Being My Friend's Bridesmaid Has Basically Bankrupted Me

Although my friend's upcoming wedding will undoubtedly be the happiest day of her life, being one of her bridesmaids has been a challenging experience, leaving me financially and emotionally depleted. Here's how agreeing to be a part of her special day has taken a toll on me.

1. Frankly, I was surprised when she asked me

When my friend asked me to be her bridesmaid, I was thrilled but also taken aback. Although we were friends in high school, our paths diverged after college, and we hardly saw each other. We only met for coffee twice a year, so I never expected her to invite me to be part of her bridal party.

2. I should have known it was going to be expensive

I soon discovered that not only was I one of 10 bridesmaids, but my friend was also planning to have two wedding celebrations, making it a costly affair. However, I never expected to be the one bearing the brunt of the expenses with a significant portion of my hard-earned cash.

3. Costs were kept secret and now I see why

I had anticipated that the double-wedding event would be extravagant, but I never imagined that I would have to bear the expenses myself. In my past experiences as a bridesmaid, I only had to cover bachelorette party activities, while the couple usually paid for the dress, shoes, wedding accommodation, and other bridesmaid essentials. However, this time, to my dismay, it's definitely not the case. To make matters worse, my friend never mentioned this earlier. If she had, I would have respectfully declined the offer to be a bridesmaid.

4. There was an international bachelorette party

Here's some advice for brides: if all your bridesmaids live in the same large metropolitan city, there's no need to travel abroad to have a good time, particularly if they have already spent a considerable amount on other aspects of the wedding. When my friend suggested going overseas, I knew it wouldn't be cheap, but I never imagined that it would cost me an entire month's rent. We had to cover the expenses of flights, accommodation, activities, and drinks. If it had been enjoyable, it may have been worthwhile, but the cheap and tacky outcome of my investment left me unimpressed.

5. She didn't consider anyone's finances

The most aggravating aspect of this entire ordeal is my friend's complete self-centeredness and lack of empathy during the run-up to her wedding. Despite being aware that several of her bridesmaids, myself included, cannot afford to spend money frivolously, she persisted in adding more expenses to the already lengthy list of things she expected us to pay for.

6. The whole thing has left me completely broke

As my friend didn't disclose the total cost of being a bridesmaid at the outset and instead kept revealing the expenses sporadically, I was unable to set aside funds to finance her wedding. As a result, I had to use my rent money to pay for being her bridesmaid. I'm now in a difficult position where I can't afford to pay my rent and have no extra money for additional bridesmaid expenses.

7. People kept telling me to get out but I couldn't

As my friend didn't provide me with a complete picture of the costs associated with being a bridesmaid, declining her offer wasn't an option. I thought the expenses would end after each payment, but they kept coming. When I shared the total expenses with my other friends, they suggested that I quit. However, having already paid for many things and assuming that there wouldn't be any more expenses, I found myself in a bind. It's now too late to back out of the bridesmaid role.

8. When I told her I couldn't afford it, she reacted badly

When I informed my friend that I could no longer afford to pay for additional bridesmaid expenses due to financial constraints, she reacted defensively and aloof instead of showing empathy or regret. Though she assured me that there wouldn't be any further expenses, I felt a noticeable tension between us.

9. It's broken our relationship

After my conversation with my friend about being unable to afford additional bridesmaid expenses, she began acting distant and passive-aggressive towards me. It seemed that my honesty had only worsened the situation, as she now believed that I didn't care about her wedding. This couldn't be further from the truth, as I am genuinely happy for her and her partner. But I wish she could understand that her wedding day doesn't take precedence over everyone else's financial situation.

10. The experience has scarred me

The whole ordeal of being a bridesmaid in this wedding has been a nightmare, causing me an immense amount of stress and worry that has taken a toll on both my finances and mental health. It has made me hesitant to ever accept a bridesmaid invitation again. The thought of constantly worrying about how I will pay for unexpected expenses and how it might affect my relationships with friends is daunting. I hope that in the future, brides can understand that being a bridesmaid should not come at the cost of one's financial stability and overall well-being.