Wedding WTF: She Threw Herself a Blowout Bachelorette Party…and Says She’s Too Broke for Mine!

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An eye for an eye, a bachelorette party for a bachelorette party. My own celebration was pretty low-key, but goshdarn it, had we gone away, I’d sure as hell fly wherever a bridesmaid-turned-bride wanted me to travel to for hers. Of course, everyone’s on a different budget, but this particular bride doesn’t play by the rules in my opinion. You be the judge.

“Last year, my childhood best friend got married in her new home state across the country from where we grew up. I didn’t have to fly for her shower, but I did have to take a long, pricey flight to get to her wedding. For her bachelorette party, she wanted her bridesmaids to rent a house in the Hamptons in Long Island for a week in the summer. Even though I was able to drive here and save some money, the rental was a huge expense. I was in grad school and not working at the time, but I didn’t protest. I’d just have a little credit card debt and she’d do the same for me, I thought. And we all had a great time, so I looked at it as money well spent.

Now I’m engaged. Since she lives so far away from me and the rest of my bridesmaids, I thought it’d be easier if my shower and bachelorette were on the same day so she wouldn’t have to fly in twice for them, in addition to flying in for my wedding. But she told me not to be silly: ‘Of course I’d fly in for both! You’re going to be too exhausted after your shower to want to go out for your bachelorette party. They deserve their own separate celebration days.’ I polled the rest of my bridesmaids, and they were fine with breaking up the events into two days, so we did.

My sister sent out shower invitations, and my ‘friend’ said she couldn’t make it because of a work event she has to attend. It’s true: It’s her company’s main function of the year. I was confused why she didn’t check the date when my sister was planning the party–my friend’s been working there for many years–and speak up sooner (we would’ve changed the date for her!), but fine. At least she’d be there for my bachelorette party. A few weeks later, this friend tells me she can’t fly in for my bachelorette party. She said money’s just too tight for her right now and she’s already flying in for the wedding.

My feelings were hurt because I spent all that money on her when I had zero to my name. But maybe she and her husband were going through serious financial problems that I wasn’t privy to, so I told her I understood.

Next thing I know, she’s posting pictures on Facebook of her spontaneous romantic getaway to a high-end resort in Aspen. There are captions like ‘So expensive but so worth it!’ and ‘Best hotel room ever!” No wonder money’s tight–this vacation easily cost $5,000.

What kind of a person chooses an expensive location for her bachelorette party and lies about not being able to afford to go to her friend’s? I’m livid and would rather not speak to her anymore, let alone have her be a bridesmaid. I wouldn’t be surprised if she RSVPs no to my wedding because of her ‘money issues!'”

Would you be annoyed with a friend who cried poverty when it came to your wedding events–after convincing you to throw two separate parties–and then took a luxury vacation? Would you kick her out of your wedding party?

More About Weddings
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  • Jennifer Chemerika

    Ugh, so brutal. I’d be more than annoyed and I’d probably say something to her about it. That’s just childish and selfish… I feel for the bride!

  • Rachel Wilkerson

    While I understand why the bride is hurt, it’s the friend’s money and she and her husband are free to prioritize that as they see fit. I don’t think the friend lied exactly — I’m sure money is, in fact, tight due to that vacation — but she definitely could have handled it better and not posted the pics on Facebook and told her straight up that the vacation they had already planned (maybe it’s a late honeymoon?) was really pricey and that she couldn’t afford to travel for anything but the wedding. But I don’t think it’s fair to say that just because she had a pricey wedding/shower/bachelorette that she now owes anyone anything. Presumably if this bride said she couldn’t attend due to the price, the friend would have been OK with that or would have changed the plans. Wedding expenses don’t need to be tit-for-tat and I think her presence at the ceremony itself is the most important thing. 

    I think one of the things that sucks about growing up is that all your vacations are dictated by friends’ weddings! With so many friends getting married, and a lot of people really spread out across the country, it ends up being a lot of time off work and airfare and it adds up quickly. I don’t blame the friend and her husband for wanting to take a nice trip rather than spend that money on all that travel for her friend’s pre-wedding parties.  

    • mereditor

      Thanks for chiming in, Rachel! I think the part that’s the most heinous about this is that the bridesmaid was the one who encouraged the bride to split her shower and bachelorette party into two separate days…and isn’t even attending.

