When’s the last time you said no to a friend? Um, for me it was five minutes ago when a friend tried to change our Saturday brunch plans at a place with a free pastry basket to do a workout class. There’s a zero percent chance I’m ditching carbs on the “Day of Rest” to burn calories…you can quote me on that. My point is, we say no to our friends all the time, yet when we say I DO to being a bridesmaid, that word gets deleted from our vocabulary.
Spend $500 on a bridesmaid dress you’ll never wear again? Ugh, sure. Find your passport so you can jet to the south of France for the bachelorette party that you’ll totally cover most of the costs for? Fine, whatever. Take off a handful of precious vacation days to help the bride go dress shopping and watch her try on Spanx until you find a pair that sucks her in perfectly? Ugh, I already asked my boss for time off. We find ourselves saying yes to everything, even things we can’t afford, don’t have time for, or simply don’t want to do.
Let’s all commit to rolling our eyes at that and instead saying the word “no.” Practice with me now:
“Will you wear this hideous bridesmaid dress that accentuates all the features of your body you work year-round to hide?”
Jot this list down of all the things you totally can and should say no to as a bridesmaid.
1. Spending Your Rent Money On The Wedding
Being a bridesmaid is stupid expensive. If you have to do it a couple of times a year, you either have to drain your savings account, dip into your 401(k), or ask your parents for a loan. All for what? So you can pay for a stripper to knock on the door of the bachelorette party or to afford gifts for the engagement party, bridal shower, and wedding?
Before you hug the bride and say “thanks for choosing me,” think about how much money you’re willing to spend on her wedding. Set a limit. If you had to sit in front of your accountant and admit how much you spent on being a bridesmaid, would you be racked with shame or eager to spill the tea that you stuck to your budget? Probably the first.
If your budget is $500, which is a third of what the average bridesmaid spends (TF right?!), tell the bride ahead of time that you will be buying a dress that you can afford, skipping the international bachelorette party, and only getting a gel manicure once during the wedding process (and it’ll be a color that you actually like, even if that means gold sparkles, deal with it Bridezilla).
2. Wearing An Ugly Expensive Dress
The older I get the more I want to know exactly how Katherine Heigl’s character could afford to be a bridesmaid in 27 weddings.
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) April 23, 2019
Be real, even if there were no more dress stores on the planet and you had nothing in your closet but old bridesmaid dresses (like some 27 Dresses sh*t), you still wouldn’t be caught wearing one of those things again, ever. You’d gladly make a dress out of a bed sheet to avoid putting on a generic-looking bridesmaid dress that wraps you up like the Toga you wore freshman year to the Sigma Chi date party.
Unless the bride is paying for the dress, you have the right to say no to any dress she picks out. If the color makes you look washed out, the style makes your boobs feel violated, or the price tag makes you gargle your own saliva, you can and should say no. The bride has the right to ask that her squad looks coordinated, fine. But she doesn’t have the right to nitpick the outfit like she’s on Fashion Police.
3. Becoming Her Personal Assistant
Nowhere in the job description for bridesmaid does it say “you are my personal bitch and are on-call 24/7 for all my needs, wants, and desires.” The only thing the bridesmaid description should say is that you’re DTF: down to have fun even when my crazy mother-in-law is stressing me out over the color of tablecloths.
So if you’ve taken more than two “emergency” trips to a CVS, answered the phone at 2am more than once to hear the bride complain about a slimy wedding vendor, or found yourself on your hands and knees hot glueing centerpieces for the bridal shower, without getting a thank-you or a free bottle of wine to accompany you, start saying no. There are people the bride can pay to do all this dirty work: a professional bridesmaid! A day-of coordinator! A wedding planner as good as J.Lo!
4. Being A Bridesmaid
Being a bridesmaid is like working two 9-5 shifts in a row and not getting paid
— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) September 30, 2019
There’s zero reason a bride needs 10 bridesmaids, except if she craves drama or wants a gaggle of people walking down the aisle to prove to her guests that she has friends. So if being a bridesmaid just isn’t something you’re into right now or you have a ton of other things happening in your life and you know you’re going to ghost the bride the second she asks you for a favor, say no.
Instead, offer to read a poem during the wedding ceremony or help her plan one tiny part of the wedding. You can stay involved and show the bride how much you adore her without running up your therapy bill and having a panic attack a week over someone else’s wedding all because you’re trying to be a subpar bridesmaid.
Images: Shutterstock.com; betchesluvthis, betchesbrides / Twitter