Bridesmaid Confessions: "I Spent $1,077 On Your Wedding"

Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Welcome to Bridesmaid Confessions, where we tackle the hardest part of participating in someone else's wedding: the cost. We're asking real bridesmaids to spill the beans — anonymously, of course — on every wedding-related expense, from the engagement all the way to the big day. (Thanks, Money Diaries, for the inspiration.)

Today, a woman who stormed out of the bachelorette party after a fight with the bride.

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Job: Stylist and Custom Clothier
Age: 29
Annual Salary: $75,000
Location: Chicago, IL
Total Number Of Bridesmaids: "I think there were five of us in the end...two had to drop out because of personal things."
Relationship To Bride: "Chicago friend from our fun single girl days."
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
The Bridesmaid Dress

How much were the dress and shoes?
"$200 after alterations."

What was your dress-shopping experience?
"Terrible. David’s Bridal. Hated the dress style and color, and I seriously thought about going rogue and picking my own out."

Would you wear the dress again?
"I may have burned it or thrown it away... no [point in] donating it because there’s no way anyone would want a turquoise satin (polyester) dress with its 'matching' lime green kitten heel sandals."
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Wedding-Day Details & Costs

When and where was the wedding?
"Johnson City, TN."

How long were you expected to stay?
"Two nights in Johnson City."

How much did you spend on lodging and travel?
"$600"

Did you pay for hair and makeup?

"Did my own (and half the other girls’ makeup too…)."

How much did you spend on gifts?
"My presence was my present. Tacky? Maybe. Warranted? Yes. Just wait."
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
The Bachelorette Party

Where was the bachelorette?
"Chicago thankfully."

Did you organize the bachelorette?
"I organized almost the entire thing — planned to decorate my apartment and make hors d’oeuvres and drinks, made dinner reservations, had a tentative plan for going out afterward, and offered to have people stay at my apartment.

"It took a while to plan because we were kind of running around like chickens with our heads cut off. The bride didn’t seem happy with any of the plans either."

How much did you spend on it?
"
Food/Drinks: $200
Hotel: $0 — because I refused to stay the night (more about this later)
Cab home from hotel at 2 a.m. that night: $12
Decorations and pre-party action: $50
Late night pizza: $15"
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
What was the worst part of being a bridesmaid?
"At the bachelorette: The bride drunkenly yelled at me and called me stupid at the end of the night. So that was fun. On wedding weekend: after the rehearsal dinner, she took us all to the gym at the church where the reception was the next day and had us spend two hours separating fake rose petals that were part of the tacky table decorations."

What was the craziest part of being a bridesmaid?
"This is where I elaborate on the drunken yelling: the bride called me stupid for something, I don’t even remember what.

"My response verbatim: 'You’re right, I am stupid. Stupid for ever agreeing to be part of this [expletive] wedding!' And then in a very poetic and movie-like moment, elevator doors closed between us. I stormed back to the hotel room that two days prior to the party the bride insisted on getting and said she’d pay for, grabbed my shit, and went home. Two weeks later she had one of the other bridesmaids ask me for my share of the hotel cost. I refused."

Would you include the bride in your own wedding?

"No chance...we haven’t spoken since right after her wedding."
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Do you think being a bridesmaid was worth it?
"In this case, absolutely not. I had intense anxiety in the weeks leading up the wedding, so much so that I considered backing out. My performance at work even suffered. Knowing two bridesmaids had already pulled out prevented me from doing the same, but looking back it wouldn’t have hurt anything."

Would you do it again?
"Be a bridesmaid? Well, I have been three times since this particular shindig went down so I guess so. Luckily, at this point most of my good friends are married, so I might be off the hook for a while. Yay!!!!!!!

"But would I be her bridesmaid again? Simply put, no. If I’d known then what I know now, I would have felt completely comfortable backing out."
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