It’s a huge honor to be asked to be a bridesmaid for one of your besties. It means you’re one their elite friends and they like you better than everyone else. However, it’s also a double-edged sword, because they are also saying, “Hey I’m getting married, please give me a thousand dollars.” That part is less fun. Between the dress (usually a super pricey tulle nightmare), shoes (that hurt), the bridal shower (boring), the bachelorette party (v expensive), the wedding gift (also boring, I don’t care that you need a KitchenAid mixer), you’re SOL in terms of your finances. And God help you if you’re the maid of honor and had to front shower/bachelorette money on your credit card.
Let’s hone in on that money aspect for a second. In some extremely depressing news, Credit Karma recently released a survey that found 20% of Americans go into debt to plan or attend a wedding. Which is crazy! You found true love, why are your friends going into debt for it? I’m alone and in debt so you can get married? What sense does that make? Also, Credit Karma found that millennials are more likely to go into debt to attend other people’s weddings, while Gen-Z is selfish more likely to go into debt from planning their own wedding. I feel like this means millennials are way too nice and eager to please, and Gen-Z likes to ball out for themselves.
How does this happen? Here are the top 5 reasons people spend money they don’t have on their wedding:
I mean, if you care that much about your wedding being Insta-worthy, maybe you should invest in a therapist rather than blow all the money you can on a party that is one day. Just some general life advice for you. And you got that for free, you’re welcome. But while it’s bad enough for people to go into debt for their own party, why do people go into debt for someone else’s? Like really, who cares that much about your friends’ sh*t? Well, here are the top 5 reasons people go into debt just to attend a bachelorette/bachelor party:
1. Felt obligated (I’m sensing a theme here)
2. All other friends were participating
3. Didn’t want to offend the bride/groom
4. Novel/once-in-a-life-time experience
5. Didn’t want friends to think they were broke
Having just come back from my own best friend’s bachelorette party this past weekend, I get it. You don’t want to miss out on a major life event for them. Also, everyone knows the bachelorette is way more fun than the wedding, always. I would have been so bummed out to miss my friend’s. However, just because you want a dream wedding or want to be a part of your friend’s doesn’t mean you have to put yourself in financial ruin.
Interviewer: Why do you want to work here?
Me: Because I have 10 friends getting married this year and that shit ain’t cheap.
Out of the 20% of Americans who go into debt for their own wedding, 25% percent (this is like SAT question math right here) of that go into more than $10,000 of debt for it. That is a lot, friends. Guys, all you really need at a wedding is an open bar. Spend all the cash on that and it’ll be a great party. And, even more concerning, 7% of Americans go into more than $20,000 of debt for their wedding. Twenty thousand dollars! That’s like, a down payment on a house. I mean, like a small house. A shack really. In Montana. The housing market is insane, but that’s for another article. You get my point! Also, a whopping 38% of the Gen-Z respondents have gone into debt for their wedding—I wonder if it’s because they’re more vain and doing it for the ‘Gram? Dark.
Even worse, 20% of attendees—again, people who are not finding their fairytale romance, but are trying to be kind and support your dumb ass—go into debt of $250-$500. Okay, that’s not like, terrible. That’s basically a month or two of being a hermit in your apartment and refusing to see people so you don’t spend money, depending on how much you make. But a SICK 5% goes into debt for more than $5,000. I’m sorry, WHO are these people even spending $5,000 on someone else’s wedding? What did you get them for a gift, an island? If your friends are expecting you to shell out that much cash (especially when you don’t even have it), you need less friends. Or really, just better, more understanding, less bougie friends.
At the end of the day, the only true expenses you should have to pay for as a bridesmaid are the dress and shoes, and showing up to the wedding. If you can’t afford the shower, bachelorette, etc., and gifts for all these extraneous events, just be upfront about it as soon as you can. If you can’t afford a wedding gift, maybe come up with something that you can do for free. I have a very talented artist friend that does pencil portraits of a wedding photo for her gift to every wedding. It just costs her her time, but the portrait would be super expensive to commission from someone else. Even if you’re not creative, see what you can figure out that costs less. Unless your friend is a complete nightmare (in which case, maybe it’s time for you guys to part ways anyway), she should just be happy that you’re at her wedding with her.
Holly is an ex-sorority girl with the personality of Elle Woods meets Wednesday Addams. She is an artist, writer, animator, and part-time magician. Her parents are v proud but also like to ask her when she's going to get a real job. Buy art from her so she can pay for her bulldog's dermatologist.