I’m in an awkward situation. I have a good relationship with my future sister-in-law. I’m going to her bachelorette party, and this will be the first time I’ll meet most of her friends. For background, there will be about fifteen of us at the bachelorette weekend—mostly her sorority sisters. The groom’s sister and I are the only outliers. I’m excited to be included, and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve Venmo’ed the money for the hotel, spa, and booze cruise.
Then last week, the maid of honor sent out a group email titled: “So… outfits!” And what followed was a list of outfits/themes for the various days and activities. These include:
- Red bikinis with a specific cover-up kimono (it’s $70) and a specific sunhat for the pool day
- Bride Tribe t-shirt
- Wear-the-bride’s-favorite-designer-label (for one of the nights out)
- A few very pricey festival-esque dresses with a few links for coordinating accessory options. We are instructed to choose from the options provided or “run different options” by the maid of honor (but we must stick with the color palette and lace). This is for an outdoor concert we are attending.
- White cowgirl boots for the booze cruise
The rest of the attendees immediately started squealing in their responses about the outfit choices and how they can’t wait. As for me and the groom’s sis? We’re fine with buying the Bride Tribe shirt. But the rest of this stuff? We’ll never wear it again, and it’s about a couple hundred bucks more than we anticipated spending.
Groom’s sis and I were pretty put off at being blindsided by this. But then we started looking at the bride’s and her friends’ Instagram/Facebook pages. And matching/coordinating/planned bachelorette outfits with fifteen-plus Southern sorority sisters is simply what they do. Their feeds are filled with gorgeously coordinated/matching, carefully posed shots of them at bachelorette parties. Scouring thrift stores or Poshmark for the bride’s fave designer label and more affordable festival-dress options is a scavenger hunt I really don’t have time for. And a red bikini is not something I’d be caught dead in.
We honestly don’t think the bride or her maid of honor or any of the attendees have bad or snooty intentions. We’re considering just telling maid of honor that, “Look, this is different territory for us. We may not be able to participate in all these themes. And for the ones we don’t, we will be your official photographers and won’t be in the pics ourselves.” Or do we just ignore the themes, show up dressed however (with the exception of the Bride Tribe t-shirt, which is reasonable) and be like, “Ooops! We didn’t realize it was such a big deal!”? Groom’s sister wants to ask her brother to talk to his wife-to-be for us, but I don’t think that’s the best move.
—Waiting on the outfits
First, can we just talk about how nice you and groom’s sister are? Because you have been served a steaming hot pile of nonsense, and your solution is total understanding and compassion and offering to be their photographers so as not to ruin the pictures, and FOR SURE I would never have come up with a solution that nice. Seriously, well done on being excellent human beings, and also for making my job easier!
There’s a lot going on here. Like, I do not know if I have a suitcase big enough for this this wardrobe. And neither do you! Stick with what is within the realm of reason—buy the t-shirt, ignore everything else, dress appropriately for the activities you are doing.
I get it. You have a friendly relationship with someone who is going to be family, you’re an extremely nice person, and you want to not make this a big horrible thing. But here’s the deal—it’s not going to be! Either the maid of honor is a really nice somewhat misguided person who is going to be totally fine with you showing up in whatever you want, or she belongs at this shower and you’re going to get AMAZING stories I insist on you returning to share with us. A simple, “Hey, bought the t-shirt, the rest of this isn’t in my budget, can’t wait to see you for SHOTS,” is all you need.
This bachelorette party is going to be a lot. Just embrace it. Have you ever wanted to dance on a table? Bet this crew will lift you up. Want to do some synchronized lady dancing? Have at it. If it sounded like you were really distressed about this, I’d be giving different advice, but sounds like you’re pretty okay with it, except for the wardrobe. Do some research, prepare, hydrate, and enjoy!
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