      It is a bummer that weddings get in the way of vacays at this age, and I agree that you always need to do what’s best for you. But my feelings would be hurt if a bride expected me to go into debt to attend her wedding events (granted, we don’t know if the bride who got married first “expected” that of her bridesmaids) and then wasn’t willing to do the same for me. It would seem to me the friendship isn’t a two-way street.

      • Jules

        Yikes, this is a sticky situation. We’re only getting the bride’s point of view, though, and I don’t think it’s fair to tit-for-tat the parties. People’s situations, friendships, and priorities can change significantly from one wedding to the next.

        Not all friends are going to show their support for you in the same way you did for them, especially where money is involved. We have to accept that some friends are going to splash out for us, some will be our shoulder to cry on, and some are going to help craft all 15 centerpieces. Even though you do something for them and they don’t do it for you – that doesn’t mean their feelings aren’t as strong. I can see how it would feel unequal, though.

        To the bride, I have to say that it sounds like poor boundaries initially. “You’d do the same for me” is much better replaced by “This is a gift/service I’d like to do for you and I don’t expect it in return”. ESPECIALLY where debt is concerned – did you suggest a cheaper alternative to her bachelorette? Did you share your money worries with your friend at the time? Did you have the option to back out? Your friend could have 1) thrown a cheaper party or 2) accepted that you couldn’t be there. I seriously doubt she would ask you to go into debt.

        But mostly….like ferngilly says, we really can’t make it our business to decide if people’s financial priorities are “right”. The bride is basically saying that they shouldn’t take a vacation for themselves because she owes her an expensive bachelorette. Wtf? I find it extremely rude to presume upon someone’s money. I don’t think someone should buy me a $50 gift just because I bought THEM a $50 gift last year.

        The wedding is likely long over, but I also don’t think the silent treatment is the way to handle it. It sounds like the bride is annoyed on several fronts, and there’s no way her friend gets to defend herself if they aren’t discussed.

  • lealorali

    What a turd. I’d be so mad.

  • Barbara

    I’d be extremely upset as well!  Weddings are so expensive and when looking at our budget I realised at least half of it is just for the guest (Food mostly and thank you gifts).
    I would tell my friend that I am sorry I can’t have her at my wedding anymore I am cutting people due to my tight budget. 
    Yes I know… that seems a bit cold hearted but ever realise how many people are upset because they weren’t invited and they Really wanted to go and how some of the ones that actually do attend sits and criticizes! 
    Friendship is like an relationship… its either mutual or its not. 
    I’d give the person who is not worth being called a “Friend” the boot, not only did you go the extra mile for her you still doing it now. Would it be great to have her or will seeing her make you think of it ON YOUR SPECIAL DAY?

  • ferngilly

    All this bachelorette hullaballoo is ridiculous.  So what if a friend from out of state can’t come to your bachelorette party or wedding shower?  She works hard for her money, she can spend it as she sees fit.  Friendship isn’t based on money.  Its great that you made her a priority and spent money on her bridal shower.  It is hard being in grad school and also trying to make sure you are there for your friend.  Yet, just because she isn’t spending her money to see you doesn’t mean she isn’t a good friend.  Geez.  

  • Jules

    Frankly, I don’t think the friend’s error is taking a vacation or even having an expensive bachelorette when the bride was in grad school. Presumably the bride had every right to decline if it was out of her budget (and it sounds like it was if she went into debt for it).

    I think the upsetting part is that the friend said that she would “of course” fly in and is now essentially backing out on the commitment even though it’s been partially planned around her suggestion (may I point out, all the others agreed to it as well). However, I’m wanting to give her the benefit of the doubt: she doesn’t sound particularly conscientious and she may not have realized the cost. They perhaps had a certain amount of money set aside for a vacation BEFORE the bride’s engagement/events even occurred, and ultimately we don’t know their financial situation.

    I think it would be a shame to kick someone out of a bridal party just for not coming to a party or to end the friendship over this. A discussion is in order, but not, “I can’t believe you went to Aspen and didn’t go to my party even though I did for yours” – more like, “I’m hurt that you said you’d be there and then backed out.” The latter is far less presumptuous.