Am I a Bridezilla because my bridesmaids can’t afford my wedding?

In Brides of Long Island’s “Am I a Bridezilla?” the BOLI team weighs in on an anonymous submission asking that dreaded question. What do you think?

Image courtesy of Yellow House Images

Dear BOLI,

I’m getting married next year, and I’m the last of my friend group to do so. I’ve been a bridesmaid in all of my friends’ weddings (and a maid of honor in one), and have always gone above and beyond to throw them great bachelorettes and bridal showers, get the dresses and shoes they want me to wear, give them generous gifts, etc. I’ve spend thousands of dollars on them.

Now that it’s my turn, I feel like the same effort I put into all of their weddings is not being returned. For my bachelorette, all I wanted to do was rent an Airbnb in the Hamptons for the weekend. And for my shower, I was happy to do something in someone’s backyard. Suddenly, these things are too “expensive” and none of my bridal party are committing to anything. On top of that, I picked out a beautiful dress that everyone is telling me is out of their budgets, and none of them want to get hair and make up done along with me on the wedding morning because they can’t afford to.

All of their attitudes are ruining my wedding, and I feel like it’s totally unfair. I know they say “no one cares about your wedding more than you do,” but I ALWAYS cared about theirs. Mine isn’t even important enough for them to throw me a party in someone’s backyard. 

Am I a bridezilla for feeling like this? I haven’t really talked about it with anyone, because I don’t want to seem like a brat. 


Sad Bride

Dear Sad Bride,

No — you are not a bridezilla for feeling the way you do. Simply put, it sucks to feel like you put a lot of time, care, and money into your friends’ days and that isn’t being reciprocated for yours. You’re right, it is totally unfair.

You mentioned you’re the last of your friend group to get married. Have any of these friends had children? If so, try to understand that kids can really make a dent in someone’s finances. Maybe a few years ago money wasn’t an issue for anyone in your group, and now on top of having to pay for trips and parties, they’re also having to pay for childcare and kid-related expenses. Not to mention trying to juggle job responsibilities, parenting responsibilities, spousal responsibilities, and bridal party responsibilities.  

Even if they haven’t had children, we never really know the state of someone’s finances unless we’re looking at their bank accounts. Again, situations change and it’s possible that their budgets for things look way different than they did before. Job changes, medical bills, and unexpected costs can come up when we least expect it, and you may or may not know about things going on in your friends’ lives.

What you can try to do now is find some middle ground:

  • If a weekend trip in the Hamptons is too expensive, how about shortening it to one night? Or finding a cheaper Airbnb in a neighboring town and then driving over to the Hamptons for activities?

  • Where your bridal shower is concerned, is it possible to bring another friend or family member on board to help with planning? Can your bridal party offer to cook food instead of having it catered?

  • For the dress  — can you find something similar for cheaper? Or ask your bridesmaids to buy something similar in whatever price point they can afford?

  • For hair & makeup — can you subsidize some of the costs, if it’s important to you that they have it done? Can you ask them to still spend time with you while you’re getting ready, even if they aren’t using your artists?

You can stay true to your original ideas and tweak them a bit, so that your girls feel more comfortable with the financials.  

It’s possible that even with these tweaks, your bridesmaids will still be unwilling to spend as much money on your day as you did on theirs. Weddings don’t always bring out the best in people, and this might be one of those situations. As hard as it is, try to remember why you’re throwing a wedding: to marry the person you love. That doesn’t make the situation fair or acceptable, but it can help you refocus your thoughts instead of dwelling on your friends’ inaction. 

Wondering if you’re a bridezilla? Submit your questions to, and we may feature it in an upcoming article.

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