorette party in question. I’ve been to a number of very fun, drama and stress-free bachelorettes, and I’m also in the process of planning one myself. The bachelorette I am writing about is one I am attending as a guest.

A little background about the bridesmaids who are planning this shindig: there are seven of them. Two of them are married, and all of them are veteran bridesmaids who have planned and gone to more than one bachelorette.

Three months ago, I got the e-invite to the party. Location: out of town.

Two months ago, I got a text from one of the bridesmaids asking me to book the flights with vague scheduling info. So, I did the best I could with the “Nothing’s really set but this might work maybe” info I received. I also asked if I could get in on the other details: estimated budget, schedule, what to prepare, etc. They said they would get back to me.

One month ago, I followed up asking for the party details. They said they were working on it.

A month after that, which was this past week, I followed up again, tracking down another of the seven bridesmaids. They said they would get back to me within the week.

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Two days ago, I finally received an email with all the details: schedule, activities, mandatory white dress/black dress attire dress code, budget, things to bring and prepare. The email, while I had been longing for it for the past three months, did not satisfy, but rather made me livid. It’s two days later and I’m STILL LIVID. And these are the reasons why:

  1. The budget. I had the biggest hunch I would end up with a big fat unreasonable bill, and I was right. I totally understand spending extra money for a nice, memorable getaway for a really close friend. I am currently the maid of honor for another friend, and by no means am I skimping on her bachelorette. I expected to pay for the hotel, transportation, food, and drinks. But the budget (or the bill, as I prefer to call it) includes a SNACKS FEE and a BRIDE TRIBE FEE??? If they are buying a stupid bride tribe t-shirt, I’m totally on board with wearing it, but as a guest who had no part in the planning process and decision making to purchase these t-shirts, hell no to paying for it. And they are asking for $25 for snacks??? I don’t even consume $25 worth of snacks in a week. Where’s my money going to???
  2. Travel. The schedule in the email has us leaving for the airport at 12 p.m. It takes over two hours to get to the airport. The flight I booked under vague instructions departs at 2 p.m. No way I’m making my flight in time. This is something I will communicate with the bridesmaids, but it just really annoys me that they hadn’t let me know sooner when I had asked to let me know when flight schedules were more finalized.
  3. THE PARTY IS NEXT WEEKEND. I have less than two weeks to buy a freaking white dress that I do not own (I did not plan on shopping this weekend but now may have to cancel my beach plans) and figure out my flight back and calm my soul so that I don’t hold any of this anger against the seven out of twelve girls I will be spending the weekend with.

And yes, I have gotten the advice to just not go. But I had already told the bride I was attending, and if I were to back out now, a week from the party, I’d look like the jerk that makes everyone pay extra to cover my absence.

I think it’s just super inconsiderate to be so late in sending trip details, having zero communication from when the invites were sent out, charging for snacks I probably won’t eat and a bride tribe tee I didn’t ask for (and should be a gift covered by the bridesmaids, not by the guests who have zero say in the planning process), and not even considering to ask what budget would be comfortable for the guests attending.

I’m not going to even start with the mandatory expensive steakhouse and the fact that I found cheaper rates for the same hotel, same rooms.

I was so annoyed with these seven bridesmaids for the past three months and so annoyed with their last and only email. Am I crazy for thinking this way? And how do I enjoy this trip? How can I let the bridesmaids know that they are beyond inconsiderate and the worst ever?

Sincerely,

A WEEK AWAY

A: Dear A Week Away,

I’m sorry, but I think you need to get a handle on yourself here first and foremost. “How can I let the bridesmaids know that they are beyond inconsiderate and the worst ever?” You are asking the wrong questions. You seem to have a pretty high opinion of yourself and your skills in this area, but I gotta give you a C- when it comes to being a guest at this party, sorry!

The thing is, you 110 percent know better! Of course you do! Because any time people want you to buy plane tickets to something with no idea what the thing really is, or will cost, those are people who are really not great planners and not super into respecting your budget. I mean, we all should know this now.

Chose a path, my friend. Do you want to revel in righteous indignation and hate this party vocally forever? I cannot say I do not feel you on that, tbh. Or do you want to figure out a way to make it work since you did already buy the plane tickets?

It’s time to stop just observing things happen and start taking normal reasonable steps to stand up for yourself.

For starters, zero people are compelling you to cancel a beach day to shop for a white dress. Stop being so outraged and either a) order whatever comes up first on Amazon for “cheap white dress,” or b) wear something you own that isn’t white and move on with your life.

I understand that you’re annoyed with the budget full stop, and I don’t disagree (no, planners of parties, sending out an email detailing a whole bunch of “mandatory” expenses two weeks out is not great), but I don’t think the bride tribe fee or snack fee is really the problem here. Sounds like they are planning to stock a hotel room with water and drinks and snacks so that, over time, if one of the twelve is hungry, it isn’t a huge production. That seems not unreasonable. But if you think it is, say no! It is hard to plan a bachelorette party. I don’t think they are looking for ways to steal your money; they’re just trying to avoid getting stuck covering all the guests’ costs, which often happens especially with little last-minute things like buying seven cases of La Croix and a vat of sunscreen.  Clearly, yes, you make that ask up front, but I think your outrage about this is outsized.

Instead of moping about it, just reply to the travel arrangements and say, “Hey, I need to leave at 10 a.m. to make my flight, so I am taking an Uber, FYI.” Done.

I know none of this is as perfect as you would have done it, and as a person who prides myself on my planning skills, trust that I know that feeling. But pride goeth before a fall, and sometimes you just have to remind yourself that you made a choice to go to the mess, and that is something for which you have only yourself to blame. On the plus side, you didn’t have to plan this party, and you aren’t responsible for it in any way! Pay the snack fee. Enjoy your weekend of copious snackage. Revel in not being the one to have to figure out how many Ubers fourteen people need and when you should start calling them. And next time decline!

—Amy March

HAVE A WEDDING QUESTION?
EMAIL ME: AMYMARCH [AT] APRACTICALWEDDING [DOT] COM.

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