Are you discouraged that all of your gal pals have found love? And what does that leave you with? Nothing more than a closet full of fluffy, pastel coloured dresses that you dare not wear again – not even if you were paid to do so – and a big bill for airfare, lodging, jewellery, hair and makeup, the list goes on and on.
Okay, so you’re excited that your friend is getting married. She’s met that special man and she has invited you share in her momentous occasion by being one of her bridesmaids. You want nothing more than to be by her side, but there is one problem. You must by a new dress. And not just any dress, a dress that she has chosen– a dress that will look eerily similar to the one several other ladies are wearing and will be of no use to you an hour after the ceremony. Unless you’re lucky to have a new-age, modern beastie who will allow her attendants to pick their own style of dress, this will likely be what you’re stuck with. You’ll make a big investment – usually a couple hundred dollars – to wear this frock for two hours, and then you’ll hang it in the back of your closet for the rest of eternity. Or, at least until the moths have totally devoured it.
It’s not your imagination. The price of everything has risen. Well, except for the price of gas-guzzling SUVs. If you can’t afford to shell out the cash to buy a dress for your friend’s wedding, there are ways to get around it. These are a few alternative suggestions that you can offer:
Offer to be a hostess: Wedding hostesses usually wear a basic color like black or white and are not required to buy a dress. By being a hostess, you are still playing an active role in the ceremony without the stress of the buying a dress. And if the bride-to-be has a cousin who really wants to be a bridesmaid, you will just open the door for her. But, remember, you can’t make this suggestion at the last minute. The replacement bridesmaid will need time to order her dress.
Offer to share your special talent: Can you sing? Do you write poetry? Are you a great cook or baker? Do you have some other great talent that would be perfect for your friend’s ceremony or reception? If so, this is another great way to be an active part of the ceremony without necessarily having to buy a dress. Yes, you will be asked to look nice, and you might even be asked to wear a particular color. But in the end, you will save money and your special presentation will be one your friend will never forget.
Offer to try your hand at wedding planning: This is a great offer, especially if you know something about weddings and your friend is a little strapped for cash. Yes, this will be time consuming, and as a good friend, you should probably offer your services free of charge. But who wouldn’t enjoy putting in a little extra effort to make a friend’s big day unforgettable?
Whatever you offer to do for your friend, be upfront and explain to her why you must, although regrettably, decline her invitation to serve as a bridesmaid.
Reassure her that you would want nothing more than to stand with her on her special day if only you could afford to take on the responsibility. Remember that friendships don’t come with a price tag and no good friend is worth losing because of a couple hundred dollars.